Rome is the ”Caput Mundi” (capital of the world), pizza and pasta. The city where the wine flows freely, the Eternal City of Rome.
I’ve noticed that many vegan places in Europe often offer falafels and vegan burgers, and I didn’t want that in Rome. I started looking for places not mentioned on HappyCow and where there would be no tourists. I wanted to immerse myself in the capital of pizzas and ice creams and eat out with the Italians.
When you arrive in Rome, you relax immediately. The weather, the beautiful and friendly people, filled terraces, delicious ice cream on every corner of the street. Delicious!
Italy has a lot to offer for vegans, but many gluten-free pasta and pizzas are also available. I have not included those in my review for two reasons. First, I wanted to avoid the tourists. I wanted to ”taste” the Italian life. Secondly, I looked for the most delicious vegan (not gluten-free) pizza.
Also, I was looking for the best vegan ice cream. I went to the most famous ice cream salon but found even better options for healthy vegans during my trip.
I enjoyed my stay in Rome! The weather, the friendly people and delicious food!
And I’ve walked a lot. European cities are made for walking. I hardly take the tram, bus, or subway. It gives so much energy, is healthy, and ensures that I discover many lovely places without using the internet. Exploring is part of my travel reviews, and made a visit to Rome so much more fun.
Then the food. I expected heavy, greasy food, many fast carbs, and lots of cheese, but I was wrong. An explosion in the popularity of healthy living and the popularity of diets such as gluten-free and veganism made sure Italy didn’t want to be left behind.
Gluten-free, vegan options? Yes, that’s possible! Gluten-free pasta and pizzas are becoming easier to find.
Also, in non-vegan restaurants, you can often find a vegan option. The Italians love their vegetables in pasta, pizzas, and as starters, so it’s easy to add or replace for you. An example would be delicious grilled vegetables like peppers, artichokes, or zucchini.
Il Margutta RistorArte
I ate here on the first night, and I was surprised by how formal it was. I got some weird looks because I held a camera, but don’t be intimidated. The staff is friendly and also for me (not so trendy Italian) there was a table in this restaurant. You’ll find yourself not among tourists but all Italians. Just what I was looking for!
And the menu? Not only vegan, but also vegan with a focus on the gut. Claudio Vannini wanted to create the first vegetarian cultural center in Rome. His mission was to provide his customers with his healthy menu, philosophy of life, respect for nature, love of art, and the need to respect the rights of all animals.
In a short time, Il Margutta has become a meeting place for people looking for a plant-based healthy lifestyle. Many local famous Italians (TV and fashion world) often eat here. The dishes are simple and have a Mediterranean influence.
Once you open the menu, you’ll read the philosophy first, “Relax at Margutta flat belly.” The dishes are FODMAP; this ensures, among other things, that you will not leave the restaurant feeling bloating. I ordered the Detox Menu, but there is also a Vegan Menu, soups, and vegetable mixes (raw and cooked). I found it a nice place to eat clean vegan.
Via Margutta, 118, 00187 Roma, Italia
Although Rome may not be the official capital of pizza, there are many types of pizza in Rome to be found. From thin (Roman style) to the square ”pizza-by-the-slice” or the thick-rimmed Neapolitan style pizzas.
Giacomelli is my favorite. Giacomelli is a family business (including staff), and the pizzas are as thin as paper. I went for the simple, delicious pizza marinara. Delicious! There are three pizza sizes (small, medium, or large). Quite unexpectedly, the grilled veggies were delicious! Especially the artichoke, cabbage, and peppers were nice. Great to share or to eat all by yourself. I made my pizza with vegetables. The other dishes seem to be delicious as well!
What is also very lovely about Giacomelli is that you will not find tourists here. Giacomelli doesn’t even have a website (not that I could find).
Via Emilio Faà di Bruno, 25 00195 Roma
I looked forward to visiting Giolitti. Ben Stiller, the pope, Owen Wilson … everyone is raving about the ice creams of Giolitti. So I was not surprised that it was hectic inside. Huge lines at any time of the day, curtly staff that will finish your order before you can decide what you actually want to order. Of course, I’ve only tried the vegan options, and although I expected a huge vegan sugar bomb, I must say that the taste was very pure. I was impressed. Until I tried the ”dark chocolate”. Oh. My. Goodness. You can’t eat this without making sounds of pleasure. I can’t describe it. It’s so pure. Dark chocolate, but not bitter, heavy, or sticky.
Via Uffici del Vicario, 40 – 00186 Roma
I Dolci di Nonna Vincenza
Precisely 15 minutes later (literally 5 minutes walk from Giolitti), I came across another ice paradise, I Dolci di Nonna Vincenza. I ate my first real, according to Sicilian tradition, prepared ice cream. This is an entirely different experience. Without dairy products and too much sugar, it seems a bit like frozen pulp after making nut milk. I took the pistachio and almond ice cream. The taste is pure with a very light structure. Granita Siciliana is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water, and, for example, nuts. I found the taste not very sweet but pleasant enough to be delicious. Perfect! Originally this ice cream is from Sicily, but the desired texture seems to vary from city to city. From super chunky sorbet to structured ice cream. Mine was right in the middle. Delicious!
Via dell’Arco del Monte, 98, 00186 Roma
Slow Market La Capra Rampante
I noticed some signs on the street with ”slow food bio”, but I didn’t understand what it referred to and where it was. After a few hundred meters, I ran into this variation of a whole food store. There was no end to all the corners and several sections. A corner with huge pots of herbs, a corner with endless tea variations and vegetables in idyllic wooden crates. I also liked that they do not throw away fruits and vegetables. Older fruits and veggies ended up in a box and were sold with a discount. No waste! I bought some delicious snacks and fresh fruits (pears, apricots, and cherries).
via Donatello, 65 – Roma (Quartiere Flaminio)
It was time again for ice cream and chocolate. The pictures on Grezzo’s Facebook page and the fact that all is raw and vegan immediately attracted my attention. Could it be true? In these types of places, I’m very interested to know about the sugar they’re using. Vegan is not difficult, but clean vegan is. Grezzo uses coconut sugar as a sweetener, I noticed. Despite that Grezzo was founded only in 2014, it has already managed to make quite a name. A business coach and an Italian raw Masterchef bundled their forces, and Grezzo was a fact. Its mission is to make the best raw vegan chocolate (ice cream and cake).
Grezzo’s success is partly due to the highest quality ingredients (organic). Each recipe is designed to improve our health and happiness. They never use refined sugars, gluten, soy, dairy products, GMO, or chemical ingredients. Only the highest quality organic ingredients are used … wow!
Their ”kitchen” looks like a laboratory. So pure, precise, and clean. The result is delicious ice cream and chocolate. The almond flavor ice cream is incredibly tasty! Their chocolate is extremely rich in taste and texture. Delicious, refreshing smoothies are also made. The secret is their ingredients. Grezzo uses cacao beans from Ecuador, coconut butter, coconut sugar, Sicilian almonds, hazelnuts from Piedmont, dates, and coconut pulp. The packaging and decor in the store are only recyclable products. I think I had my smoothie on a paper chair?
I will soon share a smoothie recipe with you here from Grezzo. Perfect for these hot days!
Via Urbana, 130 (Zona rione Monti) – 00184 Roma
Fa-bio – literally “do organic” – is run by Fabio and Claudio, two guys with different gastronomic backgrounds but a passion for fresh, tasty, organic food. You can enjoy fresh salads, fresh smoothies, juices, and kamut wraps (kamut is an ancient grain high in protein and faint gluten)—all with the best organic ingredients in a small but cozy environment. Everyone is nice and relaxed, helpful and friendly, so it was challenging to leave Rome that day! I was served the most delicious juices like beetroot, raspberry, and apple. They have no fixed menu because they cook and juice according to the season.
I enjoyed several delicious morning juices!
I enjoyed the wonderful weather, the people, the city and the food. Rome has stolen my heart. A presto Italia!
photos and text by the creator green (c) (copyright)