So far on our six-month around the world trip, Shae and I have found it pretty easy to find vegan food. Reykjavik, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin: all very vegan friendly! We knew we would run into some challenges along the way, but we definitely didn’t expect that to be Italy. As you may have read in my Venice blog post, we found only two places with vegan options and there wasn’t a single fully vegan place. In Cinque Terre we found one place offering a few options of vegan food, and one place with vegan gelato. So obviously there’s not much when it comes to eating out which is hardly a problem for us because we can live on oatmeal, rice, and beans, but we of course wanted to try authentic Italian cuisine! After spending almost two weeks exploring Italy, here are some of the classic Italian foods we were able to find vegan or modify!
Italian Vegan Food
Did you know that foccacia is always vegan?! We figured there had to be eggs in those delicious squares of salty oily delicious bread but nope! I found a bakery in Venice that had focaccia with roasted potatoes and rosemary on top–yum!
Obviously, bread with olive oil, tomatoes, and basil on top is vegan. However a lot of times they make it with pesto or mozzarella. So just opt for the simple pomodoro bruschette!
The fresh pasta you will most likely find in Italian restaurants have egg in the noodles. Just ask for dry (“secca”) pasta not fresh pasta (“frescha”); Legally, dry pasta in Italy cannot be made with eggs.
When you are out to eat and all they have is egg pasta, see if they can make you a veggie pizza without cheese. The crust dough doesn’t contain any eggs! The restaurants we visited in Cinque Terre were super accommodating to our requests and one even made us a pizza that wasn’t listed on the menu!
It’s possible you’ll run into gnocchi without eggs (what’s the deal with all the EGGS?!), so if you do, definitely get some. The fresh gnocchi made out of just potato flour and water is the best I’ve ever had.
Oh man, I had no idea the fruit in Italy would be so incredible. Every city/town we visited had a lot of local fruit markets or fruit stalls in the streets. Apparently it’s an Italian thing to have peaches after your dinner, so be sure to try some of their incredibly juicy peaches.
You can easily make a filling meal out of just appetizers and side dishes. Most restaurants we came across in Italy had side dishes such as bruschette, grilled veggies, marinated mushrooms, salads, etc.
Never fear, you can enjoy all of the traditional Italian foods without harm to the animals or the environment! Even though Italy was our first challenge, it definitely wasn’t incredibly hard.
You can find more from Me and Shae here:
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Team Page: https://www.vegantravel.com/vegan-travelers-shae-marissa/