While the city of Rome is celebrated for dishes like carbonara and amatriciana, you won’t have to settle for cacio e pepe for every meal. If you’re looking for the best vegetarian restaurants in Rome, you’ll find plenty of spots that serve seasonal, meat-free alternatives in creative ways – without compromising on flavor. Here are the best plant-based eateries that cater to vegetarians and flexitarians alike.
Vivi Bistrot, a chic and feminine all-day bistro and cafe with multiple locations around Rome, is a true entrepreneurial success story. Founded back in 2008 by Daniela Gazzini e Cristina Cattaneo, two friends and business partners, the business has grown to include multiple locations across Rome, including Piazza Navona, Villa Doria Pamphili park and the Rinascente Department store. You’ll find lots of tantalizing options to choose from, including international-inspired dishes, hamburgers (vegan, veggie & meat) and gluten-free desserts. My go-to is the Vegan Salad with marinated tofu, green beans, roasted carrots, pumpkin seeds. On a sunny day, don’t miss dining at Vivi Bistrot set within the beautiful Villa Doria Pamphili park, or opting for a take-away picnic basket which you can enjoy in the shade of Rome’s pine trees. Vivi Bistrot’s newest location is Le Serre, a greenhouse nestled within a garden on Monte Mario.
Ginger Sapori e Saluti is undoubtedly one of the most popular healthy restaurants in Rome. With its bright, airy industrial interiors and fresh fruits and vegetables overflowing on the counters, it has LA vibes and a menu that will please jetsetters who crave hard-to-find dishes like Açai bowls, chopped salads and smoothies with spirulina. The first location near the Spanish Steps has long attracted the well-heeled who dine al fresco on gourmet sandwiches, fresh pasta dishes and colorful cold cuts: Ginger isn’t wholly vegetarian, with plenty of healthy meat and fish dishes, but it has a lot to choose from. Ravioli alla trapanese with sun-dried tomato pesto and almonds, veggie burgers served on beetroot bread and baguettes topped with porcini mushrooms, rocket and parmigiano are just some of the plant-based options that await.
Part art gallery, part restaurant, Il Margutta creates dishes that are as bright and eye-catching as the works of contemporary art that adorn its walls. A stylish dining concept, Il Margutta has been serving vegetarian meals since 1979 and provides an innovative dining experience for those seeking a fresh take on Mediterranean cuisine. Everything from the vegetables and pastas to grains and salads are presented with artistic flair: wild strawberries are drizzled with a balsamic reduction and vegetable soufflés are propped up on a medley of mixed greens. I celebrated my first birthday in Rome at Il Margutta and it remains one of my favorite places to take vegetarian friends when they come to visit me in Rome because it strikes a nice balance between comfort and contemporary dining. A lunch buffet is available daily and serves 40 dishes – it’s a steal at only €15 on weekdays (€25 on weekends).
For heartfelt recipes with a side of hygge, be sure to stop by Marigold, a restaurant and micro-bakery that brings a touch of Scandinavia to Rome’s Ostiense district. Marigold is a dream-come-true for Sofie Wochner, a Danish baker, and Domenico Cortese, a Calabrese chef, who had long hosted Rome’s foodie community at pop-up dinners in their home by way of “The Eatery”. Today, you will find them serving freshly baked cinnamon rolls, avocado toast with poached eggs and specialty coffees to an international clientele. It goes without saying that Marigold is one of the best places to enjoy an international brunch in Rome. With a focus on seasonality and a farm-to-table approach, there are always plenty of meatless options on the menu like like burrata with figs and melon, or radicchio with baked pears and gorgonzola.
Re-Bio has the best chopped salads in all of Rome, and the attention Fabio and his team put into creating and customizing each sandwich, soup and freshly pressed juice can’t be beat. Their enthusiasm for healthy, nutritious food is evident in the appetizing options that are bursting with health and flavor, from kamut rolls with artichoke spread, red cabbage and tomatoes to couscous with mint, beetroot and sunflower seeds. This little bistrot tops my personal list of the best vegetarian restaurants in Rome and with a spacious location near the Vatican Museums, it’s also one of the most convenient. Its second location, 85Bio Monti, offers the same great food under a different name.
With its hipster aesthetic, alternative playlist and notable selection of orange wines, BAЯRED brings a dose of Pigneto to Re di Roma. Owned and operated by Tiziano and Mirko Pacucci, two young Roman brothers with a passion for food and drinks, Barred offers a small but tightly-curated selection of creative, comfort dishes in which seasonal ingredients sing. Though the menu highlights dishes that include offal, there are always interesting plant-based items, too, showcasing Tiziano’s talent for reinventing himself. You’ll find entrées like sautéed spinach with black garlic and mushroom ragù, and pappardelle with artichokes and licorice. Enjoy tapas at the bar or opt for a seat at one of the few tables in this cozy spot.
A raw restaurant, cafe and pastry shop, Ecrù is a luminous little spot tucked steps from the Tiber River near Via Giulia. If you follow a vegan or gluten-free diet, you’ll be spoiled for choice: look out for celeriac hummus and avocado tartare along with chia seed pudding and dairy-free cheesecake. Everything is colorful and fragrant, and nothing is cooked over 40°C (104°F), meaning each ingredient retains its nutritious and healing properties. Ecrù also has an ample list of drinks that covers everything from cold pressed juices and smoothies to nut milks, raw craft beers and natural wine. There are only 22 seats inside so be sure to make reservations if you’re coming for dinner.
One of the most playful eateries in town, is a successful new vegan burger chain born in Milan in 2015. It has recently expanded to Rome and boasts two locations in the city, including one located conveniently near the Vatican Museums. The 100% plant-based menu features burgers with all sorts of ingredients, with rainbow buns of ocean blue, sunflower yellow and hot pink flavored (and colored) with turmeric, purple carrot and beetroot. The burgers instead are made with quinoa, chickpeas, seitan or lentils and come with a variety of toppings and sauces. Order a side of neon green edamame to make your meal even more psychedelic.
Originally born as a gardening shop with eatery in the heart of Monti, Aromaticus has since added a second, larger location in Trastevere. This verdant oasis houses over dozens of edible flowers and aromatic herbs and doubles as a great place to pick up gifts for friends with green thumbs. Drop by to enjoy a freshly squeezed juice or light lunch to break up the carb monotony of Italian cuisine. The menu changes daily in but you can expect to find salads, soups and gazpachos in every color imaginable, plus creative spins on Italian classics like beetroot gnocchi. Aromaticus is also one of the few places to serves homemade Kombucha and Kefir in Rome.
As you might surmise from its name, Romeow is a haven for felines and cat lovers in the city’s southern Ostiense neighborhood. Inspired by Japanese cat cafes, Romeow has six resident cats that roam freely throughout the restaurant, which has a Scandinavian feel and juxtaposes the industrial architecture right outside its doors. The menu here is creative and sophisticated, with beautifully styled dishes. Entrées include champignon mushrooms stuffed with cashew cheese, edamame fettuccine with coconut-ginger dressing and tempeh “millefoglie” with Jerusalem artichoke cream and toasted hazelnuts. Romeow also offers a 5-course tasting menu for €45.
Ops! is a restaurant with a modern concept. This bistro near Piazza Fiume serves up a bountiful buffet of Mediterranean vegan & vegetarian dishes which you serve yourself and then pay by weight. Though Ops! is low-key and informal, its location in northern Rome mean the vibe and clientele are stylish. It’s a great place for a healthy lunch between meetings or after a visit to nearby Villa Borghese, and the buffet is available at dinner, too. You’ll find vegetables prepared in every way imaginable (sautéed, grilled, mashed and boiled) along with Mediterranean and international dishes.
Dip into a tropical paradise with a smoothie or snack at this vibrant vegetarian café. Giuliana Alodi, originally from Brazil, has brought Amazonian flavors to the Italian capital, and Vitaminas 24 is one of the few places where you can find açai, maracujà and guarana on the menu. Try the cremolato (a mix between an icy granita and a creamy gelato) with papaya, cassis, milk and honey, and don’t miss the savory Brazilian pastries such as empanadas filled with cheese, or the rissoles with seasonal vegetables.