You certainly know that Florence is renowned for its Florentine steak. So, it may come to as a surprise to you that Florence is also one of the most vegan-friendly big cities in Italy!
Okay, we’ll give you a second to recover from the shock. But now, let’s move on! We’re so excited to help you discover the best vegan restaurants in Florence.
Basic Vocabulary for Eating Vegan in Florence
Let’s start from the very beginning: how to tell someone that you’re vegan in Italian.
Try saying sono vegano (I’m vegan). Pronounce it like this: “soh-no Veh-gawn-oh.”
And to make sure that every Italian-speaking server will understand you, just remember this basic vocabulary to communicate other dietary restrictions.
- Senza glutine: gluten-free
- Sono intollerante al lattosio: I’m lactose-intolerant
Or, to be more specific, you can say “Io non mangio…” (I don’t eat) followed by:
- Uova: eggs
- Carne: meat
- Latticini: dairy products
How to Go Naturally Vegan in Florence
Let’s say that you don’t have time to explain to a clueless waiter that you’re vegan. How can you avoid dairy and meat?
With a little help from your friends (that’s us)!
Florentine culinary tradition has origins in poverty. Why should you care? Because it means that you can find a lot of dishes that are naturally vegan! Meat was a thing for rich merchants back in the Renaissance days, after all.
So, when the menu arrives, you can look for some of the following Tuscan dishes that are already vegan:
- Ribollita: A delicious soup made of bread softened in vegetable broth, with kale, beans and tomato sauce.
- Pappa al pomodoro: Even more basic. Just soft bread poached in tomato sauce. You’re probably wondering how can something so simple can be so delicious, and the truth is: we don’t know. Maybe the tomatoes are grown in heaven? No clue. Just perfect raw materials.
- Panzanella: Bread with vegetables and lots of olive oil. Ah, if only it was possible to marry a recipe—we would choose panzanella.
However, keep in mind that every cook adds their own twist to the traditional recipes—so it’s always safe to ask.
In any case, remember that restaurants are upping their game. Now, you can often find a little symbol on the menu to make the vegan options stand out. You won’t have any trouble in finding your perfect vegan dish.
Best Vegan Restaurants in Florence
The table is set to feast! Now that you know the best tricks, you’re ready to explore the best vegan restaurants in Florence. Here are our top five.
Universo Vegano is exactly what it claims to be: a universe for all things vegan. It’s one of the nicest vegan restaurants in Florence, clean and sunny, facing Piazza de’ Ciompi and the flow of real Florence life.
The first thing you’ll see is their huge bakery selection, displayed in a beautiful showcase. All the buns and pies and muffins…
Hey, don’t get distracted! You have a mission here: try the vegan burgers. Delicious.
PappaGioia (Via del Ponte Rosso, 57r) is the vegan bistro you didn’t know you were looking for. Just go to the counter and choose the most appealing dish; the server will prepare your plate with whatever you like.
You can dine in their inner courtyard, perfect during summer and winter. A vegan treat in the heart of Florence.
Even if it does mix vegan and vegetarian dishes, this place certainly has a special spot in every Florentine vegan’s heart. Brac is not only a restaurant: it’s a contemporary art library, a cultural center, a place to see and be seen.
You definitely have to fill your glass with Giulia’s selection of biodynamic wines and eat Francesca’s marvelous avocado carpaccio.
Did someone say “vegan street food“?!
Santo Falafel (Via Sant’Agostino, 28r) will surely satisfy your craving. It’s a small place with no tables in the heart of Florence, next to Piazza Santo Spirito. You can go for a walk and stop there to eat.
Order your wrap to go and experience some fabulous Middle Eastern cuisine. This is the place that will make you shout out “I believe in hummus!”.
#Raw (Via Sant’Agostino, 11R) is a 100 percent natural restaurant. As the name may suggest, it’s perfect if you follow a vegan and raw food diet.
They have a huge variety of sweets, and their smoothies are just incredible. And sometimes, they have some funny colors too!
What if You’re With a Non-Vegan Friend?
Sometimes, friendship is compromise. Here’s our selection of the best restaurants in Florence that happen to have excellent options for vegans.
- Cuculia: A fancy restaurant for an elegant meal.
- Konnubio (Via dei Conti, 8r): Another stylish spot.
- Mattacena: Proudly Tuscan, and perfect for every budget.
Eliana Ferrari doesn’t like to stay put. She’s traveled all around Europe, excited by every encounter with people, food, and art. How did she end up in Florence? She fell in love: with the magnificence of every corner, with Bolgheri wine, and with the famous Florentine wit (one Florentine’s in particular!).