No one wants to go on a lovely vacation only to realize that they have no idea if there are any nearby eateries that cater to their diet. Luckily, many restaurants offer at least vegetarian options if not a separate vegan menu.
Looking for a vegetarian-friendly restaurant can be a stressful experience, especially in an unfamiliar area. But don’t get discouraged, because vegetarian cuisines have always been present in most cultures, encouraged by either religional or dietary preferences. Lately, though, the trend has really taken off, motivating many local Venetian restaurants to create new vegetarian and vegan options with all the native flavors, but none of the animal products.
And as soon as you get a taste of a vegan take on a Venetian classic, you will probably find yourself wanting to go on a vegetarian food tour. So drop off your bags at a Bounce locker and get going.
What it’s Like:
An unassuming little pizzeria hidden on Calle de la Mandola, L’Angelo has made a name for itself as a great place for a quick lunch. It does not have any seating available, so you will have to plan on finding an alternate location to eat your pizza or sandwich. This should not be difficult, as the shop is not far from Piazza San Marco.
Calle de la Mandola (the street of the Almond) is a lovely street full of small shops and cafes. You can easily duck into the pizzeria, grab a quick bite, and wander the specialty shops filled with Venetian goods.
While it can sometimes be difficult to find good vegan sandwiches or pizzas, Pizzeria L’Angelo is drowning in rave reviews for their pizzas made with vegan cheese substitutes and great prices. They also sell wine and beer, so you can stop in quickly, grab some delicious food and drinks, and head out for a picnic in one of Venice’s picturesque piazzas.
Calle de la Mandola, 3711, 30124, Venice
What It’s Like:
Specializing in Middle Eastern dishes, Frary’s offers a wide variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Located near their namesake the Frari church, the restaurant caters to locals and tourists alike. The atmosphere is very comfortable, the food is delicious, and if you visit in the evening you can enjoy a candlelit dinner with those closest to you. It's a great choice for a dinner in Venice that doesn't rely on the Italian classics of pasta and pizza, but instead brings something new and exciting to the table. No wonder this place is so popular both with locals and with the hordes of vacationers that come to Venice each year.
The Mediterranean options are a nice change of pace from the normal pasta dishes that you typically find in non-vegetarian restaurants in Venice. From a healthy falafel to a sweet tiramisu, there are tons of options for vegetarians, such as vegetable tagine or dolmades. Many of the dinner items can also be altered to fit a vegetarian's or vegan's diet upon request.
Fondamenta dei Frari San Polo, 2559, Venice
La Tecia Vegana
What It’s Like:
Serving only certified organic and vegan food, La Tecia Vegana is a no-brainer for vegans visiting Venice. The restaurant was started by a vegan couple, Thomas and Cinzia, as they fulfilled their dream of moving to Venice and starting an exclusively vegetarian restaurant.
The vegetarian menu is a combination of reimagined classics and all-new vegetable dishes, completely animal-free, and goes above and beyond simple pasta dishes or pizzas, making it a great spot to eat lunch. With plenty of vegan options available, this is an obvious choice for those who want to eat cruelty-free, and the range of delicious dishes on offer means you won't miss meat at all while eating here.
From appetizers to desserts, everything on the menu is plant-based. There are several options for each course of your meal, such as salads, hummus, ravioli, and gnocchi, as well as your main course of vegan burgers or seitan roast. Don’t forget to try the not-a-cheese-cake or tiramisu.
La Tecia Vegana has become known as possibly the best vegetarian restaurant in Venice, so a reservation is certainly a good idea.
Dorsoduro, 2104, 30123 Venice
Ristorante Da Mario alla Fava
What it’s Like:
Opened in 1960 by Mario Bonavita, the purpose of Ristorante Da Mario alla Fava was to reintroduce classic Venetian cuisine to the masses. Now, Mario's sons continue to serve traditional dishes, while adding new flavors and offering a vegan menu.
The dining area feels warm and inviting, with old pictures decorating the walls, making it a very relaxed fine dining experience. After all, sometimes you just want something classic and traditional. Eating here is a great way to sample authentic Venetian cuisine without the meat. Italian vegan options can be hard to find, so this is definitely a place you'll want to seek out while you're in Venice.
Ristorante Da Mario alla Fava offers a vegan menu, as well as some gluten-free options. Many of the other menu items can be altered upon request.
The menu also focuses on seasonal produce, and the staff is happy to help you make a delicious, locally inspired choice. Make sure you try one of their vegan desserts from the on-site bakery.
Ristorante Da Mario alla Fava has two street addresses, Calle dei Stagneri 5242 and Calle Galiazzo 5265.
What It’s Like:
The Orient Experience was started to help migrants along their way as they create a new life, combining their culture with the cultures around them. The menu reflects this, with items ranging from Middle Eastern to Asian dishes. There are plenty of vegetarian specialties on offer here and even some vegan options to try if you're avoiding animal products altogether.
The quirky decorations in the dining area make it a fun and distinct adventure, and the excellent food only adds to the experience.
The menu is largely vegetarian-friendly, and some dishes can be altered to be vegan-friendly as well. That being said, it will be hard to decide what you want to order, with options spanning so many locales.
It would not be a bad idea to reserve a table ahead of your dinner, but just walking in and hoping for the best is also acceptable.
Rio Terà Farsetti, 1847 / B, 30121 Venice
What It’s Like:
A small bookshop/bistro, Sullaluna is a quaint little restaurant perfect for spending a rainy day. They even have a gift shop, but due to the restricted floor space, many of the items can only be viewed upon request.
The menu focuses on local all-natural items, including organic wine from the hillside family vineyard. With light croutons to full meals, and vegan drink and dessert options, Sullaluna is a great option for someone looking for a relaxed atmosphere and a yummy vegan cappuccino. It's a quirky and charmingly unique establishment in a city that can sometimes feel overrun with tourists and the companies that cater to them, so it's definitely a good place to go for something special in Venice.
Though the menu may seem a bit shorter than some of the other vegetarian restaurants you’ll visit, they have worked diligently on all of the menu items, bringing them as close to perfection as possible. With good food and drink in hand, you can take a seat outside next to the canal and spend a peaceful evening watching the boats as they drift down the waterway.
2535 Fondamenta Misericordia, 30121 Venice
Gelateria Il Doge
What it's like:
It is impossible to visit Venice without trying some local gelato. With traditional recipes for gelato being centered around dairy, this may seem like a crazy idea, but there are actually quite a few vegan-friendly possibilities. One of which is Gelateria Il Doge, located across the canal from Piazza San Marco, near Campo San Toma. With so many vegan options available here, you'll be able to indulge in this classic Italian treat without the guilt.
You can find all sorts of vegan-friendly flavors here, from chocolate or hazelnut to berry or citrus. If you find yourself having a difficult time choosing, feel free to ask the staff for their favorite vegan gelato.
Dorsoduro, 3058/A, 30123 Venice
What it's like:
With its warm, welcoming interior, La Zucca (The Pumpkin) has become very popular with visitors. The atmosphere is laid back and inviting, making it a great place to visit if you are looking for a relaxing Venetian experience. It even boasts an open kitchen, so you can watch as the chef prepares the plates.
The menu may also change from day to day as new, fresh ingredients come in, so don't hesitate to order whatever catches your eye, as you may just miss your one opportunity to enjoy a seasonal dish. With an emphasis on local seasonal produce, this is the perfect place to eat local and support a business that is making great food the old-fashioned way.
Not a vegetarian restaurant per se, you can still find some meatless and vegan options on the menu for La Zucca, which includes vegan wines.
With limited seating and rave reviews, La Zucca tends to fill up quickly, so a reservation is definitely the way to go.
S. Croce, 1762, 30135 Venice
What It’s Like:
A cozy little cafe by a picturesque canal, Torrefazione Cannaregio is a nice choice for a vegan brunch. They have been serving handcrafted coffee for almost a century, and also offer some vegan breakfast pastries. You can either sit in for your cup of coffee or purchase a bag of beans to enjoy at home. It's nice to find a classic Italian cafe with some vegan options for traditional breakfast pastries, so it's worth paying a visit and supporting this company by buying a coffee and a cornetto for breakfast the Italian way.
Stop in for a quick drink and snack as you take a morning walk along the canals, or go in for a nice breakfast before starting your day. The hours are short, with the shop being open from only 8 am to 1 pm, so plan accordingly.
Cannaregio 2804 - 30121 Venice
Most classic Venetian dishes are seafood-based, so you are already one step closer to meatless. And almost any restaurant that offers vegetarian dishes will also have some vegan options. Most vegetarian restaurants in Venice also focus on all-natural and local products, which is always a plus.
So no matter when you are visiting, you will have plenty of choices for vegetarian restaurants in Venice. Whether you are looking for a great spot for a vegan-friendly Sunday brunch or a variety of Middle Eastern dishes, Venice has something for you. It may be a small restaurant found off the beaten path or an exclusively vegetarian restaurant in the middle of the city, so don't stop looking for the perfect vegetarian restaurant for your vacation meals.