Vegan in Florence
Italy doesn’t spring to mind as the most vegan friendly destination. How wrong I was, there are so many options available that I just didn’t have time to try them all, but I was so pleasantly surprised by what I found.
Four Seasons Hotel Florence were fantastically accommodating from the moment I enquired about their vegan options. Every morning we came down to a whole table in the breakfast restaurant that was dedicated vegan. The chef had prepared us croissants along with various other pastries, apple pie, vegan pizzas. We were offered different tofu combinations. They have almond milk for cereal and coffees. There was so much food for two little vegans to take on!
Staying at the Four Seasons Hotel, we had to try their 1 Michelin Starred Il Palagio restaurant. During the winter months Sundays are taken over by a lavish brunch experience which wouldn’t be your usual vegan experience, but this is Four Seasons so of course they surpass all expectations.
This was the meal in which I discovered Papa al Pomodoro which now ranks up there as one of my favourite dishes. We were served our own assortment of vegan pastas, gnocchi, salads, dips, everything we could want and more. Vegan desserts had been mixed in amongst non-vegan on the dessert table and it made me so happy to see that people had already taken lots the vegan ones long before I had a chance to get my hands on them. The food, wine and service are faultless, this should be number one on any weekend in Florence itinerary.
Another Michelin Starred restaurant right on the Arno looking towards the Ponte Vecchio. We served a vegan set menu in a manner that made us feel completely welcome from the moment of booking. Things kicked off with the first course, a Campari Negroni with crisps, a fun start to a fantastic menu that played with fresh local ingredients and Italian classics. The risotto was a real highlight along with more delicious Tuscan wines.
Yes, your Italian skills are spot on...Vegan Universe! Wow! It claims to be the first fast food vegan chain that uses only natural foods. They fully embrace the vegan philosophy and serve up an Italian menu that includes all of the dishes you think you will miss out on. Sadly the mushroom lasagne was sold out when I visited, but the ravioli and pizza made up for it. Somehow buying a meal, drink and dessert works out cheaper than just meal and drink so I simply had to take a Tiramisu and I am glad that I did. They have branches all over Italy and I’m keen to try them all.
An intimate eating space off a cosy Italian square adored by locals. This is a vegetarian restaurant with it’s roots in Genova’s kitchen and there are a lot of vegan options. It feels rustically authentic and will spill perfectly into the square during the warmer months.
I had read Konnubio being promoted as a vegan restaurant. So I was quite disappointed to find they only had 1 starter (soup), 1 first course, 1 main (breaded seitan) and the waitress wasn’t sure the dessert was vegan. The setting is cosy, they have a bar next door occupying a beautiful courtyard, but it isn’t a vegan restaurant and will disappoint you if this is what you come here looking for when there are much better options around the city.