5 vegetarian and vegan restaurants to experience

 

Vegan, what a passion! A fad? Most likely yes, but we can no longer ignore the fact that today the number of people whom espouse the philosophy of veganism and vegetarianism is growing out of proportion. If you continue believing that the vegetarian or gluten-free cuisines are synonymous of bland and unappetising dishes, perhaps it is time to change your mind! Italian Traditions has selected 5 restaurants, from Northern Italy to Southern Italy, that put at the center of their work the same amount of passion, fantasy, good knowledge of the raw material and, above all, the ability to change the idea of even the most carnivorous of your acquaintances.

Ghea – Milano 

Situated in the Navigli area, Ghea isn’t just a restaurant. It is something more. It’s a laboratory focused on the research and construction of refined recipes, that are based on organic products combined with each other so as to promote health and digestion. Soft lighting, open-plan kitchen and predominance of wood with a sprinkling of greenery create an elegant and pleasant environment. Forget all prejudice which associates natural food to poor and boring dishes: This vegetarian restaurant is organic, headed by the young and ambitious chef Omar Baratto, specialized in vegan cuisine, who’s constantly seeking the right mix of flavors for tasty dishes even for the most reluctant palate. Ghea’s cuisine defines itself inclusive: the food must be good and healthy. But not only revolved to us, but also to the Great Mother, Earth, from which the restaurant takes its name.

Soul Kitchen – Torino

A nice surprise, is what Soul Kitchen reserves to the vegan food lovers since 2013, to raw food eaters, to those who have certain dietary requirements and to curious spirits. Soul of the coolest restaurant in Turin, born just a few years ago but quickly become a reference point for the organic world, is chef Luca Andrè, vegan for 15 years, including 4 of them eating only raw food and fruit. Massive wooden tables, like those that were used in kitchens of a time, open-plan kitchen, fruit crates suitable for small display areas and old armchairs make Soul Kitchen a place with warm vibrations and a family atmosphere, which propels us into a 360° natural dimension. The menu pays tribute to haute cuisine with a triumph of vegetables and fruits,herbs and spices, whole grain s and handmade pasta. The dryer, the mixer and the ejector are always in operation, indispensable for the raw proposals which enrich the offer with the best-selling dishes.

Zenzero Bistrot – Bologna

In Bolognas city center, a few steps away from the Museum of Modern Art, Nadia and Marco put in place their wide experience in the organic world to delight guests with tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes, but also meat-based dishes too, proposed in an extensive menu that changes every day to always guarantee the best freshness of organic products which make up the specialties of the restaurant. At lunch you can choose among two starters, three main courses and two side dishes, arranging your dishes as you may prefer at a fair price; at dinner, instead, à la carte menu constantly updated with a wide selection of delicacies. And to finish, strictly homemade desserts, mainly wines of the area, Spelt or gluten-free beers, green tea, teas and centrifuged food.

Arancia Blu – Roma

Italian pride: the famous American magazine The Daily Meal inserts (only) one restaurant of the Belpaese in the Worldss top 25 best vegetarian restaurants. We’re speaking about the historic restaurant Arancia Blu (via Cesare Beccaria), for years part of the San Lorenzo district, then as a hermit to Villa Gordiani (Prenestino district) and now definitely nestled in Flaminio, rich and beautiful area of the capital just a few steps from Piazza del Popolo. Arancia Blu is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant with an experimental nature but always linked to tradition, which has preserved intact the commitment and quality of wine and food. The menu seasonally changes and often presents dishes off the menu. All preparations are original and homemade production.

Un sorriso integrale – Napoli

Tucked away amongst the buildings and bars of square Bellini, this vegetarian and macrobiotic restaurant is run by the Cultural Association AmicoBio and it seems to fully reflect the teachings of bio-dynamism and Steiner's anthroposophy, that is, a method of gardening in which the organic practice is performed by following lunar, planetary and seasonal phases. The menu is daily, based on fresh products prepared by the chef's creativity, but we can assure you that you’ll not regret it in any way. In addition to the food court there are also an emporium of organic products and a library, with selected texts on themes dear to the Association: bioregionalism, natural farming, natural feeding.