Vegan options at bars

Ciao a tutti!

A bar in Italy is a place where you can grab a coffee, croissant and sometimes a sandwich or a meal. Some bars will have some take-away food and others will not. They vary in size, price and what they offer and are usually open orario non-stop, meaning they do not close for lunch.

small bar
small bar

Coffee, in general, is vegan. However if you are thinking to order a cappuccino or another milk based drink, make sure it’s made with latte di soia, soymilk or latte di riso ricemilk. This one we found in Saronno has cappuccino with latte di soia.


If you are on the go in Italy and need a quick bit to eat, you may or may not be able to find something in an Italian bar.

Most of the food is pre-confezionata, meaning it’s already been made somewhere else and packaged. Most bars, providing they have the space, make fresh sandwiches in the morning and wait until they sell them. There will usually be a vetrina, the glass case, where you can see what is offered. Any pasta dishes or piatti caldi, hot dishes, are pre-made and reheated in a microwave or small toaster oven. The food is usually industrial grade.

It cannot be trusted if this food is 100% vegan as there are no labels on the food upon purchase.

Besides hot food, the bars usually have panini, sandwiches and insalate, salads. Sometimes they are pre-made and sent to the bar owner by the box fulls. The bread that the panini uses cannot be guaranteed to be 100% vegan. Most of the industrial grade breads will at least have non vegetable mono & diglycerides in them, if not other animal products or byproducts, as many breads in Italy that are industrial grade do. The only way to avoid it is to buy fresh bread made at a panetteria or one that is specifically labeled as vegan.

large bar in Rome
large bar in Rome

Most of the sandwiches also have meat or at least mozzarella cheese on it. This bar does not seem to have vegan friendly options.


The best bet may be an insalata, a salad. Most of the time you will be able to find a simple salad with tomato and lettuce, without the mozzarella. Don’t count on many tomatoes, though. You may also be able to find a few that sell eggplant and grilled vegetables, as some owners have small kitchen where they may prepare food. At this one we may be able to grab a fruit salad.


Being a vegan in Italy or vegan traveler, you should be able to find at least something, even if it means checking a couple or 3 places.

Mangia Veg!!


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