You'll hardly find a meatier town that Bologna “the fat one”. And yet even in the capital of tortellini and ragù, there's hope for all of those who care about animals or want to go green with their menu choices. There are some innovative and tasty options for plant based foodies, from breakfast through to dinner, obviously not forgetting the inevitable gelato! So here's my top five veg(an) places to eat in Bologna, from morning cereals to late night pizza.
Via Mascarella 76/a
This tiny and unpretentious place is one of my favourites. They prepare excellent, diverse and creative vegan meals to eat on site, take away or have delivered (by bike) to your place. Great value for money, they have a daily selection of complete mini-menus, delicious “veggie balls” (“polpette vegetariane”) and smashing crostatas and cakes. They also organise cookery classes which I am definitely interested in. Alchemilla Bio isn’t in the fanciest part of the centre, but it’s conveniently located near the university and the Piazzola market.
Estravagario Bio Café
Via Mascarella 81
On the same street as Alchemilla, this vegetarian restaurant is a favourite spot for lunch breaks and has acquired quite a following over the years. It's vegetarian but with vegan options, slightly bigger than its neighbour and more “user friendly” for those who are new to vegetarianism, and has a welcoming and warm atmosphere.
Via Sant'Isaia 57/E
Mostly known as a cafe and for its vegan cakes and patisserie, Canapé Bio is a lovely place to spend some time with a book and a plant-based Tiramisù or a “cheese” cake. They actually also do lunches and dinners in a cosy, informal atmosphere. Bonus points for the location, as they’re a stone's throw away from the buzz of Via del Pratello.
Via Battibecco 4/c
Definitely the fanciest of them all, the vegan restaurant Botanica Lab is just a few steps from Piazza Maggiore, and also happens to be one of the newest in town. Carefully furnished and tastefully decorated, it has a wide selection of raw dishes and an eye for trends, both in and out of the kitchen. Particularly appreciated by its customers are the “Buddha bowls” of grains and veggies and the cashew-based desserts.
Via San Vitale 31
Under the portico of Via San Vitale, not too far from the Two Towers is Radici, a minimalistic wine bar that also serves food, from an interesting selection of plant based cheese to their vegan variation on the city’s iconic tortellini. And from the same owners, there’s also restaurant Mallo (Via San Felice 38/a) and the all vegan pizzeria Oliva (Via Garibaldi 5/h).
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