When you think of Italian food, the first word that comes to mind is probably not vegan. In fact, Italy is well known for its meat focused and dairy-heavy cuisine. Think gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto, pepperoni, and gelato. Not exactly what a vegan could eat!
Did you know that Italy has a whole lot more to offer its vegan visitors? The country’s second-largest city, Milan, is especially vegan-friendly, with a large vegan community and many restaurants that offer plant-based options.
From vegan fine dining to vegan-friendly pizza and gelato, here are some of the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Milan.
Located close to the central station, Alhambra Café whips up an assortment of sandwiches, wraps, salads, and even Italian and Mediterranean dishes.
What it’s really known for, though, is its collection of cakes. Fresh, homemade and cruelty-free, Alhambra’s cakes are made to perfection. Especially the tiramisu – it’s heavenly!
The food is priced by weight. You can add anything you want to your plate and pay according to how much it weighs at the register. This is a great way to try out a little bit of everything, and also reduce food waste – a bonus for the environmentally conscious traveler.
Must try: The tiramisu.
Address: Via S. Gregorio, 17, 20124 Milano
This small, casual burger joint located a 20-minute walk from the Duomo is known for its vegan burgers that come in a variety of colorful buns and fillings.
From tofu to seitan, you won’t leave hungry with their delicious patties and large serving sizes.
Flower Burger also offers a range of beverages, sides like fries and edamame, combo offers, and desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Must try: Their signature “Flower” burger.
Address: Viale Vittorio Veneto, 10, 20124 Milano
The fact that this place doesn’t have an English menu, and yet is always bustling with people, goes on to show how good it is.
A hit among the locals, VegAmore might just be the cutest vegan-friendly restaurant ever.
In addition to extremely aesthetic decor, this cozy place has a multi-course menu with Italian dishes, all made vegan.
From seitan-based lasagna to creamy vegan tiramisu, there’s something here for every veganized Italian food craving.
It’s also worth noting that VegAmore has a large variety of vegan wines and beers. A truly unique find!
Must try: Their vegappuccio (vegan cappuccino).
Address: Via Crema, 12, 20135 Milano
Previously called Panghea, Ghea offers a chance to experience vegan fine dining in Milan, without breaking the bank.
Their menu focuses on Italian cuisine that is inspired by the flavors of Tuscany, Bologna, and Lombardy. The dishes are simple and flavorful, with completely organic ingredients that are locally sourced.
Ghea also includes in its menu the option to sample all the dishes of the day. Check out the “degustazione” menu section. It includes five to six different appetizers, main courses, and desserts.
The restaurant is open every day except Mondays.
Must try: Tempeh ‘ribs’
Address: Via Valenza, 5, 20144 Milano
This cozy little “scisceria” (a restaurant that specializes in schiacciata, a yummy Italian flatbread) is a vegan- and celiac-friendly gem in Milan. The food is prepared with passion and love, and all products are homemade.
Besides the pastas, ricottas, meatballs and a range of other dishes at the restaurant, you can also purchase products to take home, including freshly made ravioli, herbs, spices, and gluten-free scones.
This place is a vegan paradise, with a limited but diverse menu that changes every week.
Must try: Farinata di ceci (chickpea porridge).
Address: Via Serviliano Lattuada, 17, 20135 Milano
Radicetonda – Via Spallanzani
This restaurant is known as an organic oasis in the city, and it’s easy to see why. All of their dishes are 100% vegan and gluten-free, and they have a rotating menu every day.
Radicentonda offers vegan soups, salads, appetizers, and a “street food” menu that includes burgers, sandwiches and wraps. All the food is fresh and extremely delicious – even if you’re not vegan, you won’t miss the meat!
There’s also a large selection of organic wines, fresh juices and smoothies.
Radicentonda is perfect for a casual lunch, dinner date or a lazy Sunday brunch.
Must try: Caffè macchiato (served with multiple plant-based milk options).
Address: Via Lazzaro Spallanzani, 16, 20129 Milano
Capra e Cavoli
A pretty restaurant with a cozy, cottage-like feel, this is the place to be if you don’t mind splurging a bit.
Capra e Cavoli has a 98% vegetarian menu (they also serve fish). Additionally, they have tons of vegan options.
Even though this restaurant isn’t vegan, it’s every bit worth a visit.
Not to mention, it’s incredibly Instagram-worthy. The interiors of the restaurant are rustic and quaint, with lots of plants, vintage décor, and a bright summery vibe.
Capra e Cavoli also has an extensive chocolate menu, with dishes like fondant and crème brûlée.
Must try: Pistachio mousse.
Address: Via Pastrengo, 18, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
Opened in 1989 by Chef Pietro Leemann, Joia became the first vegetarian restaurant in Italy to be recognized with a MICHELIN star in 1996. The restaurant focuses on conventionally meat-based dishes made meatless. They also have several vegan options clearly marked on the menu.
Joia is cozy and intimate and is perfect for a date night or special occasion.
The menu has an interesting choice of dish names, like oh mio caro pianeta’ (o my dear planet) and sotto una coltre colorata (under a colored blanket).
As far as the food goes, the MICHELIN star means it’s of top-notch quality, and vegetarians and omnivores alike will be more than satisfied.
Joia is located in one of Milan’s coolest neighborhoods, Isola, which you can explore after a lavish vegan meal here!
Must try: The ‘Zenith’ menu with a little bit of everything.
Address: Via Panfilo Castaldi, 18, 20124 Milano
Tucked in a lovely neighborhood, La Colubrina is the perfect place to go for vegan pizza (you can’t visit Italy and not indulge in pizza!)
The restaurant has a huge selection of plant-based pizzas, available with a variety of ‘cheesy’ toppings. Think eggplant parmesan, cashew cream, and veggies galore.
La Colubrina is run by a mother-daughter duo, Franca and Consuelo, who are both passionate chefs and have been practicing a cruelty-free vegan lifestyle for over 20 years.
Apart from pizzas, La Colubrina also serves up delicious vegan soups, focaccia, antipasti and various other Italian dishes.
Must try: Pizza Tartufina, made with tofu, lupine spread and black truffle flakes.
Address: Via Felice Casati, 5, 20124 Milano
An ice-cream parlor in Milan that is ENTIRELY vegan? Yes, you read that right.
Gelato Libre is a gelateria in the heart of Milan which offers a menu that is all dessert and all vegan friendly.
They have many different flavors of vegan gelato, including some that are gluten-free. They also have vegan cakes, and not to mention, tiramisu, cookies, and several flavors of tea and coffee that you can buy.
One of the best things about this parlor is that it’s very centrally located; you can head up there after a warm, sunny day of sightseeing, or in the winter. There isn’t really a bad time to have ice cream!
Must Try: Their signature “Gelato Libre” made with cashews, lemon and saffron.
Address: Via Giosuè Carducci, 12, 20123 Milano
Milan is a wonderful city to visit for all sorts of reasons, but its vegan food scene by itself warrants a visit.
Not only can you find vegan desserts at restaurants in Milan, but you can also sample traditional Italian cuisine without dietary limitations getting in the way.
Hope this list will help you navigate the plant-based side of Milan. Buon appetito!
Visiting Venice during your trip to Italy? Check out our Food Focused Venice Travel Guide that includes some vegan options.
Visiting Rome? Learn about one of our favorite hotels in Rome.
Read more articles by Tanya on her blog, My Right Sock.