Top 10 vegan restaurants in Rome

This is possibly my favourite city guide that I’ve done (and one of the biggest, crikey!). Rome, one of my favourite cities in the world, plus some of the best vegan food I’ve ever eaten? Heaven. So without further ado, on to the food, because as Caesar would say: veni, vedi, cenavi – I came, I saw, I ate.

Fine Dining

Ranging from the extremely high end to the price of a nice meal out, this is my selection of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Rome that are something special, and not to be missed.

HOTEL RAPHAËL – vegetarian

At the end of 2015 Hotel Raphaël turned the hotel eco and organic, and the restaurant became entirely vegetarian. The restaurant is on the terrace, and in nice weather you can sit out and look over one of the best views in the city. Not only that, but the menu was designed in the style and with the help of Pietro Leeman, one of Italy’s most renowned vegetarian chefs and the creator of Joia.  Each dish is so beautiful that I wanted to frame it and hang it on my wall, but luckily I overcame that urge and ate the food instead. It was as delicious as it looked, and I especially liked the addition of pansies on each of the dishes to tie them all together.

Best vegan restaurants in Rome

The beautiful view from the terrace.

Best vegan restaurants in Rome

If you want to stay the night as well as eating lunch or dinner there, then you can book a room here. Each floor has a different design, and the whole hotel is also eco and organic – right down to the toiletries in the rooms which are vegan and cruelty free. The breakfast bar is a thing of awe and wonder. Everything is organic, and although it caters for the carnivores there are more than enough vegan options. No staying here and having to survive on the fruit platter in the morning! There’s a huge juicer and a fresh orange juicer, too, so you can get your nutrient fix first thing.

Best vegan restaurants in Rome

Gazpacho with Russian salad, and an actual salad

Top 10 vegan restaurants in Rome

Tempura (left) and artichoke with grilled tofu.

Top 10 vegan restaurants in Rome

Pumpkin ravioli with pear (left) and almond creme with raspberry sorbet.

A meal for two: €100-150 without drinks.

Happy Cow | Facebook | Website


La Capra Campa opened 4 years ago as a vegetarian restaurant and changed to vegan almost immediately, alongside the owner’s personal shift. It’s a small but cosy restaurant with outside seating, a little outside the city centre and the tourist attractions but well worth the trip out. The menu is inventive, offering vegan versions of traditional Italian dishes and even homemade nut cheeses that have been seasoned for a month. You can also buy these in blocks. The food was exceptional – some of the best I’ve had – especially the seitan dishes. Even though we were stuffed we managed room for dessert, and I was particularly impressed by the cardamom and bergamot cream.

Top 10 vegan restaurants in Rome

Nut cheese platter.

Top 10 vegan restaurants in Rome

Homemade seitan.

Top 10 vegan restaurants in Rome

Top 10 vegan restaurants in Rome

Amazing desserts.

A meal for two: €50-80 without drinks.

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BIBLIOTHE – vegetarian

One of Rome’s longest running vegetarian restaurants, Bibliothe serves Ayurvedic food and runs events and readings on Ayurvedic and Indian philosophy. If you’re not familiar with the concept of Ayurvedic food, then it’s a little different to what we think of as Indian food. It’s created to be balanced for the body, rather than overloading with spices and flavour. When I went around 1pm, it was packed with locals on their lunch break, all eating the Thali which is a plate of rice and several small dishes. It was served with a bowl of bread, which was homemade and delicious. The menu is a mixture of vegetarian and vegan, but the cakes are almost all vegan. I tried the zucchini cake with spices and toasted almonds, and the apple crumble. Thinking about that zucchini cake now makes me want another piece, here… mmm. I wish I could make them like that. If you’re in Rome and want a break from pizza and pasta, Bibliothe is the perfect choice.

Vegan vegetarian restaurant central Rome

The Thali plate (left) and apple crumble.

A meal for two: €30-50 without drinks.

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Il GecoBiondo (a clever name that includes the words eco and bio, look closely) opened in 2007 and turned vegan in 2008, and so claims the title of being the oldest fully vegan restaurant in Rome. It’s a Trattoria, which means the dishes change day to day, so there’s no menu – you just choose how hungry you are (the second option comes with pasta) and then the dishes start rolling out. Because it’s more buffet style the presentation left a little to be desired, but the food was very good nonetheless. Like several of the other restaurants on this list, it’s not very central but if you’re hungry after a long day of sight-seeing, then it’s worth the visit as the food is tasty, healthy and filling. It’s also all locally sourced and organic – even the alcohol.

Vegan vegetarian restaurant central Rome

Salad (left) and seitan with tofu cream, capers and nutmeg, jerusalem artichoke and chicory.

Vegan vegetarian restaurant central Rome

Roman gnocchi (left) and zucchini with apple cider vinegar.

A meal for two: €40-50 without drinks.

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Rome boasts 2 totally vegan buffets, one pay by weight, one all you can eat. Both are fresh, creative and delicious.


Passione Vegane is a fully vegan buffet that’s a little out of the city, close to Ciampino airport. Many of their customers are omnivores wanting to eat more healthily who go there on their lunch break. Unlike Ops! below, which is a pay by weight, Passione Vegane is all you can eat, so make sure you’re hungry. In the evening it costs a little more, and you get a few extra options like seitan and a different pasta dish. There are gluten free options, but there’s contamination in the kitchen so it’s not suitable for severe coeliacs.

Vegan vegetarian restaurant central Rome

Incredible vegan food in Rome

The desserts are extra, but are amazing. They served me the first creme brûlée I’ve eaten since I went vegan, and it was perfect. The biscuits, too, are exactly like the non-vegan Italian biscuits I used to eat as a child when I went for Sunday morning coffees across the road in the Italian coffee shop with my dad.  If you’re on your way to Ciampino, or if your hotel’s a little out of the city, then it’s a perfect place for lunch and dinner.

Incredible vegan food in Rome

A meal for two: €40-50 without drinks.

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If you’ve heard vegans who’ve been to Rome talking about the restaurant options, then you’ve probably heard of Ops! already. It’s a pay by weight buffet close to the centre of Rome, not far from the Borghese. If you go, make sure you’re hungry as there were so many delicious looking options I couldn’t help but fill up my plate with food.

Incredible vegan food in Rome

A meal for two: €40-50 without drinks.

Happy Cow | Facebook | Website


There are pizzerias all over Rome, but relatively few with vegan cheese. Of all of them, there’s one that stood out.

RIFUGIO ROMANO – veg-options

The only pizzeria where I found a decent number of vegan options with vegan cheese, Rifugio Romano is run by a family, most of whom are vegans. They still serve meat, there seem to be more vegan options appearing all the time – and impressively the menu has tempeh, tofu, vegan cheese and vegan desserts. It’s not in the prettiest area, but it’s very conveniently located as it’s right by Termini, so very central. The pizza was good, and the cake afterwards was to die for.

Vegan pizza in Rome

A meal for two: €40-50 without drinks.

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Rome has a coffee culture, but not a coffee shop one. So if you want to find somewhere vegan to chill with a coffee between sight-seeing, you’re a little short of options. There is an amazing one, though (although it’s actually a bistro), and it has cats.


Finally a cat café makes it onto one of my vegan food guides! I generally avoid animal cafés as they’re a form of animal tourism that’s often overlooked on the lists of things you shouldn’t support. The cats in most cat cafés are pedigrees, bothered and hassled during the day and locked in cages at night. Adopt don’t buy, and don’t support businesses that buy either. But… Romeow, like some others now popping up, is a cafe with rescue cats where the customers aren’t allowed to force the cats to come to you. The staff clearly genuinely love the cats, too, and seem very happy in their feline-filled workspace. There are 6 cats, and you can watch them wandering along the walkways and sleeping in the sunny spots as you drink your latte and eat a piece of cake. I did try the food, and it was good (although small portions) but the desserts… oh the desserts… were incredible. My personal favourite of the ones I tried was the chocolate mousse cake that had a caramel layer between the base and the mousse. Oh so good. So so good.

Vegan cafe in Rome

Vegan cafe in Rome

A meal for two: €40-50 without drinks.

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Gelato and desserts

This is something Rome does particularly well, and you won’t be short of options if you have a sweet tooth. Two in particular stood out.

OLIVE DOLCI  – vegan

Most gelaterias offer sorbets, and a few even offer soy options, but if that’s not your cup of tea (or cone of ice) then head down to Olive Dolce, where they’ve replaced milk with… olive oil. This is one of those things that made me raise my eyebrows to start with and go: “what?! Olive oil gelato?” but once I tried it I was sold. You’ve got to taste it to believe it. They’re experimental with their flavours, and the mild flavour of the olive oil allows them to really shine through and be much stronger than with regular milk. I tried black tea, baobab, goji and naranjilla. I could have easily returned every day.

The best vegan gelato in Rome Italy

4 scoops in a tub: €4.50

Happy Cow | Facebook

GREZZO – vegan

Grezzo, tucked away in the cute little alleyways of the Monti neighbourhood, is the first pastry, chocolate and gelato shop in the whole world to serve fully raw, vegan and gluten-free recipes using only organic ingredients. Looking at the counter and the beautiful creations on offer, I couldn’t quite believe that is was all raw and vegan. I could have easily eaten half their stock, but I was restrained and tried just one orange and chocolate cake. Next time, my lovelies, next time.

The best raw vegan chocolate desserts in Rome Italy

The best raw vegan chocolate desserts in Rome Italy

One cake: €6

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Going Vegan has changed our travel – before and after stories from vegan travellers

Years ago I used to budget travel as an omnivore, and I always returned sick, skinny, and run down. Food just wasn’t a priority! When I turned vegan in 2012 my first thought and biggest concern was: “how will I keep this up while travelling?” and actually I intended not to. Little did I know that four years on not only would I be eating incredible food all over the world (and writing about it!) but that my whole travel ethos would have changed. Vegan travel has given me an amazing network of friends. I’ve stayed with vegan couchsurfing hosts, slept in vegan restaurants when I didn’t have a bed, and met up with countless other travellers through vegan networking. I was worried that it would leave me isolated and starving, instead I’ve been given something that’s an instant connection when I meet another vegan, and it’s also left me quite a bit heavier than when I left the UK two years ago.

I asked eight other long-term travellers to share their experiences of how a vegan diet and lifestyle has changed not just what they eat, but their entire travel style.


We became vegans mid-travel, after some vegan friends joined us on our European cycle tour in the summer of 2015. Longtime vegetarians, we had debated whether or not to commit to a vegan diet before leaving, ultimately deciding it would be too difficult on cycle tour. However, once our friends show us how simple it was to eat vegan while traveling, we decided to test it for a month.

Since going vegan, we visit far fewer bakeries, due to the lack of treats available for us! Eating out can pose an issue, especially meat-centric places like the Balkans or South America, but it also allows us to discover the hidden vegan dishes within a particular culture. We often stay with hosts and will whip up an amazing vegan meal as a thank you, leaving them in awe of the flavors of a plant-based diet. Veganism has allowed us the opportunity to educate others about veganism around the world.

cycling as a vegan

We are Jen, Dave, and Sora, the Australian Shepherd, from Portland, Oregon. In May 2015, Sora convinced us to quit our jobs and take her on a world cycle tour. We have cycled from Oslo to Athens, via the Balkans and Turkey and are now slowly making our way from Patagonia to Portland.


I find myself writing this 854 days (and counting) into a vegan travel adventure that has been life changing in so many ways; I had never left my home town of Southampton, England for more than 40 days prior to our Vegan Food Quest beginning so had to deal with being away from my wonderful family, my crazy friends, my beloved football team, also sustaining a vegan diet when you can no longer speak the language, read the menus and understand the labels on everything you buy presented a huge challenge for me.

How has my travel changed?

Vegan travel has helped me be more compassionate and understand that life (and the big wide world) is a very tough proposition for many of those who call it home; whether these are other humans that have to deal with living conditions that we would never encounter in England, or the animals that are treated in ways that are quite simply not acceptable, only this week an adult elephant died just 10 minutes from where I am currently based in Siem Reap, having collapsed from exhaustion after 15 years of ‘offering’ tourists rides around Angkor Wat.

I could go on about how every day is now filled with me trying to find new and exciting vegan food to eat, but those of you who are vegan and reading this will already know that, and those who are not enjoying a plant based diet might think I am exaggerating, so I won’t write about that and bore you with my NEVER ending quest for delicious vegan food…
Travelling as a vegan
Paul is 1 half of Vegan Food Quest who are on a full time adventure ‘finding, eating & writing about the best vegan food in the world’ and currently based in Siem Reap, Cambodia loving their 3rd year of vegan travel.


Being vegan has changed my travel in many ways. Mostly because I think about food all day and where I will get my next meal. Us vegans love to eat and don’t want a disappointing meal if we can stand it! Before I even choose a location to visit it must pass an unwritten vegan litmus test by going to HappyCow to see how many vegan and veg-friendly places are in the area. Then my accommodations are chosen in an area of town that has the most vegan food options. I often will choose to stay in a hostel or somewhere with a kitchen so I can make many of my meals. Not only does this save money but you know what is going into your food. I carry the Vegan Passport book with me if I’m ever stuck in a situation where I can’t communicate my dietary needs. It has never been easier to travel as a vegan. We are so spoiled!

Another thing that I was faced with while in Koh Phangan is witnessing animal cruelty first hand to produce vegan foods. I was walking out of a vegan café and saw a monkey in the trees. He had a leash tied to him and was forced to get coconuts down from the tall palm trees. I had no idea this was happening so that I could drink fresh coconut water! It was so eye-opening and jarring to think I was contributing to this without even knowing it. Sometimes our vegan foods are not free from cruelty and aren’t really vegan in the big picture. We are forced to think and act more compassionately while traveling. Animals are used more frequently for transportation in foreign countries and their habitats are destroyed for food products. We must stand up for these animals along with farm animals.

How to travel as a vegan

At Sweet Freedom

Christy Morgan has been tantalizing taste buds for years as a vegan chef, cooking instructor, food writer, and cookbook author; now athlete and certified personal trainer and yoga teacher. She is the author of Blissful Bites: Plant-based Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet and the founder and creator of Blissed Out Retreats. Christy has been to 25 countries and counting! Follow her travels on social media and check out her website for more info about her retreats and services.


Since going vegan we have had no choice but to be conscious of what kind of food we eat; and since we don’t consider animals, and animal ingredients to be food, we ask a lot of questions. Inquiring about everything we consume has led us to eating a lot healthier while travelling. Instead of just finding random mystery street food stalls, or restaurants serving unhealthy food, we search out delicious, and healthy plant foods. Being vegan has also opened us up to a whole new world of incredible food that we wouldn’t have otherwise tried. What has changed the most about travelling since going vegan is our appreciation and love for good food that didn’t come from harm.

Travel as a vegan
Giselle and Cody are creators of the ethical vegan travel blog Mindful Wanderlust. Besides their love for travel their interests include music, science, justice, animals, shapes, feelings, stuff, things, and vegan food. 


I’ve become much more of a foodie traveller since I became vegan. As a budget traveller who was trying to make my money stretch as far as possible, in the past I didn’t give much priority to eating well. All too often I would settle for greasy fast food in the interest of saving a few bucks. Now, however, I definitely allow myself to splurge more often on great dining experiences at vegan, vegetarian or even just veg-friendly restaurants. And those meals often turn out to be what I remember most about a trip!

While nature and wildlife were always major attractions for me when travelling, I now also seek out opportunities to interact with the less “exotic”, and often abused, animal species. While travelling around the island of Crete in Greece, I visited a sanctuary that cares for abandoned and abused donkeys. I’m now planning a week-long getaway next month to somewhere quiet (I’m calling it my “writer’s retreat”), and I’m hoping it will be at a farm/sanctuary in Portugal that is home to horses, dogs, cats and chickens. One drawback to my nomadic lifestyle is that it’s really not possible to have companion animals as part of my family, so I’d love nothing more than to spend a relaxing week cuddling some furry and feathered friends!

Travelling as a vegan

Wendy Werneth is an intrepid traveller, vegan foodie and polyglot who is on a mission to show you how you can be vegan anywhere and spread compassion everywhere. You can follow her adventures at The Nomadic Vegan and download her free ebook, 8 Steps for Fun and Easy Vegan Travel. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


I think for me, becoming vegan at the beginning of 2014 has been one of the most positive and rewarding decisions I’ve made in my life so far. While yes, it has influenced the way I travel in that I’m always looking up options for vegan food in the destinations I’m interested in (and indeed it sometimes even informs the specific decisions about which places to visit), the really impressive thing is that it has opened a door to a wonderfully welcoming, friendly community of awesome people.

Through veganism I’ve made some great friends, both online and offline. Sharing food has always been a very sociable activity for me, but sharing it with others who have similar attitudes to compassionate eating and finding interesting ways to make good food is for me, a fantastic way of forming new relationships and strengthening existing ones. Engaging with people who examine their choices and don’t follow the crowd just because it’s the done thing is something that has always interested me. Vegans are experts at this so they are often my favourite kind of people!

Traveling as a vegan

Sam is a blogger, freelance writer and occasional EFL teacher originally from London but now based in Berlin who travels with his husband, Zab, and blogs about it. Together, they’re always on the look out for the most hipster cafes, cool street art, quirky things to do and of course the best vegan food.


Because I have been vegan for so long and a travel agent almost as long I probably have a different perspective. I became vegan in I think 1983 and became a travel agent in 1985. I think that travel comes first and then the food.

When I first started traveling countries like England and Ireland, the food was just boring. In Germany and Austria I ate at Chinese restaurants because there was nothing else. Spain and France – I was an alien to them! For my clients I had to beg and plead on the cruise ships and call special services and fax them, and I had to yell at the airlines to make sure that they understood what vegan was (now there is just no food at all).
So that is why I have never let food options or lack of stop me. That said, I wanted to make it easier for my clients to be able to go out and see the world.

Now it is so easy it’s ridiculous! You can get vegan Gelato in Italy without asking. Germany where there was only cabbage and beer has become the mecca of veganism in Europe with over 200 restaurants in Berlin alone! There are so many stories I could write a book. I am happy to tell you some of them if you want to chat.

travel as a vegan

Donna was the official travel agent for the March on Washington For the Animals in 1990 and 1995 and that is when things began to take off for her. She runs and, “Destinations That Make A Difference” you can contact her by email on on Facebook.


I experimented with travelling vegan for Veganuary, I had a huge amount of support and encouragement from other vegan travel bloggers. At the time, I remember being worried about being judged if I made a mistake or didn’t stay vegan afterwards – but that never happened. Everyone was so supportive, giving me advice when I needed it, encouragement when I was down, reminding me that mistakes happen and that becoming vegan takes time and dedication.

The vegan travel community were so incredible that I wanted to meet with other vegan travellers whenever I could and I always refer to their blogs all the time when I travel. It’s changed the way I travel. Now I seek out all the same awesome vegan places and meet up if we happen to be in the same area.

I make vegan food choices over vegetarian ones because I’m so much more aware of where my food is coming from and how it made it onto my plate. I shop in local food markets, look out for farmer’s markets and local produce, buy local foods, eat fruits and veggies that are in season, and eat in cafes run by local people too.<

Can I travel as a vegan

Charlie is a traveller from the UK who writes a travel blog about sustainable, slow travel and loves eating local-sourced vegetarian and vegan food around the world. Charlie took up a vegan travel challenge as part of Veganuary 2016 and travelled vegan in Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Have you tried being vegan or gone vegan while travelling? Let me know in the comments!




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Oil, bread, and tomatoes – Vegan in Andalusia – Plant-Powered Nomad

Spain isn’t a country that most think of as being a haven for vegans, especially being vegan in Andalusia, where I fled to in February when Ireland and the UK got too cold for me. Unfortunately it was still cold in Andalusia, but without the benefit of central heating. Oops. Didn’t think that through, did I. Some day I need to go and learn lessons from seals on how to grow blubber under my skin to stay warm.

Luckily, food was something that was still in my life, so I might have been freezing but at least I wasn’t starving too. And although the main fair for vegans in Andalusia is tostadas con tomate y aceite (toast with crushed tomato and oil), a regional breakfast that you can ask for anywhere, there are plenty of other vegan options too. Here are my vegan adventures in Andalusia.


In off season Tarifa is small, sleepy, and very pretty. As the kitesurfing season kicks off, tourists and part-time residents flood in and it becomes a kitesurfer’s haven. It was quiet, but I loved it in February as it was just starting to warm up and there were lots of opportunities for windy beach walks and hikes.

vegan food in Tarifa Andalusia

The EcoCenter – vegetarian

Tarifa EcoCenter is a restaurant with an organic shop at the back where you can buy things like seitan, tempeh, and various healthy type foods. For €10 you can also order an organic seasonal vegetable box that comes every Tuesday.

Everything I ate at the restaurant was excellent, from their pizzas to their salads. It’s mainly vegan, but it’s worth checking.

Cost: midrange.
Taste: yummy
Would I return?: for a nice dinner, definitely!

Chilimosa – vegetarian

I was so excited to discover that Chilimosa was right next-door to my first apartment in Tarifa… only to discover that they’d gone away on holiday for a month. Visiting Tarifa in off-season definitely has its downsides!

Cafe Azul – serves meat

If you’re looking for a place that does a good, cheap soy latte (caffe latte con leche de soja) and a tostada con tomate y aceite, then look no further than Café Azul. It’s not got wifi, and it closes in the afternoon for siesta (like everywhere else), but if you want somewhere to meet for breakfast it’s perfect.


Cadiz definitely isn’t as vegan friendly as Tarifa, but it’s an extremely pretty town to walk around for a day. A little bigger than Tarifa, there are lots of winding streets that all look the same and are easy to get lost in. If in doubt just follow the sound of the sea.

vegan food in Cadiz Andalusia

La Isleta de la Vina – serves meat

They may not be veggie, but they have a clearly labelled vegan tapas menu and their food was good. As it’s tapas one won’t fill you up – we split 5 between two of us and it was a decent amount of food. They have hummus, falafel, and a ‘burger’ which is more like a vegan quiche thing.


Seville has some pretty amazing vegan food, and even… gasp… vegan cake! It’s not too big a city, so take the extra time to get to the vegan friendly places rather than relying on regular restaurants, or you’ll be eating a lot of espinacas con garbanzos (chickpeas with spinach), the vegan friendly tapas that’s on almost every menu.

vegan food in Seville Andalusia

Bar Cardomomo – vegan

The owner is one of the sweetest women I’ve met, utterly enthusiastic and friendly. I popped in there at the end of the day and we spent quite a while using google translate to have a conversation. I only tried one tapas – the burger – because I was curious what a tapas burger was like. It turns out it’s a really really tiny vegan burger, but a tasty one. I tried a piece of cake too, and it was decent.

vegan food in Sevilla Andalusia

Cost: cheapish.
Taste: like tasty home cooked food, miniaturised.
Would I return?: sure, but mainly for the owner’s company.


This is my favourite place on the list, hands down and no contest. It’s a small stall in an indoor market, but there are plenty of options on the many and an amazing selection of cakes and pastries. We tried two of the burgers, which were tasty and the potatoes that came with them were amazing. I know it’s a little odd to rave about the potatoes, but they were some of the best I’ve ever had. I took away a chocolate croissant to eat on the bus the next day, but ended up eating it at 1am instead… it was calling to my from my bag, and my willpower caved.

vegan food in Seville Andalusia

Cost: cheap.
Taste: burgers were good, desserts were amazing.
Would I return?: definitely, and in fact I did later that day.

Bar Ecologico Gaia – vegetarian 

Attached to a giant health food shop, Bar Ecologico Gaia is a more upscale restaurant than the others on this list and is well established in Seville as a vegetarian restaurant. About 50% of the menu is vegan, and there are some interesting options. I tried the bulgar wheat which was delicious and was a nice change from the oil and bread.

vegan food in Seville Andalusia

Cost: moderate.
Taste: delicious and healthy.
Would I return?: for a nice meal out, yes.

Mama Ines – serves meat

Best (and cheapest!) breakfast I had in Andalusia of tostada, latte and orange juice. I would have gone here every morning if it was closer to where I ended up staying. The tostada bread was light and fluffy with a crusty outside, and the tomato was thick and tasty. The tostada, orange juice and latte cost €2.50.

vegan food in Seville Andalusia

Cost: cheap.
Taste: mmmmm… *daydreams*
Would I return?: definitely.

Have you been to Andalusia? What did you find to eat that wasn’t bread and oil?


vegan food in Andalusia

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Motorbike crash in Cambodia – Part 1, the crash – Plant-Powered Nomad

*Warning, featuring graphic pictures of blood and gore, but also some more amusing moments.*

On a beautiful November day in Kampot, Cambodia, I was driving down a mountain when I got a corner wrong and the next thing I knew I was on the ground trapped under my bike. Maybe it was the PMS clouding my head, maybe I was tired, maybe it was the crappy handling on the dodgy rental scooter, maybe I was just daydreaming too much about the guy I was with and not paying attention.* Or maybe my luck that seems to charm me when I travel ran out. Whatever happened, I was relieved that I seemed okay, except for my leg being trapped. Cambodians appeared from out of the hillside and stood around staring and talking Khmer, my friend appeared too, and an American driving past saw what happened and stopped his bike to help. The two guys lifted the bike off me and that’s when I saw my knee, and the bone sticking out of my knee.

Motorbike accident in Cambodia

Boker mountain, the last photo before I crashed.

“She’s going into shock,” I heard the new guy say. “We need to get her to the hospital. Come on sweetheart, can you get up?” They pulled me to my feet, taking my bag from me. I got on my friend’s bike behind him, noticing the taste of blood in my mouth from a split lip and, worried, checking my teeth. All still there, but one banged. I could feel blood running down my arm from a scratch on my elbow. I felt shaky. My knee, which I was trying not to look at, was numb. I thought dimly that my leg the bike had crushed would hurt in the morning.

We were driving for barely 5 minutes when I felt something was wrong. Richard, behind us, shouted something and we pulled over. “You’ve got a flat!” he said, pointing at our back tire. The air in it was totally gone. The situation was so ridiculous that I had to laugh. Richard’s bike was a bigger bike, and not a scooter, but it was still a squeeze for the three of us to pile on, me in the middle. My 6′ friend had to hold his feet up the whole time to stop them dragging on the ground. I lost track of time, but about thirty minutes later we arrived at Sonya Kill hospital, a small and unfortunately named hospital at the bottom of Kampot mountain, where they took me into a room and lay me down.

Motorbike crash in Cambodia

There’s bone under the dirt.

“How much your weight?” asked the pretty Cambodia nurse who was going to get me some morphine before cleaning me up. I shook my head. I hadn’t weighed myself in about six months.

“58 kilograms?” I guessed, and she repeated it to the male nurse in Khmer. He turned around and looked me up and down critically, one eyebrow raised. Then he gave me a disbelieving look and shook his head. He spoke to the female nurse.

“Okay, you have to go other room,” she made a weighing movement. I looked at my leg, then back at her, then back at my leg, then back at her. She got the point. “Okay, I bring here.”

I turned out to be 60 kilograms. The male nurse looked vindicated and wrote it down on the sheet. “Calling me fat, way to kick me when I’m down,” I muttered to my friend. I was looking forwards to the morphine though. The pain was becoming a little too much to handle. They injected me, and cleaned me up. The pain was horrendous. If I never feel someone picking rocks out of the bone in my knee again, it will be too soon. After what seemed to be forever they bandaged me up and sent me to be x-rayed to check if anything was broken. Richard was waiting outside, talking to a friendly nurse.

Motorbike crash in Cambodia

My elbow healed fast, my ankle not so much.

“How are you doing?” he asked. I was hopping along and giggling, doing little salsa dancing turns on one leg as I held my friend’s hand for balance. “She’s had a lot of morphine,” my friend explained. I was taken into the x-ray room, and had my leg positioned in various ways. Then I sat outside in the sun and waited. Ten minutes later the doctor came out and gave me a dramatic thumbs up.

“All okay!” he told me. Nothing broken. We were all relieved, and a little surprised; it definitely hadn’t looked unbroken.

They gave me the bill: 4 hours of medical care, morphine, painkillers, antibiotics, and x-rays cost me $58. Crashing in the middle of nowhere definitely had its perks.

Motorbike crash in Cambodia

My nurse and, left to right, my nurse, Richard, my friend, me on morphine, and my doctor. Yes, that’s my doctor.

That night I had night-terrors and more than once I woke up in a cold sweat and panicked. The next day everything had swollen and the pain was in its full force. I couldn’t put any weight on my leg, and even hopping with someone to hold onto was slow and painful because of the movement. I started to realise that what I’d optimistically brushed off as something I could recover from in a week or two was going to take much longer.

The next day was bad. My friend went up the mountain with the hostel to reclaim the motorbikes, while I stayed in the room with the overweight middle-aged American woman who’d been chasing the much younger hostel manager in an attempt to bed him. In an attempt to distract myself from the pain I sat with her and listened to her tales of all the Adonis-like young men who had been pursuing her. It didn’t seem polite to question the veracity of her stories.

Motorbike crash in Cambodia

Bandaged up, before and after.

“I’ve never been slim, but then I got this belly,” she grabbed her stomach with both her hands. “And this is just how I am, it’s never going away. But my boobs were just too big, so I got them reduced on health insurance. The surgeon was good, but the stitches on my nipples are now coming out, look,” she put one hand down her top and scooped out a tit. Sure enough the stitches around the nipple were coming out. “You okay there honey?” My eyes had glazed over from pain and I was leaning a little. “You’re in a lot of pain, aren’t you?” She glanced surreptitiously around the room, and then asked me, “do you smoke? My cousin in DC has a farm that I work on every summer for as much high grade stuff as I want. It will take the pain right away.” I was a little desperate.

When my friend came back, he looked at me, confused. “What happened to you?” he asked.

“She showed me her boob and told me sex stories and then got me stoned,” I replied. “Please don’t leave me with her again.”

To be continued…

Motorbike crash in Cambodia

Bokor Mountain

*I’m referring to the guy here as ‘my friend’ throughout this to keep some sense of having a private life. Read into that what you will, but yes I quite liked him.

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An Industrial Poland Vegan Adventure – Vegan in Katowice and Gliwice – Plant-Powered Nomad

Poland. They’re all about the sausage. Or at least, that’s what my friends who live in Poland like to tell me. Being Vegan in Poland, or even vegan in Katowice and Gliwice, though, is a piece of vegan cake. Or a easy as vegan pie. Or as simple as vegan pierogi. Oh no, wait, that’s not a saying… moving quickly on, here is my guide to vegan food in Gliwice and Katowice.

Like most countries, the larger cities have plenty of vegan options. On this particular trip, though, I wasn’t in the big cities, I was visiting a friend in Gliwice. Gliwice is a pretty anonymous but nonetheless nice small city in upper Silesia, and home to just under 200,000 people – mainly Polish, with the occasional English teacher dotted amongst them. The English level in Poland is pretty high, so it wasn’t too much of an issue finding food and I taught myself to read the basic non-vegan ingredients so I could read labels on biscuits etc. It’s worth taking ten minutes to do this, especially if you’re travelling on through Central/Eastern Europe as there are similarities/crossovers with other Slavonic languages like Czech and Serbo-Croatian.

Vegan – wegańskie
Vegetarian – wegetariański
Milk – mleko
Lactose – laktoza
Whey powder – serwatka w proszku
Yoghurt – jogurt
Egg – jajka/jajo
Cheese – ser

And if you want to eat out in either Gliwice or Katowice, here are some suggestions:


I was so excited to find this relatively new restaurant in Katowice, the first all-vegan restaurant in the city. When we went to visit it was one day after International Women’s Day and so I was offered a free glass of wine, which was available to all women that week. They offer a decent range of vegan, organic wines and beers included a smoked banana beer that I tried later in the evening. Sounds weird, but tastes pretty decent and not at all like bananas, thankfully! The menu is constantly changing and improving, so instead of a paper menu you have to check the chalk board. It’s not in English but the lovely staff are more than happy to translate and offer recommendations. The restaurant is dog friendly, and they support a local dog shelter and provide food and water for visiting canines.

Vegan food in Katowice

The food itself is excellent – very tasty, decent portion sizes, creative, and very reasonably priced. The only part of the meal that I felt let the restaurant down was the dessert, but considering the work they’re putting into constantly improving the menu I have no doubt that chef will develop excellent desserts in no time at all.

Zielony Most Bistro vegan food Katowice

I tried the leek rosti with roast sweet potatoes and an avocado dip, and it was divine. My friend had the big vegetable burger – apart from the fact that I love the name, it was also excellent. A hearty and healthy vegan burger.

Zielony Most Bistro vegan food Katowice

Taste rating: healthy, satisfying, full of flavour.
Would I return?: Definitely


Mihiderka is also a pretty new restaurant, and it the first fully vegan restaurant in Gliwice. The menu isn’t in English here, either, but one of the staff members has excellent English and will happily translate and help you choose if you’re stuck between all the options. Mihiderka has a large range of burgers, and some veganized variations of Polish food. I had the Zapiekane which was similar to a shepherd’s pie but with lentils, and I then had the tofu baked cheesecake to finish. My friend had the sweet potato burger and an IPA beer. While I was waiting for my Zapiekane they gave me a salad to keep me busy, standard procedure for the Zapiekane as it takes a little longer.

Vegan food in Gliwice and Katowice, Poland

The only thing I wasn’t sold on was the cheesecake, but then I’m not a fan of baked tofu cheesecakes in general – I’ve never especially found one that manages to disguise the savoury texture. Otherwise, everything was tasty and the portions we large. The price was exceptionally reasonable. We left stuffed and happy, and ready to deal with the cold outside.

Vegan food in Gliwice and Katowice, Poland

Taste rating: good enough to pretend it wasn’t cold outside, and to blanket my spirit and soul with warm feelings for when I stepped back out into the freezing weather.
Would I return?: absolutely, in fact I met another vegan who lives in Gliwice who goes every day, and I can see why.


Bo Tak is a more established vegetarian restaurant, with vegan alternatives and options clearly marked on the menu. I liked the venue a lot, as it seems small downstairs but is light, airy and spacious upstairs with a lot of tables. The waitress was friendly and helpful. We didn’t have much time here, so we only tried one dish which was the mushrooms stuffed with olives and vegan cheese. We had to wait a little longer as the waitress told us the first one they made was too small, so because we were sharing she’d sent it back. This was very considerate of her, but the dish that arrived made us both wonder how small the first one was that this one was bigger! Each of the mushrooms was the width of my thumb. They were nice but not exceptional, but I’d like to try a few more things off the menu.

BO TAK Wege Przestrzen vegan food katowice

Taste rating: like mushrooms, olives and vegan cheese.
Would I return?: They did a good soy latte, so I’d go back for coffee and to try a different meal, but I wasn’t especially impressed by how many vegan options there were on the menu, and thought the mushrooms were overpriced for the size.


We went here for lunch, and of all the places it’s definitely my favourite for the decor. The food is a buffet with clearly marked labels in all dishes stating if they’re vegan or vegetarian, and if they’re gluten free. At least 50% of the dishes were vegan, and they were extremely well priced although the portion size seems to vary.

Złoty Osioł vegan vegetarian Gliwice

My friend ordered the goulash, and got a plateful, while I ordered a vegetable slice of sorts, and it was considerably smaller. There’s a free salad bar that you can help yourself to once you’ve ordered a dish, but being Poland everything is pickled and fermented. The food was good and hearty.

Złoty Osioł vegan vegetarian Gliwice

Taste rating: like a home cooked meal on a cold winter day.
Would I return?: For a cheap lunch that will fill me up for the afternoon, definitely.


vegan vegetarian food in Katowice Gliwice


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