I enjoyed dinner at this place. The place was crowded and the food was very good, with several vegan options in the menu.
I agree with the other users, the rules of ordering are a little bit chaotic.Pros: Food
I enjoyed dinner at this place. The place was crowded and the food was very good, with several vegan options in the menu.
I agree with the other users, the rules of ordering are a little bit chaotic.Pros: Food
We enjoyed the atmosphere at Il Vegetariano, and the fact that it's open late.
Considering that the menu changes frequently, we don't feel we can judge the food having eaten there only once. On our visit, we felt it was good but not particularly special, and i wished there would've been more vegan options, as none of the three available during our visit particularly appealed to me. We wish we had time to visit again to give it another chance.
The chocolate cake was pretty good.Pros: Lively atmosphere, Open late
I have been living in Florence for 3 months, and this is hands down the BEST vegan food I have ever eaten! The menu is all in Italian, and always FRESH and DELICIOUS. The restaurant is always packed, but you find room (seriously who knew how many Italian vegetarians there were in Firenze?!) and people will gladly share a table with you. I always get it to go, the maximum I've ever paid for a meal is 9.50 but there are cheaper options. There are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free items with coordinating symbols next to them. I go here at least once a week! I tried Dolce Vegan (my friend used to rave about this place until I introduced her to Il Veg) and it was frozen meals that they pulled out of the freezer with a lack of seasoning and not nearly as much love that goes into Il Vegetariano cuisine. Yeah, I usually don't know what I'm ordering, but if it's vegan I know I won't break out in hives with a swollen throat... AND ITS ALWAYS DELICIOUS AND EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED. Being Dairy-free in Italy is very hard, but Il Veg makes it so worth it. The staff is also very nice, the food comes out quick because they make it in bulk to keep the flow of customers going. It is all made fresh daily though, so I find this better than keeping it in the freezer and popping it in the microwave! I have had the polpettone twice, made out of grains with tomato sauce, but the way they treat their seitan is out of this world. What are you waiting for, go to Il Vegetariano! Oh and leave room for dessert...Pros: fresh tuscan meals of generous portions , creative and delicious - always good!, friendly staff and lively atmosphere
I went two times to that nice restaurant in Florence.
The rules of ordering are a bit confusing, when you are there for the first time: Everyone stands around the menu which is on a black board and writes down his choices on a paper pad. This you show to the man sitting next to the cash box. You pay, take a tray and wait for your orders. The place in front of the black board is always crowded :-)
Food is clearly declared as vegan and/or gluten-free.
The portions are satisfying and the food is very good.
The prices for food and drinks are really fair.
There is also a selection of "dolce". I tried a very delicious looking fruit cake called "Susine". But it was a bit disappointing. It tasted a bit boring and it seemed as if the cake should taste healthy (what is quite common in veggie restaurants...)
In total I liked the restaurant very much not only because of the food, but also because of its comfortable atmosphere.
I can really recommend this restaurant and you should go there on your trip to Florence!
The food was tasty, not amazing but the portion sizes were just right.
The ordering was intimidating and chaotic and menu only in Italian. But vegan options and gluten free options are clear.
I was impressed that the chillie came with quinoa.
Atmosphere wad loud and not the friendliest, but at least the food wasn't over priced and it did have character.
Would go again if I was in Florence longer.Pros: portion sizes, price, labelled menu
This is a solid, quality 70s-style vegetarian restaurant full of quality food and quality vegetarians. You go into the back, choose from the daily options written only in Italian (a bit difficult), pay the nice cashier and present your receipt to the people behind the food counter. As with most veg restaurants in Europe, there is an unfortunate lack of vegan protein in the form of tofu or phaseolus, but the food is very clean and made me feel good.
This is the main vegetarian restaurant in Florence. It doesn't seem to be open for lunch on the weekends, which is unfortunate. But it's perfect for weekday lunch, and unlike every other restaurant in Italy - the food here is reasonably priced. Eat here.
Updated from previous review on Monday December 24, 2012
I think we went to every restaurant listed in Happy Cow and this was our favourite. A good choice of simple and often interesting dishes (several vegan) that seemed to change frequently. The portions are generous and it's good value and has a friendly, canteen atmosphere. The dishes ranged from plain to amazing. The most memorable dishes were a porcini and white bean soup, and a delicious braised tofu in onion gravy. It gets very busy at lunch time.Pros: good value, home style, variety
Everything we had for lunch was good so we went back for dinner the same day on our 1 day trip to Florence. Just loved it. Vegan stuff clearly indicated. Daily menu. Loved the paella and the polenta. English not spoken but it won't matter. Part of the fun of it to try to figure it out. Some of the things I had no idea what they were going to be because I couldn't figure out the English equivalent of the Italian words.Pros: Close to major sites, Many vegan options
This is a fun a beautiful little place, with both vegan and gluten-free dishes. I only tried those, and they were OK. Not something to write home about, but good.Pros: vegan stuff healthy, gluten-free available
I wanted to go to another eatery round the corner but it was closed. Was happy to find this place which seemed quiet compared to reports from most reviewers. Long ordering system and food portions were huge so I regretted ordering an entree and main. Food was okay but didn't taste as good as it sounded on the menu. Unimaginative if you will. Struggled to eat it all because it was a lot but also because I became bored with eating it. After I ordered it got crazy busy, lots of locals. Not much English spoken just so you know. Cakes looked really good but had no room...Pros: portion, price
Nice atmosphere, funny owner. Only cash is accepted. They did not speak much English, but enough for us. Food was good and prices were ok. Self service was at first difficult to understand.
We ate here 1 night while in Florence. Italians eat dinner late, so it didn't open until 7:30. We were lucky to get there early since it filled up quickly. Well worth the wait. The chef/owner was very nice and gave my daughter a free dessert.
Good vegetarian and vegan options, vegan options are clearly marked, which is nice if you don't know what everything is. Lots of choices, menu changes frequently, informal and cozy. Affordable. It is about a 15 minute walk from the tourist center, but worth it if you're veg! They also have good desserts. One of the owners who is usually taking the orders/money speaks English and is very helpful. I went there all the time while studying abroad in Florence!Pros: Good value, Affordable, Good food
This restaurant is not in the center of the city, it is actually about half a mile away from the main tourist area.
For vegetarians, I guess the food would be okay. Honestly, there vegetarian options are usually some form of pasta, vegetables and cheese. That is available everywhere in Florence. It is the standard vegetarian option all over the city.
But, I am vegan. I was not impressed by the options. I got pasta and veggies once. There were no beans or anything for protein. I am living in Florence for 9 weeks. I can make pasta and veggies myself. Most normal restaurants will make that also when I explain that I am vegan. Sometimes the vegan option will have seitan. Honestly, the best vegan option I have was seitan with mushrooms and plain rice. If you like to cook, you will be disappointed that food is very simple and not that original.
Maybe it is better for vegetarians, because the majority of the meals have cheese and the vegan options were very limited. Again though, if you are in Italy, every restaurant has a meal of vegetables, pasta and cheese. So I don't understand why this place is so popular.Pros: okay food
Il Vegetariano is a great place to eat a lot of cheap vegetarian food in the centre of Florence.
The restaurant has a "rustic" organization: you place your order and pay for it, then you collect the food, you look for a table to sit down and you consume your meal.
Portions are huge, there is a wide choice, and vegan options are well indicated, wine is good and there are also many different cakes (some are vegan).
One example: tonight we paid 26 euros in total for two main dishes (seitan with rice, mushrooms and salad), 1/4 L of red wine, natural water and an apple pie slice.Pros: Nice food, Huge portions, Low prices
This restaraunt is a bit of a track outside the centre of Florence. However, it is a fairly straight-forward and easy route to get to from the Doumo. When we arrived at the restaraunt, the large crowd outside of it looked like a positive. We went in to enquire and were told that we'd have to wait 40 minutes before we got a place. Even though we were starving, we decided to wait. Finally, we were called and shown to our table, which was basically seating at one of the large tables sitting beside complete strangers. After you are shown to your seats, you must then go up and place your order at the cash register and pay for it there and then. Then you go to the kitchen counter to collect your order and bring it to your table. I suppose it depends on your taste, but for me, considering the huge price you pay for a meal here, it is a bit of a disappointment that your food is not served to you at your own table. On the positive side, the proportions are a fairly okay size, but lack imagination, like boring foods like pastas, etc. The taste was fairly basic in all of the four dishes we tried. In fact, they were so monotonous they got boring to eat in the end. The staff here are also one of the grumpiest staff I have ever come across in a vegetarian restaraunt. Not a smile on anyone's face. The best thing about this restaraunt is that, unlike other restaraunts in Florence, it opens quite late. This restaraunt is okay but nothing to scream about. I could not understand why a crowd gathered outside this place. Vegetarianism is not an excuse to have boring foods.Pros: Opens late
Like the other reviewers, we were initially confused by the process, getting in line/in the crowd to make an order and pay the man sitting on the till at the back, then waiting with a receipt to get the food from the kitchen staff.
But once we understood we felt very comfortable and returned there a few times for good value vegan food, including interesting desserts! Plenty of space and good atmosphere.Pros: Variety of food, Value
Easily my favorite vegetarian restaurant in Florence, Il Vegetariano is a beloved longstanding establishment with two indoor dining rooms and one outdoor patio in the back. I waited in line for the restaurant to open at 12:30 with three local Florentines who were clearly regulars at the restaurant based upon the warm "Ciaos!" and cheek-kissing that ensued when the waitress opened the front door.
The service is a bit confusing. You write down what you want from the menu on a pad of paper, hand it to the man behind the counter, pay, take a tray, and stand in line at the salad bar for your food which you take back to a table already complete with a basket full of whole grain bread, eat, and leave your dirty plates for the waiters. Even though I had read about these daunting instructions beforehand, I still found myself a bit naive in the whole process (perhaps because of my terrible grasp of the Italian language, though the staff does speak English).
My favorite aspect of Il Vegetariano is that the menu changes everyday and is clearly marked with vegan selections, plus they have a quite extensive salad bar. The vegan entree on the day I sampled the restaurant was an indian-inspired plate of red lentil dahl, basmati rice, and stewed vegetables. Delicious. The only downside was that the rice was white, not brown, so I left it uneaten on the plate and replaced it with the whole grain bread. I also started with a salad from the bar, which boasts a wide array of raw vegetables (carrots, cherry tomatoes, arugula, mixed greens, etc.), and cooked vegetables (steamed cauliflower, roasted eggplant, onions, peppers, zucchini, etc.), plus you can opt for a dollop of tangy tofu dressing which I happily partook in.
I look forward to my next eating experience at Il Vegetariano.
See pictures and more restaurant reviews at my blog: http://farmersmarketvegan.wordpress.com/Pros: Fantastic food., Excellent salad bar., Fast fast service.
Never seen such a mess in my life! I went there on Sunday night for a diner with my bf. When we arrived all of the tables were occupied, so we joined the queue. We asked the waiter about the rules, and he told us just to wait our turn....After 40 min (!) of waiting between the tables we finally understood that the had to write our names in the special list that makes the queue....and the waiter did not say anything about that! We saw people who arrived after us and then, got their dinner and the table.
Finally, we ordered our meals. Nothing special. Like home made food. Nothing Wow. Just the only thing - yes, they have a choice of 3 vegan desserts.
Our troubles with this resto did not finish. While eating we were interrupted by an italian woman who explained us that it is her table! I mean....it is a self service, there was NO sign that the table was reserved or occupied....Then the waiter came and asked us to move...to another empty table....So we moved. You can imagine that at this moment I was not even happy to spend my time waiting for this "delicious food", but ok, lets give them a chance! But what a pity! I found a black long hair in my salad....Indeed, baked potatoes were too salty and meal was not even warm...We didn't finish this dinner, we left.
We arrived at dinner right before they opened. A line was forming, but there seemed to be fairly rapid turnover all evening, so we didn't think it would be a problem getting a table if you came later. The dining area is spacious, with several rooms and outdoor seating.
Items on the chalkboard menu were clearly marked "vegan." About half were vegan. You can select your own vegetables for the salad. We found that the cooked vegetables in the salad bar were not very appetizing when served cold. We'd stick with non-cooked veggies if we go back. They put a huge dollop of salad cream on your salad. I wish I'd known as I would have prefered to do without it and use the oil and vinegar that are on the dining tables to dress my salad.
The portions are very generous and the dishes are quite tasty and hearty. We made the mistake of ordering too much food. So, no room for dessert :(Pros: Good value, Lots of choice, Good food
the ordering system is slightly confusing but the staff are friendly and willing to help you out. the food is great. you can choose your own salad ingredients which is awesome and the tofu based dressing is delicious. large selection of mains that are delish and reasonably priced. we paid 17 euro each for a big salad, a pasta main, a large and delicious dessert and a drink. lot's to choose from and is very popular so be patient. the outside sitting area is lovely and highly recommended on a warm day.Pros: great food, large selection, cheap
We went back a second time as it was so great! Lineups before they open and full throughout the dinner period.
We shared dishes each time and liked all of them. Hearty dishes, big servings, reasonable prices.
And lots of desserts (if you have any space left) of which over half are vegan. The pear-apple tart was great.
This place is really very good. The system for ordering food is esoteric, but the locals help out which makes for a convivial experience. Good savories accompanied by massive salads with lovely dressings. Lots of vegan choice, but strangely no soya milk. Amazing gooey creamy vegan puddings.Pros: Convivial atmosphere, Huge portions, Wholefood bias
We had to wait outside with an enthusiastic and growing crowd until this restaurant opened for dinner at 7:30 pm. It took a little while for us to figure out the ordering system which involved figuring out your order from the posted board, writing it down yourself on a pad from the order desk, paying, and then picking up the food order. The food was excellent and the restaurant was packed. By not having servers, they keep prices low.Pros: Good food, Inexpensive
With most restaurants in Italy charging cover charges just to sit and being sketchy on what does or not dot have cheese, milk or eggs in it, it was nice to have Il Vegetariano.
The food is a set menu and a full salad bar and you just order at the cash register and then pick up your items to go back to your table. Everything is reasonably priced, and if you order 3-4 things for 2 people you will be stuffed.
They had a lot of vegan desserts which I applaud as that's rare, but I have to say the peach pie was disappointing because the peaches were sour. It looked nicer than it tasted.
There is also a ton of room, and 2 eating areas so I can't see it being crowded if you come at 7 when they open.
We recommend this place and will be back when visiting Florence.Pros: good food, good price, awesome salad bar
All items are listed on a blackboard, which are marked as to vegan, and/or gluten free. You order, pay, seat yourself, and then you get your food. Wife's owner is Irish, which helps w/English translation. A pleasant, comfortable place for a vegan to eat.Pros: decent food, freshly prepared, Open Sunday
A reasonably priced self-serve restaurant (average less than $10 per person for dinner and drink). It looked closed from the outside but we opened the door and found a cozy, informal little restaurant. You choose from a menu with many clearly marked vegan and gluten-free (senza glutine) options. Order and pay at the counter (the cashier spoke fluent English), then grab a tray and utensils to bring to the queue at the opposite counter, where you hand your order to a man who will immediately serve pre-prepared but fresh and tasty food. They even have some tasty vegan pastries.Pros: very good food, very good prices, many clearly marked vegan options
Low-key restaurant that lets you decide how long you want to stay. Self-service and friendly atmosphere. Most staff speak English.
Great food. Half the menu is vegetarian and the other half is vegan. Same with desserts. Great prices considering the other inflated prices of Florence restaurants.
We found out about this place from the tourist office (big surprise!) and went there twice. First time was alright because there was an English-speaking woman on staff who explained all the dishes on the blackboard menu. Second time was hard as it's all in Italian and often unfamiliar dishes. Salads were very nice - got by with pointing to what we wanted. The system of ordering and collecting food (it's cafeteria-style setup) is quite chaotic and space allocated for this is inadequate.Pros: Food, Friendly staff, Value for money
I am writing this review after eating there once. I had a simple pasta, but I saw the variaty items on the menu and it seems that there is a lot to choose from. Prices are reasonable, and it is self service: you choose your meal and take it from the kitchen and find yourself a place to sit. On the table you have bread and olive oil. I also tasted some interesting things such as: BIO COLA. This place is great for Vegans and Vegetarians who look for good food in Florence!Pros: Price, Healthy Food, Vegan
My wife and I just got back from dinner here. It is away from the Center, but only a 10 min walk from the station and very easy to find. I was pleasantly surprised with the interiors and the food. I was expecting more of a hostel or canteen type of place. But, even though it is primarily a self service place, it has the look and feel of a more upscale place, but with very reasonable prices. We had three first courses between us (all substantial portions), a 1/4l carfe of wine and a soda, all for 20 Euros. You cannot beat this in Florence, for food that was very flavorful.Pros: Flavorful, Value
This review pretty much says it all "You go in grab a table by putting down your jacket. Go to the front grab a note pad and write down the selections from the in Italian menu. Pay at the table. Grab a tray and wait in line for your food. Everything we tried was good - even when we were guessing."
All the vegan items are clearly marked. The one thing we learned is ONE item from the first or second WILL MAKE YOU FULL. We ordered 2 each and were STUFFED after the first! The cool thing about this place is that its a free for all. People are waiting outside for them to open the door at 7:30 and rush to the counter and fill out their orders. Community tables so you can just grab any open chair at any table and converse with everyone. Such a great experience!!!! You MUST GO!Pros: vegan clearly marked, community tables, great food & liquor
You need to know how to find the restaurant,as it has no visible house number.When my daughter and I went in October,about 20 people were waiting in front of the restaurant and they opened 20 minutes after their posted opening time,only after one of the waiting guests rang the bell and complained.We liked the atmosphere,there was plenty of room for everybody to sit.It was a little bit overwhelming to look at the menu(in Italian).Everybody had to order at the counter and pay right away.So if you could not decide on dessert you had to come back later.The food was overly salted and for our taste a little too over cooked.But on the other side,everything was ready after you ordered as they prepared everything in advance.Nice crowd of people and very nice owner.While we were eating the chef was standing in the doorway smoking,but you'll have to understand it's Italy.My daughter went back a couple weeks later and she liked the food a lot.They have a varying menu.Make sure you ask about the great dessert they are offering.
This excellent cafe is hidden away on one of the back streets of the city - a vegetarian refuge from the hustle of the heaving streets of Florence. However, if you arrive at a busy time - such as opening time - you are likely to be bruised and battered in the rush to the front of the queue. And then you'll be crushed as hungry diners crowd around the menu board and then order at the counter.
On the plus side, this is a very friendly and cosy place. The food is really enjoyable and it's good value - though they serve all your hot food at the same time so it'll go cold unless you wolf it down. If you've not been here before then the unusual ordering system will be explained to you by the staff or one of the happy-to-oblige regulars.
Vegetarian but vegan friendly. Desserts are ovo-veg with several vegan option. Manager speaks English and is very friendly. Great food, seitan, scallop potatoes, salad bar.
We didn't see that it was takeout =(
As one of the many (MANY) American students in Florence, I recommend Il Vegetariano as a place for a delicious meal that won't break the bank. A primo piatto and a dessert is enough for a full meal (which will run around 10 euro), although the desserts are worth the trip in and of themselves. Everyone I've brought here, both vegetarian and not, has been pleased with the food and the ambience and leaves absolutely stuffed. Plus, the fact that it's packed with Italians every time I go indicates its popularity among Florentines, i.e. not a touristy place.Pros: desserts, variety, good value
The self-serve restaurant has very simple, healthy cuisine. Vegan choices are marked as such. A couple of vegan dessert choices. Worth stopping in, but I wouldn't prioritize it over other vegetarian restaurants (Il Sedano Allegro, for example).
The food is OK, but not more than that. small variety and no pasta. The atmosphere is not that of a restaurant at all, and is not welcoming to sit there.
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Last updated: 2013/04/26
Added by: Guest