Il Vegetariano

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 49 reviews )

Via delle Ruote, 30 r, Florence, Italy

Ristorante vegetariano. Rome vegetarian restaurant where there are no waiters, you are served by the chef and seat yourself. Cozy atmosphere, limited seating. Open Mon-Fri 12:30pm-2:30pm, Tue-Sun 7:30pm-10:30pm. Closes August month.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Italian, Beer/Wine, Take-out

Reviews (49)

First Review by arnevet

Loved it! - Edit

This felt like a little secret society when we walked in. There is no wait staff you just ask for what you want at the counter and the chef gives it to you. I had the Indian Dahl which was to die for and a vegan pear and fig crumble. Yum!

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wonderful! - Edit

We were so happy to find this place - a bit of a walk from the duomo. We stumbled with the ordering but got amazing soup (zucca), baked penne and vegan chocolate tart. The atmosphere was lively and local. We got to sit at a long table with some neighbourhood diners. Was a lovely evening - would go back in a heartbeat! Good food good vibes

Pros: atmosphere was local and lively, good portions for price, fresh and yummy food

Cons: no English (which was fine for us), not a romantic or cozy choice , somewhat of a walk from "downtown"

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Family restaurant - Edit

We had a nice dinner here. The vegan options were clearly labeled on the menu, the food was good. Some of the portions were small - especially the lasagna my boyfriend got. He had to share my meal, which was larger (the seitan). You might need to order two entrees or an appetizer/entree to be full. You pay one person, bring your order to the kitchen, and then choose a seat. You pick up your meal when its ready. It's a little different than most places, but it worked out well. The menu is in Italian and they didn't speak English well - so we had to use Google translate to figure out the menu. Come prepared for that!

I did notice that they labeled desserts with honey as "vegan" - so if you don't consider honey vegan, you might want to double-check about the ingredients in the desserts.

Pros: Clearly labeled vegan items

Cons: Small portions

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excellent vege spot - Edit

No table service, but the food is quite excellent! Near museum and synagogue. Hip atmosphere. Have to ask cashier to translate menu into English.

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Festive and fun vibe, good food - Edit

Il Vegetariano is a long-time favorite for vegetarians and vegans in Florence. Seating is communal (some smaller tables available as well) and staff are friendly. In fact, it's possible that Jerry Garcia is alive and that he works here / may own the place (or perhaps that's just Jerry's Italian cousin). This is a great place to go with omnis, as there's a lot on the menu and they always come away amazed with the food. I wish there were more vegan options, but there's always something good on the menu for me. The salad bar is also great, you can create more or less exactly what you want, and the vegan tofu dressing is delicious. You don't need a reservation (they don't take reservations, actually), so ok to rock up with as many as you can get to join your plant-based party. The outdoor seating is fun if you're seeking a chilled vibe for group discussion (heat is available outside in winter, and it's fairly cool outside in summer). Overall this is an awesome place and is highly recommended. You and your guests will enjoy good food and have a great time here.

Pros: Whole-food vegan option available, friendly place, customers in good mood, no reservations needed

Cons: Wish there were more vegan options

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Homemade tasty food - Edit

Good place to eat if you're really hungry :)

Pros: Big portions, tasty, fair prices, friendly people

Cons: If you're first time a bit confusing to order, tab

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Florence's Best Restaurant - Edit

Short summary: Tasty healthy food at a good price, large portions, but a little complicated to figure out if you are used to American restaurants. No cover charge (coperto)! Menu changes daily, making it a good place to eat every day. My favorite place in Florence.

Long review:
The dish I ordered was two things. One one half was a mix of just random stuff: grapes, eggplant, black rice, red cabbage, etc. This tasted about like you'd expect: healthy, but not very exciting unless basic veggies get you excited. The other have was a seitan mixed with some sort of veggie patty-like mix, not sure what it was. That part was fabulous.

This is like school cafeteria. Go to the counter at the rear of the restaurant. If there is a line (all tables taken) then a waitress will assign you a table when one clears, but you don't site down yet. Order your food at the rear counter. Vegan items are clearly marked. You pay in advance. Pick up a tray and bring your order ticket to the food counter. Then they give you your food. Also don't forget to find the silverware tray to grab a fork a knife. Bring your tray to your table and enjoy!

Bring an Italian dictionary with you. This is not a tourist trap where everyone speaks fluent English. They know some English, but not perfectly. Menus is *NOT* written in English. But even if you can't read the menu, you could just point to some random item labeled "vegano" and see what you get.

Pros: Healthy food at good portions., Good prices, no coperto., New menu daily.

Cons: Confusing setup for an American., Bring some basic Italian skills.

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Just lovely - Edit

What a nice place, with delicious food, traditionally italian in style but vegetarian/vegan.
The menu is written at a blackboard, with vegan and gluten free items marked by signs.
Everything I had was tasty, including the carafa of wine and Latte macchiato with soy milk, and I was extremely happy to find vegan desserts.
Adding to this, the place has a charming atmosphere, it feels more like being in a club or among friends than being in a restaurant.
Whenever in Florence, I'll be sure to try to come there again.

Pros: Tasty and inexpensive food, Nice atmosphere, Friendly staff and guests

Cons: More vegan food on the menu, please!

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A super find - Edit

Look out for the opening times. We arrived at 7.35 & people were running for seats. You share tables. The menu is written in Italian on a board, the chef translates. then pay cash at a side table & take chitty to the serving area. The food was great & the style is simple. Everyone was friendly. Good value. The puddings were yummy & vegan. Recommend this but may have to wait for a table. We had a lovely bottle of chianti, but half carafes were available. We had a cosy corner table.

Pros: cheap, vegan options, 15 mins from centre

Cons: busy, menu not in english

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food not special,limited vegan, but great desserts - Edit

If I end up eating rice with some veggies (seaweed too), then I can't rave about a restaurant. I eat rice and veggies at home all the time. When I go out to a restaurant, I'd like something more interesting and creative. But the vegan options were limited. My spouse had a lasagna, but that was not whole grain pasta, which is why I opted for the brown rice.
The desserts, however, were excellent. I had a chocolate pie and my spouse a chocolate-coconut cake, both excellent, and other desserts (both vegan and not) looked really good.
I had a nice pot of tea.
The atmosphere is vary casual - serve yourself and bus yourself.

Pros: reasonable prices, great desserts, casual lively atmosphere

Cons: limited vegan options, not if you want to be served

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Ambiente carino - Edit

Il Vegetariano è un posto "storico" per i fiorentini perchè da molti anni è un punto di riferimento per vegetariani o per coloro che amano cibo sano. Ci sono andata un paio di volte la prima con amici e la seconda con il mio compagno, vegetariano da sempre perchè lo sono tutti in famiglia! Ci è piaciuto l'ambiente, accogliente e famigliare i prezzi sono piuttosto bassi e i piatti discreti. Ci piace l'idea di interagire quindi ok self service e carina la lavagna dove si scoprono le offerte del giorno, i vini e le birre (noi abbiamo preso un buon sidro).Purtroppo i piatti sono già pronti e quindi i primi precotti, noi amiamo molto la cucina espressa e magari un po' di creatività in più non certo i prezzi salirebbero un po'!

Pros: Atmosfera Informale, Prezzi abbordabili, i piatto sono gustosi

Cons: cucina non espressa, verdure NON bio, molta confusione

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Good option - Edit

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

Cons: Ordering

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Lively vibe - Edit

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

Cons: Limited vegan options

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Best vegan/vegetarian restaurant in Firenze - Edit

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

Cons: always packed, little english is spoken (but enough), you don't know what you're ordering

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Lovely vegan-friendly restaurant - Edit

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!

Pros: nice atmosphere, clear declaration of vegan food, fair prices

Cons: ordering in a crowd

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pretty good - Edit

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

Cons: ordering system, intimidating atmosphere

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jesse 05 Mar 2013 - Your review is pretty much spot on. Only thing is I wouldn't say it's unfriendly, just not that friendly :) But they have proved to me time and time again that they have nothing against Americans / English / foreigners, so it's just sort of the pseudo-sophisticated attitude that can be slightly off-putting. But definitely the most proper vegetarian place in Florence.  

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Go Here - Edit

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

Pros: Clean, Good, Quality

Cons: Lack of vegan protein, Closed at weekend lunch

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Homely and tasty - Edit

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

Cons: busy, some boring dishes

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Great food and vegan options - Edit

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

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Vegan stuff was average - Edit

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

Cons: lovely setting

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okay. - Edit

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

Cons: boring food

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Nice place - Edit

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.

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great place - Edit

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.

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Solid Veg Restaurant - Edit

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

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Not as vegan friendly as advertised - Edit

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

Cons: few vegan options, not original

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wyrd 02 Jul 2012 - Just a few words on the vegetarian/vegan options that you can get in Italian NON-vegetarian restaurants. Beware of the seemingly veg options, as most of the restaurants make large use of bouillon cubes ( even when they cook dishes without meat.

Something similar is true for bread (lard is used to make many types of bread) .

If you want to be 100% sure about what you eat, go to a veg restaurant.  

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A lot of good vegetarian food - Edit

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

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Okay - Edit

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

Cons: Bland food, Very Expensive, Service

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