Top Vegan Places to Eat in Milan for Solo Travellers
I went to Milan by accident. I mean, I booked the tickets myself and everything, it’s just that I didn’t really know anything about it. I’ve wanted to go to Italy since I was a kid and after living in Europe for six years I thought it was finally time. So I looked for the cheapest flight I could get and Milan it was. I didn’t know much about Milan except that it was the fashion capital of the world. I didn’t even know where it was in Italy. I thought it was in the middle somewhere. Sorry Milan, I swear it’s not you, it’s me.
Oh wait. I did know something about it. One of my favourite dishes growing up was Milanese sun-dried tomato risotto. I used to make it for my family all the time. I only made that connection when I started looking for vegan restaurants in Milan. My favourite childhood risotto was decidedly not vegan so I wondered if I’d be able to find a veganized version.
The first thing that came up in my research into vegan food in Milan and Milan in general were warnings about how expensive everything was. Crap. Guess I should have looked into that before I bought my ticket? Never mind.
When I got to Milan I was quite surprised by how many vegan options I found and how cheap they were. So I’ve put together a list of my favourite vegan places in Milan. I didn’t set out to go to more cafe style places. I have no problems eating at a restaurant on my own. In fact I love it. So while this list is filled with more cafes than restaurants it certainly had nothing to do with me being on my own. There were also a few fine dining vegan places that I saw on HappyCow but I’m more of a comfort food kinda gal so I knew those were not for me. I hope you enjoy my list!
BEST VEGAN: Cibo
I stumbled across this place after my first option turned out to be permanently closed. It was about 10 pm on a Sunday and I felt pretty damn lucky to find a vegan cafe open, especially considering it was their National Day. The cafe had a set up I’d see over and over again in Milan: pay by weight. Everything was vegan so looking at the display case and knowing I could eat anything was a welcome surprise. After a bit of back and forth with one staff member each of us trying to understand the other a lovely woman came out and helped. She gave me advice about other vegan places to eat during my stay in Milan and alternative things I should go to. The food options were varied and delicious. When I mentioned I didn’t like mushrooms (don’t get me started) and the woman said she didn’t either and that none of the food had any in it I knew we were kindred spirits.
BEST PASTA: Pasta a Gogo
I was lucky that this place was across the road from where I was staying because it turned out to be delicious. A tiny takeaway counter with friendly staff and a menu in English, this place exceeded my expectations. They had a variety of sauce options and types of pasta. I decided to be adventurous and go for the chickpea pasta with arrabiatta sauce. It was divine! While not strictly vegan, everything was clearly marked, even gluten free options! I recommend this place if you want high quality food and don’t care about a restaurant environment. I took mine back to my hostel and ate my dinner while reading my book. Perfection.
BEST BURGER: Flower Burger
This tiny cafe with its bar stool seating was packed to the brim both times I went in. I was lucky to find an empty spot before the lunch rush started. The staff were friendly and spoke English. The menu on the wall was in Italian but they had a separate paper menu in English which made it easy to order. I had a delicious Cheesy Chickpea burger which came on the most hipster-looking charcoal bun. This burger was so good, weeks later I’m still thinking about it and craving another. This chain is all over Italy so if you’re in another city chances are you’ll find one near you.
BEST GELATO: Ciacco
It’s kind of a cheat to say this was the best gelato. I actually only had gelato twice but, man, was it delicious both times! At Ciacco I had a delicious Meditarranean Mojito gelato that cooled me down on a hot sticky day. Not completely vegan, all of the vegan options were clearly marked and there were English translations of everything on the menu board. The second best gelato I had was a lime and basil flavour that was to die for! I wish I could remember where it was from. I only know it was near Il Meneghello.
BEST PIZZA: Viveca Pizza & More
This was the only sit down restaurant I went to during my trip and if we’re talking about service let’s just say thank god the pizza was so good. I went for an early dinner and there were about four or five waiters just goofing off in the restaurant. I felt pretty uncomfortable with the atmosphere so I tried to concentrate on the book I was reading and eventually the food, but I couldn’t wait to get out of there. The food was super yummy and they had an entire separate vegan pizza menu which was a bonus. I ordered what I assumed to be a margarita pizza only to have it come back with some lettuce type thing. I later found out it was radicchio.
There were a few places that were rated highly on HappyCow that I didn’t feel was warranted. One of these was Alhambra Cafe. I’m loathe to write a bad review about them because the staff were lovely but the food was not good. Similar to Cibo in the pay-by-weight model all of the food I had was oily and left me feeling sick by the end of my meal. I’m surprised it’s rated so highly.