Everything to Know about Vegan Food in Milan

Ana Lim Headshot
Ana Lim
June 2, 2024

When I was lucky enough to have my friend Anastasia visit me in Milan, I knew it was time to try out a bunch of vegan food. She has a dairy allergy, so both at home and when abroad, she finds that simply eating at vegan restaurants helps lessen the stress that comes with avoiding dairy. As someone who was vegan for several years, I know that it can be a challenge to find places with good food that is vegan (or even just vegetarian) friendly. So without further ado, here are my tips and restaurant recommendations after a week filled with eating vegan food ordered from least to most expensive - buon appetito!


  1. Quick, easy, and budget friendly food ($) 

    If you’re looking for a great budget vegan restaurant to frequent, don’t miss out on going to Rosmarino Gastronomia Naturale e Vegana. Located near the Chinatown and Porta Garibaldi area, there is so much to do and explore in the area if you stop by during the day. What I noticed about several vegan restaurants in town that have lower prices is that they often operate in a way where you are given several options made fresh daily to pick from, and then your food is priced by weight. For reference, my friend and I each paid between €6-12 per meal here, and on the €10-12 side of things, you were definitely getting your money’s worth for how much food was included. If you are eating in (not taking it to go), then all your food is heated up for you on the spot - and often, you don’t even have to pay a cover charge or “coperto.” When we ate at Rosmarino, it was not the fanciest of places, but the owner was sweet, the food was DELICIOUS, and there was a bathroom and free unlimited tea and water available to all customers who chose to sit inside. Another place we loved that didn’t break the bank was Radicetonda, a lovely place just a two minute walk away from the Porta Venezia Metro Stop. 

    → Pro tip: If you ever make it out to Lake Como, Vegami is a restaurant that operates just like Rosmarino. Anastasia and I loved it! 

    → Warning: While claiming to offer some vegan options, Artisti del Vegetariano (2 locations in Milan) mainly offers vegetarian options, and the vegan options were not clearly marked. Especially if you don’t confidently speak Italian or if you don’t feel comfortable advocating for yourself enough to understand which options were vegan, I would not recommend this restaurant for you or others who are strictly vegan. However, if you are vegetarian, this may be a good option for you!

  2. Chain restaurants with Instagrammable food ($)

    No matter how much time you spend in Milan, you’ll undoubtedly encounter Flower Burger: a chain restaurant made popular by their cheerfully-colored buns. However, despite that being what they are known for, they also sell wraps and bowls. While not all of their options are vegan, at the location I visited, the menu clearly identified which options are vegetarian and which ones are vegan - something that wasn’t clear at every place my friend and I visited. (If you ever need to ask and clarify though, you can use the phrase “È vegano o vegetariano?”) The golden sticker of approval for this place was that when I brought a bunch of non-vegan friends here, they all said they enjoyed the food! 

  3. Bakeries, Cafes, & Sweet Treats ($)

    For breakfast, you'll quickly notice that most Italians enjoy going to a "bar," but don't be fooled - they are not in the habit of day drinking before going work! Instead, when they say "bar," they usually are talking about what Americans would call a cafe or coffee shop. There, someone's usual order might consist of a cappuccino and a "brioche," which is how Italians in Milan refer to croissant-like pastries (but if you go to Rome or other places in Southern Italy, be prepared to hear the term "cornetto" being used instead!). 

    One particular bakery that Anastasia loved for vegan breakfast pastries is called RosebyMary. However, she warns against going to So Natural for those who are strictly vegan, because while it was very cute, she reported that she felt unsure of whether all of their pastries were vegan and felt like they weren't labeled well. Specifically, she reported that after trying one of the croissants with a custard filling, she strongly suspected that it had been made with dairy. 

    Because my friend Anastasia and I are big cat lovers, I am happy to include a section here specifically on cat cafes in Milan. Two that we frequented while she was in town included Miaoka and Crazy Cat Cafe. We were surprised and delighted to learn that in addition to serving a great view, both of them also served excellent vegan cakes that we couldn’t help but try and fall in love with - almost as much as the cats. However, be warned that neither place is exclusively vegan - for example, I'm attaching a photo of a decidedly non-vegan tiramisu that I also sampled at Crazy Cat Cafe. 

    For other sweet treats, you simply can't go anywhere in Italy without partaking in gelato. One vegan hack is to order a "sorbetto" at any gelateria you might find, as almost all of them have at least a few different flavors of sorbet (made without dairy). However, Gelateria Solferino is a real gem that offers a plethora of unique vegan (and non-vegan) gelato flavors. My friend had nothing but praises to sing for their classic vegan chocolate gelato, and after trying some of their non-vegan gelato as well, I would definitely give this place a top tier recommendation!

  4. International Cuisine ($-$$$)

    Hands down, the best meal Anastasia and I ate together was at Injera, an Ethiopian restaurant. The food was so good, I even forgot to take a picture when it arrived! High rates of immigration make Milan a highly diverse and cosmopolitan city, so it is fairly easy to find any type of food you might be craving, from kebabs to curry, and beyond. With Milan having a Chinatown too, there are also countless Asian restaurants in that area that offer vegan options, though most do not exclusively serve vegan food. For example, many ramen restaurants offered vegan options (and if not, you can ask for a bowl "senza uovo e senza carne" - without egg and without meat). At Baozi, my favorite place to grab lunch near my workplace, you can find giant baos for only €2/bao. Some of my favorite vegan fillings for the baos at Baozi include “funghi e verdure” (mushrooms and greens) and “pepe e pelle di tofu” (peppers and tofu skin). 

  5. Fancy food ($$-$$$)

    If you’re prepared to splurge, il Lughino and Linfa are the type of vegan restaurants that I would recommend for a special occasion. il Lughino offers more vegan Italian and Milanese-style dishes, while Linfa (also offering gluten free options) even has a full vegan sushi menu. Because they're a bit more upscale, don't be surprised when they include a coperto in the cost of your meal!

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Ana Lim

Hi, I'm Ana! I'm a Filipino-Chinese senior at IU studying Social Work with an International Studies minor. Things that make my heart smile include laughing with loved ones, playing with pets, & enjoying long naps. Hope you enjoy Italy with me!

2024 Summer 1
Home University:
Indiana University
Social Work
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