‘Wait, there are 9 plant-based restaurants in Florence?’ Florence, where the regional dish is the juicy, categorically bovine Bistecca Fiorentina—where city-dwellers tote gelatos along with their Hèrmes? That’s right: and there’s not just 9, our animal-loving friends, but plenty. And the competition is tough.
Teeming with quirky cafes, bistros, and fast-food joints, Florence pleasantly surprises us with their enthusiasm for the plant-based lifestyle. Indeed, Florence is a hotspot of deliciously inventive vegan and vegetarian restaurants, if only you know where to look.
Plant-based lifestylers know the perils of finding any vegetarian-friendly food, let alone good food. Vegans: ditto. Outstanding vegetarian cuisine was notoriously tough to come by—until recently, that is. So, alongside traditional Italian ristorantes, you can now find all sorts of herbivorous eateries peppered around town, from fine-dining to fast-food pitstops.
The best establishments are where you don’t feel you’re missing out. With vegan pizzas, plant-based pasta dishes, and even a vegan take on the traditional tiramisu, these eateries serve up mouthwatering vegetarian cuisine that’ll (maybe) make a vegan of the most ardent carnivore.
Even if you’re all about raw, Florence is the place to be. No matter your chosen lifestyle, be it raw, raw-vegan, organic, or straight-up vegetarian, this wonderful city has somewhere to fill your rumbling stomach.
So, without further ado, let us share with you the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants bejewelling the glorious city of Florence. Bon appetite!
The 9 best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Florence
- L’OV Osteria Vegetariana
- Nirvana, via il Prato
- Il Vegetariano
- Dolce Vegan
- 5 e Cinque
- Veg e veg
- Universo Vegano
- Libreria Brac
L’OV Osteria Vegetariana
Dine at the L’OV Osteria Vegetariana, nestled in ultra-cool Oltrarno, and you’re sure to fall in amore. Reinventing traditional Italian dishes, the L’OV—as it’s known by regulars, of which there are plenty—expertly brings fresh twists to old classics.
Even the menu layout is one-of-a-kind: you won’t find entrées, mains, and desserts here. No—you’ll experience ‘befores’, ‘afters’, followed by ‘and thens’, to round off your exquisite banquet (assuming you have space in your belly).
An eaterie for everyone, L’OV specialises not only in vegetarian-friendly meals but also vegan, gluten-free, and celiac dishes. Inclusivity at its best, you can safely bring your carnivorous pals here to introduce them to the glory of veggie life (who knows, they might convert).
Indeed, the setting couldn’t be more perfect: take your seat amongst lush green hedgerows, opulent marble walls, and splashes of colourful decor—not unlike the vibrant shades you can expect on your plates.
Address: Piazza del Carmine, 4R, 50123, Florence Opening days and hours: Tuesday to Friday: 7pm to 11pm, Saturday: 12pm to 3pm, 7pm to 11pm, Sunday: 12pm to 3pm Price range: $$ - $$$ Website: www.osteriavegetariana.it
Tired of hearing carnivores moan about the lacklustre of vegan food? Take a trip over to Nirvana, one of Florence’s finest vegan restaurants. Well-aware of this common misconception, Nirvana has made it its business to set diners free from long-standing prejudices—by serving up mouthwatering vegan dishes that’ll have meat pushed far from your mind.
Are they successful in their pursuit? We’re going with a firm ‘si’. Locals and tourists (not to mention herbivores and carnivores) flock here in droves to sample the wholesome delicacies. Using high-quality, natural ingredients, each dish is a labour of love—and it shows:
Expect classic vegetarian pizza, veg-packed dishes with a Far Eastern spin, and traditional (yet redesigned) Italian plates like spaghetti and carbonara. Sure, the venue’s home to more Buddha statues than Nepal, but the thoughtful decor works magic in creating a serene environment, as pure and refined as the meals you’ll be savouring.
Address: Via il Prato 4 / B, Florence Opening days and hours: Monday: 12 to 2.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday: 12 to 2.30pm and 7 to 11pm Price range:$$ Website: www.nirvanaristorante.it
Serving up colourful veggie dishes since 1981 (way before it was cool), Il Vegetariano is the place to meet like-minded people. And, of course, fill your belly with nutritious, delicious food. Seeking a more immersive dining experience? Don’t miss out—the communal seating (plus a few small tables, ideal for intimate dinners à deux) allows for thriving conversation, new connections, and an evening to remember.
Though popular, Il Vegetariano nonetheless provides the feeling you’ve stumbled upon a well-kept secret. Adored by locals, this bustling eaterie also boasts a number of vegan choices. So, no matter where you are on your plant-based journey, Il Vegetariano and its team of friendly staff are ready to please.
Old-school in the coolest of ways, Il Vegetariano is humble, simple, and unobtrusive. No, this eaterie doesn’t allow ostentation to take focus from the fantastic food—nope, you’ll munch away amongst charmingly rustic decor.
Address: Via delle Ruote, 22/R, 50129, Florence Opening days and hours: Monday to Sunday: 12.30 to 3pm and 7.30 to 10.30pm Price range: $$ Website: www.il-vegetariano.com
Yep, we live in an era where even restaurant names are hashtagged. #Raw is about as 2020s as it gets, with veggie-packed soups, burgers, and zingy salads washed down with turmeric, aloe vera, or ginger shots. Indeed, your body (and soul) will thank you after a dinner out at #Raw.
Predictably, each delectable dish emerging from the #Raw kitchen is, um, raw—no oven, toaster, or (don’t even go there) microwave in sight. Expect vegan burritos, wraps, raw salad bowls, and ‘detox’ plates bursting with rainbow veggies. So, whether you’re a card-carrying raw vegan or your stomach is simply crying out for some TLC, this is the place to be.
Respected head chef Caroline grows her own herbs—in a biodynamic greenhouse, no less—and is super happy to share her knowledge of plant-based cooking with guests. As welcoming as it is stylish (and we have to say: oh-so-millennial), #Raw is the number one spot for healthy fine-dining—adeptly proving that you can have it all.
Naturally, the dishes are satisfyingly Instagrammable, arriving on photogenic slate-and-wood platters. Well, with a name like #Raw, they had to be—right?
Address: Via Sant'Agostino, 11R, 50125 Opening days and hours: Friday to Sunday: 10am to 10pm, Tuesday to Thursday: 10am to 6pm Price range: $$ - $$$ Website: www.hashtagraw.it
Embodying la dolce vita philosophy, Dolce Vegan is sweet, small, and very central (our tip: quell your hunger in between museum and art gallery visits—this cafe is super convenient!).
New to veganism, or the pariah carnivore amongst vegan friends? No problem: tuck into a juicy burger or meaty (but totally vegan) lasagne, sure to have you forgetting it’s not the real deal. Yep, for hearty, wholesome, and cruelty-free delights, Dolce Vegan deserves a top spot on your gastronomy bucket list.
Oh, and don’t forget to fill up on desserts: this charming cafe boasts a sugary-sweet puddings menu that might just have you doing an extra 5k to burn it off. However, the syrup-oozing crepes, crumbly cakes, and (somehow) gloriously buttery pastries are 100% worth it.
Address: Corso dei Tintori, 36, 50122, Florence Opening days and hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 11am to 6pm, Friday to Sunday: 10am to 10pm Price range: $$ Website: www.dolcevegan.it
5 e Cinque
Fancy dining out like a local? Saunter over to 5 e Cinque, a sparkling gem hidden 20 minutes’ walk (or so) from Florence’s vibing centre. Put off by the walk? Grab a taxi, and you’ll be there in a flash. Though, we highly advise taking a stroll back to town post-banquet—given the number of mouthwatering delights on the menu, we think you’ll need it.
Chic, understated, and quintessentially Italian, 5 e Cinque offers (largely) organic creations, with to-die-for focaccia, crispy insalata, and of course, enough vegetarian pasta dishes to keep you coming back for (a)more.
Interested in your food’s origins? Of course you are. Fortunately, 5 e Cinque has all the answers: enjoy basil, fresh from their kitchen garden, pine nuts from the oldest producer in Italy (for real), and parmesan from an artisan cheesemaking family based in the mountains of Bardi.
Alas, it’s no coincidence these happen to be the cornerstone ingredients of pesto—so, if you’ve got a soft spot for (arguably) the bedrock of Italian cuisine, head to 5 e Cinque pronto.
Address: Piazza della Passera 1, 50125, Florence Opening days and hours: Sunday and Tuesday: 12pm to 3pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm, Wednesday: 12pm to 3pm, Thursday to Saturday: 12pm to 3pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm Price range: $$ Website: www.5ecinque.it
Veg e Veg
Serving up healthy, nourishing vegetarian food all day long, hip eaterie Veg e Veg is without a doubt one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Florence. Far from simply seeing food as fuel, Veg e Veg embraces a holistic approach to dining, with careful consideration of portion balance, ethical ingredients, and above all, out-of-this-world flavours.
While you won’t be short of choice at Veg e Veg, we recommend getting your teeth into one of their burgers. The trifecta burger menu boasts the Veneto, the Campano, and the Siciliano, each chock-a-block with soul-nourishing fillings. Vegetarians, listen close: no longer are you doomed to pick the only (and typically mediocre) veggie burger on the menu—au contraire, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Nestled amidst the vibing Mercato Centrale, you can watch the world go by whilst sampling the tasty delights on offer. If anything’s a treat for the senses, it’s Veg e Veg.
Address: Central Market (1st floor), Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 50100, Florence Opening days and hours: Monday to Sunday: 10am to 8pm Price range: $ Website: www.vegandveg.it
Sick of spending energy fruitlessly trawling the streets for good vegan food? Make a beeline to Universo Vegano, renowned as one of the best vegan breakfast places in town. To any naysayer who claims vegans miss out, we say head over to Universo Vegano—then talk to us. You can’t avoid the tempting displays bursting with (dare we say) creamy desserts, flaky pastries, and apple pies Mary Berry would be proud of.
But the reputation doesn’t stop at breakfast. No, whenever you’re feeling peckish, head to Universo Vegano. Find countless vegan pizzas, tiramisu (vegan, naturally—rare, and more than a little controversial amongst traditional nonnas), and a cornucopia of other culinary showstoppers.
Enjoying a fabulous reputation, Universo Vegano is revered in the vegan community. The passionate team serves up an absolute storm and solidly proves that vegans, too, can have their cake and eat it.
Address: Via Pietrapiana, 47R, 50122 Opening days and hours: Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 10.30pm, Friday: 9am to 11pm, Saturday: 10am to 11pm Price range: $ Website: www.universoveganofirenze.it
Penchant for all things bohemian? Libreria Brac is your spiritual home. Combining a library, cafe, and art bookshop, it’s (almost) the Shakespeare and Co. of Florence. Yep, erudite visitors can brush up on their Bellini, sip an organic coffee, and munch on a panettone in the bright, light surroundings—we promise, you’ll emerge with a full belly and an enlightened mind.
Heading out for dinner? Excellent choice: boasting a tempting menu packed with fresh pasta dishes, specialities like frattau bread and seitan masala, and flaky savoury pies, there’s something for everyone.
We adore the takeaway options here, too: alongside your armfuls of arty books, you may find yourself leaving with bundles of locally pressed olive oils, jars of cherry tomatoes, or a fragrant loaf of freshly-baked banana bread.
Do make sure you book ahead—Libreria Brac is super popular with locals, so get in fast to avoid disappointment. One thing’s for sure, though (assuming you beat the hordes): you won’t go hungry at Libreria Brac.
Address: Via dei Vagellai, 18/R, 50122, Florence Opening days and hours: Monday to Sunday: 12pm to 9pm Price range: $$$ Website: www.libreriabrac.net
Frequently asked questions about the best vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Florence
Contrary to popular belief, Florence is home to a feast of vegan-friendly restaurants. Tucked amidst your typical Italian pizzerias, you’ll find plenty of raw, organic, vegan, and vegetarian cuisine options.
It’s a hard choice, but we say Il Vegetariano takes the gold for the best vegan restaurant. Beloved by locals and travellers alike, this creative eatery serves up inventive twists on traditional classics.
Thankfully, some Italian dishes are quietly vegan, so even plant-based diners won’t go hungry. Try caponata, a vegetarian dish packed with eggplant, olives, and tomatoes. Or, sample verdure grigliate—a rainbow of grilled vegetables.
The short answer: yes. With the right know-how, you can be vegan anywhere. The rise of veganism has resulted in vegan and vegetarian eateries popping up left, right, and centre. Simply conduct a little research, and you’ll be surprised at your options.