After stuffing myself silly in Hamburg, my next stop on my vegan food adventure was Florence; honestly, I thought this might be the start of a forced diet.
As I initially strolled the relatively quiet (it was early) cobblestone streets and appreciated the magnificent Florentine architecture, I was greeted with storefronts filled with hanging animal parts! I knew Florence had an intense love affair with meat, but I didn’t anticipate that they’d feel the need to display it like Christmas decorations!
After semi-loudly sharing some choice expletive expressions, my next thought was, what in the world am I going to eat?
Although some strange culinary traditions persist, a small faction of Florentines are actively working to bring cruelty-free dining options to the Tuscan capital. From traditional Tuscan dishes filled with creative plant-based twists to contemporary vegan eateries, you’ll be happy (and probably relieved) to find that Florence caters to diverse palates. You’ll find delectable handmade pasta crafted with truffle-infused cashew cream, wood-fired pizza topped with almond ricotta, and relish fresh, locally sourced vegetables in every bite.
While some may say it’s easy to find vegan food in Italy, I’d say it is entirely dependent upon where you are. Luckily, vegan foodies visiting Florence won’t have to worry about leaving hungry.
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Is Florence Vegan-Friendly?
Like many cities worldwide, Florence has become more vegan-friendly in recent years. Throughout the city, you will find various vegan and vegetarian restaurants, cafes, and eateries that serve everything from chewy vegan pizza and pasta to innovative vegan twists on classic Tuscan cuisine.
One note: I had to go out of my way to find vegan products on supermarket shelves in the heart of Florence. This is mainly because the number of convenience stores far outnumber actual supermarkets. If you’re looking for products, visiting health food shops, or the little café, Carducci – Il Salotto Bio is best.
Florence Vegan Dining Tip
While planning your sightseeing stops, don’t assume you can just pop into certain restaurants anytime. Many restaurants open for set lunch hours, close, and re-open for dinner. If you’re an early-bird dinner eater, you’re in trouble in Florence. Most restaurants don’t open for dinner until around 7 PM.
One last thing you will see on menus (and your bill) is a coperto. This is a cover charge or service charge added to the bill and intended to cover the cost of table service, bread, and other basic amenities. It is common in Italy, especially in more traditional or upscale dining establishments. The amount of the coperto can vary and is typically listed on the menu or posted near the entrance. It’s important to note that the coperto differs from a tip or gratuity. In Italy, tipping is not as customary as in other countries, and the coperto is intended to compensate the restaurant.
Don’t Miss These Vegan Guides to Other Cities in Italy!
Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Florence
You won’t have any trouble finding fantastic pasta dishes at most of these spots, but finding vegan pizza is a little more challenging! The best pizza spots in Florence are Raw Vegan Firenze (it’s gluten-free, too), Universo Vegano, and Flower Burger. Sometimes Nirvana Veg has pizza as well.
Via Sant’Agostino, 11B, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
In the land of pasta and steak, it came as a surprise (to me) to find a restaurant that’s not only vegan but also gluten-free and mostly raw! After so many decadent treats, I thought maybe I was having a sugar hallucination. This greenery-filled spot has a standout menu of unique pizza (raw or a gluten-free buckwheat base), colorful poke bowls, veggie-packed wraps, smoothies, and even decadent handmade chocolates! If you’re in the mood for ‘za, you can’t go wrong with their Formaggi pizza topped with a healthy amount of cashew mozzarella, almond cheese, raw cream cheese, and raw vegan parmesan — it was deliziosa!
Piazza del Carmine, 4R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I happened to meet a local in Las Vegas, and she raved about this vegetarian and gluten-free spot. She actually said if I could only make it to one spot, it had to be here! That’s a pretty high bar to set if you ask me.
As soon as you arrive, you’re greeted with greenery-lined walls and cute animal figurines on the table — maybe as a reminder of our connection to the beings we’re not eating? I’m not completely sure, but it made me smile.
The menu is an absolute dream for vegans and anyone who is gluten-free — absolutely everything is “senza glutine,” from the super flaky phyllo dough to the thick pappardelle noodles! The menu heavily focuses on Italian favorites — plump gnocchi, lemon ricotta-topped pasta, fresh Tuscan tomato sauce, and more. While the pasta was incredible, their house-made bread was insane (remember, it’s gluten-free). It was hands down the best bread I’ve had in years, so good in fact, I contemplated running off with a whole basket!
Via Il Prato, 4/b, 50127 Firenze FI, Italy
I hadn’t planned on visiting this small spot. It didn’t appear like there weren’t a ton of gluten-free options, but my first choice decided not to open on time, and I was kind of stuck, so I headed here! Thankfully, the older gentleman who served me had an English menu and seemed to understand (or at least I was hoping) what gluten-free meant.
The Italian-focused menu with a bit of Asian flair is entirely vegetarian, with a ton of vegan options. He gave me two pasta options that they could make gluten-free and vegan — spaghetti and carbonara — you can get spaghetti just about anywhere, so I jumped at the chance for carbonara. The first bite was deliciously creamy with little hints of truffle and smokey bits of bacon. Ultimately, it was to my benefit that the other place decided not to open on time!
Via Pietrapiana, 47R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Whether you’re looking for it or not, there’s no way you’ll miss this neon-green spot — it’s like a bright green beacon summoning all of the veggie eaters in town. Or, at least, I got the call and came running!
The casual eatery offers a diverse menu that trots around the globe with flavors from Mexico, Asia, America, and, of course, Italy! Although the menu is diverse, it’s hard not to zero in on their Italian specialties — gnocchi, cashew cheese stuffed ravioli, and perfectly golden, cheese-covered pizza!
Another bonus: they have croissants, including gluten-free options — I was in disbelief! In my best Italian, I asked, “This is gluten-free?” And, emphatically, she responded, “Yes!”
Via S. Gallo, 13R, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
This vegan burger spot is well known for its veggie burgers sandwiched between brightly colored buns (sadly, the colorful buns aren’t gluten-free, but they have a gluten-free bun). Just as creatively as the burgers are sandwiched, they’re also topped with an irresistible lineup of spicy and tangy sauces, cheese, roasted veggies, and more. If you’re not in the mood for a burger, no worries! They also have bright pink pizza — now that’s a pizza pie you won’t soon forget.
Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 4/1° piano, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Tucked on the second floor of the Central Market amongst a sea of meaty vendors is this welcome ray of veggie light! Their casual vegetarian menu is focused on their all-star veggie burgers made with a house-made bean patty and healthy veggie-packed bowls and salads. They also open early with a small breakfast menu complete with fluffy, American-style pancakes! If you’re looking for fresh juice, they have a few options, but Lady Berry is also an excellent juice spot on the first floor.
Via S. Zanobi, 126R, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
Get your camera ready; you’re not going to want to miss these artfully styled dishes — purple-tinged noodles, stacks of carefully arranged veggies, and mouthwatering desserts are on the menu at this hip vegetarian restaurant. All of their dishes are also organic, seasonal, and made with local ingredients. On top of being a great dinner spot, this is also a great spot for drinks!
Via Sant’Agostino, 28r, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Right down the street from Raw Firenze is this vegan Middle Eastern spot. You can load up on deliciously crispy falafel, colorful bowls topped with spiced cauliflower and pomegranate seeds, bright pink beet hummus, light and fluffy flatbread, and so much more. Just make sure to save a little room for their house-made baklava!
43, Via S. Gallo, 75 Rosso, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
This small vegan restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine with a side of good old-fashioned American hot dogs and hamburgers (kind of an odd combo, right?). It’s open for lunch and dinner, so you can easily grab a burger or get your fill of Italian specialties like hearty lasagna, mushroom risotto, tagliatelle with Bolognese, and more. Just save room for a slice of raspberry cheesecake or tiramisu!
Via delle Ruote, 30 r, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
This hyper-local vegetarian spot has been pushing its veggie agenda since 1981 — I’m going to go on a limb and say it has to be the first vegetarian spot in Florence! This spot is for you if you like to be kept on your foodie toes. Every day, they create a new menu influenced by what’s in season and what they can source locally. You’ll also find a delicious mix of salads, pasta, and other globally-inspired cuisine.
Via della Scala, 22/R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I know you expected to find vegan pasta in Florence, but what about a vegetarian Chinese restaurant? This welcoming spot isn’t far from the train station and is ready to fill your belly with hearty portions of sesame-infused noodles, mock meats, fresh rainbow rolls, and much more. It’s open for lunch and dinner.
Via Lorenzo di Credi, 12, 50136 Firenze FI, Italy
At its heart, this vegan spot is a full-service catering company, but it luckily also offers made-to-order takeaway options. The menu varies daily, but its deli counter is always stocked with a colorful array of seasonally inspired dishes. If you’re on the run, it’s a great place to go, but it is a bit outside of the tourist haunts.
Via Franco Sacchetti, 21, 50133 Firenze FI, Italy
Have you ever thought that your astrological sign could be connected to the powers of food? It’s probably safe to say that hasn’t crossed your mind, but it’s top of mind at this magic-inspired spot. Depending on when you visit, you’ll be delighted with a unique zodiac sign-inspired menu filled with Italian love.
Piazza della Passera, 1, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Another vegetarian spot that likes to keep its guests guessing! The menu is a fusion of Italian and other globally-inspired dishes that change daily. The menu is well-marked for vegan options and includes sweet endings like decadent chocolate cake you won’t want to miss. It’s also open for lunch and dinner!
Vegan-Friendly Breakfast Spots in Florence
Two locations in Florence
This vegetarian juice bar is a treasure trove of healthy eats for breakfast and lunch. Their superfood-focused menu makes sure that no matter the time of day, you’re getting a hearty allotment of fruits and veggies. You have many great options to start your day — freshly baked vegan and gluten-free banana bread, protein-packed smoothies, berry-packed smoothie bowls, fresh juices, and specialty coffee. It’s also worth coming back for a colorful veggie bowl or wrap at lunchtime; oh, and all of their baked goods are vegan!
Multiple locations throughout Florence
When you’re vegan and gluten-free, breakfast options in Florence get a little slim — it’s a lot of smoothies and smoothie bowls! Thankfully, the Shake Café has come to the rescue with a few other healthy and delicious options, like sweet potato toast! They take thin slices of roasted sweet potato and slather them in almond butter (or avocado is an option, too) and top them with slices of bananas and strawberries — a perfect way to start the day. There is a location that opens early near the Accademia Gallery, in case you plan to check out The David first thing in the morning (I highly recommend doing that and purchasing a skip-the-line tour).
Sdrucciolo de’ Pitti, 10 R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
I didn’t know that so much charm could fit into such a small space. As soon as you walk into this quaint café meets health food shop, you’re transported to a tranquil Tuscan hideaway where time ceases to move, and the only thing pressing on your agenda is deciding what anti-inflammatory juice you will have! The beautiful spot is away from the tourist chaos and is the perfect place to start the day with a spirulina-infused smoothie bowl or a colorful mid-day power-up salad. You also won’t be able to resist their house-made muffins and cakes — most are gluten-free!
Via Sant’Agostino, 11B, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Getting your day started on a healthy note continues at this vegan spot! Their gluten-free and primarily raw breakfast menu features fan-favorite smoothie bowls, overnight oatmeal, chia pudding, and a non-stop lineup of cold-pressed juices and smoothies. On top of that, they also have a few specialty coffee drinks — how can you say no to a unicorn latte (cashew milk, blue spirulina, maca, ginger, dates)?
Vegan & Vegan-Friendly Bakeries & Gelato Spots in Florence
P.za di Santa Maria Novella, 12R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
I checked the website of this spot twice — a patisserie that’s raw, vegan, and gluten-free!? I honestly thought that there had to be a typo; it seemed like a vegan spot you’d find in NYC or London, but Florence!?
Well, thankfully, for you and me, it’s no typo at all! The dessert case is lined with handmade chocolates, cookies, cheesecake, tiramisu, and more — as you inspect each delicious treat, it’s hard not to say, “I’ll take one of each!” On top of the chocolates and pastries, they also have house-made super creamy gelato. As you can imagine, it took me forever to decide. I finally settled on a small hazelnut mousse pastry covered in a dark chocolate shell that was to die for!
R Angolo, Viale Filippo Strozzi 10, Via Cosimo Ridolfi, 12, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
This quaint spot always has a few vegan treats waiting patiently in its dessert case or to be scooped up! When I visited, they had just sold out of their vegan pastries (best to come early) but still had some banana bread and dark chocolate gelato. On a hot day, their dark chocolate gelato is perfect with an iced oat milk latte — the ideal way to take a break!
Via di Camaldoli, 1/c, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
This charming little bakery has brought its Scandinavian specialties all the way to Florence and didn’t leave vegans out! If you’re looking for something sweet, head in here for one of their giant cinnamon twist rolls, or if you want something savory, they always have a sandwich option made with their light and fluffy sourdough bread.
Piazza del Duomo, 45/R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This organic and artisanal vegan-friendly gelato spot is right across from the stunning Duomo. Their house-made flavors always include some standout vegan options like cocoa and roasted hazelnut, apple and mint, and even red wine sorbet. The menu is also well-marked.
Via dei Tavolini, 19r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This vegan-friendly gelateria gives you nearly ten different flavors of why you should enjoy a scoop or two of gelato! You’ll always find a variety of fruit-based gelato along with flavors made with plant-based milk.
Via del Corso, 75/red, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Not far from Perché No! is another vegan-friendly gelato shop — I mean, you can never have too many options, right? The well-marked menu has a ton of vegan options — dark chocolate, lime and bail, passionfruit, and more.
Vegan-Friendly Markets in Florence
Piazza del Mercato Centrale, Via dell’Ariento, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The Central Market in Florence, also known as “Mercato Centrale” in Italian, is one of the city’s most iconic and bustling marketplaces. The first floor is primarily a food market where you can find a wide variety of fresh and local products. You’ll find a modern food hall on the second floor, “La Terrazza.” It features a diverse range of food stalls and eateries and one vegetarian spot, Veg & Veg.
La Macelleria di C.Bio – interno Mercato di Sant’Ambrogio, C.Bio, Via della Mattonaia, 3A, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
If you want to buy pasta (especially gluten-free), this little organic market has many great options! In addition to pasta, you’ll also find artisanal bread, crackers, drinks, and fresh produce. There is also a small deli that appeared to have a few veggie options, like salads and olives.
Borgo Pinti, 91r, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
This small, vegetarian health food shop is a great place to find vegan baked treats, organic produce, and a small variety of vegan dairy and meat products. It’s also not far from the Accademia Gallery; you could easily pop by after checking out the museum.
Vegan-Friendly Hotel in Florence
There isn’t a fully vegan hotel in Florence, but plenty are peppered throughout Italy!
V.le Spartaco Lavagnini, 70-72, 50129 Firenze FI, Italy
I really enjoyed my stay here, so much so that I looked for additional Social Hub locations in other cities I would be visiting. The hotel has taken over a 19th-century palazzo, making for a truly unique space, but in addition to being a hotel, it’s also a super cool co-working space with plenty of room to work alone or with a group. In addition to the co-working space, there’s a rooftop pool with incredible views of Florence, a modern gym, and a vegetarian juice bar! The Base V Juicery has a location in the hotel, making it incredibly convenient to start your day with something delicious and healthy.
Vegan Food Tours & Cooking Classes in Florence
During this 2.5-hour cooking class, learn to make traditional handmade Italian pasta, fresh bread, sweet treats, and more from an experienced chef!Book Your Spot
A Few Notes About Other Activities in Florence
Visiting Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo di Firenze) & Accademia Gallery
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess both of these sights are on your list, and that’s terrific as they’re both worthwhile, but you MUST, I repeat MUST, book your tickets (or a tour) in advance. If you don’t, you’ll risk not being able to get in or standing in super long lines (that’s not a very good use of your time, now, is it?).
I chose to do a guided tour of both of these sights because they offer skip-the-line entrance, and you also have an expert guide to provide you with context and history, and they will point out things you will miss if you just wander in on your own.
One kind of surprising thing (well, it was to me), the outside of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is absolutely stunning — I honestly haven’t seen anything quite like it before! So, you might assume that the inside is equally stunning, but it’s actually quite simple (it was created purposefully that way by the artist — something I learned from the guide). So, if you aren’t interested in climbing into the Duomo for panoramic views of the city, there’s no real reason to go inside (unless you’re a lover of art and history).
Wait, one last thing about visiting the inside of the Cathedral, your shoulders and knees must be covered. If you’re wearing a tank top or short shorts, you can wrap a scarf around you, and they will let you in, but if you don’t have something to cover up with, you won’t be allowed inside.
For free views of Florence, head to the Piazzale Michelangelo
Just across the river, perched on a hill, is a 19th-century piazza that offers gorgeous panoramic city views for free! It’s best to head here early in the morning or early evening for the best photos and, hopefully, fewer people. Also, the Basilica di San Miniato is just down the street from the piazza. It’s like a mini version of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with WAY fewer people.
To save more cash, visit Florence on the first Sunday of the month
This is the only day of the month when all the museums are FREE! As you can imagine, it’s pretty popular, so it’s best to decide which ones you want to target and go as soon as they open.
Don’t skip a walking tour
These are the best way to understand a city’s history and what’s happening today. Most tours will also take you around some top sights and tell you which are worth your time. Having the opportunity to chat with a local is an essential part of every travel experience. To save even more cash, there are free tours of the city that are worth checking out.
Take a day or two and head to Vegan Agrivilla I Pini in the Tuscan hillside
This beautiful vegan eco-farmhouse is the perfect place to escape the crowds and relax! You can walk peacefully through their orchards and vineyards, soak in the saltwater pool, practice yoga, or all three! After, the staff will spoil you with delicious seed-to-table vegan meals, fresh olive oil, and wine.Book a Vegan Getaway