Eating vegetarian and vegan in Milan has become very simple in the last few years. Being a person who loves and respects nature, I’m mainly vegetarian, even though I’ve always been against strict rules and fanaticism and therefore I’m flexible and always will be. I eat what I like, and I must say I love plant-based food. In the last couple of years or so, also thanks to the Expo, many new restaurants and cafes have opened in Milan. Some of them are vegetarian, vegan or veg-friendly. I’ve been in most of them and selected the best ones, those which left me with the desire to go back and order more dishes, from appetizers to dessert.
Soul Green: a plant-based experience
The first one is actually my latest discovery, Soul Green. Located near Piazza della Repubblica, at walking distance from the Central Station, Eataly and the skyscrapers of Porta Nuova, Soul Green reminds me of certain New York style restaurants. The waiters welcome you joining their hands in the Indian fashion. There’s a large wooden table which can accomodate several people and many smaller tables scattered around the beautiful room. Plants are everywhere – hanging from the ceiling, in the corners, next to the large windows.
You order by ipad, which means you don’t have to wait for a waiter to come and take your orders. Their potatoes cooked in three ways and rice or buckwheat flour focaccia are the most popular appetizer. The beetroot and quinoa burger put a smile on my face, and the avocado and chocolate mousse convinced me that this was my place. I’d love to try their bowls and salads, too. It’s quite expensive, but no more than any Milanese restaurant. And the food is really good and combines taste and healthy ingredients. Also, they’ve got a charity program called “Proud to Give Back”, so clients can help provide water and food to children in need.
Mantra Raw Vegan
Being passionate about baking, I am not a huge fan of raw food. But after eating at Tanya’s Cafe in London and at Grezzo ice cream shop in Rome, I came to appreciate some raw dishes. And I’ve found a couple of interesting raw food restaurants in Milan. One is Mantra Raw Vegan, next to the shopping area of Porta Venezia. The interior design could be improved, since it reminds me of a school canteen (!). It is the first raw vegan restaurant in Italy, and they also sell their products and cold pressed juices. My favourites? Avocado toast (yes, I’m an avocado lover) and chocolate cheesecake. They also have almond smoothies, frawppuccino and herbal teas.
Nearby, V3Raw is another interesting place for those who love vegan and healthy food. You can choose among a selection of yogurt bowls, toasts, salads and smoothies, and then sit at a table inside or in the gazebo. This is the perfect place for a quick lunch, a break or a morning spent working at the computer.
Gluten free life at So’riso
I’ve got a celiac friend who took me in a gluten-free restaurant I had only seen while passing by, So’Riso. In Italian, the name plays with the words “sorriso”, which means “smile”, and “riso”, “rice”. In fact this restaurant-café serves rice-based dishes, which are naturally gluten free. Both vegans and non-vegans will find something they like, as long as they eat rice.
The Nordic style interior and atmosphere is particularly appealing to me. I went there twice for a cup of tea and classic Italian biscuits made with rice flour, “ofelette“, and fell in love with this homely environment. So’Riso is located in Corso Magenta, near Cadorna Station, Saint Ambrose’s Basilica and the Catholic University of Milan. And it’s also located next to one of the best ice cream shop in Milan. But we’ll talk about this in another post.