Healthy but hearty: where to eat in Rome

margutta vegetariano rome

It happens like this: “Let’s do dinner tomorrow night.
Oh I’d love to but I’m on a diet/ trying to eat healthy/ on a detox / just come back from a great workout and don’t want to ruin all my hard work/ trying to keep my stomach fairly flat for a hot date later that night at Bar del Fico/ feeling bloated and lethargic after scoffing pizza bianca, gnocchi and suppli’ in quick succession.
You can still enjoy Rome’s food, eat organic or find scrumptious vegetarian choices. It’s all about knowing where to go. Here are our favourite spots for eating senza guilt.

Ristor Arte Il Margutta

Via Margutta, 118 (Spagna)
Open everyday 12.30-3.30pm; 7.30-11.30pm

This place prides itself on offering delicious vegetarian food for over 30 years. Seventy percent of the ingredients they use are organic. They have a hearty buffet lunch (they call it ‘brunch’ but don’t expect breakfast delights – Italians still don’t really get this modern meal), which is good for fussy eaters who want to try a little of everything and runs from 12.30pm to 3.30pm everyday. The menu even has vegan options such as asparagus spring risotto scented with fresh mint perfume. Homemade pasta includes combinations like buckwheat pasta with strawberries, asparagus and gorgonzola cheese. This place also hosts contemporary art exhibitions.

Urbana 47

Via Urbana, 47 (Monti)
Lunch on weekends 12.30-3.30pm
Dinner everyday 7pm-12am

These guys place great importance on the quality, freshness and seasonality of their produce. I know, I know… all restaurants say that, but this place is focused on sourcing ingredients locally – they’ve even made a video about it. Try their spelt soup with seasonal vegetables and meat and black cabbage balls, stewed codfish with chickpeas, or fish with fennel from Lazio and Sicilian oranges. The setting is very cool and the presentation excellent if you’re looking to make this a special dinner date or a place to take foodie friends visiting Rome.


Via Borgognona, 43/44 (Spagna)
Open everyday till late

This chic juicebar and restaurant opened last year and is always packed with locals and lucky tourists who have stumbled upon it due to its central location. They have the most exotic range of fruit platters and fresh juices/smoothies in the city, tons of salads, healthy soups, and heavier dishes in case you’re being accompanied by a carb fiend. The atmosphere is all white and bright and healthy and you can pick up a simple panino and a juice to go if you can’t get a seat or want lunch on the run. Salads include choices packed with veges like the couscous, zucchini, aubergine, chickpeas, mint, peppers, parsley, celery and turnip salad.

Mia Market

Via Panisperna, 225 (Monti)

This is more a little healthy grocery store cum cafe with only a few rustic wooden tables but we had to add it because their philosophy is all about eating green and organic and the atmosphere inside is so cute and cozy. Perfect if you want to pick up some homemade bread or pasta, seasonal vegetables, a bottle of olive oil and a healthy salad for lunch. They also run cooking courses.


Rome Vegan And Vegetarian Guide

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  • Try also Officina Biologica at Borgo Pio 34 (express kitchen) or the restaurant around the corner Borgo Angelico 30. All organic and inventive, good food and affordable prices.

  • Does anyone know where to buy refrigerated hummus and whole wheat pita bread in Rome. I’ve tried making my own hummus but haven’t found a good recipe for it. Grazie Mille!

  • At SanaCafe, not only is the food is delicious, the welcome is perfect: warm, helpful and professional in just the right measure.
    During a month in Rome this past spring we wandered across the river from Piazza del Popolo – a 10 minute ‘trek’ – at least once a week. We look forward doing it again next year.

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