Italy has one of the best cuisines around the world with many raving fans around the world. While their meat preparations are to die for, a lot of people don’t know that the Italian cuisine is full of delectable vegetarian and vegan dishes.

I found myself, a vegan, for a couple of weeks in Sicily and I must admit that the wide array of options left me spoiled for choices.

It’s full of fresh vegetables, olive oil, and cheese. And yes, there are many things to try in Sicily beyond just pizza and pasta.

Excited to learn more? Then keep on reading! 

Eating out vegan in Sicily

One of the big things that you have to thank Italians for is olive oil. Cooks there use olive oil instead of butter, so it’s a heaven-sent for vegans.

You can get classic dishes like bruschetta, pasta with pistachios pesto, Caponata and Panelle Sandwich as they are all vegan-friendly (have a look at our range of Vegan Recipes!).

One place that I found in Catania that just became my favourite is Nievski. They have a delicious vegan menu, and it’s a welcoming, warm place that leans with a history of left politics. You can still find locals discussing all sorts of things.

The best part was that even the drinks are all natural wines, and they also serve craft beer. I went over there multiple times because I couldn’t get enough of it. The thing is that Catania is full of such restaurants. You won’t ever have a problem finding vegan food.

I loved gouging on pasta from every restaurant I could find there but remember to make sure that you order dried pasta as fresh pasta is made with eggs.

And I found no worries finding myself dessert as well. I got myself Gelato, which is a type of ice-cream I saw everywhere in Sicily. It tastes fantastic, and of course, it’s dairy-free and free of eggs. Locals serve it there in many tantalizing flavours, and I fell in love with the chocolate gelato!

Not to mention the fresh juices made of orange, grapes, lemons, and what not!

Cooking vegan in Sicily

To my delight, I discovered that even cooking for a vegan diet is easy in Sicily. My Italian guide taught me to cook spaghetti with chillies and olive oil. It’s an everyday Italian dinner which is vegan, and while the task was not daunting, it helped me a lot when I didn’t want to go out to eat.

Some phrases to help you out!

A lot of the things you’ll find on the menu are delicious, and with a little explaining, you can get a vegan version of the dish. So, here are some phrases to help you communicate better during your stay.

  1. Io sono vegana means “I am vegan.”
  2. Senza carne means “Without meat.”
  3. Senza burro means “Without butter.”
  4. Senza formaggio means “Without cheese.”
  5. Pasta secca means “Dried pasta.”


Final Words

In many ways, Sicily proved to be a delightful journey for me, but I think the food just stole the show. Everything from top to bottom in the menu was delicious and sat well with my diet.

Well, I have written down my experience of the journey for you, a fellow vegan, and I hope it’s been helpful to you.

Now, visit Sicily and the rest of Italy without any doubts and have fun!


Article by Susan Jones