Best places to eat in Turin for Vegetarians (Italy)

This article first appeared in My Travelogue by Bhushavali
 
ULTIMATE VEGETARIAN FOOD GUIDE IN TORINO/TURIN

Here's a strange thing. I'm an Indian & I'm a foodie. I love eating & trying different dishes. I love Indian spices! That said, I am an Indian vegetarian which means Vegan + Dairy, in other words, Lacto-Vegetarian! If you look into the inflight menu of flights that fly in & out of India, there would be an option called Hindu Meal. It is the same thing. Vegan + Dairy is the traditional Indian vegetarian diet

WHAT DOES 'VEGETARIAN' MEAN IN EUROPE?
This is a strange combination for others to understand. In European countries, 'vegetarian' always includes eggs and in some countries (like Belgium) it also includes fish (yes, the hospital served me salmon for lunch a day after I gave birth to Atyudarini and when I questioned, they said that it isn't meat!). 

TRYING LOCAL DISHES IN EUROPEAN CITIES & TOWNS
Most local cuisines & must-try dishes in European towns definitely aren't vegetarian. Living in Belgium, none of the specialty dishes here are vegetarian-friendly - waffles have eggs; fries are fried in animal fat; and mussels are well... mussels! Even though I'm a foodie, I never go on a 'food walk' anywhere because of my diet restrictions, unlike in India where I try all local dishes wherever I go because more often than not, they are vegetarian!

Must try Italian dishes for Vegetarians


Must try Italian dishes for Vegetarians Best Pasta in Turin
Mushroom Spaghetti Pasta at Tre Galline, Turin

Must try Italian dishes for Vegetarians
Fig Cheese Cake at Tre Galline, Turin

ITALY
THE BEST EUROPEAN COUNTRY FOR VEGETARIANS

One exception to this is Italy. I have told it earlier, I will tell it again and I will always tell it - The best European Country for Vegetarians is Italy! While it is possible to get vegetarian/vegan meals in bigger restaurants in any country, where they customize a dish as per your requirement, it is not often pocket-friendly. 
Unlike common assumption, as a vegetarian myself, what I've observed among most of my veggie/vegan friends is, we never look out for food that looks/tastes like meat. We actually want tasty, well-seasoned dishes made of vegetables & plant products! In many countries, I do find a McD or O'Tacos serving a veggie burger or vegan sausages. While it fills the stomach, it doesn't feel wholesome, unlike traditional foods that are an explosion of flavors. 
A few years ago, when I was backpacking across Europe, on multiple short trips, with the barest minimum budget, staying in hostels & eating at cheap places, I survived on Salads or McVeggie everywhere...... except Italy where I had a blast! It is only in Italy where you find delicious, local, fast-food that's vegetarian!!! A simple pasta or pizza is primarily vegetarian!!! It is just flour, olive oil & yeast mostly topped with vegetables, cheese, and herbs! You could just get into any kiosk or fast-food shop and get a vegetarian dish for a couple of euros!!!

TURIN FOR VEGETARIANS

WHAT DISHES TO EAT IN TURIN/TORINO AND THE BEST PLACES TO EAT THOSE: 
Recently when I visited Turin in Italy, while doing a walking tour of Turin, I stopped at quite a few places for a quick bite. So here's a list of what should try when you visit Turin. What are the authentic local dishes that were born in Turin or a specialty of Turin, where can you eat them, without draining your bank account?! 

Baratti & Milano Best Bicerin in Turin

Baratti & Milano Best Bicerin in Turin
Pic Credit: ©Baratti & Milano

Baratti & Milano Best Bicerin in Turin

Morning Coffee - BICERIN at BARATTI & MILANO - Best Chocolate & Coffee drink in Turin
Bicerin is the ultimate local coffee of Turin. Bicerin literally means 'small glass' in Piedmontese, the local dialect of the Italian language. It is pronounced 'beechereen'. 
The drink is basically in a small, colorless, transparent glass that is filled 1/3rd with hot chocolate, 1/3rd with espresso, and the top 1/3rd with whipped cream. What you get is a drink that has 3 distinct layers. 
Btw, did you know, in Italy, coffee is always served with a small glass of sparkling water? The idea is to drink the water to cleanse the palate and get rid of all other tastes in the mouth and then, truly enjoy the taste of your coffee! I have never experienced this before and I was wondering if I should mix something! Thank God, I didn't!!!
We headed to Baratti & Milano for our morning coffee, or rather, morning Bicerin. Baratti & Milano is one of the oldest restaurants in Turin (Torino) founded in 1858 by Ferdinando Baratti and Edoardo Milano. It is believed that they were the chocolatiers of the Royal Household of Savoy! It was then just a confectionary that has grown into a charming, historic restaurant today. There's also a beautiful indoor courtyard where, quite amusingly, a video shoot of an Italian TV Series was happening that morning! 

Where is Baratti & Milano Turin (on Google Maps)Caffè Baratti & Milano
How to reach Baratti & Milano Turin? 1.2km (14 mins walk) from Turin Railway Station (Porta Nuova)
Baratti & Milano Turin Timings: Tue-Sun: 9 AM to 8 PM
Prices at Baratti & Milano Turin: Cheap. Average. A bit expensive. €7 for a Bicerin

Perino Vesco Torino Best Grissini Best Focaccia in Turin

Perino Vesco Torino Best Grissini Best Focaccia in Turin

Perino Vesco Torino Best Grissini Best Focaccia in Turin

Breakfast - GRISSINI & FOCACCIA at PERINO VESCO - Best Focaccia in Turin
Perino Vesco was buzzing with activity early in the morning. It is what a coffee shop is in the USA. The people at Perino Vesco would feel insulted by this comparison. But no, I'm talking about the buzzing activity at breakfast time - People in & out getting their coffee & breakfast bread. Busy, busy, busy... Btw, coffee in Italy, automatically means expresso. 
I had the incredible opportunity to meet Mr.Andrea Perino, who founded this bakery along with his wife and he took us to the behind-the-scenes working area. Here's the thing about Italians - they are truly passionate about what they do (I read somewhere long back that every woman should love an Italian guy at some point in their life. I never got a chance to do that! Haha!). I truly understood that passion when he spoke about the flour used to make his bread. He held the flour with in both his palms & emotionally compared bread making to a mother's breastmilk! I breastfed my child till she was 3.5 years old so it hit home for me in a pleasant way. I have never heard anyone compare anything to breast milk in this way before. He is that passionate about what he does!!!
The main 2 things that you have to try - Grissini and Foccacia. Grissini is traditional bread sticks. While you may have had mill-made breadsticks from your nearest supermarket, traditional Grissini in Italy is hand-rolled and baked to a crisp. Focaccia is a white pizza that is served as it is or stuffed. The basic ingredients in both are the same - flour, yeast, and olive oil. Grissini is sometimes coated with sesame seeds and stuffed focaccia has various stuffings and you have to ask for a vegetarian one. Once you go to Italy and try Focaccia, you will have a get on the fence, between being loyal to Pizza vs siding with Focaccia!!!

Where is Perino Vesco in Turin (on Google Maps)? Perino Vesco 
How to reach Perino Vesco in Turin? 550m (7 mins walk) from Turin Railway Station (Porta Nuova)
Perino Vesco in Turin Timings: Mon-Fri: 7:30AM to 7:30PM; Sat: 8:00AM to 8:00PM; Sun: 8:00AM to 2:00PM 
Prices at Perino Vesco: Cheap. Average. A bit expensive. €6.50 for 250gm Grissini pack; €3 to €6 for Focaccia slices 

Best Chocolate in Turin Gianduitto / Gianduiotti at Guido Gobino
Pic Credit: Juergen Jeibmann, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE via Wikimedia CommonsClop, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Best Chocolate in Turin Gianduitto / Gianduiotti at Guido Gobino

Best Chocolate in Turin Gianduitto / Gianduiotti at Guido Gobino

Sweet Treats - GIANDUIOTTI CHOCOLATE AT GUIDO GOBINO - Best Chocolate in Turin
An authentic local chocolate that was born in Turin is Gianduitto / Gianduiotti. This is an iconic chocolate, shaped like an inverted boat and individually wrapped. The specialty of this chocolate is that it is made with not only Cocoa, but also powdered Hazelnuts that are manufactured in Piedmont. This mix of Cocoa and Hazelnut paste is called Gianduia and chocolate made from it is called Gianduiotti. It was originally made in 1865 when the import of Cacao was strained. So locally manufactured hazelnut paste was mixed with Cacao to make chocolates, spreads, drink mixes, etc. Sometimes the chocolate part in the drink Bicerin is made with Gianduia! 
The specialty of trying Gianduiotti in Guido Gobino, is that here, the hazelnut paste is about 39% which is... did you guess, the ISD code of Italy! Of course, apart from Gianduiotti there are several other varieties of chocolates to try here as well.

Where is Guido Gobino (on Googla Maps)La Bottega, Guido Gobino
How to reach Guido Gobino in Turin? 800m (10 mins walk) from Turin Railway Station (Porta Nuova)
Guido Gobino Store Timings: Tue-Sun: 10:00AM to 8:00PM; Sun: 11:00AM to 8:00PM
Guido Gobino Chocolate Tastings TimingsTue-Fri: 10:00AM to 8:00PM (Jan-Feb & May-Oct only)
Prices of Gianduiotti chocolatesCheap. Average. A bit expensive.  
Prices of Guido Gobino Chocolate TastingCheap. Average. A bit expensive. Chocolate tastings begin at €20 for a minimum of 2 persons. Pre-booking is necessary at least 15 days prior.

Authentic Italian Vegetarian Pizza in Turin Berbere Centro Torino Turin

Authentic Italian Vegetarian Pizza in Turin Berbere Centro Torino Turin

Lunch - PIZZA at BERBERÈ CENTRO PIZZERIA - Best Pizza in Turin
Isn't it illegal to go to Italy and not eat pizza? I headed to Berberè Pizzeria in Central Turin. It is one of the most famous pizza chains in Italy, founded by 2 guys from Calabria in Southern Italy at Bologna. Today there are 15 restaurants all over Italy.
The base of the pizza here is made of sourdough and isn't a thin crust. The thing about eating Pizza in Italy is, there are no sizes, unlike American pizza chains! There's only 1 size and each person orders their own pizza which may or may not be shared! This 1 pizza is the perfect size for an adult. If you don't finish, it is common to ask them to pack it up for you! 
Of the list of 15 pizza varieties on their menu, 7 are vegetarian!!! I ordered 'Zucchine' which was topped with baked Zucchini, confit tomatoes, olives, basilic, and feta cheese. My acquaintance on the table, who also wanted to try the veggie pizzas, ordered 'Norma' which was topped with baked aubergine, smoked ricotta cheese, basilic, and tomatoes. So I got to try 2 of the 7 and my choice was definitely Zucchine. Absolutely delicious with a beautiful combination of flavors & textures & aromas. Loved it!

Where is Berberè Pizzeria in Central Turin (Torino Centro) (On Google Maps)Berberè Centro
How to reach Berberè Centro Pizzeria in Torino? 600m (7 mins walk) from Turin Railway Station (Porta Nuova)
Berberè Pizzeria Torino Timings: 12:30PM to 2:30PM & 7:00PM to 11:30PM every day
Prices at Berberè Pizzeria: Cheap. Average. A bit expensive. Varies from €6.50 to €12

Best Cheese Tasting in Turin at Latteria Bera Torino

Best Cheese Tasting in Turin at Latteria Bera Torino

Best Cheese Tasting in Turin at Latteria Bera Torino

Evening Snacks - CHEESE PLATTER at LATTERIA BERA - Best Cheese Tasting in Turin
When you're in Italy, you gotta taste its cheese varieties. What better way to do that than to try a cheese platter at 70 years old, 3-generation-old, women-run shop? I headed to Latteria Bera. I got to meet the 3rd generation owner of the place Ms. Chiara. Her grandmother Romola began the shop in 1958 with 2 of her sisters (Marta & Bruna).   
The thing about a Cheese Platter at Latteria Bera is that it is never the same! Since she gets her cheese & other products from local producers, the platter is never the same. Most of the cheese she gets is from Torino manufacturers & local Piemontese varieties of cheese - Ricotta, Robiola, Toma, Aged cheese, Gorgonzola, Blu, Pecorino, etc. There are at least 30 different varieties of Piedmontese cheese. They are not only cow's cheese but also goat, sheep, and buffalo cheese. The Cheese platter is served with Grissini, the authentic, local, handmade breadsticks. 
Of course, you can buy a wheel of your favorite cheese if you prefer. Apart from cheese, she also sells dairy-based desserts, cured meat, etc, as well as, packaged stuff like pasta, rice, balsamic, oils, some preserves, etc.

Where is Latteria Bera (on Google Maps)? Latteria Bera
How to reach Latteria Bera1km (12 mins walk) from Turin Railway Station (Porta Nuova)
Latteria Bera Timings: Mon-Sat: 10:00AM to 1:30PM; 4:00PM to 8:00PM
Prices at Latteria Bera: Cheap. Average. A bit expensive. Cheese platters for 2-4 people begin at €25. Pre-booking is necessary latest by the previous day.

Best Gelato in Turin - Alberto Marchetti Torino

Best Gelato in Turin - Alberto Marchetti Torino

Best Gelato in Turin - Alberto Marchetti Torino

Evening Snacks - GELATO at ALBERTO MARCHETTI - Best Gelato in Turin
The first thing that they said at Alberto Marchetti is, "If you see a gelato shop with towers of gelato in several colors it is probably not authentic gelato"! I had assumed Gelato to be airier & lighter than Icecream, but in fact, the opposite is true. Gelato is denser than Icecream! 
I had the pleasure of attending a mini demonstration by Ms.Silvia here. The first thing she explained was the difference between Gelato and Icecream and explained the above points. The main ingredients in gelato are milk, milk powder, condensed milk, sugar, and a bit of carob flour plus the flavoring elements. Ms.Silvia made us a caramelized hazelnut-flavored Gelato which was mild & divine. Authentic gelato is much silkier, creamier, and denser than ice cream. Also, gelato isn't as cold as ice cream! 
As someone who loved Sorbet normally, after tasting authentic Gelato at Alberto Marchetti, my current preference has really pushed ice cream to the bottom of my preferences. It is now: Sorbet -> Gelato -> Frozen Yoghurt -> Ice cream!

Where is Alberto Marchetti Gelatarie - Piazza CLN (on Google Maps)?  Casa Marchetti - Alberto Marchetti
How to reach Alberto Marchetti Gelatarie600m (7 mins walk) from Turin Railway Station (Porta Nuova)
Alberto Marchetti Gelatarie Timings: Mon-Thu: Noon to 11:00PM; Fri:-Sat Noon to Midnight; Sun: 11:00AM to 11:00PM
Prices at Alberto Marchetti Gelatarie: Cheap. Average. A bit expensive. Begins at €3

Best Aperitif in Turin - Extra Vermouth experience at Scalo plus restaurant

Best Aperitif in Turin - Extra Vermouth experience at Scalo plus restaurant

Best Vegetarian Risotto in Turin at Scalo plus restaurant

Aperitif & Dinner - EXTRA VERMOUTH & RISOTTO AT SCALO+ - Best Evening Drinks in Turin
What's the perfect way to wrap up the day than with some local variety of alcohol? - Say hello to Vermouth. What is Vermouth? Vermouth is an aromatized, flavored, fortified wine manufactured locally in Piedmont.
Extra Vermouth is an experience. The concept of Extra Vermouth is to bring together the Vermouth drink and local dishes together in a perfect pairing for a tasting session, ideally as an aperitif, before dinner.
We had the Extra Vermouth experience at Scalo+, a restaurant with an exceptional view of Mole from its outdoor seating. I was served 3 pure Vermouth and 1 cocktail made with Vermouth. The first drink I had was a cocktail called Vermouth Americano made of Sweet Vermouth, Campari, and Soda. The 3 pure Vermouth tastings I had were Vermouth Berto, Vermouth Carlo Alberto, and Vermouth Professore. Vermouth Americano has a bitter taste, thanks to the Campari in it, which was a bit too bitter for my preference. The 3 pure vermouth varieties - Berto, Carlo Alberto, and Professore were really delicious. My favorite was perhaps Vermouth Professore which has a spicy and citrusy flavor to it. Vermouth Carlo Alberto has a fruity flavor with a herby aroma and that was my second favorite. 
As I mentioned earlier, each Vermouth is served with its own snack for the perfect Vermouth Pairing. The first vermouth pairing was Vermouth Americano with fried Kataifi pasta dish. With the Vermouth Berto, I had a fried pizza; with Vermouth Carlo Alberto I had a Vegetable Tempura, and the final pairing was Vermouth Professore with which I had Focaccia with tomatoes, stracciatella cheese, and basil & mint pesto. The funny thing about my vegetarian pairings with vermouth is, all my acquaintances who got the meat version were amused by how yummilicious mine looked! Not just the looks, they all tasted very delicious. Esp., the Kataifi pasta dish and Vegetable Tempura need a special mention, absolutely delicious. 
After this absolutely delicious Vermouth tasting session, I wrapped up the day with a very filling, very creamy, and very yummilicious Mushroom Risotto, the best risotto in Turin!

Where does Extra Vermouth Experience take place? List of Restaurants via Turismo Torino (Turin Tourism)
Price of Extra Vermouth ExperienceCheap. Average. A bit expensive.  €18 

Where is Scalo+ restaurant in Turin (on Google Maps)Scalo+
How to reach Scalo+ restaurant in Turin2km from Turin Railway Station (Porta Nuova). 1.3km (15 mins walk) from Musei Reali (Royal Palace of Turin)
Scalo+ restaurant Timings: Everyday 6:00PM to Midnight; Also open for lunch on Sundays: Noon to 3:00PM


BRUT TASTINGS!
I want to write about Brut, the authentic Italian Sparkling White Wine. Italian Brut gives tough competition to French Champagne. But that would be right only after I do a trip to the Italian wine regions. Hopefully soon! Fingers crossed! Let's see!


PIN IT / BOOKMARK IT
Extra Vermouth Torino Turin Pinterest Turin for Vegetarians Guide Pinterest

Ultimate guide to Turin Torino for vegetarians Pinterest Best Gelato in Turin Torino Pinterest

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands

9 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading through your list of recommendations for vegetarian food in Turin. My husband and I eat meat, but our oldest daughter has never wanted to eat meat, so I'm important to me to find good places around the world for her to enjoy. :) We hope to travel through Italy next year, so I am saving this for reference. GIANDUIOTTI CHOCOLATE AT GUIDO GOBINO will definitely make our list, as we are all fans of chocolate in our family!
    It was interesting to hear that you were served fish and told it was vegetarian! In the USA, we would call that being a pescatartian. It always helpful to know how countries around the world categorize vegetarian.

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  2. I'm vegetarian, and some European countries are easier to eat than others. Italy was such country. But it was a lot of salads, pizza and pasta, and of course the sweets. Those are some of my favourites so I don't mind. If in Turin I will be sure to visit the Gianadiuotti Chocolate, it looks delicious!

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  3. First off, thank you SO much for being vegetarian (my wife and I went vegan for the environment over 7 years ago). Secondly thank you for sharing this awesome post, and inspiring us to take our love of plant-based food to Italy. We just visited Germany and Spain and it was so hard to be vegan there. I have also heard that Israel is amazing for plant-based options, you should check it out next!

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  4. It was very interesting to read what “vegetarian” means in many places in Europe. We are not true vegetarians but we try to eat in such spots when we travel to up our vegetable intake which seems to suffer greatly on the road. Great to know that Italy is well known for great vegetarian options. I could certainly try one of the facaccia stuffed with veggies in Turin. And whether or not the chocolate is vegetarian we would stock up. Glad you learned the lesson about great gelato not being fluffy! I would not go hungry anywhere you visited.

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  5. I'm not vegetarian but I love trying vegetarian dishes from time to time. It's true that many European dishes are not very vegetarian friendly, so it's nice to stumble upon your recommendation. I'd love to try Fig Cheese Cake, gelato at Alberto Marchetti, and some chocolate at Gianduitto. The pizza at Berberè Pizzeria also looks yummy too!

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  6. It is a very interesting read on vegetarian options for food in Turin and how "vegetarian" means different in parts of Europe. Nice to see that you got to taste different vegetarian food in Turin with 7 veggie pizzas the Gianduiotti chocolates mixed with hazelnuts and the gourmet cheese shop owned by 3 generations of women. Focaccia bread and bread sticks is my favorite too and it's on to learn the way they are made.

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  7. I like vegetarian dishes, although I am not a vegetarian. But I like discovering vegetarian combinations of flavors because they are usually exciting and so aromatic. I like your list of food recommendations in Turin and would love to visit some of the places. And I love Indian spices and dishes, so your suggestions align with my culinary tastes. Mushroom Spaghetti Pasta and Fig Cheese Cake at Tre Galline look so yummy. For me, Italy cousine is one of the best in Europe, and I love it, especially pasta with vegetables or mushrooms and olive. I would love to visit Bicerin for morning coffee with chocolate. It's great to know that is the oldest restaurant in Turin. I'm also a huge fan of focaccia, so I add Perino Vesco to my list when in Turin. You are lucky, as you met Mr.Andrea Perino, who founded this bakery. What a great history!

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  8. I laughed out loud on reading about what Europeans think of vegetarian food. :) It happened with us also... in Switzerland when requested for vegetarian food, the chef was so confused... he had chicken, fish which he thought was not non-veg.
    Also, in other parts of Europe, we had to enter Vegan restaurants as they still are better than eating something which we can't think of.

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  9. This is good to know. I totally understand how challenging it is to find vegetarian food when traveling abroad. The Focaccia in Turin looks really good. Anyway, I am bookmarking this post for future reference as we have an upcoming trip to Italy next year.

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