A modern establishment overlooking a quiet Florentine street, Dolce Vegan is sticking to their true Italian roots, offering plant-based twists on classics. Condoning a cruelty-free lifestyle and healthy living, this all-vegan establishment provides satiating and mouth-watering alternatives to otherwise animal product-heavy dishes. If you ever find yourself in Florence, get lost in via san Gallo, and let your mouth do the walking. Word on the street is that the infamous Il Vegetariano is also nearby!
Dolce Vegan looked somewhat clinical outside: minimal décor, and a large shop window exhibiting the Italian version of The China Study. A casual dining vibe was largely promoted; a small shop was tucked in the corner with merchandise and vegan-friendly products and promotional material; a large television towered over diners playing videos of our furry friends galloping in their respective habitats. An appetising set-up, don’t you think?
Dolce Vegan operates on a self-service basis. The diners pick up a pencil and leaflet by the counter, and mark their choices against the menu. These leaflets are then handed to the waitress; meals are made to order, apart from the desserts (which were displayed by the salad bar).
Diners are also expected to help themselves to cutlery, place mats, glasses, and any condiments they desire by the bar, as well as clear-up after devouring their meals. This casual dining atmosphere does not just promote a sustainable and waste-free lifestyle, it also encourages diners to shape their own experience at Dolce Vegan. This was something I personally liked about it; having worked in the hospitality industry previously, there was nothing more frustrating than people abusing the ‘the customer is always right’ clause.
The menu was laid out clearly, with offerings such as burgers, pasta dishes, desserts, salads and sides. Desserts were refined sugar-free, and everything was palm-oil free.
On Mondays to Fridays, until 5 pm, you are able to order a primi patti (first course pasta) alongside a contorno (side dish) for only 10 euros. I opted for the ravioli with a seitan ragu sauce, the tomato and carrot salad, and some of the tiramisu to finish (when in Italy). I had all three to take-away, so I was able to eat with my family; the tiramisu inevitably lost its layers.
I dived into the ravioli straight away, leaving the salad and dessert ‘til the bitter end. It was life-changing: nutty, saucy, filling, and fool-proof. I could not fault it at all. To think it was egg-less too, my mind was blown.
The tomato and carrot salad was just that. The tiramisu was too sweet for my liking, but provided me with an excellent dairy-free alternative to the real thing. I would have preferred it to have stronger coffee tones, but that was my only criticism.
I was rather fortunate to catch Dolce Vegan on its last day before they closed for the rest of summer. Next time I am in the Tuscan capital, I will return with a vengeance, and a very empty stomach.
Dolce Vegan; via San Gallo 92r, 50129, Firenze.
Find them on Facebook for more vegan food porn.
Peace and love, Julia