Vegan in Verona: La Lanterna Restaurant
While living in Italy, I often thought about going vegan but the lack of available foods, ingredients and restaurants were an obstacle. I'm not saying these things mean you can't be vegan in Italy - you can and many people are, and were at the time I lived there - but it makes it this much harder. That's why I'm so happy that every time I go back, I find new options for vegans.
Case in point: La Lanterna restaurant in Verona. This cosy eatery with a rustic feel is tucked away just off the centre of this gorgeous, historic town of North Italy. I ended up there on a day trip to Verona to visit my best friend, who lives with his girlfriend in front of the restaurant (lucky them. I'd never eat anywhere else) and offered it as the designated lunch place for the day.
Don't let La Lanterna's warm, homey exterior fool you: this is a luxurious, high-end restaurant with a finely curated menu, seemingly aiming to change people's perceptions of vegan food. Every dish is well thought out, expertly planned and visually appealing. And, needless to say, they all taste like heaven.
Among our favourites were the starter: vegan dumplings with cold cuts (seitan and soy) with a sauce that I can guess to be Vegenaise. The first courses were absolutely stunning as well: the pumpkin ravioli stood out, as did the smoked tofu gnocchi.
The flavours are all perfectly balanced and as delightful as they might be to a vegan, the dishes also appeal to a palate that's not used to purely veggie fare: my husband's brother, who's never had specialist vegan food, found the lunch delicious.
If you've been following me for a while, you know of my passion for vegan desserts. There's nothing I love as much as a good cake, and when going vegan, desserts was one of the things I researched the most. I wanted to be sure that I wouldn't miss out, and so far I haven't - if anything, my intake of stunningly yummy sweets has been even more spectacular. La Lanterna has a vast selection of amazing cakes. The above is a coconut cake with a light, soft flavour, and the below is my favourite of the day, the cocoa and nut cake.
I definitely recommend this lovely gem of a restaurant. You'll leave feeling full and having experienced new flavours, even as a long-time vegan. Find out more about La Lanterna here.