Vegan Fare in Venice

A typical tourist town, I was pleasantly surprised to find fresh, organic cuisine in Venice, Italy. Bio Sound System, a charming cafe with patio dining on the island of Lido.
And to top it off, the restaurant was vegan as well! Everything were molto delicioso !  I went with a vegan friend of mine, and another woman who is gluten intolerant.
         We had a starter platter with pita crackers and a variety of different spreads – olive, caramelised onion and tomato with tofu. I opted for the vegetarian option, an eggplant and buffalo mozzarella tontine (small tart). It was very delightful and skilfully made, with fried eggplant, cheese and tomato in the centre, and roasted eggplant slices wrapped on the outside. The fried pieces were chewy and added a nice textural contrast.
         I went for the frittatine di farina di ceci con cipolle di Tropea – chickpea fritter with red onion from   the Tropea region. It was gluten-free and vegan so my dinner companions were happy, and    something about fritter and chickpea pleased the foodie in me.
I think they needed to be a bit more substantial, maybe with a spread of avocado and candied butternut squash and walnuts on top. But that’s just me 😉 They were quite light and delicious, and were crisp and brown around the edges.
A lot of people may not know this, but there are zillions of options for gluten free and plant-based milk and meat substitutes. I have lived in France for 3 years, and struggle to find decent gluten-free bread, pastries and rice and coconut milk and nice tofu. In Italy, they have soy ice cream cones, vegan ice cream, and delivery of gluten-free bread in 24 hours.
And for dessert, vegan cake fatto in casa ! I tried carrot ginger, my mates got chocolate vanilla. It was nice and moist, and fell apart easily, leavened with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Because of the absence of eggs, you don’t get the delicate mouthfeel of an aerated tender crumb, and the flavor is a bit flat in the beginning. But after the third or fourth (!) bite, it is really quite delicious, and lighter than most cakes so you can eat more and not feel sick after. Really delicious.
The chocolate one was custardy, and the carrot ginger had a nice zing to it. I had a cappuccino with it because I realized I hadn’t had coffee in Italy yet! The best! So good! I should get another one today. So smooth and perfectly roasted flavor.
At the end of the evening, our server treated us to shots of limoncello. Oh and I also forgot to mention we paired our meal with a nice Italian rosé spumante, Maximillian Brut. It had a balanced berry flavor and a light finish.
We ended the evening with a nice walk to the boat bus, to get to other side of the island (Sant’Elena), then a lovely stroll through the park and back to the boat!
If you go to Lido, make sure you try this elegant, relaxed bistro! It is a nice break from heavy pasta and pizza.
Vegan/Vegetarian Bistro
Serves mainly vegan dishes; may sometimes include cheese in items like lasagna. Menu changes daily and includes specials. In addition to dishes with solely grains and veggies, some tofu and seitan options are available as well. Popular with locals. Al fresco dining space with a full bar. Price: Moderate
Via Doge Michiel, 2/C (Via Sandro Gallo)
Venice, Italy (on Lido island)
+39 340-8992429
Hours: Noon-3pm, 7pm-10:30pm
  • Outdoor seating
  • Reservations required
  • Accepts credit cards

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