Naples, Italy’s third largest municipality, is world famous for its food culture. Who doesn’t love pizza? Although its cuisine might not be vegan-friendly, because of the presence of dairy products and eggs in most dishes, it is quite veggie-friendly.
This probably explains why a Google search for exclusively vegetarian restaurants in Naples a few days before my trip did not deliver much. Though it did deliver one name: Un Sorriso Integrale.
As I learned afterwards, Un Sorriso Integrale is one of only a couple of veggie restaurants in the capital city of the Italian region The restaurant is very centrally located (close to Piazza Dante), yet a little hard to find, since it’s inside a courtyard. Once you get there, you can already tell from the restaurant’s exterior that its owners love colorful decor.
And the interiors are colorful, indeed. Though what probably captures your attention when you step inside is the set of nude paintings (by an unknown artist!?) covering an entire wall.
Their menu was a pleasant surprise. The very large selection of dishes (including around twenty tofu- and seitan-based dishes) totally makes up for the scarcity of veggie restaurants in the city.
Since I was in Naples for only four days, I wanted to have something more Neapolitan than, say, a tofu steak. So I started off with mixed fried vegetables. Naples is famous for its fried street food, which – beware! – is quite addictive.
For the main course, I ordered a platter of three side dishes (contorni): Spicy pumpkin, fried polenta, and potatoes with feta cheese. Another side dish on their menu I was tempted to have was fried riceballs with mushrooms, but I left that for another time.
My favorite of the three dishes was by far the spicy pumpkin salad. The other two were also good, but the pumpkin was hard to beat.
I would have also ordered a dessert, but didn’t feel like having the only dessert (out of six) that was egg-free: fried apple with vegan chocolate. That would have been too much fried food for a single meal! Nor did I want to go for another dessert with eggs in it. Having had food containing eggs the day before, it would have been too much for my egg-sensitive skin.
I enjoyed my lunch at Un Sorriso Integrale. Good food, friendly service, and a pleasant atmosphere make it a nice spot for a veggie lunch in central Naples.
- Fried vegetables, 2,50 €
- Mix of three side dishes, 5,50 €
Address: Vico San Pietro a Majella 6, 80138 Naples
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, noon-4:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.-midnight