Although fish and seafood are hugely popular on the island, Sicily is one of the most veggie and vegan-friendly parts of Italy, if not the whole of Europe. You’ve got pasta, pizza, panini, gelato and more to get stuck in to. Feeling hungry? Us too!
Vegetarian, flexitarian, pescatarian, vegan – whatever diet you choose to follow, you’re bound to find something suitable and scrummy in Sicily.
The best bit? Italian and Sicilian food is naturally very vegetarian-friendly, so you won’t have to miss out on any of the amazing dishes and local treats just because you’re going meat-free.
Our must-try veggie treats
Arancini, AKA the best Sicilian snack out there... These crispy, golden rice balls are typically made from risotto mixture and are filled with savoury ingredients like cheese and herbs. Deep-fried to perfection, they boast a delightful combination of crunchy exterior and creamy, flavourful interior.
There’s often a meat version and a vegetarian option for sale, so make sure you ask for the veggie one. They all look the same on the outside!
Caponata is a classic Sicilian dish, renowned for its sweet and sour flavours. This antipasto features aubergine as its main ingredient, cooked with tomatoes, olives, capers and various aromatic herbs. The result is a hearty vegetable stew that’s often served as a starter or side dish.
Did someone say double carbs? This is essentially Sicily’s version of a chip butty. Crispy potato croquettes that are cooked with parsley or mint are packed into a giant bread roll for you to eat on the go. Pick one up from a street food stall.
Pasta alla Norma
You’ll clock this hugely popular pasta dish on most restaurant menus across Sicily. It originates from the city of Catania and is said to be named after the opera Norma, written by Catania-born composer Vincenzo Bellini.
The dish is simple but super-tasty and features pasta in a tomato and basil sauce, cooked with juicy chunks of aubergine. Cheese can be grated on the top for extra flavour.
Macco di fave
This simple yet hearty soup originates from Sicily hundreds of years ago. It’s made from dried and puréed fava beans, typically seasoned with olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs. This rustic and nutritious dish showcases the earthy flavours of fava beans and is a staple in Sicilian cuisine. It’s often served with pasta or toasted slices of bread.
We can’t end without mentioning something sweet, can we? And a crispy cannoli does the job nicely. These tube-shaped pastries consist of crunchy, fried shells filled with a sweet, creamy ricotta cheese mixture. Fillings and toppings can include everything from chocolate chips and candied fruit to pistachios and dusted sugar. Delish!
The best veggie-friendly restaurants in Sicily
This fast food-style, casual vegetarian restaurant is at the heart of the city of Catania. It’s famed for its forward-thinking dishes and innovative meat-free menu. You can eat in or take away too!
This stunning restaurant is known for its wood-fired pizzas and picturesque views across Giardini Naxos and Mount Etna. Take a seat on the al fresco terrace and pair your pizza with a hand-picked glass of Italian wine. Book a table at sunset for the best view!
Le Chat Noir
You’ll find this family-run spot in a 16th-century building in the centre of Cefalu. It’s proud of its traditional Sicilian roots but offers unique and inventive twists on classic dishes. The spaghetti alla Norma is especially delicious and they can cater for vegans too!
Has all this talk of delicious food got you in the mood for a Sicilian trip?
Posted: 5th Sept 2023.