If you're a vegan, dining at a local Italian restaurant probably isn't the first thing in your mind when you think about eating out. Meats and cheeses are so common in a significant number of Italian dishes that it may seem to you that this type of eatery wouldn't have anything on the menu that you could eat. Fortunately, this isn't the case, and while it's true that your choices may be somewhat limited, you'll still be able to choose a delicious meal that is in alignment with your dietary preferences. Many Italian restaurants can make alterations to certain meals based on your diet, so you just need to communicate your wishes to your server. Here are some choices that should be suitable for you to eat.
Many Italian eateries offer different takes on the traditional dish of pasta primavera, but this is often a meal that is suitable for those who follow a vegan diet. Whereas many Italian pasta dishes include meat and/or cheese, this one is all about the vegetables. Peppers, carrots, broccoli, peas, and fresh herbs are common in pasta primavera, and ingredients such as olive oil and lemon juice typically make up the sauce. Many restaurants will serve pasta primavera with some grated Parmesan cheese on top, so you'll need to ask to have it omitted.
Depending on your preferences and the number of vegan-friendly options that are available to you, you might want to stick to a garden salad and an appetizer. For the latter, one option that is usually on an Italian restaurant menu is a flatbread dish. Flatbreads come in a variety of styles, and will often have things such as tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, and other toppings. There will undoubtedly be some flatbreads that contain meat and cheese, so you'll simply need to focus on those that are more vegetable-focused.
Stuffed shells may be worth looking into at your local Italian restaurant, too. While it's common for these shells to be stuffed with cheese, there may be a vegan-friendly option that is available. Or, it's possible that the kitchen can make you a custom order. Sometimes, Italian eateries will have vegan "cheese," which doesn't actually contain any dairy products. This type of meal, often served with herbs and/or vegetables and a sauce such as olive oil and garlic, can fill you and satisfy your taste buds while still honoring your dietary preferences.
For more information about eating vegan at Italian restaurants in your area, call a restaurant like Tony & Joe's Pizzeria.