5x Vegan Hotspots in Como, Italy

 

When you think of Italy you think of passion, pasta, the movie Eat Pray Love, espresso’s and of course gelato, lots and lots of gelato. You might think that it’s hard being vegan in Italy. But let me tell you, although I might get an occasional look from an old italian lady when I ask for soya milk in my coffee, it’s actually not hard at all. I fell in love with Como a long time ago and have discovered lots of amazing places over time where you can enjoy some amazing vegan food. These are a few of the hot spots that you have to check out when you next visit this beautiful town.

 

Ice cream

Let’s start with my obsession first, ice cream! My favorite spot for ice cream is hidden in one of the tiny streets on the lake called ‘Vanilla Bio’.

Vanilla Biois a small shop in which they only sell organic and vegan ice cream. All flavours are freshly homemade and absolutely delicious. It fulfills all your Italian gelato dreams and you won’t even feel guilty afterwards! Imagine a crispy cone with their best flavours, Coconut and Chocolate. So creamy, so flavourful and as they are based with coconut milk they don’t taste like a sorbet but actually like full creamy ice cream.

 

Pizza

There are many great spots to find a delicious pizza in Como, after all its Italy. However, it’s usually at the less beautiful places that you can find the best authentic food. One of those places which also happens to be my favorite spot is called ‘Pizzeria Da Benito.

Pizzeria Da Benito has the best vegan Neapolitan pizza. I always order the Marinara which is an ultimate classic. The pizza has a crispy crust, as you take a bite you can hear the crust break and white flower dust remains on your fingers. The tomato sauce is so rich, you can taste the freshness of each ingredient. And even though there is lots of sauce the bread remains crispy. It has the perfect balance of textures and flavours. For me this is THE spot for the ultimate pizza.

 

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Coffee

Como is beautiful and within it’s cosy streets you will find lots of amazing cafes. However, these are a few of my favourites. ‘Posta is a cafe which belongs to the hotel ‘Pasta Design Hotel‘ which is located in one of the main squares. It has a lovely terrace where you will overlook the square so you can sit down, enjoy the most amazing coffee and do some people watching.

My second favourite spot is called ‘Loft. If you want to enjoy a coffee with a view then this is THE place to go to. It has the most beautiful view overlooking the houses with the mountains in the background on one side and with a view over the church on the other. You can hear the church bells in the background as you sit in the sun enjoying the Italian lifestyle.
If you are looking for a very Italian type of cafe then you have to visit ‘Pane e Tulipani’. This cafe sells the most amazing espresso as well as beautiful flowers – it’s both a cafe and flower shop. It’s hidden in one of the small streets where you can sit outside on the terrace and watch people go by as you enjoy your espresso in the sun.

 

 

 

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Leroy’s – A hidden gem in the form of the trendiest Vietnamese restaurant

 

Let me start with the fact that I immediately fell in love with this place the moment I walked in. The smell of fresh ingredients and spices fill the room and even finds it way to the outside porch. You can immediately feel the amazing atmosphere and this has 100% been created by the lovely owners. You can feel their passion and love in both the restaurant and the food.

Leroy’s is now one of the trendiest places in Canggu and the must go to in the weekend for the most delicious pho and a cocktail with your friends! It’s almost as if this spot has become the place to fall in love with both it’s food and with each other as the mood in this restaurant is so uplifting and exciting.

 

 

What I love

They recently renewed their menu which also meant, more vegan deliciousness!

Starter

Lets start of with the ‘Vietnamese taco’s‘ (60k Idr/ 3.20 Gbp), they truly are a vegan delight. They are made with tempura eggplant, fragrant slaw, herbs and a homemade Sriracha. It’s the most fresh ingredients combined to make the ultimate crunch.

Another amazing starter is the ‘Rice paper rolls with peanut tofu satay‘ (45k Idr/ 2.40 Gbp). It’s refreshing and perfect for a hot day in Bali. My favourite part of this dish is the peanut sauce, I mean.. it can’t get any better than this. (Sometimes I like to order some ‘sweet potato fries’ and just dip them in the peanut sauce, naughty but oh so yum!!)

Main

My absolute favourite main course and one of the reasons why I came here so often is for the ultimate ‘Mushroom and Bok Choy Pho‘ (60k Idr/ 3.20 Gbp). This Pho is served with a side of Sriracha, hoisin sauce, raw bean sprouts, chopped chili, lime, mint and basil. You can decide how spicy, fresh or sweet you want your Pho to be by just adding the ingredients yourself. It’s an extremely nutritious meal and an absolute winner when it comes to flavour.

Another great meal for main or even for lunch is one of their great salads. My favourite is the ‘Vermicelli bowl with grilled tofu satay‘ (60k Idr/ 3.20 Gbp) This salad is made with avocado, zucchini, radish, edamame, pickles, cucumber, iceberg, slaw, herbs and served with spring rolls. It’s so refreshing, so colourful and so delicious. It’s full of flavours, textures and an ultimate must try when you visit Leroy’s.

Desert

However, now it’s time for the grand desert. Im not having the “I’m so full from my started and main” excuse, because you will regret not having tried the desert of deserts! To finish of your amazing dinner and to just put the cherry on top you have to try the ultimate delight. This is heaven in the form of a ‘Vegan Chocolate Brownie‘ (35k Idr/ 1.85 Gbp). It’s everything you want a brownie to be. It has a slightly crispy outside but as soon as you put your spoon through you can feel it’s gooey centre. The chocolate is so rich and you would never (ever) of guessed that this is actually vegan. Trust me, you’ll be able to fool anyone! So yummy! (One of my favourite deserts in the whole of Canggu – and yes I have thought of coming there late at night just for the desert, guilty.)

 

 

Where to go

Leroys has recently announced that they will be open for lunch too! Woohoo!

They are now open everyday from 11am- 12am and their address is Jl. Tanah Barak No.43 in Canggu.

Enjoy!

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Monsieur Spoon – The cutest coffee spot

 

Monsieur Spoon is a bakery in the middle of Canggu with a French twist. Sometimes when you are far away from home it’s nice to have a little bit of a homely feeling. And what is a better way to get a taste of home then through food. 

As soon as you enter the bakery you can smell the fresh coffee being made. Fresh croissants are taken out of the oven, and if you are lucky you might be in time to get a taste of their very special black croissants. Everything about this place will make you feel at home and it’s the ultimate spot to relax and take a break by enjoying a delicious cup of coffee. 

 

 

What I like

I come here very often just for a cup of coffee. As a coffee freak I have been on a hunt for the best coffee in Canggu. I have tried many cafes and Monsieur Spoon is definitely in my top 3! I always order a ‘Cappuccino‘ with soya milk (35k Idr/ 1.80 Gbp). The coffee is fruity and strong. Also, most importantly it’s not at all bitter or watery – and that’s the way I like it! (And that’s the way it’s also supposed to be) So I can honestly say “This is one of my favourite coffee spots in the whole of Bali!”. 

Breakfast

They also have delicious freshly made cold pressed juices which are full of vitamins and their ‘Green detox‘ (40k Idr/ 2.10 Gbp) juice is amazing in the morning. However, when I’m at a French cafe I like to go for a traditional ‘Orange juice’ (30k Idr/ 1.60 Gbp) which is made out of 100% fresh and sweet oranges.  If you are staying for breakfast then you might as well have the ‘Avocado Bruschetta‘ (55k Idr/ 2.90 Gbp) which is a chunky piece of bread with smashed avocado, cherry tomatoes and topped with coriander – healthy, delicious and a great way to start the day! 

Lunch

For lunch I love getting the ‘Gazpacho‘ (40k Idr/ 2.10 Gbp). It’s made with fresh tomatoes and served with chunky bread. It’s extremely refreshing which is perfect for on those hot Bali days. 

However, what I mostly do is grab a cappuccino and some of their delicious freshly made bread and be on my way home! The bread is made daily and is a real treat for a breakfast lover like me! 

 

 

 

Where to go

Monsieur Spoon is located on Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No.55 in Canggu and it’s open everyday from 6.30 am- 9pm. 

All images shot with my beautiful Leica Q

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Cheeky smoothies and vegan deliciousness at Betelnut Cafe

 

Imagine a cafe with a hut like feeling, bamboo, wood and tropical green surrounded by Bali’s palm trees. I personally love going to this cafe because of it’s buzzing atmosphere, it’s loving people but especially for it’s delicious vegan food. This menu is so vibrant and will make any non-vegan turn vegan in no-time.

 

What I get

Lunch

My two ultimate favourite salads are both the ‘Veggie patch‘ (50k Idr/ 2.60 Gbp) and the ‘Raw Gado Gado‘ salad (45k Idr/ 2.60 Gbp). The ‘Veggie patch‘ is made with roasted pumpkin, beetroot, rucola, shallots, cashews and spinach. You can only imagine how many textures, flavours and colours make up the perfect summery salad. However, the ‘Raw Gado Gado‘ salad is a must try. It consists of spinach, rucola, cabbage, tofu, tempe, carrot, coconut, cucumber, sprouts and tomato which is then topped off with a deliciously home-made peanut sauce. This is the ultimate Balinese salad, which is refreshing and bursting with flavours.

 

 

Dinner

If I’m in for a real treat I usually get the ‘Veggielicious burrito‘ (50k Idr/ 2.60 Gbp) or the ‘Veggie burger‘ (50K Idr/ 2.60 Gbp). The ‘Veggie burger‘ consists of a home-made vegetable patty with fresh greens, slaw and tomato relish in a toasted wholewheat bun. I personally have tried many vegan burgers in the last years and I have to say that this is definitely one if the best ones, especially in Canggu.

Snacks

At Betelnut Cafe they have the most delicious juices and smoothies. My favourite smoothie is one (which is a bit of a cheeky one) called the ‘Chunky Monkey‘ (40k Idr/ 2.10 Gbp). It’s made with banana, cashew butter, dates, flax seeds, muesli, ginseng, maca, cacao and coconut milk. Trust me, the cheekiest but best smoothie you’ll ever taste! Another smoothie that is absolutely delicious is called ‘Nutters‘ (40k Idr/ 2.10 Gbp). If you are a real nutty lover like I am you will love this one! It’s made with almond milk, cacao, dates, cashews, coconut, ginseng, maca and flax seeds – healthy, yummy and a real treat!

 

 

Where to go

Betelnut Cafe is open everyday from 8am- 10pm and their address is Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.60 in Canggu.

 

 

All images shot with my beautiful Leica Q

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Mad for Mad Pops vegan ice-cream

 

On a sunny day in Bali who wouldn’t go crazy for some delicious ice-cream! It’s the ultimate holiday feeling to sit in the sun, feel the breeze and enjoy a refreshing home-made ice cream. However, for vegans like me its always a bit of a search to find the ultimate vegan ice-cream. But the hunt is finally over – because I have found a little piece of vegan ice-cream heaven!

 

 

Mad Pops sells healthy vegan ice-cream made from locally sourced seasonal fruits and coconut milk. This delicious ice-cream does not contain any preservatives or additives and is all hand made! It’s the perfect treat on any day! Just pop in and get blown away by all the amazing flavours – you won’t believe they are vegan!

 

 

What I love

I always have trouble choosing, however at Mad Pops I can stare at all the flavours for the longest of time. All the flavours are absolutely delicious and depending on my mood I will always have a different combination. Nevertheless, a must try is the ‘Stracciatella’ with a delicious creamy flavour and chunks of chocolate. Both ‘Matcha’ and ‘Coconut Mint Chocolate Chip’ are also a must try. They are so good – I still can’t believe its vegan!

Get your ice-cream served in a vegan cone and topped of with one of many delicious toppings such as nuts, sprinkles or Oreo crumbles – a treat that has blessed us all by being fully vegan!

 

 

Where to go

Mad Pops ice-cream shop currently has two locations in Seminyak and Canggu and is open everyday from 11am – 10pm. 

Its the perfect place for your guilty pleasures that you actually don’t have to feel guilty about! Im sure you’ll fall in love with every bite just as much as I did! Buon Appetito!🍦

 

 

 

All images shot with my beautiful Leica Q

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Getting lost in Bali’s Tegalalang Rice Terraces

 

When wondering through Bali its not hard to get lost in all its rice fields and terraces but there is one in particular that is a must to get lost in. The Tegalalang Rice terraces will leave you breathless from the moment you set eye upon it. As I walked down the hill more and more depth seemed to appear through the palms. The landscape is stunning and you can have the most amazing hike up the rice terraces.

 

 

The higher you get the more stunning the view becomes. From endless rice terraces and palm trees to getting lost in the jungle, you will absolute love the whole experience.

Tip:

When walking through the terraces you may get stopped a few times by locals claiming that you need to pay to continue walking through the fields. However this is not true, you don’t have to pay anything – they are just trying to get some money. The only time you will have to make a donation is at the first stop after about 5 min into your walk. Here you will find a barrier and someone asking you to pay a donation.

Also, the landscape is beautiful but very rocky and muddy at some points so make sure to wear some comfortable shoes.

How to find it 

You can visit the Tegalalang rice terraces every day from 7am until 7pm and the address is Jalan Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali. On a good day its only about a 15 min bike or car ride from Ubud centre (depending on traffic).

 

 

 

 

All images shot with my beautiful Leica Q  – who never leaves my side!

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