With vegans making up 2.5% of its clientele, it’s no wonder Bella Italia is keen to increase its plant-based options. Launched this month, Bella Italia’s vegan menu boasts 26 vegan options while their new vegetarian menu includes 37 dishes.
With over 100 restaurants across the UK, the chain is reputed for its Italian classics and prides itself in offering a true taste of Italy using ingredients sourced from real Italian-family producers.
The friendly service and warm atmosphere make Bella Italia a perfect spot for a romantic meal for two or a family dinner. And with this new menu, Bella Italia now caters for not only vegans and vegetarians but also flexitarians. So whether you follow a plant-based diet full-time or not, there is plenty of choice and a wide range of options for you to enjoy. It really has something for everyone.
We tried Bella Italia’s vegan menu last week and were really impressed by its quality and variety. From pasta, pizzas and even burgers, Executive Chef, Vittorio Lettieri, has developed a delicious plant-based menu made with real Italian ingredients.
Some of the vegan dishes such as Polpette Americano (vegan meatballs made from cannellini beans), Risotto Zucca (a butternut squash risotto) Mille Colori Pizza (with tapenade rather than vegan cheese), Lenticchie Spirali (lentil bolognese) or Cannellini Bean Burger are prepared simply with wholesome ingredients. In my opinion, this is plant-based Italian food at its best, bursting with Mediterranean flavours and goodness.
For those who prefer a bit more of a meaty bite, Bella Italia has teamed up with Swedish brand Oumph! to create meat-free dishes such as a Barbecue Pizza, Vesuvio Pizza and an Oumph! Burger. I am a big fan of Oumph! It is not only a tasty and hearty meat substitute but is also truly versatile to use as shown in my Crunchy Asian Salad with Oumph! Chunks recipe.
We were invited at Bella Italia to try the new vegan menu, and were served a 3-course set menu. Both our starters, above, the Minestrone Soup (Italian vegetable and pasta soup) and the Bruschetta (baby vine tomatoes on toasted ciabatta), were delicious and light. For mains we opted for Oumph! dishes.
The Marco Pollo pasta, made from gramigna pasta served with pulled Oumph! and mushrooms in a sweet plum sauce, was really tasty but slightly too sweet. Chicken-like Oumph! added however a hearty and chunky bite.
Dubbed a juicy rare burger (with the help of beetroot for a reddish colour), The Oumph! burger, is presented on a sourdough bun with lettuce, onion, tomato and a smoked chilli dip. It is a very good and realistic meat-free burger option with bite, texture and taste.
Dessert was a delicious Coconut Panna Cotta served with a strawberry, mango and passion fruit salsa. This was really light and scrumptious. The Cookie Dough Al Forno was topped with vegan vanilla gelato and caramel sauce. The warm chocolate chip cookie dough is filled with melting chocolate. Gorgeous and super rich too!
The new Bella Italia vegan menu is versatile and delicious. I like the mix of wholesome plant-based dishes as well as the addition of Oumph! with its fabulous meaty texture for anyone craving it. Vegetarians also have many options to choose from. Everyone is catered for. For a limited time, kids can also eat free at Bella Italia, making it the perfect place to eat as a family or with friends.