Vegan Dining in Locarno at Il Ristorante di Villa Orselina

Vegan Dining in Locarno at Il Ristorante di Villa Orselina

Villa Orselina voted to the best hotel in Switzerland, has, of course, an outstanding restaurant – Il Ristorante di Villa Orselina. When I travel, I always wonder where to find good vegetarian and vegan food. I do not mind fast food once in a while but I enjoy great and high-quality food and so I do some researches. Where to find good vegan food in Locarno? Where to find a great restaurant with a great view in Locarno? Well, there might be the answer.

Vegan fine dining in Switzerland? It is possible in Villa Orselina, Locarno.
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Vegan fine dining in Switzerland? It is possible in Villa Orselina, Locarno.

I had the chance to have dinner (as well breakfast on two days) at Il Ristorante (a full review of the hotel here).

Villa Orselina - Vegan Dining
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Villa Orselina – Vegan Dining

First of all, I have to say that Orselina is located on a mountain view with on Lake Maggiore and the Alps, and dining at Il Restaurante comes with an incredible view. The hotel itself is a small hotel, member of Small Luxury Hotel, and also the restaurant is not very big and thus perfect for a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of Locarno/Bellinzona etc.

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I dined there on a very sunny day so I was able to sit outside (inside dining available).

The view is one amazing feature, but the lovely, friendly and bright interior with a nice table setting are more details that make the restaurant perfect.

Villa Orselina - Vegan Dining
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Villa Orselina – Indoor Seating

The menu card is clear – quality over quantity it seems. I am a vegetarian and try to eat vegan whenever possible. The menu did not really have vegetarian dishes because the restaurant apparently has decided to skip the vegetarian choice and just offer vegan dishes – not the bad idea.

The dining started with some bread and olive oil (or if you are not vegan butter) and you have the option to choose between three kinds of bread. I went with the whole meal bread and I must say that it was one of the best bread that I’ve ever had. I come from Germany and many people say the rolls here are the best here but this one was actually even better and I could have eaten just the bread.

Greetings From the Kitchen - Villa Orselina
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Greetings From the Kitchen – Villa Orselina

Then I got a greeting from a kitchen which was algae and tomatoes – what a delicious, little treat.

I decided to go with the vegan menu. The choices are limited, but there is one vegan starter: Vegan Vitello Tonnato. I used to love meat but never liked cold meat – however, I ordered Vegan Vitello Tonnato as it was the only vegan option (there is also salad which should be vegan depending on the dressing).

Vegan Vitello Tonnato Villa Orselina
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Vegan Vitello Tonnato Villa Orselina

When I got the dish I had to reassure that it was vegan – it looked too authentic. After my first few bites, I started a conversation with the waiter and asked what it actually is. It is seitan and I have never had seitan which taste was so close to meat.

Vegan Dining in Locarno at Il Ristorante di Villa Orselina

As mentioned above I have never been a fan of cold meat, but if you like cold meat, and in this case cold veil, I am sure you would love it and couldn’t tell the difference. Give it a try – even if you are not vegan.

Rocket and Russet-Apple Risotto with a Millet Cream - Vegan Dining
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Rocket and Russet-Apple Risotto with a Millet Cream – Vegan Dining

So then, I had Rocket and Russet-Apple Risotto with a Millet Cream. If food is so well prepared nobody needs products based on animal components. This was extremely delicious and I really enjoyed it.

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For dessert, I ordered Caramelised Soy-Milk Pudding, Basil Ice Cream and Raspberry Biscuit (but I asked for lemon sorbet instead of basil ice). Seriously another very good vegan dessert.

Caramelised Soy-Milk Pudding, Basil Ice Cream and Raspberry Biscuit
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Caramelised Soy-Milk Pudding, Basil Ice Cream and Raspberry Biscuit

If you have been unsure about trying out meat substitutes or in general to try soy milk etc. this is a great place to give it a try. Villa Orselina makes it easy to try out vegan food – and to like it. So, if you ask for a great restaurant with vegan food in Locarno, then it is Il Ristorante di Villa Orselina.

Since I do not drink alcohol, I asked the bartender to create a non-alcoholic drink for me which was so good that I had a second one later (I do not have any idea what it was though).

Review: Vegan Dining at Il Ristorante di Villa Orselina
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Review: Vegan Dining at Il Ristorante di Villa Orselina

Conculsion

Il Ristorante di Villa Orselina doesn’t only come with great food and great view, it has probably the best restaurant view in Ticino and it also comes with extremely attentive and perfect staff. Though it is not a veggie restaurant, I cannot stop recommending the restaurant at Lago Maggiore – Il Ristorante di Villa Orselina is definitely worth a visit.

Disclaimer: I was invited by Villa Orselina, but, as always all opinions and pictures are my own.

 Read my hotel review – Villa Orselina – here.

What else to do in  Switzerland? Read about my trip to Brienzer RothornNiederhorn Mountain, and Sigriswil Suspension Bridge here.

More about travel tips for Switzerland here – you will not find only reviews about vegetarian dining, but also find travel tips for Switzerland and hotels review.

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