Un Punto Macrobiotico in Rome (San Lorenzo)

As much as Italy is an amazing place for foodies, it can by challenging to get away from all the pizza and pasta.  Apart from Indian food, of which there are some good ones around Piazza Vittorio and in Monti, the ethnic scene in Rome has never been all that exciting (and often overpriced). Un Punto Macrobiotico is almost exactly how I like to eat – a bit of this, a bit of that, all healthy and fresh with some variety of flavors, while keeping local and avoiding pretentiousness.

Located in the San Lorenzo university neighborhood about a 15-minute walk from Termini train station, this little shop and restaurant is very casual, a bit cafeteria-like but without the grunge.  The best deal is a “piatto” mix that comes with 2 cereals, 2 vegetables and 1 legume for €8 (comes with hot, green tea as well).  They also have yummy fried savory croissants stuffed with olive paté.  There is a bit of fish, but otherwise it’s vegetarian and vegan-friendly.  To keep costs low it’s set up as a cultural association, so you have to “sign up” and get a membership card to take advantage of the €8 price tag.  But it’s a painless procedure (and they aren’t militant about checking on it either).  They’re a bit weird about taking photos though (hence only the one from outside), and I don’t love the use of paper/plastic ware, even if they do recycle it, but take my word for it – very good food and worth going out of your way when you need something like this.

Un Punto Microbiotico – Via dei Volsci, 121

Open 12 to 3:30 pm for lunch and 7pm to 9:30pm for dinner.  Closed Sunday.

by Steven Brenner

Vegetarian Paris

My last time in Paris, about 3 years ago, it was almost impossible to find vegetarian food.  Waiters would disdainfully propose a salad – always the same salad, with goat cheese.  Nice stuff, but not something I wanted to eat at every meal.  A few years later and I’m amazed not only at how many vegetarian and vegetarian friendly options have emerged, but also how well it mixes with French food and the French approach to food in general.

Here’s 4 places worth checking out:

1.  Nanashi – Le Bento Parisien.  One on 57, Rue Charlot in the 3rd and another on 31, Rue de Paradis in the 10th.

This place isn’t 100% vegetarian, but very vegetarian-friendly.  It’s like a long train of a place with a variety of regular offerings and daily specials, all written out on a large blackboard.

I had a vegetarian spring roll wrap with rice paper, filled with sprouts and a honey sauce to dip into.  I then had a vegetable soba noodle dish, full of cooked mushrooms and lightly sauteed grated carrots, with a little nama shoe.  It was amazing — fresh and flavorful and a clever combination of Asian and European flavors.  With a glass (or two) of sake, it was a great meal for only around 30 euro or so.

The staff was also extremely helpful and nice and eager to please.

2.  Soya – Cantine Bio on 20, Rue de la Pierre Levee in the 11th.  A bit more upscale at night, it’s a good bet for a semi-fancy dinner and is probably more casual at lunch time.  Located on a residential street with almost no other activity, and without a sign, you could easily miss it, but that just adds to the charm.

Inside are dark cement walls, warmed up by dramatic lighting and some simple, eclectic, unpretentious design.  All vegetarian and mostly organic.

I had a tartare of alge, and a couscous dish with mixed vegetables.

For dessert, it was hard to settle on a choice, but I was very happy with my apple crumble and cream.  All with red wine and coffee for about 35 euro.

3.  Le Potager au Marais at 22-24, Rue Rambuteau in the 3rd about half a block from the Pompidou.  Probably the most well-known by vegans and vegetarians, it gets lots of attention from both locals and tourists.  The menu is large, with interesting daily specials.  The international staff is friendly, and happy to help in a variety of languages.

I went for the seitan à la bourguignon – a dish I’ve always adored and needed to taste what it would be like without meat.  I also wanted some onion soup, but felt it would be too much, so I took the suggestion from the staff and had a velouté of fennel, which was nice and light and flavorful.

Then came the bourgiugnon with rice, which was as hearty and filling as the original.  Ok, it’s seitan — not meat.  I won’t pretend it’s the same thing, but it sure did the trick.  I don’t think a meat eater would have anything to complain about this dish.

In the end  I had no space for dessert, which was a shame as they seemed to know what they were doing in the vegan dessert department as well.  Open for lunch and dinner, they stay open until midnight.  It’s the kind of place you could return to a few times in one trip.

4.  Le Tête dans le cuisine on 29, Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud in the 11th near Oberkampf.  This is a small place that specializes in homemade cakes, tarts, quiches and bagels, mostly for takeaway but also for a quick bite for lunch.

Not really on the tourist trail, but if you’re staying in the 11th, it’s worth passing by for a soup and sandwich, or get something to go and have it later when you’re out and about.

There are also a number of suggestions at Happy Cow, especially for vegetarian Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine.

by Steven Brenner

Holistic Rome

The following information comes from the Beehive Recommends Guide, which you can download for free here.

ORGANIC MARKETS
(packaged food, fresh vegetables & fruit, cleaning supplies, personal care products)

 

Canestro (3 locations)
via S. Francesco a Ripa, 106 (Trastevere)
viale Gorizia, 51 (Trieste)
via Luca della Robbia, 12 (Testaccio)

il Salice
via Reggio Emilia, 61/a (Trieste)

Biomens
viale delle Milizie, 7a (Prati/Vatican)

Al Sole d’Oro
Lungotevere Mellini, 44 (Prati/Vatican)

Solo Natura
via Petrarca, 1 (Piazza Dante/Piazza Vittorio)

L’Albero del Pane
via Santa Maria del Pianto, 19/20 (Jewish Ghetto)

Citta dell’ Altra Economia (this is a large fair trade complex that has an organic grocery store, fair trade retail shop, bar and restaurant) Largo Dino Frisullo inside the former city slaughterhouses, also where the new MACRO is located (Testaccio)

Mercatino Biologico
Vicolo della Moretta & via Giulia (centro storico).
Outdoor Sunday market, Fall to Spring.

 

ORGANIC BODY CARE PRODUCTS

L’Officina Naturale – centro storico
best erboristeria in Rome with excellent selection of all natural body care products including Neals Yard Remedies and a wonderful Tuscan line called Officinali di Montauto/OM)
via della Reginella, 3 (Jewish Ghetto)
via dei Coronari, 190 (Piazza Navona)

 

ORGANIC FARM
(with farm shop, Saturday and Sunday lunches, animals and nature walk)

Agricoltura Nuova Cooperativa
via Valle di Perna, 315 (just south of EUR)

ORGANIC CLOTHING & SHOES

Eco Wear (standard cotton, hemp clothing)
via del Vantaggio, 26 (Piazza del Popolo)

Dimensione Natura (clothes & shoes)
via dei Falegnami, 66/a (Jewish Ghetto)

The Natural Look (Birkenstocks in many styles, colors, designs)
via del Vantaggio, 21 E/F (Piazza del Popolo)

Angelo di Nepi (clothes & shoes)
via dei Giubbonari (Campo dei Fiori)
via del Babuino, 147 (Piazza del Popolo)
via Frattina, 2 (Spanish Steps)

Croce Franco (shoes)
Piazza Madonna dei Monti, 9

VEGETARIAN AND/OR ORGANIC RESTAURANTS

The Beehive (vegetarian & organic) – breakfast, Sunday brunch and snacks
via Marghera, 8 (Termini) 06 44704553

Bistrot Biologico (organic)
La Casa del Parco via del Casaletto, 400 (southwest of town near Villa Doria Pamphilj park) 06 45476909

Arancia Blu (vegetarian)
via Prenestina, 396 (Pigneto) 06 4454105

Naturist Club (vegetarian)
via delle Vite, 14 (Spanish Steps) 06 6792509

Margutta Vegetariana (vegetarian)
via Margutta, 117 (Spanish Steps) 06 32650577

Tidiro (macrobiotic)
via del Mattonato, 42 (Trastevere) 06 5810626

Pugliamonti (vegetarian specialties from Puglia region)
via Urbana, 104 064742772

 

YOGA

Anusara & Iygengar style yoga:
Centro Parmananda, Lungotevere Flaminio, 48 (Anusara inspired yoga)
Contact Paula Moss 06.7009646

Hatha yoga:
Accademia Yoga, via XX Settembre, 58 (Porta Pia)
www.accademiayoga.it

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga:
Scuola Ashtanga Yoga, via Annia 54 (Celio)
www.astanga.it

Power yoga, ashtanga and anusara yoga:
Ego Yoga, via Cola di Rienzo, 162 (Prati)
www.ego-yoga.it

 

 

 

Various yoga styles:
L’Albero e La Mano at via Pelliccia, 3 (Trastevere)
www.lalberoelamano.it

Iyengar yoga:
Studio Iygengar via Tagliamento, 45 (Trieste)
www.studioiyengaryoga.com

Bikram yoga
Bikram Yoga Roma via Aurelia, 190
www.bikramyogaroma.it

Various yoga styles
Arya Yoga via Umberto Giordano, 99/c14 (Infernetto)
www.aryayoga.it

Kundalini yoga:
Centro Naad (Monti/Esquilino) via Giovanni Lanza, 125
www.naad.it

Budokanin via Properzio, 4 (Prati/Vatican)
www.budokanin.com

MASSAGE

Jenifer Vinson at The Beehive by appointment (Swedish style)
via Marghera, 8 (Termini) €45 for 50 minutes

Baan Thai (Thai massage)
Borgo Angelico, 22 (Prati/Vatican)
www.baanthai.it

Acanto Day Spa
Piazza Rondanini, 30 (Pantheon)
www.acantospa.it

Acqua Madre (Hammam/turkish style spa)
via di S. Ambrogio, 17 (Jewish Ghetto)
www.acquamadre.it

by Steven Brenner