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  • Writer's pictureAround the World in Vegan Eats


Updated: Mar 31, 2023

We have a real soft spot for Italy - we love its heritage and culture, the weather is obviously a big plus too, but most of all we are obsessed with Italian food. We've both travelled Italy many times, both together and separately, but until the summer of 2022 neither of us had ever set foot on the beautiful island of Sicily. We had a big checklist of things we wanted to taste while we were in the capital, Palermo: as soon as we stepped into the summer heat, authentic Italian Gelato shot straight to the top of this list!

Contrary to what you may expect, plant-based gelato was not too difficult to find in Palermo. The city is quite cosmopolitan and lots of boards throughout the city centre advertised Gelato Vegano (with plenty of mention of gluten-free options too). However, at the counter it became clear that most Gelaterias only had one vegan flavour (usually vanilla) or even just a sorbet - while probably delicious, this wasn't really what we had in mind.

A gelato shop with yellow walls, and green and white signage
Al Cassaro gelataria - we wished we'd had more time to try even more of their vegan gelatos!

On our third day in the city, however, we

were delighted to stumble across. Al Cassaro Gelateria. Situated on Via Vittorio Emanuele, close to the heart of Palermo, this was where our gelato dreams came true. The Gelateria has an extensive non-vegan menu (all of which seem to be vegetarian) and a handwritten board of between eight and twelve vegan flavours, depending on their availability during the day. Even better, the vegan gelato can be served in a cup or a specially-wrapped plant-based and gluten free cone. The vegan gelatos are stored in a separate part of the shop and served using dedicated equipment.

Trying Plant-Based Gelato in Palermo

We were blessed that, on the day we visited Al Cassaro Gelateria, they had a wide choice of vegan flavours on offer. Of course, being in Sicily, we had to choose the Pistachio flavour (Sicily is famous for its Pistachio products, and you can't go far without seeing the classic green colour throughout the city).

A chalkboard listing twelve vegan gelato flavours
They had twelve different vegan gelatos for us to choose from!

So how did the modern, plant-based pistachio gelato compare with the centuries-old traditional variant we remember? Visually, the vegan pistachio gelato was very similar to the non-vegan pistachio in the counter. The green colour was ever so slightly lighter in the traditional recipe gelato, but this was by no means noticeable and could even vary from batch to batch.

Well, we have good news: the Sicilian Vegano Gelato that we sampled was incredible.

The traditional gelato was sweet, creamy, nutty - so delicious. The vegan cone was slightly softer than a traditional one, so it didn't have quite the same crispness but it was still incredibly tasty. The gelato was everything that we needed on a hot Sicilian summer's day. (We have very few photos because of how fast the gelato was melting!)

A cone with a scoop of green gelato, with a plastic spoon in the top.
My vegan pistachio gelato (it's a funny shape because I had to immediately lick the drips when I stepped outside into the sun!)

Would we recommend Al Cassaro's vegan gelato?

Definitely! Our conclusion here is clear: we were absolutely blown away by the vegan Pistachio gelato and will definitely be returning to Al Cassaro Gelateria next time we find ourselves in Sicily! Al Cassaro Gelateria are clearly experts in crafting delicious Sicilian gelato, and we're so pleased that they've committed to producing such an extensive and delicious plant-based gelato selection too!

The gelatos, when served in a cone, cost €3.00 each (approx. £2.65 or $3.22), which we thought was really reasonable for homemade gelato from an independent store.

Have you tried some amazing vegan gelato in Italy? Or somewhere else in the world! Let us know where you had it and how it was in the comments below!


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The centre of Vienna with tall, historic buildings all around
Palermo has some stunning monuments!

Where should I stay?

If you're looking for a friendly and arty hostel - whether you fancy a dorm or a private room - A Casa Di Amici Boutique Hostel is really popular in Palermo, and attracts consistently high reviews.

For an authentic, traditionally Sicilian hotel experience, D'Angelo might be exactly what you're looking for! This small hotel even has an antique lift to get you up to the second floor of this beautiful period building.

Tours & Experiences

There are some really stunning landmarks in Palermo, and some of our favourites are the Catacombs and the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of Monreale: fit them both in, with convenient transport and the knowledge of a local guide in this Palermo Catacombs and Monreale tour. Or if you've seen Palermo already and want to get a feel of some more of the stunning island of Sicily, why not check out the top-rated Viator tours below?

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