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Soy milk in Paris and Italy

I have been vegan for a few years now. I am travelling to Paris, Rome, Venice, Florence and Interlaken this August.

I was wondering if soy milk is, in general, available in the cafe's in any of these cities. I am thinking of getting myself used to milk latte's again if soy milk in not as prevalent over there as it is here in Pacific Northwest (USA). :-)

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

Posted by
2 posts

Not many Europeans use milk/cream in their coffee at all. Sugar, yes. Milk, not so much. If you get milk, it is usually called "cafe Americain" in France. Don't know about any Starbucks places, but authentic cafes typically don't carry soy. That's a very American/Canadian/UK phenomenon. You can always ask, though!

Posted by
275 posts

I have found that if you ask for 'cafe' in France you get a cafe au lait (coffee with milk). If you ask for 'cafe' in Italy you get an espresso (no milk). In Italy you can also get macchiato (with a small amount of milk) or a cappucino. So regular cow's milk is reasonably common in France and Italy at least. I am not sure about the availability of soy milk though.

Posted by
1317 posts

I think Raji is saying that if he can't get soy milk, he wants to practice with regular milk before his trip, which is a good idea. Sometimes your body gets a shock when you start eating/drinking something it's no longer used to.

I too, never remember seeing soy milk in cafes but to be honest I wasn't looking. I actually think you might find it in a larger grocery store though, but I can't exactly imagine you asking the local barista to make you a cappucino and then handing over your own bottle of soy milk.

Side note regarding coffee-related terminology in Italy.

Latte = milk. Enough tourists have asked for a latte that the baristas in big cities will generally figure out you mean caffe con latte (coffee with milk)

Macchiato = coffee with just a little milk. Depending on how you like your coffee, this might be a good choice for you.

Caffe or espresso = REALLY strong coffee with no milk. I order mine caffe lungo (extra water) because otherwise it's too strong and bitter for me.

Cappucino is a breakfast drink, usually not ordered after 11, except by tourists. But as my dad said one afternoon "I AM a tourist!"

Any way you order it, enjoy. But probably not with soy milk.

Posted by
44 posts

I'm slightly confused.
You are a vegan who wants to stop being vegan so you can have a latte?

I did not see any soy milk in cafes but I did see the cartons in gelato shops next to the soy gelato so it is available somewhere. Perhaps buy some and bring it to the cafe with you

Posted by
209 posts

Oi. So I went to the fridge to find out what the Italian word for soy milk is and it turns out our soy milk comes from Germany! ha!

So I know that you could pick some up in almost any grocery store, but it won't always be refrigerated. That's the funny thing about it here. So you could single-use pop open one for a coffee then either you'd have to pitch it, or find a refrigerator real quick. Hey! Maybe offer it up to the barista so they can try it in their coffee and see how they like it :)

Allora... I will keep an eye out in Venice and report back to you on how many cafes say Si when I asked them about soy milk. (Then things will get all confusing when I have to explain that it is a hypothetical question, and no I'm not really buying a coffee right now. My Italian is not so awesome, but I'm really good at smiling and apologizing for miscommunication. I have to do that a lot, you see....)

Posted by
24 posts

Off topic, but when my daughter was in NYC with her Girl Scout troop one of the girls asked for a soy latte in a Time Square Starbucks, they looked at her like she was from another planet. The response was "Soy milk???? No. What, are you from California or something??" Maybe getting soy milk out IS a west coast thing

Posted by
209 posts

I did not find any soy milk in a cafe yesterday! Solo latte fresco!