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Vegetarian Options on Best of Sicily Tour


I've been a vegetarian all my meat or fish. I've booked the Best of Sicily tour for November but I'm now wondering if this will be a tour consisting mainly of fish as a main menu item? That would be very hard for me for 14 days! I'm wondering whether to change to another tour, maybe Southern Italy or even Germany/Austria/Switzerland so I might not starve!? I'm doing the Best of Europe 14 day in April, my first RS tour so I don't have any experience with the food options on the included dinners? I figured that has so many countries it would be OK food wise!

Any info is appreciated!

Thank you.


Posted by
1689 posts

It would be a good idea for you to contact the Rick Steves company directly (see blue bar below). I have a feeling that the tour guide would be happy to arrange vegetarian options for you, but you need to verify that with the company.

Posted by
3551 posts

IDefinately contact your tour operator.
I was in Sicily last summer and one of the specialities and staples for Sicilians is eggplant caponata.
A very delicious all vegetarian dish. It is widely avail as it is so delicious I make it often at home.

Posted by
2913 posts

I can only speak of my experience in Greece. The tour guide identified the vegetarians at the start. There were two or three of us. I think one was a variable. Anyway, there was always a vegetarian option for us. I can't say there was a good understanding of vegetarian food, but they (Greeks?) tried, and no fish or meat or fowl were in the meals. I think Italy would be better at it, but I could be wrong. In other words, it shouldn't be a problem, but all the meals won't be gourmet. IMO.

Posted by
3491 posts

I have not been on the Sicily tour but when I took the Best of Italy tour there were several vegetarians in the group. There was never an issue with getting something they could eat at any group meal. And what was served was very nice. Not just a bunch of salad or plain pasta with tomato sauce. There were some very inventive and tasty options. I almost wanted to claim I was vegetarian to get some of those meals! I doubt you will have any problems on your tour with the food as long as you are clear with the tour guide at the first evening meeting about your food preferences.

Posted by
67 posts

Thanks everyone...I will definitely let them know, I've not done a tour before so I could always pick and choose what I had. I know Sicily has a lot of seafood and suddenly thought I might have made a mistake in picking it but unless someone adds a comment that it wasn't a good experience for vegetarians I will take a chance! :)

Posted by
7695 posts

A very popular dish in Sicily is Pasta a la Norma, made with eggplant.

Posted by
9706 posts

You shouldn’t have a problem on either tour! I’m vegan and have done 8 RS tours although not Sicily.

My suggestion is to speak with your guide on the first afternoon after the meet up for both your tours. They do get info from the office based on the form you fill out online but I think it is better to make a personal connection.

Italy was easy for vegan eating, even the seafoody places. In France it’s difficult to avoid butter being used in cooking but if you eat dairy that wont be a problem.

You’re going to have a terrific time!

Posted by
2712 posts

I have not done the tour but Sicily seems to have more vegetarian options than Germany/Austria in its traditional meals.

Eggplant as mentioned, many pastas (I loved a pistachio based sauce) and so on. The Arab influence also lends some interesting cous cous dishes. Obviously there are also a lot of meat meals, but avoiding it should not be a big issue.

Posted by
2829 posts

Seems like the trip application should have a place where you can enter dietary restrictions. That is how it works on tours we have taken.

Can any RS tour alums address that?

Posted by
3351 posts


Yes, that is correct. There is a form to address dietary restrictions be it diet types, intolerances and allergies. That said, any dietary needs will be addressed again with the guide on the tour.

Posted by
855 posts

We've taken 7 RS tours, but not Sicily. On the Southern Italy tour there was a lady who was vegetarian that we got to know quite well. She ate like a Queen! There were some meals that we couldn't wait to see what she got and many people offered to trade! From what the tour guide told us all, Italy and Sicily make it easy to eat vegetarian. They are all into freshness and what's in season and they're very creative.
Many of her dishes weren't even pasta but they all looked great.

My advice is if you want to go to Sicily, go! The form that you fill out to register for the tour does ask many questions, including health, allergies and food restrictions. On all of our tours, the guide does confirm these details at the end of the first meeting so you have a chance to answer questions and add more info for the guide.

Have a great time and let us know how it goes!


Posted by
67 posts

I feel so much more re-assured now...thank you everyone for commenting. It's always a bit challenging, had it all my life but I always like to be pro-active about it. I've many times had chefs creating great meals just for me that have left the rest of the diners asking "can we have that too"! So I relate to some of the comments :) I have completed the form online to let RS know my restrictions as well. My first experience will be with my RS Best of Europe tour in April!

Happy travels everyone!


Posted by
5006 posts

Lynn, on one of our Sicily tours (we did it twice, with different itineraries) the group had lunch at a farm (artichoke fields!) where we were served a pasta with lemon cream sauce. I myself didn't much care for it, but most of the folks raved about it.

I don't think the tour still goes there, but I've seen the lemon pasta on other menus.

At our Palermo hotel (the Ambasciatori) we (DH and I) signed up for a cooking class before the tour started. We made a wonderful pasta with broccolini. It wasn't strictly vegetarian; it did have a bit of anchovy in it. But it could easily be prepared without the anchovy.

Italians in general do very interesting things with vegetables. This should be an adventure in eating!