• The Beehive: A Vegetarian Hostel in Rome

    November 4th, 2011quarrygirlitaly, more restaurants (not LA)

    hey guys! time for another italian vegan field report by christina. this time she’s bloggin’ about an all vegetarian hostel in rome. i so hope i get to go here someday…

    The Beehive is one of my favorite hostels in the world. (Or at least the handful of countries I’ve visited, anyway!) Located just two blocks from Termini Station in Rome, this small hostel is an all-vegetarian oasis. On my first trip to Rome I was lucky enough to stay here because of a last minute cancelation. This past August, even with a month’s notice I was unable to score a spot, so if you want to stay here book well in advance. If, however, you have other accommodation and would just like some yummy vegan food, The Beehive is still a great stop. Unfortunately, due to some bureaucratic nonsense, the only meal The Beehive is able to serve is breakfast, but for afternoon and evening they offer tidbits like fresh bread with hummus and popcorn. Please note that not everything is vegan, but there are several vegan options.

    I usually order the tofu scramble. It’s a nice break from the all-carb diet I tend to adopt in Italy. It’s a little different each day depending on who is making it and which veggies they have on hand. Most days it was delicious, though one day it was made by a different person and was only OK. The portion size is smaller than I’ve ever had in the US by a good 30%. At about $11 US, I’d like there to be a little more food.

    The wheat toast served with it is homemade and truly delicious. You can ask for a little hummus to spread on it in lieu of butter. The hummus is yummy, by the way, and ordering the basket of bread with hummus at under $4 US is a good deal and a great snack.

    The granola is good–nothing different than you’d get in the US, though the soy milk is a different story. See the note below.

    The service at The Beehive is warm and friendly. My favorite is Gian-Luc. He is truly a delight to talk with and his food is made with love and it shows. When he heard we’d been forced to leave our scheduled accommodation, he even hooked me up with a friend of his which ended up being wonderful.

    There are a few things to know before you go:

    1) Portion sizes and recipes can change depending on the day and who is serving you. My mother, who ate granola each day, twice had a helping so big she could barely finish it, and once had a portion less than half that size and left hungry. Unlucky for me, I ordered granola on the “small” day.

    2) It can take a while to be served. This is due to each meal being made by hand from scratch by one person. Usually this was fine, but the day we had reservations for the Vatican, it probably wasn’t our best decision to stay once we realized there were three tables ahead of us. It was 20 minutes for our lattes, and 45-60 minutes before we were served our breakfasts. On another day, we were the only ones there and had our food within 10 minutes. Again, go with the flow and learn from my mistake–if you have a “hard out,” eat street food for breakfast! (There are plenty of vegan options)

    3) Soy and rice milk taste very different than in America. This isn’t exclusive to The Beehive, but all over Europe, and you should be prepared. I found it to be unsweetened for the most part and somewhat chalky. I still enjoyed a break from plain espresso, and they offer sugar, but just be aware that a latte there isn’t the same as a latte here.

    4) One more thing on the plus side: FREE WIFI. If you’ve been to Europe, you know free wifi isn’t nearly as easy to get there as it is in the U.S.! While you wait for breakfast you can plan your day and catch up on all those social media sites you swore you weren’t going to look at while you were on vacation.

    5) Organic wine is 2 only Euros. Enough said.

    Because of the tastiness of the food and the warmth of the staff, I’ll continue to stop at The Beehive whenever I’m in Rome.

    Via Marghera 8, 00185 Rome, Italy
    +39 0644704553

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  • Hi – I think I was the one who made the not so stellar tofu scramble! I’m the owner, and was called in to substitute for one of our chefs and had never made it. That’s my excuse – and I promise to stay clear of the kitchen and let Gianluca work his magic!

    As for portion sizes and variations – this is kind of left over from when our cafe intentionally had no portion sizes, no menu, and no prices. It was make a connection between the chef and the person eating and to judge accordingly how much you wanted, etc. and to reduce (actually almost eliminate) waste. But since we’ve changed how we operate we haven’t really planned out how the cafe should operate best, and this is also due to the fact that Linda, my wife, and I were away on a sabbatical in Indonesia when we were forced to close the cafe to everything but breakfast.

    In any case, I love the pics and I’m glad you liked our food. Just wanted to let your readers know what to expect and let them know that we’re open too to what would be a ‘special request’ at most establishments. If you want more, or less, or more like this, or more like that – we’re ok with that.


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