Bertucci’s mission has remained the same for nearly 40 years: to provide authentic Italian food in a family-oriented setting. With over 50 locations across the US, the brand’s success is evidence that it offers quality food and service in a delightful atmosphere for the entire family.
But what if one of these family members, you, dare to be vegan? Will the Italian restaurant shun you and tell you that such a diet is unthinkable in their establishment? Or will they welcome you with open arms and direct you to their special secret vegan menu? Okay, this may be a little extreme, but you should ask what the vegan options are at Bertucci’s before you walk into the place.
Bertucci’s is known for having excellent service. You can expect a friendly staff that will help you find something that suits your dietary needs. But it may be a difficult challenge even for the most accommodating waiter/waitress to find vegan options at Bertucci’s.
Asking your waiter to help you choose something vegan can be painful and slows down the ordering process for your entire table. This article will help you make the right choice when it’s your turn to order. We’ll look at each menu section to determine what you should or should not eat. Most dishes are straightforward, yet some may be tricky, even for the savviest of vegans. Read on to find out if Bertucci’s menu has a way to satisfy its vegan customers.
The Culinary Concept
Bertucci’s serves traditional Italian dishes. They use the best ingredients to ensure that every bite you take will transport you to a land where the pasta is fresh, and the pots are simmering with mouth-watering sauces.
The pizzas are handcrafted and baked in a brick oven to give them that authentic flavor. And signature dishes are made with the utmost care and paired with a good selection of wine. As you walk in, the ambiance is friendly, casual, and inviting.
A waiter/waitress hands you the menu, and that’s when it all falls apart.
Whether you’re there for lunch or dinner, the menu isn’t overwhelming. You can quickly dismiss most of the dishes that are titled with chicken, beef, or fish. That’s always a good thing, so you know where to look to have a chance at getting your fill on something vegan-friendly. Bertucci’s menu can be broken down into lunch, dinner, and desserts.
The options for lunch and dinner differ significantly. That allows you to eat at Bertucci’s twice a day and still enjoy a completely different experience. That’s great, but as a vegan, your lunch experience at Bertucci’s may have you walking out with an empty, rumbling stomach.
You have the choice of three salads. All three are off-limit to vegans.
• Insalata/Grilled Chicken Salad
• Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
• Farm-House Salad
At first glance, you may want to choose the Farm-House salad, but it contains mozzarella. Of course, you can modify your order. Ask for the salad without the grilled chicken and the pecorino romano (an Italian cheese made from goat’s milk). You can do the same with the Farm-House by omitting the mozzarella. The Caesar Salad is almost impossible to modify; it’s usually drenched in a creamy dressing, can include bacon, and is sprinkled with cheese.
In short, you’ll have to make sure that your salad is void of any cheese or chicken and that the dressing doesn’t contain any dairy. Not the most convenient, but you may be able to make some makeshift vegan salad.
The sandwich section will be easy to get through. Sorry, you won’t be able to modify any of the following sandwiches:
• Grilled Chicken Marengo
• Chicken Milanese
• Chicken Parma
• Delicato Italian
Passing and moving on.
It’s pizza. Need I say more? Well, unless you ask for a cheese-less pizza, you won’t be having a brick oven delight at Bertucci’s. If you enjoy your pizzas without cheese, you may want to make sure that the dough isn’t made with eggs. Furthermore, you will not be guaranteed that your specially made pizza doesn’t come into contact with dairy products. You’ve been warned!
The classics are composed of a vast selection of pasta. Unfortunately, the majority contain meat and cheese. If you prefer playing it safe, keep your order straightforward by ordering the Spaghetti Pomodoro. Pomodoro is a traditional Italian sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, and salt. Make sure that it isn’t topped with any cheese, and it should be vegan-friendly.
Nope. Bertucci’s doesn’t recognize the possibility that a little one could be vegan or that a fully grown vegan could order from this section.
None of the desserts are vegan-friendly. That means no Double Dark Chocolate Cake, Canoli, or Lemoncello Mascarpone for you.
So, What’s For Lunch?
You can choose to build your salad for lunch, follow it with Spaghetti Pomodoro, and that’s it. Enjoy!
If Bertucci’s vegan lunch selection isn’t to your liking, stay for dinner! Or not.
That’s another one to glance at and pass, maybe. The choices are:
• Bertucci’s Sampler
• Calabrese Chicken Wings
• Mozzarella Fritta
• Garlic Knots
The Bertucci’s Sampler is composed of everything offered in the starter section, so you want to pass on that one. The Meatballs, Chicken Wings, and Fritta need no explanation. The garlic knots are most likely made with butter. Ask if it’s possible to have it without butter. If they make them from scratch, you might be able to make them vegan-friendly.
The choices are identical to the lunch selection. You can build your salad and ask for olive oil and vinegar to make it easy on yourself.
Sides And Soup
This section may be a good one for you, my vegan friend. You may be able to order two dishes:
• Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
• Oven Roasted Broccoli
It isn’t clear what type of broth Bertucci’s uses in their soups. Ask your waiter what kind of broth they use. If it’s vegetarian, you might be in luck. Make sure to ask if the vegetables are coated with butter. If that’s the case, ask your waiter/waitress to let the kitchen know that they should only use olive oil. Even though these are sides, they may be good options.
Once again, nothing different from the lunch menu. Your only option is the Spaghetti Pomodoro if it’s indeed dairy-free. If you’re dying to try Bertucci’s famous al dente pasta, you may want to play it safe and order plain pasta with olive oil and basil. Not too fancy, but a lifesaver if all else fails.
The entrees section is composed of three chicken dishes and one salmon dish. Forget about it.
Calzones & Pizzas
Nothing for you here unless you ask for a vegetarian one without the cheese. That could work, but make sure you ask about how the dough is made and if the pizzaiolo/pizzaiola can bake yours on a special baking sheet.
What’s For Dinner?
Dinner could be a little better than lunch, but not by much. You’ll have to ask about the garlic knots, soup broth, spaghetti, baked vegetables, and choose your salad ingredients and dressing. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of uncertainty.
Bertucci’s is an excellent place for families and friends to gather and enjoy traditional Italian food in a friendly setting. Unfortunately for you, their target customer isn’t one that follows a plant-based diet. Vegan options are difficult to pick out and full of uncertainties in Bertucci’s menu. For vegans, eating at Bertucci’s is more of a “build your dish” activity than a “sit back and enjoy” type of experience.
Suppose you’ve been invited to Bertucci’s. In that case, the struggle will be felt by your friends or family when you ask a million questions and watch the waiter/waitress walk back and forth from the kitchen to answer your questions. Can you imagine the stress?
Your options are limited to a handful of choices that aren’t guaranteed to be vegan-friendly. Sure, you might be able to modify some of the dishes, but you can do the same thing at a steakhouse. In short, if you have a choice for your next meal, choose another place.