Vegano Italiano, Ypsilanti’s first fully vegan Italian restaurant, opened its doors at 530 N. Huron St. last month.
Mary Rose Angelo, originally from New York, is the owner of Vegano Italiano. She brought the recipes she grew up on to her restaurant and vegan-ized them. Some of the most popular dishes on their menu include vegan utica riggie, pesto pizza, and eggplant cutlet.
Angelo moved to Ann Arbor five years ago and fell in love with the area. She found an open restaurant location in Ypsilanti with a pizza oven and knew it was the one.
“Everyone has been so warm, inviting, and responsive,” Angelo said. “A lot of people are coming from Ypsi but also from all around Michigan and even Ohio.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone's business differently, and for Vegano Italiano, it slowed their opening process.
“The process of opening a restaurant in itself moved slower,” Angelo said. “Hiring was a challenge and even getting wholesale items.”
Most of Vegano Italiano's ingredients and items are local to Michigan, and their vegan ricotta is homemade instead of wholesale. The restaurant gets their dough and sub buns from Cantoro Italian Market in Livonia, their baked goods from Botanical Bakeshop in Milan, and their produce from Frog Holler in Ann Arbor.
“We try to get everything local, when possible,” Angelo said.
Vegano Italiano offers different specials weekly, and the Sunday special is always a breakfast pizza. They post their specials and other updates on social media, including their Instagram.