The road trip continues to the city so vegan-friendly that one of their most well-known landmarks is a cherry in a spoon. Driving into Minneapolis always puts me in the mind of Emerald City. The mirrored buildings of downtown glimmer in the sunlight, welcoming me into a city that has the offerings of a metropolis but with the accessibility of a smaller Midwestern town.
First stop, Ethique Nouveau. This cute and welcoming store is small but carries a wide variety of items – makeup and brushes, shirts, books, jewelry, candles, and snacks. Word on the street is that they may even sell shoes in the future. They have a focus on local artists, but there are also well-known vegan brands. Best of all, everything in the store is vegan, not tested on animals, and Ethique Nouveau makes a donation on all purchases towards animal advocacy programs with the Animal Rights Coalition. I couldn’t resist picking up a candle and some new makeup brushes.
After a bit of shopping, lunch was in order. I’d heard good things about Pizza Luce, which has several locations in the Minneapolis area. It’s a non-vegetarian restaurant, but they have a very vegan-friendly menu, and they even make their own cashew cheese. It’s called rinotta. The clean and spacious downtown location was buzzing on the afternoon we visited.
Our server was bubbly and eager to tell us about their menu. When we ordered the Pizza Athena, she seemed almost elated. Once it arrived, I could totally understand why. Fresh spinach, tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, red onion, oregano and toasted garlic was generously spread over their Bianca sauce. The Bianca sauce is made with olive oil, fresh garlic, and Italian seasonings. (A red sauce is also available if you are so inclined.) It’s served on a perfectly chewy crust – crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. It would not be an understatement to say it was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.