Happy Vegan Pizza Day! In honor of this hallowed holiday I hope you are planning on celebrating with something sauce-covered and served by the slice. To mark this occasion, I’ve decided to have a send-up to my favorite restaurant-made pizza pies that I’ve enjoyed since last year’s celebration. They are posted in the order that they were devoured. (I haven’t done full reviews of all of these restaurants. For those that I have, the reviews can be accessed by clicking the pictures.)
Ethos Vegan Kitchen: In January, David and I escaped the cold for an ocean-side vacation in Florida, where the days were sunny and the trips to Ethos Vegan Kitchen plentiful. With a crisp and pillowy crust, the pizza was topped with garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, and veggie pepperoni. For pizza in a pocket form, they also make a killer calzone brushed with garlic butter (vegan, of course).
ModMarket: Later in the winter, we were steeling ourselves from a blizzard at ModMarket in the Denver area. Their Crimini Kale pizza puts one to the mind of crisp kale chips. (They added fresh avocado on top by request.) This pizza was cooked in a brick oven and positively littered with fresh kale. Then with each bite, a dash of hot sauce. This is a pizza I could happily eat every week.
Sun Café: April found us in Los Angeles, where I was able to visit Sun Café, one of my top five favorite restaurants. Known for their raw and organic cuisine, this Supreme pizza is topped with marinara, SunChorizo, tomatoes, marinated bell peppers and onions. It’s then drizzled in a creamy cashew cheese and peppered with strips of fresh basil. This pizza is bursting with flavor and always leaves me feeling energized.
Masa: On that same California trip, I had to visit Masa, the acclaimed bearer of deep dish Chicago-style pizza in Echo Park. In addition to their standard menu, they have a vegan menu with garlic bread, salads, and gnocchi. Their pizzas are available with Teese; although, we opted for a cheeseless Build-Your-Own instead. Filled with artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, and mushrooms, this decadent pizza is the real deal.
Pizza Luce: While in Minneapolis/St. Paul for a friend’s wedding in May, I was eager to re-visit Pizza Luce. In addition to slammin’ pizzas, this non-vegan restaurant has veganizable appetizers like bruschetta, garlic cheese toast with their homemade vegan cheese, olive tapenade, salads, hoagies, and pastas. I can’t resist their Pizza Athena topped with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, fresh spinach, tomato, red onions, Greek oregano, and toasted garlic. It can be ordered with Daiya or, even better, their rinotta cheese, which is made with tofu and cashews.
Crust Stone Oven Pizza: Crust in Bettendorf, Iowa brings the taste of Italy to the Midwest with their Neapolitan-style pizza. The flour and tomato sauce are flown in from Italy, and their oven bakes at 900 degrees, cooking a pizza fast and with signature char marks. This thin crust pizza took me back to our honeymoon in Italy in the best possible way.
While the menu doesn’t immediately look vegan-friendly, since all of the vegetable offerings are mixed in to the descriptions of meat-filled pizzas, first impressions can be deceiving. The crust, sauce, and all of the vegetables are vegan, including the vegetables cooked ahead of time in vegetable oil. We opted for a roasted potato, garlic, and wild mushroom pizza and an appetizer of oven roasted olives.
Trumpet Blossom Cafe: Trumpet Blossom in Iowa City, Iowa is the city’s only all-vegan (or even vegetarian) restaurant. They focus on local, seasonal, and organic fare. In addition to a varied menu and stellar cocktail list, they have a pizza offering that changes daily. This platter of pizza slices was more than enough for two, with a few slices left over for lunch the next day.
The thick, soft wheat crust is reminiscent of the kind of pie one would make at home. This particular day the feature included house-made seitan sausage rolled in bite-sized balls that had a faint sweetness to them, almost like cinnamon. They were joined with zucchini, kalamata olives, tofu cheese, and a red wine reduction sauce.
If you could celebrate Vegan Pizza Day at any restaurant anywhere, which one would you pick? Who makes your favorite totally vegan pizza pie?