One of my earliest pizza memories is globs of cheese dripping off a NY slice as my totally tubular childhood heroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, celebrated a night of fighting crime. Fast-forward out of the early ’90s and that image still resonates in my head when I think of pizza. But what about those who do not partake in the cheesy?
I have been a vegetarian for nearly 14 years and one of the biggest hang-ups for going all in on veganism is my love of pizza. I had heard all the stories from my vegan friends about how they make their own animal-friendly pies at home, but the American pizza experience is one of convenience and a social outing. Because of this, I set out to find some of the best vegan-friendly slices around town.
Here’s where you can find them.
Greenville Avenue Pizza Company
Joining the cast of Pizza Slayer Classics, The Vegan takes GAPCo’s thin and crispy crust and adds a slathering of tangy sauce, roasted eggplant, green olives, artichokes, spinach, and a pinch of oregano. It should be noted that you can’t order this by the slice. Also, those avoiding gluten can get a 10-inch cauliflower crust.
Just thinking of the chewy, charred crust at Cane Rosso makes me salivate. While offerings tend to lean toward the meat-centric, vegans should not fret. Try the margherita with Daiya vegan cheese (a gluten-and soy-free cheese made from tapioca starch) for a classic, or the Farmers Only Dot Com for a white pie with zucchini, mushroom, garlic, and arugula. Leave off the pesto to keep it completely vegan. There is always the option to make your own, too.
The culinary minds at this West End establishment have been experimenting with vegan concepts through a virtual restaurant over the last few months under the alias Sweet Wilma’s Vegan Pizzas. Their full vegan menu will launch later this summer with several options, like an Orange (Not Chicken) Jackfruit Pizza that has an Asian twist to it. If sharing isn’t your thing, they offer personal sizes.
When I polled my vegan friends for their go-to pie shop, it was an almost unanimous arrow pointing to the Expo Park pizzeria. In addition to vegan cheese from Daiya, there are plenty of vegan meats on hand. Everyone says the Sofa King—a loaded supreme pizza—is the way to go. Don’t forget the vegan parmesan.
Last year, Alamo launched a dedicated vegan menu for movie goers with dietary restrictions. The thin, bar-style vegan supreme is topped with a mix of veggies including oven-roasted tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, red onions, kalamata olives, and mushrooms. Daiya is the cheese of choice here, and can be added to any of the other pies on the regular menu. Check out the squash and goat cheese (minus the goat cheese) for a real treat.
If you have ever been to Deep Ellum after dark, then you have seen the line at this New York-style pizza spot. For vegan patrons, Serious offers a cheese-free pie with five veggies. Only whole pies are available, so plan accordingly.
My Family’s Pizza
This pizzeria has been serving up thin crust pies for over 60 years (although from different locations). Most of their signature pizzas are heavy on the animal protein but there are vegan options. Daiya cheese can be substituted on any pie. There’s also soy-based hamburger, pepperoni, and sausage.