Many pizzeria customers are seriously exploring more plant-based options this month, thanks to the celebration of Veganuary, a movement founded in 2014 that encourages people to give vegan food a try throughout the first month of the year. So now would be a good time to add at least one or two vegan or vegetarian pies to your menu, both for die-hard herbivores and for the vegan-curious.

But when you eliminate pork and other animal-based meats, what kind of flavors still make magic in your mouth? You can learn a thing or two by checking out the plant-based menus of successful pizzerias around the country.

1. Hot Tongue Pizza: Start with Alex Koons’ wildly cool pizza shop in Los Angeles. When Koons isn’t making his social media followers chuckle with his outlandish videos (as detailed in PMQ’s May 2023 cover story), he’s making them hungry for plant-based fare like the White Pizza (garlic olive oil base, cashew mozzarella, almond ricotta, caramelized onions, mushrooms, almond Parmesan, oregano and an Everything Bagel crust) and the Supreme (tomato sauce, cashew mozz, spinach, roasted red peppers, white onions, broccolini, garlic and Everything Bagel crust). Koons offers thin-and-round selections as well as square-and-thick options. Among the latter are the Detroit (chunky marinara sauce, spinach, garlic, ricotta and sesame seeds); the Sicilian (garlic, red sauce, pesto drizzle, ricotta and basil); and the Seattle (spicy crushed tomatoes, garlic, spinach, roasted red peppers, onions, Parmesan and basil).

Related: 5 pizza recipes from the vegan vault

This photo shows a vegan pizza in a square pan, topped with a variety of veggies that have been roasted in the oven.

Hot Tongue Pizza / Instagram

2. Screamer’s Pizza: Located in Brooklyn, Screamer’s offers vegan pies like the Napoleon Dynamite (housemade chili, tater tots, garlic oil, red onions and a vegan cheese sauce) and the Fancy Kale (spicy pesto, vegan cheese, housemade seitan sausage, marinated fancy kale and a drizzle of oregano oil).

3. Double Zero: In New York City’s East Village, chef Matthew Kenney fires up Neapolitan-style pies in a wood-burning oven with cashew mozzarella and toppings like confit tomatoes and Calabrian chili. Kenney’s menu includes the Basil Sunflower Pesto (pesto, slow-cooked onions, confit tomatoes, cashew mozz and sunflower seeds) and the Spicy Arrabbiata (marinara sauce, cauliflower, cashew mozz, shiitake bacon and basil).

4. FreeSoulCaffe: This Tustin, California pizzeria, founded in 2010, serves up the Squash Blossom (crushed San Marzano tomatoes, squash blossoms, baby squash, cashew burrata and fresh thyme); the Potato (golden potatoes, fresh rosemary, vegan feta cheese and a creamy white sauce); and the Fennel Sausage (San Marzano tomatoes, vegan fennel sausage, Fresno chili, scallions, grape tomatoes and jalapeño cheese).

Related: Adding vegan cheese to your pizzeria’s menu

This photo shows a pizza topped with a variety of wild mushrooms layered over a red sauce.

Free Soul Caffe’s Wild Mushroom Pizza (Free Soul Caffe / Instagram)

5. Kitchen 17: Chicago’s iconic deep-dish pies go 100% vegan at this Windy City pizzeria. The Plant Eater, for example, comes topped with vegan mozz, marinara, artichokes, onions, minced garlic, spinach, green peppers and za’atar, a Middle Eastern mix of herbs and spices. And the Fully Loaded pizza is, well, loaded with vegan mozz, marinara, soy sausage, spinach, onions, black olives and spicy giardiniera.

6. Plant-Based Pizzeria: Down in the American South—Atlanta, to be specific—Plant Based Pizzeria earns kudos for pies boasting a spelt crust, including the Philly Pizza (roasted basil sauce, vegan mozz, mild Beyond Sausage, red onions, bell peppers and portabella mushrooms) and the Vegan Meat Lovers Pizza featuring Beyond Hamburger, Beyond Sausage and seitan pepperoni.

7. Big Nonna’s: The New York style reigns supreme at this Austin, Texas pizza shop. Their Meat Out pie offers housemade seitan sausage, beetaroni, Flying Tempeh Brothers smoky tempeh and vegan mozz, while the Piña Jalapeño has pineapple, house-pickled jalapeños, roasted garlic, red sauce and vegan mozz. For a truly intriguing flavor combo, check out Big Nonna’s Chick Fil Ain’t pizza, topped with seitan chicken nuggets, waffle-cut potatoes, dill pickle chips and a sweet and tangy sauce.

This photo shows a pizza topped with waffle-cut potatoes, dill pickle chips, seitan chicken nuggets and a drizzle of a sweet and tangy sauce.

Big Nonna’s Chick Fil Ain’t (Big Nonna’s / Instagram)

8. Pizza Riot: Over in Chico, California, Pizza Riot plates the all-organic Dirty Burger Pizza (a neo-Neapolitan crust, BBQ sauce, vegan burger chunks, red onions, cherry tomatoes, pickles and liquid cashew mozz) and the Goodfoot (pesto base, vegan mozz, Italian sausage, spinach, caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, minced garlic and housemade ricotta and Parmesan).

9. Pizza Pi: Located in Seattle, Pizza Pi describes itself as America’s oldest vegan pizzeria. Plant-based pizzas on the menu there include the Chik’n Parmesan (marinara, basil, mozz, MorningStar Farm’s plant-based chicken substitute Chik’n, onions, tomatoes, Parmesan, minced garlic and black pepper) and the kid-friendly Magic Mac (white garlic base, mac-and-cheese, cheddar and Canadian bacon).

10. Ammazza: OK, so this Atlanta eatery isn’t all vegan. But VegNews has reported that it serves “one of the best [plant-based] pizzas we’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming in one sitting.” Ammazza keeps its Neo-Neapolitan dough simple: We’re talking Caputo 00 flour, fresh yeast, water and sea salt. The Vegan Sottacetto is topped with tomato sauce, marinated artichokes, sautéed wild mushrooms, Kalamata olives, housemade cashew cheese and fresh basil. The Vegan Piccante, meanwhile, is a red-sauce pie boasting spicy Calabrian peppers, caramelized onions, red peppers, marinated artichokes and fresh basil.


Food & Ingredients