Neapolitan. Sicilian. Deep-dish. With all the renditions of vegan pizzas out there, one could easily enjoy a slice or two every day of the year and not get bored. We’re celebrating America’s favorite food (yes, it’s been statistically proven) by honoring the vegan pizzerias across the US that have inserted themselves into the slice culture, confirming that it is possible to create incredible pies without meat or dairy. Find the pizzeria closest to you and schedule a visit for National Pizza Party Day on May 17—and several subsequent visits throughout the year.

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1. Freesoulcaffé, Tustin, CA
A local favorite but largely unknown outside of its sleepy Old Town Tustin neighborhood, Freesoulcaffé has been delivering an impressive and extensive menu of vegan eats since 2010—including top-notch pizzas. The dough is nearly Neopolitan—extremely thin with just the right amount of texture and a puffy, chewy outer crust—though not as “soupy” as traditional Neapolitans are classically described. The varieties range from simple Marinara to sophisticated Funghi made with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, caramelized onions, shiitake and seasonal mushrooms, fennel pollen, and scallions. The restaurant also offers a few white pizza options and a Sausage pie for those craving creamy or meatier vegan pizzas.

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2. Double Zero, multiple locations
Celebrity chef Matthew Kenney has done it again. A one-off from his culinary empire of fine dining vegan restaurants, Double Zero offers a more casual atmosphere while upholding the excellence of Kenney’s cuisine. Made with its namesake’s double zero flour, the dough is incredibly light—the perfect excuse to try more than just one of the incredible pies. Our suggestion is to eat with friends and split as many menu items as possible. Current locations include Brooklyn and Manhattan, NY; Venice, CA; Boston, MA; Edmonton, Canada; and Baltimore, MD; however, the chic chain is expanding faster than the lighting-fast cook time of its wood-fired pizzas. Look for one in your area soon.  

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3. The Pizza Plant, Los Angeles, CA
These “Half-Baked,” “Not Your Grandma’s” pizzas will “Take You to Funghi Town.” Judging by the names of these focaccia-based pies, you know this isn’t your standard vegan cheese and pepperoni joint. Less than a year into its service, the business pivoted from a growing chain to a roaming pizza truck to a Whole Foods Market partner. As of January 2020, four customer favorite pies will be available in the freezer section of select Whole Foods Markets in California, Arizona, and Nevada—with a national expansion plan already in place. Look for the bright green box in your local Whole Foods freezer section soon. 

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4. Screamer’s Pizzeria, Brooklyn, NY
While the shops are small, this classic vegan New York slice joint has attracted a fan base across America. Locals and tourists rave about this place, making it a New York City must-do along with seeing a Broadway show and visiting Central Park. The menu is long. Prepare to be indecisive. There’s Pepperoni, Sausage & Mushroom, Bianca, Supreme, Fancy Kale, Hawaiian, Buffalo, Artichoke Pie, Vampire, Chorizo, Sour Cherry … the list goes on. If you still don’t see what you’re looking for, the menu also offers an option to create your own. In the mood for a Sicilian slice? They’ve got that, too. Anything but deep-dish, because New York pizza loyalty runs deep.

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5. Blackbird Pizzeria, Philadelphia, PA
This landmark-laden city has more than just Philly cheesesteaks to offer; thanks to Blackbird Pizzeria, vegan pies are aplenty. The chewy thin crust with a puffy exterior provides a carby canvas for the pizzeria’s extraordinary toppings. Try the Brunchbird made with tofu scramble, seitan bacon, mozzarella, sauteéd spinach, and garlic butter; the Beetza with roasted beets, kale, roasted garlic, tofu ricotta, and mozzarella; or the Spicy BBQ Pizza featuring Texas barbecue seitan, root beer barbecue sauce, red onions, habanero peppers, and mozzarella. Mind still set on that cheesesteak? The Cheesesteak Pizza with rosemary garlic seitan, garlic butter, mozzarella, grilled onions, green peppers, and cheese whiz provides all the essential ingredients of this iconic regional sandwich.

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6. Pizza Pi, Seattle, WA
Beyond its satisfying specialty and make-your-own pies, this restaurant’s claim to fame is “America’s Oldest Vegan Pizzeria.” While the menu is enticing and extensive, we often gravitate to making our own pizza primarily to capitalize on the stuffed crust option—this is one of the few places we’ve found that offers this cheesy addition. For the indecisive crowd, trust the experts and order off the specialty pizza menu. We recommend the Sunny Day made with sun-dried tomato cream, cashew ricotta, spinach, potatoes, and black olives; the Veggie topped with marinara, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, and artichokes; or if you’re feeling indulgent, the Mac ‘N’ Cheese Pizza featuring white garlic sauce, mac and cheese, Canadian bacon, and melty mozzarella.

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7. Kitchen 17, Chicago, IL
This scratch-made vegan restaurant offers both New York-style and deep-dish crust varieties, but when in Chicago, it’s an unspoken rule that you must go deep-dish. Get your knife and fork out for these sturdy masterpieces of bread and vegan cheese. Go old school with the Traditional (housemade seitan pepperoni, sausage, mozzarella, and marinara), or try something unique by ordering the Cheeseburger Pizza (yes, mustard and pickles included), the Mediterranean (it’s like a mezze platter encased in bread), or the Fireball (the menu offers a fair “spicy!” warning). While the heft of these pies prohibit trying multiple options, the bright side is that there are always leftovers with deep-dish!

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8. Ammazza, Atlanta and Decatur, GA
We’re taking a few liberties with this Naples-inspired pizzeria, as it’s not entirely vegan. While Atlanta is home to an all-vegan pizza joint (Plant Based Pizzeria), Ammazza’s extensive vegan menu offers one of the best pizzas we’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming in one sitting. The menu online is sorely outdated—you have to visit the restaurant or search through Yelp menu photos to find the full vegan menu—so don’t judge based on what you see on the web. Both the Atlanta and Decatur locations offer at least six unique vegan pies along with satisfying starter salads and an incredible vegan tiramisu. We hope that one day the company will realize its own fantastic options and nix the animal-based menu. 

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9. Evel Pie, Las Vegas, NV
For a classic New York slice in Las Vegas, Evel Pie gets the job done. The hardcore, biker-themed spot offers slices and whole specialty pies all on that signature, foldable New York-style crust. Each pizza is exceptionally satisfying—particularly after a late night on The Strip—so instead of choosing your pie based on toppings, have fun with it and let the name decide your order. Our favorites include World Famous Snake River Special (red sauce, vegan mozzarella, “rattlesnake” sausage, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers), Balls to the Wall (red sauce, vegan mozzarella, caramelized onions, and meatballs), and Hog Heaven (barbecue sauce, smoked vegan mozzarella, pulled pork, “man candy” bacon, and red onions). Note, while there is no official dress code, a vegan leather biker jacket is highly recommended.

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.

Photo credit: Screamer’s Pizzeria/veganbodegacat

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