Winston-Salem, NC-based restaurant Mozzarella Fellas recently transformed into a 100-percent vegan restaurant. Owner Brian Ricciardi opened Mozzarella Fellas in 2016 offering meat- and dairy-based dishes with approximately one-third of the menu dedicated to vegan options. Though he was vegan at the time of opening, Ricciardi was concerned that an all-vegan restaurant would not survive, so he decided to cater to social norms by offering animal products. But transforming the restaurant to all-vegan was always something he wanted to do. 

“I was living in fear back then, running from myself to keep up with social norms,” Ricciardi told VegNews. “I played things safe, while I watched those close to me slowly killing themselves—all while killing [animals] in the process. We all need to start making better choices at some point, and now is the only time that matters.”

Mozzarella Fellas’ extensive menu is a reflection of years of research and planning and features appetizers, main dishes, pizzas, sandwiches, salads, stromboli, calzones, and desserts (such as cannoli with chocolate chips, pistachios, and powdered sugar). The main dishes are named after songs by Ricciardi’s favorite band, The National, and include the Brainy (Korean BBQ fried cauliflower); Hey Rosey (penne with creamy tomato sauce, hot Italian sausage, basil, and almond parmesan); and Little Faith (BBQ jackfruit sandwich with avocado, grilled pineapple, fried sweet onion, and herby ranch).

In the coming weeks, Ricciardi plans to change the name of Mozzarella Fellas to something more fitting.

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