Pizzaria Volare, North London

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love pizza. Pre-veggie/veganism, the boy and I were partial to the occasional (weekly) Domino’s 2 For Tuesday deal.
Switching over to our current veggie and vegan lifestyles, our new go to became Papa Johns, whose original crusts are vegan friendly (and so delicious, even the pups are fans)!
Now, after both experiencing real Italian thin crust pizzas in Italy, our tastes have refined somewhat. And as much as I do love a good Franco Manca or a Pizza Pilgrim, these aren’t local to us in North London, so we have been on the hunt for an authentic and local restaurant to frequent.
And then we found Pizzaria Volare, Bowes Road. We’ve often walked past on our way to other places, but this time we headed there specifically, and we weren’t disappointed.
Here’s what we ordered:
1
A deliciously fresh Tricolore Salad – rocket, avocado, tomato & mozzarella (on the side).
2
A side order of Patatas Bravas with a spicy tomato sauce (again, on the side – a theme may be occurring).
And then my absolute favourite (and often cheapest!) pizza of all time…
5
Pizza Marinara – tomato pizza sauce, garlic (and lots of it), oregano & fresh basil.
All washed down with a complimentary shot of limoncello and a rather good value bill.
6
Oh and did you know that Peroni is vegan friendly? Rude not to, really.
A great little vegetarian & vegan friendly meal in a lovely authentic Pizzaria; a must if you find yourself in our neck of the woods. Attentive staff, only too happy to make slight adjustments to their plentiful menu, delicious food and reasonably priced.
Pizzaria Volare
167 Bowes Road
N11 2JA
020 3105 2662

Homeslice is Coming to Shoreditch

Pizza and red wine are my 2 greatest food loves. Those of you that know me, know that not many a week goes by that I don’t partake in the consumption of at least one of these delicious indulgences.

So I was excited to find out this morning that one of my Covent Garden favourites, Homeslice, is opening up a new branch in Shoreditch. Not only that but if you visit today or tomorrow (03 / 04 December ’16) between 12 – 11pm during their soft launch, you’ll receive 50% off pizzas + 100 slices to go for free!

homeslice restaurant 3

Homeslice began life in 2011 with a mobile wood-fired oven hand built by Ry Jessup.  We launched Homeslice with an event at London Fields Brewery and sold out within hours. We gained real momentum serving up slices at markets and festivals with Kerb, Street Feast and Frieze, which culminated in our residency at Kings Cross Filling Station in 2012.

It was through Ry’s connection with Mark Wogan that the idea of moving to bricks and mortar came about. Through his background in the restaurant industry and his passion for simple food done well, Mark dovetailed with what Homeslice were trying to achieve.

So, with Mark’s brother Alan looking after the business side of things, Mark and Ry began work establishing their first restaurant at 13 Neal’s Yard in the early part of 2013.  With a shared vision of retaining Homeslice’s original simplicity, the aim was to balance tradition with innovation, offering people our take on the classics alongside more unique flavour combinations. The result was a simple menu of pizza, beer and wine with quality, seasonal produce at its heart, served in a relaxed, friendly space.

One of the great things about Homeslice is they aim to use only the best fresh, seasonal and local produce available. Everything they serve is made in house, including their dough which is aged for at least 24 hours before being cooked at 500 degrees celcius for only 60-90 seconds in their custom built wood fired oven, that gives their pizzas that delicious and authentic smokey, slight char flavour.

A whole 20″ pizzas costs £20, or you can grab just a slice for £4; a whole pizza will generously feed 2-3 people and they’re happy to split toppings 50/50. Although there isn’t a vegan option on the menu, I have been lucky enough to enjoy a freshly made Marinara pizza at the Covent Garden branch, but I think you’d struggle to get something cheese-free by the slice.

You can also choose to wash it down with locally sourced beers, wine by the magnum, frizzante prosecco on tap, plus a seasonal cocktail menu.

There’s something for everyone here, be it vegan or carnivore. Pop along and let me know what you think…

​​Homeslice, Old Street:
​374-378 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9LT
oldstreet@homeslicepizza.co.uk / 0203 151 1121
​Mon – Sat: 12pm – 11pm, Sun: 12pm-10pm.

homeslice shoreditch

Zizzi Ristorante

Those of you that follow me on Instagram, will know that I love a pizza. Always have. I loved a pizza pre-veganism, mostly from Dominos – the boyfriend and I used to celebrate a Tuesday with a “Two for…” deal and watch American sports on TV. Now I’m vegan & he’s veggie, it’s Pizza Hut (a new love!) or Pizza Express.

Pizza Express
Pizza Express


I’ve spent a lot of time eating pizza, so I like to think I know a thing or two, and while I’m still perfecting the art of making at home, when it comes to pizza restaurant chains, I thought I knew where it was at.

The Three Johns
The Three Johns


Pizza Express has always been my “go to” when I’m out and in the mood for something hot and Italian – they have a vegan pizza on their menu for God’s sake! But last night I might have found a new favourite…

  

At the suggestion of one of my closest friends, Amy, we dined at Zizzi. To be honest, if she wasn’t such a good friend, I might not have trusted her judgement in the first place, but she is, so we went, and I loved it!

Unlike my beloved Pizza Express, they don’t have a vegan pizza on their menu, but they do have a vegan menu! In actual fact it’s an allergens menu, but I have never seen one, or even heard of such a thing before last night, so I got pretty excited about it. On this hallowed menu they list items from each section of their menu that either already are or can be adapted to be vegan friendly, listing what it is you need to request be removed.

They also have specific vegetarian, gluten-free, milk-free, sesame and lupin-free, nut and peanut-free, crustacean-free, mollusc-free, fish-free, egg-free, celery-free, mustard-free, soybean, sulphide dioxide and sulphite-free pages!


With the help of my new best friend (the menu) we ordered :

Fava Pepe

Basil broad bean chips + roquito pepper pearls.


and

Bruschetta


Confit baby plum tomatoes on garlic brushed ciabatta, smoked garlic oil + basil – minus the topped riserva cheese.


NEW Skinny pizza primavera


Roasted aubergine, artichokes, peppers, slow roasted tomatoes, olives & fresh oregano – minus the goats cheese but with added mushrooms, onions and green chilies.

Our Fava Pepe starter was vegan without any alterations and completely new to me. I haven’t seen anything like this on a restaurant menu before and what a treat to find a new vegan dish in the most unlikeliest of places.

My “skinny” Primavera pizza was made with Zizzi’s new wholemeal, white + spelt base, served with an Italian naked slaw, under 550kcals and I can thoroughly recommend. Also good to note is that all Zizzi pizza bases and tomato sauces are vegan friendly, so you should be able to order any veggie pizza, minus the cheese, and know that your meal with be vegan friendly.

Amy also had a pizza, but it was meat based, so I won’t bore you with it here!

We didn’t indulge in dessert, although I could have ordered safely using the allergens menu, from a selection of fruity sorbets – not quite “nice cream” but a step in the right direction at least.

I will definitely think twice before I walk in to a Pizza Express again, if there’s a Zizzi nearby. Sorry Pizza Express, but until you update your menu to rival the selection on offer at Zizzi, you might just have lost a once loyal customer – I still love your stripy T-shirts though!

Valentina Fine Italian Food – East Sheen

Valentina4

If you ever find yourself in East Sheen – I know, it’s a long shot, but that’s exactly where I found myself this Wednesday evening – I can highly recommend Valentina for some fine Italian dining.
I decided to show my love for one of my beautiful best friends, Hollie, by making the 3 hour round trip to East Sheen, to see her beautiful new flat. In return she showed her love for me, by contacting a few of her favourite local restaurants, to see if any of them could rustle me up some vegan delicacies.
The first to respond was Valentina, and so that’s where we found ourselves, plus another of our best friends, the lovely Kate, at 210 Upper Richmond Road West.
After a quick study of the menu and a brief chat with the waitress and the chef, we made our selections.
Valentina
HERE’S WHAT WE ATE :
Starters to share :
* OLIVONI £2.95 (V) (GF)
Giant green olives from Puglia
* PRIMAVERA £2.95 (V)
A selection of mushrooms, olives, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and artichokes marinated in olive oil
* CIPOLLE £2.95 (V)
Baby onions pickled in balsamic vinegar
 And then the pizzas:
VEGETARIANA £9.75 (V)
A selection of mixed vegetables on a tomato base, finished with extra virgin olive oil (ME)
 * BIANCA VALENTINA £11.95
San Daniele ham, mozzarella, rocket and parmesan shavings with a black truffle dressing (KATE)
* CALABRESE (Piccante – Spicy) £10.45
Mozzarella, basil and tomato topped with spicy Ventricina salami and finished with chilli oil (HOLLIE)
Valentina2
The food was all delicious. I wolfed down my whole pizza, whilst my 2 besties struggled – I put it down to all that cheese! Less cheese, more pizza ladies, it’s the way forward.
No room for dessert, so we called it a night – I had a long journey ahead of me. All in all, a very enjoyable meal and the kind people at Valentina went over and above by recommending things that were suitable for my vegan diet.
Valentina is also an Italian deli, so would be a great place to pop for a morning coffee and maybe pick up something yummy for lunch.
Valentina3
I would recommend – if you ever find yourself round that way!
Come back soon for more vegan recipes, tips, brands and products. In the meantime check out my Instagram – @isitveganuk.