This post is in collaboration with Virtuous Pie.
Earlier this summer, Virtuous Pie, Portland’s first 100% plant-based pizzeria and ice cream shop, opened on Division St. I was invited for a preview, and I put on my best vegan pizza shirt (yes, I own more than one vegan pizza shirt) for the occasion.
Hailing from Vancouver, Virtuous Pie’s menu offers eight pizzas, salads, ice cream flights, floats, and affogatos. As of early August, they’ve also started serving brunch. The 10-inch pies are generously sized personal pizzas ranging from $10 to $14. Instead of going the usual Daiya or Follow Your Heart routes (nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the most original approach), chef Jim Vesal uses more unique nut based cheeses and house made ingredients.
They were still working on the space on my first visit, but it was already photo worthy. Designed by Portland based Bright Design Lab, the open, airy space encourages communal dining and feels very LA in Portland. It reminded me of a couple upscale vegan spots in LA, while remaining more friendly on the wallet. The details of the bar are lovely (have you seen the moss lined water station?), and they serve up Heart Coffee, Smith Tea, Happy Mountain Kombucha, as well as local beers and wines.
During my visit, I joined Jim in the kitchen to make a pizza. I had initially planned on getting my hands dirty, but decided to just watch the vegan pizza master in action as he crafted the Meatball & Chevre and The Catalan, which were both developed specially for the Portland location. From start to finish, it takes approximately 6-7 minutes to make a pizza. Once they’re out of the oven, the crust is brushed with olive oil and the pie is finished with final touches like fresh herbs and grated cheese.
I fell in love at first bite, and I fell hard. I’ve tried every single pie and only burnt my mouth once in the process. (I’ll be writing a separate piece about all the pies.) Portland’s got a strong vegan pizza scene with everything from thin crust foldable pizza to deep dish corn meal pies, but Virtuous Pie raises the bar for vegan pizza when it comes to both creativity and flavor. Have you tried these plant-based beauties yet?!
Note: This post is in collaboration with Virtuous Pie. I was invited for a media preview of Virtuous Pie. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.