Vancouver's plant-based food scene is seeing continuous growth, as restaurants add locations, purveyors hit the market, and new places keep popping up.
One of the city's favourite spots, Virtuous Pie, just upped their game by adding several small plates to their offerings, expanding their menu beyond the pizza and ice cream we've come to love them for.
“Our primary offering has been and always will be pizza, but due to requests from our customers, we saw an opportunity to expand our menu and introduce new and exciting complimentary dishes,” says Jim Vesal, Director of Culinary and Business Development for Virtuous Pie.
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The dishes have a distinctly Italian bent, perfect for a pizza shop. Virtuous Pie has created a fully plant-based "meatball" served in a skillet smothered in a smoky tomato sauce with creamy "cheese" and fresh basil that is a hearty, soul-warming addition to a pizza feast.
Other new dishes include the rockstar veg of the last couple of years (no, not kale, where have you been?), cauliflower. Here it's roasted to a gentle char with green harissa for a jolt of spice. They've got classic pizzeria garlic knots, a salad of gem lettuce and their almond ricotta, and a cashew cream mac and cheese, too.
Speaking of cheese, many of these new small plates showcase Virtuous Pie's own line of fresh plant-based cheese, which became available to the public for retail purchase this summer.
Select nut and tofu-based cheeses are available for purchase at Virtuous Pie’s Wesbrook Village location near UBC, every Friday to Sunday, while quantities last. Orders can be placed online or over the phone.
You'll want to save room for dessert now more than before, because VP has also put a skillet cookie on the menu. It's possibly the best plant-based dessert I've ever had, thanks to its alluring combo of a gooey, rich, chocolate-studded cookie, marshmallow topping, a scoop of your choice of their creamy house-made gelato, and salted caramel sauce.
Currently Virtuous Pie has two Vancouver locations, as well as one in Portland, Oregon, with one poised to open soon in Toronto. The Vancouver-based restaurant says they'll be adding a fourth Canadian location in an undisclosed city in the spring of 2019.
Virtuous Pie is located at 583 Main Street in Vancouver's Chinatown and at 3339 Shrum Lane in UBC Wesbrook Village.