On a street full of fusion concepts including a Korean/Italian joint, few are more surprising than a vegan Italian. Enter Picky Wops. Serving pizza topped with cheeze in place of cheese, egg-free pasta, creamy tiramisu without a hint of dairy and antipasto. It’s a revolutionary concept as a conscious eatery without a salad in sight.
The eatery’s second bricks and mortar location is a new fixture on London’s Brick Lane, cementing the brand’s strategy initiated in its Brixton set up of partnering with other businesses to establish a kitchen while its partner takes care of the front of house. The move creates a unique environment for each location with a very different vibe ranging from pub to coffee house.
The plant-based pizzeria has added a whole lot more for its Brick Lane location, bringing in new dishes with meat alternatives from This, which provide crucial toppings to its chicken-style BBQ pizza and meat, egg and dairy-free take on carbonara.
Picky Wops has been a regular fixture at street markets and food festivals across the capital for the past three years. In that time, its chefs have worked out how to pull off the most difficult of feats, not one but two delicious vegan cheese alternatives. The parmesan alternative topping its chips and pastas is completely devoid of the overpowering smell accompanying many vegan cheeses, while its pizza topping melts and pulls without sticking like many on the scene.
Not just that but its pizzas are available with a wide variety of doughs. The rainbow of colours, textures and flavours in its burnt wheat, multigrain and turmeric bases – in addition to the original – are the only overt nod to health in this diner.
Meanwhile its range of toppings has some perfectly recreated meat alternatives, with a BBQ chicken-style affair courtesy of This or pepperoni-esque pieces. If pizza isn’t your thing, there are a range of tasty pasta dishes – its carbonara is dangerously close to the real thing – as well as garlic bread, dough balls and loaded fries that are all 100% vegan. Its dough balls feature generous helpings of dairy-free garlic butter almost indistinguishable from the real thing, while its placement atop the dough balls means it oozes into the bottom of the bowl for mopping up later on.
This is the perfect place for a casual lunch or dinner with friends of all dietary requirements. Even those looking to moderate their alcohol consumption will find something for them on its drinks menu teeming with booze-free cocktails.
Euronews Living visited the Picky Wops branch on Brick LaneFor more information on locations, bookings and menu, visit pickywops.com.