What’s on the menu at Virtuous Pie, a B.C.-based vegan pizza joint
Name: Virtuous Pie
Contact: 611 College St., 647-729-9943, virtuouspie.com, @virtuous_pie
Neighbourhood: Little Italy
Founders: Jim Vesal and Lia Loukas
Chefs: Executive chef Jim Vesal and local lead Aaron Okada (Lasa, Lamesa)
If you ignore the sanctimonious name, there’s little here to indicate that Virtuous Pie is a plant-powered pizza joint—the word “vegan” isn’t mentioned on the signs or menus. And, according to the Toronto location’s top chef Aaron Okada, that’s the point. “Often, people don’t realize they’re eating vegan food, but that’s a good thing,” Okada says. “I don’t want people to say, ‘That was good for a vegan pizza,’ I just want to serve great food.”
The pies are built on hand-stretched, three-day fermented dough, and topped with a variety of nut- and tofu-based cheeses. The three Virtuous Pie locations (one in Portland, two in Vancouver) share a core menu, and pizzas range from classics (like a Margherita) to kookier creations (the Stranger Wings pie, for instance, is basically what happens when “chicken” wings and pizza make a blasphemous baby).
Virtuous Pie serves wine, beer, cider and kombucha on tap, and places on emphasis on carrying a rotating selection of local products. The wine served on this particular day was Creekside (Jordan) and the tall cans included suds from Black Oak (Etobicoke) and Cameron’s Brewing Company (Oakville). There’s also free filtered, still and sparkling water on tap.
Local design duo Mason Studio was hired to decorate the 29-seat quick-service space. It’s bright and airy—and will be doubly so in the summer when the garage window is rolled up. Customers order at the counter, get a number and grab a seat.