Since opening its doors earlier in the year, Brighton born Purezza has become quite the Camden attraction. The UK’s first plant-based pizzeria, it specialises in offering a completely dairy free menu, with gluten free pizza base and side and dessert option also available.
As soon as we walked through the door we could see that this place is crazy popular. 7pm on a Monday night and it was completely packed out to the point that for a moment we wondered if our table would even be available yet, but after a couple of moments we were shown to our seats by our chirpy server. Giving us a bit of an introduction to the background of the restaurant, he talked us through the menu, a creative pizza menu with gluten free and hemp bases as swap ins. We were excited to check this place out. My friend is now lactose intolerant, so cheesy pizzas are just a distant memory, and I pretty much love any chance to try any kind of vegi and vegan offering.
Given that the place was buzzing, we decided to order everything except desserts in one foul swoop; garlic bread to start (with extra dairy-free cheese, because we could), Parmigiana Party for me; Smoked mozzarella, fried aubergine parmigiana, sliced seitan sausages, topped with basil leaves and a dusting of nutritional yeast.
Couch Potato for my friend; White base with smoked mozzarella, fried aubergines, oven roasted potatoes, basil leaves and seitan, topped with garlic mayo, accompanied by a Professor Peanut Smoothie; Almond milk, oat, peanut butter, dates and cacao.
The smoothie came out first. Reading the list of ingredients, it kind of sounds like a meal in itself, but it came out smooth and refreshing, with the almond milk calming the richness of the peanut butter, dates and cacao. I liked it, it was a lot more mellow than I thought it would be, in fact I could have ordered another if I weren’t so keen to try the cocktails.
The food came out and I was instantly happy with my choice. Served on big round wooden pizza slab with individual pizza cutters, the pizzas really looked the part. We started with the garlic bread, which was more like a mini cheese pizza than your standard garlic bread. Made with rosemary and garlic puree, the extra cheese really did taste like cheese, and was a great addition. My pizza was beauts, we both agreed that I had made the better choice as the tomato base was a better shout than a white base. I particularly liked the use of seiten sausages, which on paper looked a bit odd with the parmigiana but it totally worked. It was rich, full of flavour, just how I like my pizza’s. It was massive, but I managed to eat almost the whole thing, with a side of garlic mayo helping me devour even the base. The couch potato was also nice, but not as flavoursome as the Parmigiana, I would certainly always opt for the tomato base.
We finished with a chocolate brownie with chocolate hazelnut and chocolate ice cream, and lemon cheesecake cocktails. The cocktail was immense! Its main ingredients were limoncello and almond Baileys which is the new dairy free Baileys I have been dying to try. A bit of a risk and I don’t generally like limoncello, but this element wasn’t too overpowering, and it really did taste like cheesecake. The brownie was also delicious, served warm with lashings of chocolate sauce, it was everything a gooey brownie should be.
I would suggest Purezza to anyone that likes something a bit more creative than your standard margarita. A great option for anyone who is vegan or lactose intolerant, but also just foodie’s who like to try something a bit different. They operate on a walk-in basis for smaller bookings so I suggest going, out of peak hours, or be prepared to potentially queue for a bit, although it’s totally worth it.
Address: Purezza, 43 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PN
Written by Jordan Crowley