Ever since chowing down at Virtuous Pie for the first time while visiting Vancouver, I have been downright obsessed. So what’s so special about this place, you might ask? Well first of all, everything on the menu is 100% vegan, but not in the yucky hippie granola way [no offence if that’s your thing, it’s just not mine]. Virtuous Pie doesn’t just sell pizza and ice cream, but they do it with style. And by that I mean, the food is insta-worthy and innovative. As an added bonus, the decor is sleek and chic just the way us millennials like it.
Virtuous Pie UBC Westbrook Village:
I stopped by the UBC Westbrook Village location for lunch after some time spent visiting the UBC library. This spacious and bright location has been carefully decorated with a keen eye for minimalist beauty. Think trendy geometric lamps and strategically placed greenery amidst contemporary artwork. As beautiful as the indoor space is, I opted for a seat out in the sun on the patio and ordered an iced soy latte. That right there is a classic “me” move. To my surprise, this was the first time I tasted coffee so smooth since living in Melbourne, who fancy themselves the coffee capital of the world. That well-crafted latte made me even more curious to try the food.
All of the options seemed enticing, but I ordered the Stranger Wings pizza, not because I’m a fan of the show, but because who wouldn’t want to try spicy buffalo cauliflower wings on a pizza? The 10” pie came with exciting toppings such as fried shallots, blue cheese drizzle, scallions, bianca (a delicious cashew-based sauce), and of course, the cauliflower wings. I was impressed with the overall quality of the ingredients but especially with the white bianca sauce. Vegans know we’re usually lucky enough to find decent vegan cheese, let alone a base other than boring old tomato sauce. Food innovation is part of VP’s charm and expertise and in my opinion, they hit it right out of the park. The sauce was creamy, the wings weren’t too spicy but had a nice kick to them, and the dough was soft and chewy. It was love at first bite.
But wait, there’s more:
And then came dessert. Even though I was already full, you only live once (probably?) so I said yes to dessert. I got to choose my own cookies and ice cream to build an ice cream sandwich. After a lot of humming and hawing I decided on cookie dough ice cream smashed between one chocolate and one chocolate chip cookie. I am hardly used to such extensive options and so many amazing flavours. Bourbon vanilla? Hazelnut latte? Cinnamon crunch? “Is this all a dream?”, I secretly wondered. Like their dairy-free cheeses, Virtuous Pie makes their wonderful ice cream (hard or soft serve) in house.
The staff at this location is very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, so don’t be afraid to ask about their gluten-free options here such as pizza crust and waffle cones. Students will be happy to know that the UBC Westbrook Village location delivers to the UBC campus on bike which can be ordered online. Stop in for a a breakfast pizza for brunch and $4 mimosas on Sundays, 20% student discount on Tuesdays, or check out happy hour specials on drinks and food. At this point, the good features about this place may be too many to list. You will have to go in and get the VP experience for yourself and you can thank me later.
All the awesome food in Vancouver is a good enough reason for me to visit from Victoria now and again. When I do venture off Vancouver Island, I sometimes like to take the “Victoria to Vancouver” aka V2V luxury cruise for a quiet and relaxing ride. The trip takes about about three and a half hours through the gorgeous gulf islands. That might seem long, but the convenience of travelling from downtown to downtown is worth the extra time on board which would have been spent in transit on land if going the BC Ferries route. The cruise departs once a day from each city, starting back up on March 15, 2019.
Vegans of Victoria rejoice, it seems our collective prayers have been answered. Canada’s best vegan pizza joint is opening up in Victoria this spring at 530 Pandora Avenue. Other locations have recently popped up around Vancouver, Toronto and Portland, but this will be the first Virtuous Pie with a bar area. What’s even more exciting is that they will be partnering with local craft breweries and wineries and will have a large patio.
While this location hasn’t opened yet, I can already tell you that I will be a frequent regular when it does. Shut up and take my money!
Follow Virtuous Pie on Instagram.