“We’re not here to imitate. We’re here to create our own style of pizza,” says Jim Vesal, the executive chef of Vancouver, B.C.-based Virtuous Pie. Founded in 2015, Virtuous Pie will open its first location in Portland (and second location overall) this Saturday, June 10, at 1126 SE Division St. The honed menu (see below) features around eight plant-based pizzas as well as eight flavors of vegan ice cream.
Although Virtuous Pie will accommodate build-your-own pizzas, Vesal says his signature pies are more like composed dishes, and it’s about “transforming vegetables to build flavor,” when you aren’t working with meat or dairy. The restaurant isn’t afraid to hit the junk-food angle, such as the “Stranger Wings,” with Buffalo cauliflower, fried shallots, a planted-based “blue cheese,” scallion, and bianca, a creamy, cashew-based sauce.
Virtuous Pie offers on-tap wines, beers, ciders, cold brew, kombucha, and more, having teamed up with local breweries, wineries, and other producers. The house-made ice creams are served in scoops, waffle cones, sundaes, affogatos, and ice cream sandwiches, as well as by the pint.
In the mornings, thanks to a partnership with Heart Coffee Roasters, Virtuous Pie will have a coffeehouse vibe, serving coffees made on a gleaming Modbar brewing system in the morning, with house-made nut- and hemp-based milks, as well as pastries.
While the entire restaurant furnishes plant-based food and drink, Virtuous Pie caters to a wider variety of dietary restrictions and decisions: Pizza can be made gluten-free, and ice creams come in both coconut-cashew and plain coconut bases to offer something for those with nut allergies.
Here’s what’ll be on the menus, when Virtuous Pie opens the doors this weekend. Stay tuned for photos of the airy venue: