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Friday, October 12, 2012

Vegan MoFo in NYC, Day 12: PIZZA at VIVA

There are lots of ways to do pizza. I think the two feuding styles (that matter) are New York style pizza and Chicago style pizza. Then of course you have, like, Italian pizza I guess? But that's something entirely unto itself.
Like hot dawgs, pizza joints are ubiquitous in this city. I used to be jealous of my non-vegan friends being able to grab something quick, cheap, and easy to find at all hours of the night. Maybe I still am, or maybe I should stop being out at all hours of the night. Anyway, the point is - vegan pizza places have arrived! (Or at least totally decent vegan options.)
The only one I really go to is Viva Herbal Pizza on 2nd ave between 11th and 12th st.

They have a large selection of spelt crust, vegan, and vegetarian options:

This is the slice I picked (with green tea miso-tofu, pesto, mushrooms, carmelized onions, sundried tomato, roasted garlic.) You can see that it's 6 dollars - prices for a slice range from about 4 to 6. It's not one of those dollar slice with a free soda pizza places, but the pizza is so much better and the slices are gigantic! At least the size of two normal slices elsewhere. I do want to say that they aren't big on seasonings (unless it's advertised as spicy, I'd guess) so I usually add hot sauce or red pepper flakes. If you get the Tutta Verde, you can ask for sauce on top, and do. It's much better that way. G also used to go here a lot and took to bringing his own nooch, ha!

My Zen slice and G's veggie slice. Um, and a dessert. A double chocolate chip brownie. Maybe I should mention we got a couple beers before heading over here.

      Yup, vegan desserts! Not sure where they are made, though. They also had vegan cannolis!

Huge chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate cookies, the brownie, and unpictured - two kinds of vegan whoopie pies (pumpkin and chocolate) on the lower shelf. The brownie was moist, dense, and super sweet. Definitely split it. Viva also has a good selection of juices and even salads.
So, yeah. I'm not big on really cheezy pizza - it's more about the crust, sauce, and toppings for me. This place seems to specialize in unique toppings. If you want a more classic slice, there is Vinnie's in Brooklyn off the Bedford stop, Slice in Greenwich Village, and Pie by the Pound (also gluten free options) on 4th and 12th St.
Another nice thing about Viva is that you can get yr slice and eat it down the block outside the beautiful, historic St. Marks in the Bowery church (where Allen Ginsberg and Patti Smith and Ted Berrigan and Eileen Myles, etc. etc. have performed and New York historical figures are buried - and where my store's union meetings were held, ha!)


If you haven't picked up a dessert from Viva (or maybe even if you have), head right across the street to Stogo for vegan ice cream, hot chocolate, or local vegan baked goods.

33 comments:

  1. And vegan cannolis too? Your killing me here. and a vegan pizzeria called Vinnies. *sobs* for the motherland!

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    1. There are plenty of reasons not to stick around, of course.

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  2. Vegan is almost "normal" these days, isn't it? There's nothin' those vegans can't have. If they live in NYC. Were the beers vegan, too?

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    1. The beers were! I had a Lagunitas IPA and their statement on Barnivore is as follows:

      "We don't use any animal products in our beers with the exception of our 1996 Olde GnarlyWine, which had honey added. Isinglass is a strange thing--how can something that smells so bad make beer taste better?? And who came up with the idea of fish swim bladders to clarify beer?? Sound like an unlikely accident..."

      good for them!

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  3. Incredible! Oh that Tutta Verde! Mama Mia!

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    1. It's been a long time since I had one of those...

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  4. OMG YES!! Obviously I'm a NY style pizza girl all the way and your slice sounds fantastic! And holy crap that thing is huge! Totally worth 6 bucks for that giant slice with quality ingredients. Yum! Pretty awesome that they have desserts too, I'd love to try a cannoli! And I tried Stogo for the first and only time around this time last year and I had the pumpkin ice cream! So. freaking. Good!

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    1. What IS Chicago style pizza? The deep dish kind? I only had a small taste of a friend's Stogo - I think it was apple bourbon flavor!

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  5. i forgot about the brownie -g

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  6. Those slices are loaded! They all sound great...I'm interested in the green tea/miso tofu...sounds like a memorable combo with the pesto and all the rest! I personally think like bagels, pizza just sort of fizzles out the farther you get from the East Coast. I lived in Boston for a while, and I've never had pizza that good here. My relatives live in Chicago, and again, no comparison between here and there. Seattle's just not a great pizza town, although there are a couple Neapolitan-style places around that I like, but as you say another story altogether.

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    1. I should try moving away from NY. I am oddly curious to try these other cities' interpretations...

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  7. Love both those places. VIVA is the only place that pizza is TRULY a vegetable!

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    1. Haha! True! They should try bringing Viva to school cafeterias.

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  8. That's my kind of pizza! Sounds like a great place & I love that they offer spelt crust.

    I would swoon if I came across vegan eclairs. They used to be a favorite of mine in my pre-vegan days.

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    1. Yeah, the crust is very nice. I guess not typical NY crust, but it has a cornmeal dusting and I like the texture.
      I used to love eclairs too...maybe I should go back and try a vegan one.

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  9. Ahk! I am often next door at bar veloce (LOVE that wine bar!!) and always end up getting a slice at viva afterwards :)
    And stogo.... I cant say enough about how much i love them....
    Ttrockwood@yahoo.com

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    1. Funny! maybe I will try Veloce - it's always confused me... Perhaps we will cross paths - you heading to Viva and me looking for wine, ha!

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  10. Wow, what an awesome place to go for pizza! I love the look of the zen and they have vegan eclairs, omg!!

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    1. I really need to figure out where they source their baked goods!

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  11. i LOVED my viva slice i got when we stopped here in august! i chose the one loaded to the roof with spinach & m went for one covered in seitan & caramelized onions. SO good.

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    1. Oooh I don't know that I saw a seitan one but I love carmelized onions. Nice pick for m.

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  12. Oh my, you know I love pizza, and I didn't get a chance to make my "usual" Friday pizza last night so this post is really tempting me, not to mention inspiring me. Those slices look crazy good. Cool that they had delish vegan desserts too. It's great that there is more than one vegan-option pizza palace to choose from. There is one vegan-option pizza restaurant in my town that I *know* of, and I consider that a very good sign and support for Andrea's statement that vegan is "almost normal."

    Btw, I too am going to be union person! Turns out I have to join a union for my library job.

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    1. I DO know you love pizza. Can't wait to see what you come up with next. This place has more options than I'd be able to imagine!
      Right on with the union job :)

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  13. Wow, what a blessing of options! Those slices look amazing. I live in a college town, and while there is a Daiya option at one place, all of the pizza tastes like one would have wanted at 18. It's the kind of pizza I ordered to my dorm room for $5 back in the day. My pizza tastes are a little different now. And vegan eclairs??? Nice!

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  14. I'm more of a saucy-cheesey vegan pizza girl myself. Ate at Viva's a few years ago and absolutely hated my slice. It was like eating grass clippings on a spelt dough. But! I can see how a toppings-oriented person would like it a lot :)

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    1. Hahah! What toppings were on it?? I do kind of want to try a plain slice for the sake of comparison, at least.

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  15. I am in full agreement - it's all about crust, sauce and toppings. Geographically, I am closer to Chicago than NYC, but I'm a thin crust gal all the way. I have been to Chicago and had deep dish pizza - it was like a bread lasagna. Almost like a casserole/pot pie type of creation.

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  16. This place sounds awesome! It's nifty that they have vegan pizza just hangin' out with the other ones. The only place here that does Daiya on pizza is the one my vegan friend works at, if I smuggle her in a bag of it, ha ha!

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  17. Ok, so I have to represent and say that- as far as I know- Viva's vegan desserts are from Vegan Treats. Not sure about the eclair, since I've never seen that one, but I have a feeling that was their description of cannoli.

    Anyhoo, I do want to mention that I'm a cheez pizza traditionalist so I always get the plain Daiya slice. It's really good, but I'd be remiss not to mention that the crust isn't traditional doughy for that particular purpose. For that, Vinnie's all the way! Saluggi's used to be fab, but it's a far trek.

    PS Lula's for the win; the extra few blocks' walk will help you digest your pizza!

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    ReplyDelete

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