The UK’s premier completely vegan pizzeria with the simple yet passionate aim to create a cruelty free plant-based menu superior to traditional alternative, have now opened in Hove!
If someone had asked me a few years ago if I could ever give up meat and meat products altogether and become completely vegan, I would have scoffed at them. More recently I have made a conscious effort to reduce the amount of meat products I consume, and I can pinpoint the exact moment my opinion changed. I had always admired vegans and was fully aware of some of the cruel practices that go on in factory farming, as well as the effect mass meat consumption is having on the planet, but like many others had chosen to bury my head in the sand and came up with excuses like “there aren’t any decent meat or cheese substitutes on the market,” and “I won’t get enough protein in my diet if I give up meat products.” That was until I discovered Purezza a couple of years ago when I paid a visit to their flagship restaurant in Brighton’s Kemptown.
Ever since that fateful day, I have rarely ordered a pizza from anywhere else. I was completely won over by their incredible award-winning entirely vegan pizzas and downright dirty sexy sides. It seems I am not the only one who has been convinced, as Purezza have rapidly expanded, opening restaurants in Camden, more recently Bristol, and to my delight, one just down the road from me in Hove! This was all the excuse I needed to book myself in for a fix of my favourite Pizza.
Purezza’s new location on Western Road is much more spacious and modern than its counterpart in Brighton, yet they have kept the rustic and cosy décor and laid-back vibe they are famous for. The huge wood fire pizza oven proudly takes centre stage and the well-lit venue is beautifully decorated with pizza paddles and cutters painted on the walls. The restaurant has the added bonus of outdoor seating available for the warmer months, and a luscious upstairs dining room with huge bay windows overlooking the bustling street. A great place to while away a couple of hours over a relaxed lunch whilst watching the world go by.
The menu is simple to navigate with a diverse range of pizzas, sides, pasta dishes and salads that cater for all dietary requirements, without overwhelming customers with choice. The Pizzas are all named like episodes of “Friends” which I think is a lovely touch, bringing a sense of nostalgia and belonging to the proceedings. They come with three choices of base, their classic family recipe wholegrain sourdough, a healthier locally sourced hemp flour dough, or “freedom” gluten free base. We choose hemp and freedom base for our pizzas as we know we are getting a taste of their classic sourdough with the dough balls we order to start us off. All bases were out of this world, the two pizza bases were thick and puffy and yet incredibly airy and fluffy. The freedom base is beautifully light and the hemp has a lovely earthy flavour to it. I would be hard pushed to choose a favourite!
Although I have been a relative frequent visitor to Purezza over the years, this is the first time I have ever tried their dough-balls. I have to say we were completely wowed by them! To say they ooze homemade melty cheese would be an understatement as they literally erupt the stuff! I have already been well and truly won over by Purezza’s homemade plant based mozzarella so to have it burst out of a delicious dough ball is a real delight. So messy and so much fun to eat as well as tasting incredible! They taste great dunked in our choices of sriracha and garlic mayo dips too!
Moving on to our pizza choices, my companion, who is notoriously fussy when it comes to pizza toppings was bowled over by hers. She plumped for “the one with the truffle.” Black truffle base with mozzarella, wood smoked tofu, mixed wild forest mushrooms and finished with micro herbs. I initially thought this could be a dangerous choice for her, as there is always a danger that truffle, with its strong bold flavour can completely take over and mask everything else. This was certainly not the case here as all the individual ingredients were allowed to shine, and the hemp base with its earthiness turned out to be an inspired choice to boot! A very rich and tasty pizza indeed.
I myself opted for “the one with the Nduja” White base with mozzarella, yellow tomatoes, nduja, crumbled sausages, green chillies, teardrop peppers, finished with chilli flakes, and I added extra seitan pepperoni because I am greedy and cannot get enough of Purezza’s delicious authentic tasting meaty toppings. By far the most inviting and appetising looking pizzas I have ever seen. The natural ingredients and glistening gooey cheese made for some vibrant colours and textures and the result was a plant based masterpiece which tasted incredible. Each mouthful of this delicious pizza was an adventure with flavours and textures exploding in my mouth.
An extra unexpected bonus of plant-based pizza is that it does not make you feel as bloated as regular pizza! So we were able to force down a shared chocolate fudge brownie. A squidgy gluten free delight that tasted divine. Served with a generous dollop of homemade delicious creamy vegan vanilla ice cream that would have slowly melted over the cake if we hadn’t devoured it so quickly!
I would thoroughly recommend Purezza to anyone, whether you are vegan, vegetarian or even downright unashamedly carnivorous. The food is incredible, with a tremendous amount of creativity and passion having gone into the creating such a diverse and fun menu. You could easily forget you are eating plant-based alternatives. For me, their pizza beats anywhere else in Brighton hands down! As well as this the staff are lovely, and the atmosphere is buzzing in their newly opened Hove branch, so get yourself down there ASAP.