Why Mellow Mushroom Is The Perfect Pizza Spot For Vegans

It's not easy finding good pizza as a vegan, or any pizza at all, really. To be fair, it makes sense that few pizza joints are willing to serve pies without as essential an ingredient as cheese, but that doesn't make vegans' lives any easier. But if you're dairy-free and craving Mellow Mushroom pizza (or anything else on the menu, for that matter), you're in luck. Unlike most chain restaurants — especially pizza restaurants — Mellow Mushroom has an entire menu section devoted to vegan-friendly dishes.

Even more impressive, these meals actually taste good! While cheese-less pizza is often the only alternative for vegans, Mellow Mushroom takes care to combine flavors and textures in complex ways such that you won't even feel like anything is missing. From vegetable staples to plant-based proteins like tempeh and hummus, these vegan dishes work with plant-based ingredients instead of simply subtracting animal products from their original recipes.

The vegan menu at Mellow Mushroom

In 2015, according to the Vegetarian Resource Group Blog, Mellow Mushroom released their "Vegan Favorites" menu, featuring a variety of appetizers, salads, and entrees made without animal products. While some of these dishes are on the main menu and require you to request the dish without cheese, Mellow Mushroom created some original recipes crafted specifically for a vegan diet. Though the menu has changed since its debut, the classics remain in all their cruelty-free glory. 

The Vegan Tempeh Hoagie is a meatless, cheese-less spin on the original. But with tempeh and Follow Your Heart vegan cheese, you don't have to sacrifice flavor (or protein!) to get a sandwich without animal products. 

But, if you, like many of us, go to Mellow Mushroom for pizza, do not fret! The vegan pizza option consists of Mellow's classic crust (sans parmesan and butter, of course) and tomato sauce, topped with vegan cheese and fresh vegetables. Mushrooms and olives give this pie plenty of flavor, and vegan cheese makes up for the absence of the gooier, cow-based version.

Mellow Mushroom has vegan options other than pizza, too

In addition to the vegan menu, Mellow Mushroom has a variety of vegan toppings and veganizable dishes. According to Go Dairy Free, it's pretty easy to make any pizza vegan — Mellow Mushroom will substitute vegan cheese for any variety of cow cheese, and as long as you request no butter or parmesan on your crust, you've got yourself a vegan pie.

Many of the pizza toppings offered are vegan, they even have tempeh and tofu if you're craving protein, and if you're not interested in the designated vegan pizzas, you can build your own. Just be careful when it comes to sauces — the barbecue hot sauce, garlic aioli, pesto, and ranch all contain dairy. As you would in any non-vegan restaurant, it's best to ask if you're not sure whether a certain ingredient is free of animal products or not.

Unfortunately, if you're in the mood for dessert, you might have to make an extra stop to pick up a pint of vegan ice cream. All of Mellow Mushroom's sweets contain dairy, but at least the drinks are vegan!