Looking to add something healthy to your usual dinner menu but don’t want any extra hassle? Ask for vegan cheese instead of classic mozzarella on your next pizza and beer run. Don’t let the word “vegan” scare you away. I went to three pizza shops around Columbus to try what they had to offer in the vegan cheese category and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.
945 N. High St., Short North
$8.60 for a 10-inch pizza
Z Pizza uses Daiya as its brand of vegan cheese; Daiya contains no trans fats, cholesterol or artificial preservatives. With just plain cheese, sauce and crust, I didn’t know what to expect on my first bite, but I soon realized I had little to worry about. Despite a lack of “cheesy” flavor, it was undeniably fresh. I couldn’t help but notice it made me appreciate the flavor of the sauce more than I would normally.
Mikey’s Late Night Slice
1200 W. Third Ave., Grandview (inside Woodlands Tavern)
2608 N. High St., Clintonville (inside Ledo’s Lounge)
$5 for a 7-inch pizza pita
A favorite of those looking for late-night munchies, Mikey’s also uses Daiya. This pizza was smaller than the other two I tried, and it was the cheapest of the bunch. What the pizza lacked in size it more than made up for in pesto sprinkled abundantly across the cheese. The amount of spice actually made the pizza more enjoyable, and I barely noticed I was eating vegan.
2170 Polaris Parkway, Polaris
6505 Dublin Center Drive, Dublin
$8 for a 10-inch pizza
The restaurant known for its psychedelic murals and awesome pizza names (Kosmic Karma, anyone?) also uses Daiya. Sensing a pattern here? This was probably my favorite overall because of the great thick crust. The plain vegan cheese pizza did not disappoint. And for those Mellow devotees who don’t want to make the trek all the way to Polaris, another location opened in Dublin last year.
Photo by Tim Johnson