UK’s first plant-based pizza restaurant opening in Manchester

The UK’s first plant-based pizza restaurant has chosen Manchester as the base for its sixth site which opens next month, creating around 20 jobs.

Purezza opened in Brighton in 2015, and since then has opened a further four sites in Brixton, Camden, Hove and Bristol. The Manchester site is situated in the former Dough Pizza Kitchen on High Street, in the Northern Quarter.

The company says its pizzas are renowned globally, having won National Pizza of the Year in 2018 and received awards at the World Pizza Championships in 2019. Purezza is a 100% plant-based and vegan restaurant, for which it holds further accolades including Vegan Restaurant of the Year 2020.

Purezza was founded by husband and wife team Tim Barclay and Stefania Evangelisti who were inspired by the lack of vegan Italian options on menus.

Its range of creative Neapolitan-style pizzas features its own patented plant-based mozzarella – the recipe is a closely guarded secret but is made using plants, is hypoallergenic, and tastes, looks and melts just like the real thing, says Purezza.

The bases are made from a unique gluten-free wholegrain sourdough, indistinguishable from regular sourdough, and each organic topping and ingredient is ethically sourced and carefully selected.

As well as classics such as the Margherita, the menu features unique pizzas like the Parmigiana Party (National Pizza of the Year 2018), which uses aubergine parmigiana and vegan sausages, The One with N’duja, featuring a unique plant-based take on the Italian spicy topping, and a fully plant-based black truffle pizza with smoked tofu and wild mushrooms.

Sides, salads and desserts are on the menu, too, with salads such as the Pure Bowl - organic spiced lentils and buckwheat tossed with kale, peppers and semi-dried tomatoes, topped with pesto courgetti spaghetti, crunchy corn, marinated olives, parmesan cheese, and a balsamic glaze.

For dessert there’s The Chocolate One, which uses Purezza’s signature fluffy sourdough coated in a homemade chocolate-hazelnut sauce and topped with white chocolate crumble and ice cream.

Founders Tim Barclay and Stefania Evangelisti

In addition, diners can wash down their pizza with a wide range of creative cocktails and organic beers and wines. Food will also be available via local delivery services.

Sustainability is at the forefront of the company’s values, which comes across in more than just the food. The restaurant is fitted out with reclaimed and upcycled furniture, and decoration has been completed with eco-friendly and organic paints.

Tim Barclay said: “Manchester has been on our agenda for years now as we know it has a vibrant foodie scene, which will only grow once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

“We’ve had more requests on social media to open in Manchester than any other city in the UK, and it’s truly a pleasure to honour those requests and to finally make it happen. We’re really excited about this, and we can’t wait to welcome you through our doors.”