Zizzi’s was the first restaurant that I visited after switching to a vegan diet. It’s vegan menu had been advertised well and I felt safe going there. I remember how smug I felt when I ordered my pizza with vegan cheese. I looked at my boyfriend, tilted my head with a small smile that told him – “see I’m not missing out.” We’ve all had that moment!
Since our last visit Zizzi’s has extended their vegan menu so I thought that I would give it another go.
Zizzi is a chain of Italian restaurants found across the UK founded in 1999. Every place that I’ve lived in the UK has had a Zizzi’s in its town centre. I wonder how much I’ve spent on Zizzi’s over my lifetime? Probably more than I want to know!
Zizzi’s was the first chain restaurant in the UK to offer a vegan alternative to cheese. They’ve also got their own vegan menu so you’ve got choice. No need to pull together a main meal out of sides. Phew!
What I ate at Zizzi’s
I chose mixed olives for my starter as there was an offer on O2 Priority where you got them for free, cheeky cheeky. However I found the olives incredibly vinegary and not in a good way. If you’re an olive lover like me then steer clear of these.
Other vegan starter options are:
- Nocellara giganti olives
- Zizzi spicy nuts
- Vegan bruschetta
- Vegan garlic bread
For main I chose the vegan pizza – obviously. You choose your base, either classic or rustica and then you can add toppings. I chose the rustica which was long and thin and topped it with mushrooms, caramelised onions and artichoke. The vegan cheese is called Mozarisella and is described on Zizzi’s website at “100% vegan, 100% organic and made entirely from germinated, Italian whole rice, without milk and lactose. Completely free from soya, gluten, lactose, food colouring and preservatives.” It tasted good although it was a little runny. I also loved how my plate came with a green sticker saying vegan. Who doesn’t like a good sticker!?
Other main vegan options are:
- Vegan lentil ragu Rich Italian lentil ragu with linguine and fresh oregano
- Vegan spaghetti pomodoro Zizzi’s tomato sauce with baby plum tomatoes and basil. You can add additional ingredients if you wish.
- Green goddess broccoli salad Tenderstem broccoli on cannelini beans, courgette ribbons and mixed leaves tossed in super green pesto with balsamic tomatoes, radish, watercress and toasted omega seeds
I was so excited about dessert. They had this chocolate and praline torte with a date, hazelnut and walnut base that came with coconut and chocolate ripple ice cream. It tasted like a solid bit of Nutella with its hazelnut chocolate goodness. It was rich with honeycomb pieces scattered on top which I so very much appreciated given that crunchie bars are now a no no. This dessert was divine.
Other vegan dessert options are:
- Choice of the following gelato by the scoop: Coconut and chocolate ripple, lemon sorbet, strawberry sorbet. Once again you can add toppings for an extra cost such as prosecco and passion fruit coulis or caramelised pecans.
It’s really encouraging to see how Zizzi’s is expanding their vegan menu. They’re leading the pack when you compare against similar chains such as Prezzos, Ask and Pizza Express. What I have to admit is that I am not a fan of their pizza base. I find it crunchy and hard to digest. I’m a fully converted soughdough pizza girl and there is no going back. However Zizzi’s had a number of other non-Pizza vegan options so next time I go I will just opt for one of those instead. The lentil rague sounded nice.
If you’re looking for a place to meet non-vegan friends then I’d definitely recommend Zizzi’s. With their separate vegan menu that has a wide range you can avoid those awkward conversations with waiters as you try and decipher what is actually in dishes. What’s more their menu continues to develop so you shouldn’t get bored.
Zizzi’s I take my hat off to you.