Wednesday 23 March 2016

Zizzi's Vegan Menu

2016 is definitely shaping up to be the year that Veganism becomes more mainstream as more and more high street restaurants make the move to offer vegan options and, in some cases, even a dedicated vegan menu. 

On the 15th of March 2016 Italian chain restaurant Zizzi's were the latest restaurant to become vegan friendly and as soon as I heard the news I immediately booked up a table so that myself and some friends could try out their great new vegan menu.  

When I first saw the menu I was really impressed to see a decent selection of food but even more amazed that Zizzi's have gone as far as to create their own vegan friendly mozzarella made from organic rice milk. This is HUGE news for the vegan community! 

Hopefully this will now encourage other restaurants to offer a vegan cheese alternative in their dishes too. Pizza Express for example do offer a vegan friendly pizza (the Pianta) but this pizza is cheese free unless you decide to take your own vegan cheese which they are happy to add on for you as long as it's in an unopened packet. 

Zizzi'z is a restaurant I used to go to all the time prior to going vegan so it's great to know that I can now eat there again and it especially makes eating out with other non vegans a lot easier.  

So last Friday night we headed off to Zizzi's in Chelmsford, Essex, which i'd never been to before but I have to say it was one of the nicer branches of this restaurant i've visited. Inside it was beautiful and I loved all of the exposed brick work and fancy lighting. 

One thing that's definitely worth noting is that we requested to see a copy of the vegan menu, which must be quite thin in supply as we had to share one between 5 of us, and it also comes within the entire allergen menu folder. Looking at the vegan menu on its own made things easier for us but having just looked at Zizzi's main menu online I can see that they do indeed also state on there that they offer a vegan mozzarella which is fantastic as they're also letting the masses know that there is an alternative to dairy cheese available. 

If Zizzi's did want to make things even better it would be great to see them using a 'vegan' stamp of approval on their main menu next to the suitable dishes. I am sure there are many people who may not be internet savvy who probably don't know about the vegan options and no doubt presume they can't eat here. Hopefully word will get around to them anyway, but I don't think this is something that Zizzi's should hide away from fully publicising to their customers. 

After studying the menu for a few days before visiting I knew exactly what I wanted when it came to ordering and I knew I was going in for a full three courses! 

For starters we went for the garlic bread and giganti olives which was perfect for sharing between two of us. The garlic bread portion was pretty huge so I was glad I didn't order one to myself as I think I would have filled up before my main meal. Both of these starters were really tasty and enjoyable and I would most certainly order them again. A friend of mine chose the bruschetta which looked equally as good. 

For our main meal we all of course went in for a pizza with the vegan mozzarella cheese. There's lots of additional toppings to choose from and as tempting as it was to order all of them I limited myself to mushrooms, spinach and caramelised balsamic onions which I felt was a really nice combination. 

When the pizzas arrived it was good to see that our plates came with accompanying small 'vegan' stickers to once again reiterate that our pizza was vegan friendly. We also quite liked the fact that we could wear the stickers with pride afterwards! 

I was so happy with my choice of toppings and they worked really well together. I've never had caramelised balsamic onions before but they were to die for! So delicious and moreish.

To be completely honest I couldn't really determine any noticeable taste to the vegan cheese but i'm not sure I was given as much as other people. My friend chose a plain vegan mozzarella pizza and she definitely had more cheese than I did! I've also noticed in some Instagram photos that the amounts of vegan cheese seem quite varying dependent on restaurant. 

My husband chose different toppings on his pizza with mushrooms, olives, fire roasted peppers and those tasty caramelised balsamic onions. Considering that he is a big lover of Dominoes pizza's I was surprised by just how much he liked his pizza. He commented that you couldn't even tell it was vegan which is always a great sign! 

I have heard from other people online that some people have been accidentally given dairy mozzarella when ordering a vegan pizza which isn't so great to hear and I would therefore recommend reiterating to your server that you definitely want the vegan cheese and no dairy cheese. I guess there's bound to be come teething problems as this new cheese rolls out across the chain of restaurants but hopefully we won't hear of anymore issues like this.

For dessert I chose the coconut and mango gelato with an extra topping of caramelised pecan nuts. Coconut ice cream is one of my all time favourite desserts so I was incredibly happy to find this on the vegan Zizzi menu and I couldn't quite believe my luck! 

I was literally groaning with pleasure whilst eating this dessert and I am already looking forward to a return visit to Zizzi's just so I can eat this again! I do have a sweet tooth so it's no surprise that this was my favourite part of the meal but it really was so amazingly good. The caramelised pecan nuts were such a great addition too, so yummy! 

Overall I couldn't have been happier with my first vegan Zizzi's experience and I walked away feeling very full and satisfied with a big smile on my face! It was so great to sit down and enjoy a three course meal with friends knowing that no animal was harmed in order to feed me.

Some may argue that they would never eat in such a dairy based restaurant regardless of these changes, but I would argue that we need to support them by showing that there is a big demand for vegan friendly food. If no one eats it then I have no doubt that it will be removed from the menu as quickly as it was added. Each to their own, and everyone has different ethics and values even within the vegan community which I completely respect. But personally, the easier it is for me to be vegan, and to be able to promote an easily accessible vegan lifestyle to others, the better!   

I want to high five Zizzi's for taking this leap into catering for their vegan and dairy intolerant customers and for doing it so wonderfully. When eating here you don't at all feel as though you are missing out on anything by being vegan which is the best feeling. Zizzi's are leading by example in their move to create a dairy free cheese and I just hope that other restaurants will follow them by choosing not to exclude vegans from their customer base. 

Times are thankfully changing and Zizzi's have just made it even easier to go vegan.   


  1. It's great to see that a lot more restaurants are catering to more diets. I've noticed myself that there's been a lot more variety in the vegetarian options so hopefully this is a good sign for more vegan dishes everywhere too! This meal looks soooo good.

    1. It's great isn't it! So good I'm going back again this week :-)

  2. I've never been to you Zizzi's before so I definitely have to go now! x

    Heather | Of Beauty & Nothingness

    1. You totally should Heather, you won't be sorry you did :-) xx

  3. I've always chosen Pizza Express over Zizzi's but after hearing about this pizza from almost every UK vegan I know I'll be trying it as soon as I'm back. I heard that the cheese they're using is Mozzarisella which is rice milk based, made in Italy and has always been a fave' of mine for pizza or cheese on toast.

    1. I'm sure you will love it! It can be the silver lining to you coming home from your travels & something else to look forward to :-)

  4. I hadn't heard of this! Amazing, need to go try the menu ASAP, it looks fantastic.

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    1. It's really great Laura! I've read mixed reviews but I think it depends on the service you receive from your chosen branch. Mine was excellent xx


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