The most unique vegetarian pizzas in the world are topped with some pretty crazy ingredients, like pumpkin, seaweed, kimchi and squash blossoms. They come on crispy flatbread, stuffed inside the dough and even on black charcoal crust. If you saw a unique vegetarian pizza (or a unique vegan pizza!) on the menu, would you order it?
Personally, as a vegetarian traveler (I’ve been meat-free since 2004) I am always on the lookout for unique vegetarian pizzas. I love when I find a meatless pizza that incorporates local ingredients, flavors and cooking techniques. Sure, a classic margarita pizza is (almost…) always delicious, but it’s the more creative vegetarian pizzas that pique my interest nowadays.
Because a girl can only eat so much pizza, I reached out to some of my travel blogging friends and asked them about their favorite vegetarian pizzas from around the world. Keep reading to see some of the craziest, most unique and most delicious vegetarian and vegan pizzas on the planet!
Creamy Pumpkin & Pistachio Pizza
One of the most unique vegetarian pizzas I tried on my recent trip around Sicily was this vegetarian pizza that I stumbled across in the market in Ortigia (the historic walled island in Siracusa). Sicily is famous for its pistachios, with the most famous coming from the small village of Bronte at the base of Mount Etna. Here, the pizza base was slathered in creamy pumpkin sauce and grated fontina cheese, then sprinkled with Sicilian pistachios.
While most Italian pizzas have tomato sauce and a select few (pizza bianco) use white sauce, this was the first time I’d seen an orange pizza! I really liked the creamy pumpkin flavor, and it was just plain fun to find a new way to incorporate pistachios into my day (I was already very familiar with pistachio gelato and pistachio granita!).
By Carly from Fearless Female Travels
Truffled Blonde Pizza
Finding a good pizza outside of Italy is difficult. Finding a delicious pizza which is vegetarian and that is not loaded with tomato can be even harder.
Torvehallerne is an amazing food court in Copenhagen, filled with tempted stalls of with all manner of different foods. At one end is Gorm’s, a take-away pizza bar with a small seating area where you can perch on stools to eat. Although the menu has only three vegetarian pizzas, including a traditional margherita, the star has to be the Denny Special.
The Denny Special is a “blonde” pizza, or pizza bianco. This unique vegetarian pizza has no tomato sauce, but instead uses other toppings. In this case it is potatoes topped with goat cheese, mozzarella, truffle oil and rosemary. The base is thin and crisp, letting the topping take center stage.
Each mouthful was a delight. I had never thought about potato on a pizza before, but the combination worked well with the goat cheese, rosemary and truffle oil. It was much lighter than a normal tomato-based pizza… and so good I went back the following day for another!
By Larch at the Silver Nomad
I recently stumbled across So Free, a vegetarian and vegan pizza restaurant in the bustling streets of Ximending in Taipei, Taiwan.
While vegetarian and vegan cuisine is usually quite common in Taiwan, this restaurant offered a respite from the usual Chinese vegetarian fare. So Free serves personal-sized pizzas in unique Asian fusion flavors (with the choice to opt for vegan cheese) for about $6 USD.
They use traditional wood-fired techniques in the preparation. The result is chewy pizza dough with crispy crust, topped with Asian ingredients.
We went for relatively safer choices – one kimchi pizza (kimchi is made from salted, fermented vegetables, and is a staple of Korean cuisine) and another with three cups mushroom (a vegetarian rendition of a traditional Chinese dish typically made with soy sauce and sesame oil). Some of their more adventurous flavors include ginger with salted egg and spicy seaweed. So Free has a rustic vibe with organic brass sculptures and wooden furniture that provides a very unique and laid-back ambience.
By Eunice from eunicetan.co
When I first moved to Germany as a vegetarian, I didn’t think I would be able to enjoy many traditional foods, but thankfully I was quickly proven wrong!
When I went to one of my first Christmas markets at the English Garden in Munich, I saw vegetarian Flammkuchen on the menu and ordered it immediately. Coming straight out of a traditional wood fire pizza oven, the crust was hot, crispy, flaky, and just the perfect amount of burnt around the edges. In fact, that bit of crispy burnt crust is part of the experience. Flammkuchen was first made as a way to test if someone’s oven was hot enough. Burnt crust in two minutes? Perfect temperature!
Smothered on top of the crispy crust was a thick layer of crème fraîche, wild garlic pesto, and fat slices of tomato for the perfect blend of fresh flavors. I loved pairing it with a nice hot glass of Glühwein at the Christmas market and exploring all the festive market stalls. Be careful because this dish sometimes comes with ham on it, but most of the German Christmas markets will have a delightful vegetarian option.
By Susanna from Curiosity Saves Travel
Arctic Seaweed Pizza
I wasn’t sure how the vegan options in Iceland would stack up, let alone those in the tiny town of Hveragerði, which is half an hour outside of Reykjavík. Hveragerði is primarily known for a hike through the mountains to a picturesque thermal river… not its vegan cuisine!
On my way to this very hike, I stopped in Ölverk Pizza, a pizzeria and brewery that is powered by geothermal energy. Surprisingly, I was delighted to discover they offered several plant-based options! The vegan pizza was topped with coconut flakes, fresh chili, and Icelandic dulse, a type of seaweed.
While I love nori, I wasn’t totally convinced I would love seaweed on pizza. But it was actually fantastic and, to this day, one of the best pizzas I’ve had in my life. The dulse provided a chewy texture and umami-packed punch to each slice, acting as the perfect compliment to the sweet coconut. Paired with a pint of geothermally-brewed beer, it was the perfect fuel for my hike!
By Jessica from Uprooted Traveler
Vegan Meat-Lovers Pizza
If you’re a new veggie person, or just looking to switch things in your plant-based diet, try opting for a vegan version of a meat-lovers pizza. Specifically, head to Boxcar Pizza in Portland, Oregon, USA. They are are an entirely vegan pizza restaurant, with many gluten-free options as well. Their mozzarella is made out of coconut oil and vegetable starches, and their protein options are made of vital wheat gluten and textured vegetable protein.
Boxcar is known for having some of the best “meaty” pizzas on the pizza scene. Their famed Animal Lover pizza has plant-based sausage and pepperoni and unique aioli drizzles.
“Meaty” pizzas are also a great option when you want to get pizza with people who do not follow a plant-based diet, as it eases them into non-animal proteins while maintaining a familiar look and taste. Plus, with multiple sources of protein, “meaty” pizza will fill you up with its unique concoction of savory and hearty ingredients, but it won’t leave you with a heavy feeling in your stomach.
By Kay from The Awkward Traveller
Dosa Pizza from a Street Food Stall
In the lanes of the desert town of Jaisalmer in the western state of Rajasthan, India, stands a nondescript dosa stall. Run by two brothers from the South Indian city of Chennai, this “Dosa Centre” boasts that it has seventy (!) types of dosas on its menu.
From its many weirdly interesting types of dosas like chocolate dosa, the one that stood out the most for me was dosa pizza. This unique vegetarian pizza essentially consisted of a typical dosa (a traditional South Indian pancake made with a batter of fermented rice and lentils) topped with everything you would put on an ordinary pizza. From pizza sauce to cheese to vegetable toppings of your choice, this rather thin and flimsy pizza had it all and tasted divine!
Who would have thought that in this corner of the world I would stumble upon such a unique combination of a little bit of Italy and a little bit of India?
By Avantika Chaturvedi from Wayward Wayfarer
Spanish Vegetable Pizza
Puerto Banus, Andalusia, Spain
On a road trip through southern Spain, I got to visit Puerto Banus, a luxurious marina town located just outside the city of Marbella. Near the yacht-packed marina you’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants, including the fantastic Pizzeria Picasso.
There, I ordered the vegetarian pizza, which was topped with lots of vegetables, including mushrooms, green beans, asparagus, artichokes, and spinach. It’s not a combination of toppings you get to see very often, so it was definitely a unique vegetarian pizza to try… and it was delicious!
Even though it was an Italian restaurant (and Puerto Banus is not exactly the place for authentic Spanish experiences), this specific pizza was clearly inspired by the local Spanish cuisine. After the discoveries of the Americas, green beans (judias verdes) were distributed through Spain to the rest of the continent of Europe, and now they are used across the country in dishes like paella. Similarly, artichokes were introduced to Spain and Italy in the Middle Ages and have remained a popular ingredient since then, asparagus was consumed even before Roman times but became more popular during the Moorish rule of Andalucia, and spinach is also highly-used in Andalucian cuisine. Could this be the original fusion cuisine?
By Or from My Path in the World
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Pizza may not be what comes to mind when you think of popular foods in Argentina, but it actually forms an integral part of the food scene. At the turn of the twentieth century a massive wave of immigration from Europe forever changed the fate of Buenos Aires. Italians made up the bulk of those new arrivals, and with them they brought their cuisine.
These days, classic Buenos Aires pizza bears little resemblance to thin Italian pies. The crust is thick, the cheese is heavy, and the sauce is minimal. Actually, with certain classic flavors there is no sauce at all.
Fugazzeta is one of the most traditional pizzas to try in Buenos Aires. It’s simply the plain pizza crust, raw onion, and mozzarella. Banchero restaurant claims to be the creator of the fugazzeta, way back in 1932. Then, intellectuals and artists would gather at this La Boca restaurant and enjoy slices of the simple pizza. Today, you can order this unique vegetarian pizza from nearly any restaurant… but Banchero remains the best.
By Erin from Sol Salute
Sweet Squash Blossom Pizza
New York City, USA
One of the most unique pizzas I’ve ever had was from Loring Place, a slightly upscale and truly incredible restaurant in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. While they have a wide array of personal, whole wheat pizzas for you to choose from, I opted for the Squash Blossom Pizza. It is the brain child of chef Dan Kluger from ABC Kitchen and is an incredible combination of honey, ricotta, chilies, and squash.
I tried really hard not to eat the entire pizza but failed miserably since this delectable combination of sweet and savory easily makes Loring Place one of the places you must eat in NYC. Whatever you do though, be sure to make a reservation prior to your visit since this eatery tends to get extremely crowded, particularly on the weekends.
By Kelly from Girl With the Passport
Although I first discovered Georgian food in Moscow, Russia, and later went on to enjoy it throughout Central Asia, obviously the best Georgian food I’ve had was in Tbilisi, the nation’s capital city. And the most iconic Georgian dish? Well, that honor goes to khachapuri, Georgia’s equivalent of a pizza.
Khachapuri (the “k” at the beginning is silent) comes in many different shapes, but it’s most commonly round or shaped like an oval with pointed tips. Sometimes, the toppings are placed on top and other times they’re stuffed inside (like the cheese khachapuri shown above). Common toppings and fillings include cheese, eggs, potatoes and/or fresh herbs.
You can eat khachapuri for breakfast (it’s commonly served at guesthouses), lunch, dinner or an afternoon snack. Personally, I like this unique vegetarian pizza for a light lunch or dinner, along with a side salad and a glass (or two!) of Georgian sweet red wine.
By Carly from Fearless Female Travels
Ethical Vegetarian Pizza of the Day
Set smack in the middle of Berkeley, California’s, famous Gourmet Ghetto, and just across the street from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse restaurant (which is super-duper famous for originating what is now known world-wide as California cuisine), The Cheese Board Collective is well-known locally for its thin-crusted California-style pizza.
In fact, I was just there this morning, waiting in the usual line out the door to pick up a bake-at-home pizza for tonight. After 4:00 p.m., patrons also line up next door to the bakery to order fully-baked pizza by the slice or whole pie and then sit down in open-air seating to enjoy it along with live music.
This worker-owned cooperative prepares many delectable items, but only vegetarian pizzas and only one version per day. Today’s unique vegetarian pizza is topped with organic fresh tomato (from Golden Rule Organics), onion, aged Asiago cheese, mozzarella, garlic olive oil, oregano, and Italian parsley–a stellar combination.
But what always makes this sourdough-crust pizza extra special is the cheese… not really a surprise since the bakery reputedly sells the West’s largest selection of cheese!
By Carole Terwilliger Meyers from Berkeley and Beyond
The most memorable vegetarian pizza I ate got me through the four-month lockdown in Penang, Malaysia. Wheeler’s was our go-to place for a thin-crust, rustic pizza that tasted like Europe instead of Asia. They have two vegetarian pizzas: the caponata truffle pizza and the charcoal four-cheese Margherita pizza.
The 2020 food trend of making food black with charcoal was everywhere in Penang—and Wheeler’s was no exception. This was my first pizza with this… feature? The pizza tastes exactly the same, but the black crust looks more intriguing in pictures than a regular crust.
Though the menu didn’t divulge the nature of the four cheeses – leaving the question of rennet wide open – there’s definitely feta on top. They use quality cheeses (unlike other pizzerias in Malaysia). Basil leaves are the finishing touch and make you feel like you’re doing something healthy.
Receiving this vegetarian pizza by delivery in Penang was the same experience as when we dined inside their restaurant when the restrictions eased. Penang is a very international and veg-friendly destination in Malaysia, which is why travelers and locals love it.
By Iris Veldwijk from Mind of a Hitchhiker
Obsessed with finding the best vegetarian foods around the world? Make sure to check out these posts about vegetarian travel:
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