Vegan pizza is still a speciality that eludes a lot of restaurants. Vegan cheese is a temperamental beast – often too sticky or too solid or just not quite right when it’s the main event. I have worked hard on my vegan pizza recipe but I still find myself making the trip for the DiFontaine’s Pizzeria vegan offering.
Walking in from Parliament street into DiFontaine’s is like meeting someone from a night out in the daytime. Most of my visits are much later (and much drunker) than this as it’s open until 3am most days. It’s lunchtime and even though I’m the only one here, pizzas are already piled high behind the counter.
There isn’t much in the way of furniture here – stools and small counters line either side of the restaurant. It’s clear that it’s designed to be full to the brim with drunken people dripping cheese down their front but is still everything you need for a quick lunch stop.
Here you pay by the slice unless you’re ready to commit to one of the gigantic whole pizzas. There are two options for vegans – a slice and a calzone both at €5.50. I opt for the vegan slice which quickly gets moved from one of the already made pizzas and into the oven. Almost as soon as I’ve sat down, it’s ready to eat.
The slice is huge – more like a triangular pizza than a slice of one – but it’d want to be for €5.50. I am a sucker for a thin base and the DiFontaine’s Pizzeria vegan base is perfect for me. It’s light and crispy but sturdy enough not to go everywhere when you’re trying to eat it.
The toppings are by far some of the simplest I have tried in Dublin and I think that’s why I hold this slice in higher regard than most others. The sauce is strong and full of flavour and the cheese – a mix of mozzarella and homemade vegan ricotta – is perfect. It might be a strange thing to say but this pizza tastes so deliciously normal; not a chewy glue slice, not a sloppy vegetable bread platter but normal tasty pizza.
If pizza is done right, it doesn’t need to be complicated and DiFontaine’s Pizzeria have got it right. I think it’s quite incredible that they’ve managed to make a vegan margherita some of the best vegan pizza I’ve ever tasted. It’s not trying to hide the fact it’s vegan with strong flavours from toppings – it is simple and delicious. While still a great place to end up after a night out, DiFontaine’s Pizzeria holds its own as a vegan lunch spot too.
If pizza is good, it doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s incredible that a simple DiFontaine’s Pizzeria vegan margherita is some of the best I’ve had.