No, I’m still not vegan, but pizza is always a tricky topic. With so many vegan friends, and the rowdy chorus of someone yelling ‘cow pus’ or ‘hormones’ whenever dairy is pulled out of the fridge, makes vegan options seem slightly more appealing. Everyone has seen at least half of cowspiracy, right?
Pickywops only popped up last year, but it has attracted a fair crowd (we spotted two Made in Chelsea stars on the way in – really rubbing shoulders with the elite). I’ve only visited the Peckham outlet, but it is small. Actually, small is probably an understatement. With space for for about 8 customers, book ahead or you’ll end up eating pizza on the tube back.
The Peckham venue is also fairly difficult to find. A little flag earmarks where you have to turn in to a small departmental corridor of mismatched shops (including a protein store in case you get peckish after), with Pickywops at the rear.
Yes, vegan pizza isn’t exactly an oddity in our current thriving vegan culture. You no longer have to bring your own vegan cheese to Pizza Express and bat your lashes at the waiter – they now offer their own (although I’m always a little dubious about vegan cheese – cashews and cheddar are not synonymous). Pickywops’ menu is extensive though. It doesn’t just stop at the coconut mozzarella, vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast. They also feature a collection of fake meats, in case you’re trying to bring your meat eating friends round to the dark side. They aren’t half bad, either.
Having been in a few times now, I do slightly embarrassingly get a wave of recognition on the way in. Nonetheless, the owners and pizza-meisters Cristiano and Andrea will give you the whole spiel on entering. They have it drawn up on the blackboards too, in case you get lost on the run down of quite how unprocessed the flour is, or the health benefits of getting a turmeric base over spirulina.
I mean I’ve eaten a lot of pizza. Who hasn’t. That doesn’t mean that I can’t tell good pizza from bad. I’d definitely rather eat out than I would warm up listless Sainsbury’s margherita and pick off the pineapple (and probably microwave the leftovers for breakfast the next day).
Sure, Pickywops probably doesn’t taste like your average takeaway pizza, and the cheese is definitely something that takes a little getting used to if you’re big on mozzarella, but they do taste pretty good. Promoting environmental upkeep and eating pizza in the process does come as a pretty good combination.
(I would just suggest not wearing anything Canada Goose or fur like the sinful vegetarian I am if you do decide to visit, as quite a line up of PETA leaflets surround the till – I have had to slink out quietly in shame after paying)
Unit (7)347 North End Road
SW6 1NN, LONDON, UK
until 6pm monday & tuesday