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Is there vegan pizza at California Pizza Kitchen?

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California Pizza Kitchen is a quite famous restaurant chain in the United States. There are more than 180 locations all across the country, mostly in California and the East Coast, but you can easily run into one of them in the South as well. It is known for its California-style pizza, which is somewhere between New York and Italian pizza.

what is vegan at california pizza kitchen

It is really easy to make a vegan pizza since you don’t have to do anything but use a basic tomato sauce and vegetable toppings and exclude the cheese, or substitute with a vegan one if it is available. However, usually I would like more than a basic pizza with some boring vegetable toppings. So the question is added: does California Pizza Kitchen make vegan pizza other than what was described before? Well, the answer is pretty disappointing. No, California Pizza Kitchen doesn’t have any exciting vegan pizza. The saddest part is that they had something like that called Don’t Call Me Chicken.

What is vegan at California Pizza Kitchen?

Honestly, there are not too many vegan menu items at California Pizza Kitchen; however, at least I didn’t starve to death. Here is the list of the vegan items at the fast-food chain:

  • Lettuce Wrap
  • Dakota Smashed Pea with barley
  • Tomato basil spaghetti
  • Fusilli pasta (CPkids menu)
  • Fresh fruits (CPkids menu)
  • Wild mushroom pizza (without cheese)
  • California Veggie (without cheese)
  • Banh Mi (no chicken, substitute dressings)
  • Soft drinks
  • Wines
  • Beers
  • Cocktails

Pretty much that’s all.

vegan options at california pizza kitchen

Does California Pizza Kitchen have vegan pizza?

Unfortunately, CPK doesn’t have real vegan pizza on its menu. You can make one of its original pizzas plant-based by removing animal ingredients such as cheese; however, it won’t be as satisfying as a real vegan pizza with melted cheese and plant-based meat alternatives.

Here is the potential vegan pizza options, that are the easiest to veganize:

  • Wild mushroom pizza (without cheese)
  • California Veggie (without cheese)
  • The original BBQ Chicken Pizza (no chicken, and cheese.)

Also, you can order them with either gluten-free, Crispy-thin, or Original Hand Tossed dough. There is no point in modifying any other pizza. If you want something more, then add some of the following vegan toppings as extra:

  • Pineapple
  • Extra mushrooms
  • White truffle oil

If you order online, there is nothing more to add to it.

What about Banh Mi?

It is a pretty decent and healthy vegan option at California Pizza Kitchen. It comes with Quinoa, spinach, fresh cilantro, red cabbage, fresh avocado, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, scallions, and sesame seeds. It is served with chili-lime vinaigrette and serrano peppers. Unfortunately, chili-lime vinaigrette contains dairy, so you have to exclude or substitute it. Also, obviously, exclude chicken from it.

What should you leave alone?

There are some might and can be vegan items on the menu at California Pizza Kitchen. However, there is no point in doing that. For example, the salads like Classic Caesar will be nothing, but some shredded greens altogether if you exclude every animal ingredient. Except one of the seasonal salads called California Fields Salad, which comes with a medley of fresh watermelon and strawberries, basil leaves, and crunchy California pistachios on a bed of crisp field green, and our homemade Champagne vinaigrette if you exclude feta cheese.

What about the plant-based chicken?

If you are trying to order from CPK online, you will notice that there is an extra option at some items called plant-based chicken. It would be wonderful if you could add plant-based chicken as a protein option. However, it isn’t really on the menu anymore. A few years ago, California Pizza Kitchen launched its vegan pizza called BBQ “Don’t Call Me Chicken” Pizza. Unfortunately, it didn’t become permanent on the menu, and it is gone.

CPK’s ‘ Don’t Call Me Chicken’ was a wheat and soy-based meat alternative, which was a pretty good deal. Maybe one day, it will return alongside plant-based cheese. 

Until then, California Pizza Kitchen offers a few not-so-great but not-so-bad vegan options. If you ask me, you should definitely visit another pizzeria, such as Blaze Pizza, where plant-based sausage and cheese are available.

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