Something I really like about being a vegan is the community that you automatically become a part of. Vegan traders, restaurants, and grocery stores all support each other, and as soon as someone new joins, everyone knows about it. This is exactly what happened when a new Italian vegan pizza place arrived in Fulham, London. Soon everyone in the vegan restaurant I work at started recommending Picky Wops, an Italian-owned pizzeria.

As the guys — Andrea and Cristiano — cleverly explain on their website, the name Picky Wops was not just a random decision. They are picky, because they offer their customers the chance to have exactly what they want: their menu, 100% vegan, has a choice of six different vegan pizza doughs (turmeric, multigrain, burned wheat, spirulina, hemp and kamut), more than 15 different combinations of ingredients, plus the option of adding extras. Finally, you can also choose to top your pizza with different types of vegan cheese (Violife, MozzaRisella, or their own cashew-based cheese).

What more could you want? 

The term wops comes from an offensive word used towards Italian people, probably originated from the Italian word ‘guappo’, which means ‘bold’. As both Andrea and Cristiano are Italian, they decided to appropriate the racist word to send a message against discrimination. Kudos to them for spinning it on its head and spreading the love!

I visited Picky Wops a few weeks back and the sheer amount of choices threw me off guard. Thanks to my plant-based diet, I'm not used to being able to eat everything on the menu, especially when it comes to pizza. After careful consideration — making choices is my worst nightmare — I went for a 'Protein Punch' on a hemp base, with MozzaRisella cheese

Other than the vegan cheese, it had homemade pesto, tomato sauce, and seitan doner. It was basically a vegan dream. 

My boyfriend — who is actually a meat eater — opted for a 'Meat Feast' on a multigrain dough, also topped with MozzaRisella. The pizza was loaded with vegan Parmesan, 'salami,' and herbed 'sausages.' 

Andreina Cecchini

Even though I obviously tried and enjoyed both of the pizzas — I mean, why would you bring your boyfriend with you if you can't share? — my choice of base, the hemp dough, was my favourite. Despite this, I have to admit that both of the topping choices were delicious, especially the vegan Parmesan.

Dessert is offered by the one and only Pomodoro E Basilico (a company funded by Sara, another Italian), which you can usually find on Brick Lane (or at the best vegan festivals). I had the matcha Twix Bar — it hit the right spot. 

cake, chocolate, pistachio, matcha
Andreina Cecchini

Overall, I think what Andrea and Cristiano are doing is incredible. The pizzeria is quite small, but because of this it's super cozy and friendly. I can’t wait for them to expand! To add the cherry to the cake, they are the only pizza place that offers so many choices of dough,  and honestly, it just makes me want to go back and try them all.