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C is for Calzone

All I want for Christmas is carbs

Among the selection of traditional festive delights to whet our appetites for the big December day, pizza is probably not a natural go-to for most Brits. But luckily the peeps at Purezza, the UK’s first entirely vegan pizzeria, are well versed in breaking with convention.

Since opening in 2015, Purezza has won international acclaim and has opened up a series of restaurants across the UK, proving that with gumption and a secret-melty-vegany cheese recipe, the impossible is possible. But pizzas are just not that Christmassy. Or so I thought…

waiter smiling and holding pizza at purezza

I arrived at Purezza one late November evening, with a dedicated pizza enthusiastic tow. I would say that my guest is a person for whom life without (cows) cheese would not be worth living.

He would serve as the perfect litmus test for Purezza’s festive menu.

Let’s start with a pop

Bubbles are synonymous with Christmas; the drinkable version of baubles. So we started our feast with an elective add-on of a glass of prosecco and a Christmas cracker for a reasonable addition of £5.50 per person. It’s a good prosecco – crisp, citrusy and fresh.

Crackers and a glass of sparkling for a Purezza Christmas

The Purezza Christmas menu is available as two courses for £22.95 or three courses for £27.95. In keeping with the season, we chose the greedy way, opting for three deliciously carby courses each. FYI – nobody cares about your beach bod when you’re wearing a Christmas jumper.

I dived into a food-hug in the form of macaroni cheese with truffle.

Macaroni cheese. Purezza Christmas menu

Macaroni is a marvellous pasta, little u-bends that fill up with cheesy, creamy sauce and the earthy, umami truffle added a richness that was striking but not overwhelming.

My pizza compadre opted for dough balls with garlic and herb cheese because – for him – the best starter to have before pizza is something that closely resembles… pizza.

I got to glimpse the charred, doughy balls just long enough to see they looked springy, chewy and generously proportioned.

C is for calzone

Christmas calzone to be precise! It’s been Purezza’s seasonal special for a few years and has become their own alternative tradition. While the other main options looked excellent, we both decided that Calzone was the only way to go.

wooden table with festive decorations and delicious Italian food served with bubbles and espresso martini

The idea here is inspired. The Purezza Christmas Calzone combines all the elements of a festive feast assembled in a carby casing.

Our neatly folded pizzas looked like a drunken uncle’s party bow tie – sparkling with cranberries and a fondu of melty vegan ‘Cheddar’.

Inside were plump little nubbins of vegan turkey, those mythic beasts – leftover roast potatoes and sage stuffing. On the side (and this is both madness and genius) was a pot of dipping gravy.

Christmas at Purezza, Vegan Christmas Pizza

Gravy and Pizza?

Purezza make a really superb dough, it’s chewy and bubbly and slightly charred. This, it transpires, is the soul mate dipping gravy didn’t know it needed; the perfect vehicle.The sea of flavours and textures has all the decadence you’d expect of a festive feast and, in this way, pizza becomes a Christmas miracle.

With our calzone we opted for an organic Montepulciano from Sustainable Wine Solutions.

Montepulciano is my favourite red to have with pizza. Its fruity and spicy flavours and arresting tannins cope well against rambunctious foods.

It’s a wine that needs something bold to play with. The two combined with loud jovial delight, like a living room full of rowdy relatives with a karaoke machine.

Christmas at Purezza. If you do one thing, do this.

Full to the eyeballs isn’t quite full enough if you’re after a Christmas experience, so we ended our meal with some mince pie dough balls and a little mulled wine.

Here again was that soft, bubbly, chewy, slightly charred dough. But this time encasing plumped spiced fruits and an iced glaze.

These dough balls should be called dough bombs, the dough giving way to a sumptuous, seasonal explosion of comforting flavour.

The fruity and heady mulled wine, mixed marvellously with each mouthful.

Christmas at Purezza

If you’re still not convinced by Christmas pizza, or you’ve never got past the prospect of vegan cheese, I would urge you dear reader, to do one new thing to fire up your festive spirit this winter.

Go to Purezza for mince pie dough balls and mulled wine. Consider this advice my gift to you.

chef adding pizza into brick pizza oven



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Getting there
Map for Purezza Brighton – Vegan Pizzeria
12 St James's St, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1RE
Opening Hours

Monday 12:00pm10:00pm

Tuesday 12:00pm10:00pm

Wednesday 12:00pm10:00pm

Thursday 12:00pm10:00pm

Friday 12:00pm11:00pm

Saturday 12:00pm11:00pm

Sunday 12:00pm10:00pm