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There are several vegan options at CPK or California Pizza Kitchen. Created by two Beverly Hills lawyers in 1985, California Pizza Kitchen has paid particular attention in recent years to include vegan options to create a more inclusive menu.
Like any good pizzeria chain, California Pizza Kitchen offers the staple dishes that you can have at any point of the day. There are limited but adequate vegan options in food items such as follows:
- Small plates
- Power bowl
- Kids menu
There are currently no vegan sandwiches at California Pizza Kitchen.
For a restaurant that takes credit for unique gourmet pizza toppings, including BBQ and Thai chicken pizzas, this is the minimal that can be expected of them. With locations not just in India but worldwide, California Pizza Kitchen has genuinely been taking their vegan-inclusivity to the next level in the last 4-5 years.
According to PETA, to cater to a whole new group of eaters, CPK even debuted their plant-based meat option in 2016. You can request to replace any regular meat item with vegan chicken, or you can add it to any vegan dish for an extra charge.
Let’s dig deeper into the California Pizza Kitchen menu and take a broader look at all of their vegan options.
Vegan Options At CPK
California Pizza Kitchen is one of the many eateries where vegan dishes are entertained at large. You can customize your food and turn any preparation of your choice into a vegan option by eliminating animal-sourced products.
Take a look at these delicious food items at CPK.
Lettuce wraps are the only appetizer available under the vegan menu at CPK currently. Remember to order the dish with Chinese vegetables only to make sure it is strictly vegan. With this criterion in place, the vegetables that are likely to be used in your wrap are cabbage, peas, radish, sprouts, etc.
The dish is prepared with water chestnuts, scallions, and shitake mushrooms tossed in spicy ginger soy sauce, all of which are purely vegan options. The wrap comes with complimentary rice sticks, which are vegan-friendly as well.
California Pizza Kitchen serves three variants of small plates, which are vegan options. However, as per their website menu, two of them are only available in Hawaii.
The one available everywhere at large is white corn guacamole with chips. The guacamole consists of delicious vegetables like diced avocado, bell peppers, serrano peppers, cilantro, black beans, sweet corn, and jicama. The white and blue chips with which the dish is served are homemade and devoid of animal-sourced products.
If you are in Hawaii, you can try out the other two options: asparagus with arugula salad and shaved mushrooms with spinach flatbread.
In pizzas, you can pick any crust to go with, except the cauliflower crust. That will be off-limits for vegans, as it is made using dairy products. Other crust options you have are original hand-tossed, whole wheat grain, crispy thin, and gluten-free crust.
If you have a gluten intolerance, it is always advisable that you go with the last one.
CPK once again has only one vegan option in pizza – both the standard and 7 inches. You can order California veggie and remember to mention the serving staff to make yours without the cheese.
When it comes to the sauce, stick to pizza marinara, spicy marinara, and vegetarian black beans, as these three are the only vegan options at California Pizza Kitchen.
While all forms of pasta are vegan except multigrain penne and ravioli, the sauce you take with it determines whether the dish is vegan or not.
Tomato basil spaghetti is the only currently available vegan pasta at CPK. The dish is served with sauteed garlic and fresh leaves of basil on top. Vegan or not, you’ll enjoy this dish very much.
Dakota smashed pea with barley is your go-to vegan option at CPK in soups. The soup’s look can be slightly unsavory, with the green of smashed peas making it resemble a herbal medicine. However, the taste of the dish is quite exceptional.
Other than smashed pea blended with barley, the dish also contains carrots, scallions, onions, and herbs with umami flavor. You can order the soup in a bowl or a cup. If you are with a company, you can also ask the restaurant staff to serve it divided up.
The vegan salad at CPK is roasted veggies, which comes with a wide range of tossed vegetables. CPK makes the salad with artichoke hearts, avocado, eggplant, roasted corn, romaine lettuce, asparagus, roasted red and yellow bell peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes.
The non-vegetarian version of the salad comes with an equally wide range of dressings, such as caesar, herb ranch, Dijon balsamic vinaigrette, bleu cheese, poblano ranch, chili-lime vinaigrette, and many more.
However, none of these is vegan, according to CPK kitchen. Therefore, the only option vegans have is an oil and vinegar dressing or taking the salad with no sauce.
California Pizza Kitchen has a power bowl vegan option to serve Banh Mi that meets all the vegan criteria.
Banh Mi is a French-Vietnamese food originating in the streets of Saigon. It is traditionally a baguette with vegetables and a protein option inside tossed in a sour pickle.
However, your vegan version of Banh Mi will be without the meat or the mayonnaise. The chili-lime vinaigrette dressing, which is usually used for the dish, will be swapped for regular oil and vinegar.
Keeping your tiny tots and their palates in mind, California Pizza Kitchen has a few children’s dishes in vegan options as well. Fusilli pasta is a dish beloved by kids. It is a preparation of corkscrew pasta that comes with a delicious vegan tomato sauce.
There is also an olive oil option for vegans, but chances are children will love pasta tossed in tomato sauce than in olive oil.
Tips For Vegan Ordering At CPK
Before heading towards the restaurant, you should consult their official website. Put in your location and see what vegan options are available at your nearest store. The dishes mentioned above are on a Pan-America basis, but they might or might not be available in your location.
If you are ordering online, there is no way to consult the restaurant staff regarding the vegan options. In that case, go through the dish specifications thoroughly and carefully selections before you place the order. In case of any confusion, you can call them up at the number provided on the website.
If you feel like your dressing is falling short of flavor, you can always ask for a slice of lemon or condiments. They are usually made of vegan components.
FAQ For Vegan Options At California Pizza Kitchen
Does CPK Have Vegan Cheese On Their Menu?
No, CPK is yet to launch any vegan dairy on their menu. Therefore, it is best to avoid cheese and any other milk products if you are a vegan.
Is BBQ Sauce Or Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Sauce Vegan?
No, neither BBQ sauce nor spicy Buffalo cauliflower sauce is vegan. BBQ sauce has honey and anchovies in it, which are animal products. Spicy Buffalo cauliflower sauce has eggs and dairy.
At CPK, the cauliflower is prepared by dipping in buttermilk batter and then rolled in gorgonzola cheese.
Which Sauce Can Vegans Have At CPK?
Tomato basil sauce is the only vegan-friendly pasta at California Pizza Kitchen. If you are a vegan, please avoid all other condiments such as bolognese, chicken tequila, jambalaya, kung pao, etc. They all contain either meat or shellfish.
Why Is CPK’s Cauliflower Crust Non-Vegan?
The cauliflower crust at California Pizza Kitchen contains dairy, which makes it non-vegan.
These are all the possible vegan options one can have at California Pizza Kitchen. In case of any confusion regarding any ingredient, you can always consult the restaurant staff. They will help you out with ordering the correct dishes.
Therefore, it is best to consult the staff and then place your order.
Since California Pizza Kitchen is yet to launch a vegan version of dairy, there are no desserts yet. However, you can always try out a small dish of fresh-cut fruits.
At CPK, they serve slices of handpicked pineapples and red seedless grapes. It can help you cleanse your palate after a meal and leave a flavorsome aftertaste.