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Vegan Road Trip: Piante Pizzeria Is a Meatless Haven in Breckenridge

Vegan pesto pizza at Piante in Breckenridge.
Vegan pesto pizza at Piante in Breckenridge.
Courtesy Piante
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Summer in Colorado often means venturing out and exploring this beautiful state. While you’re a pro at navigating restaurants in Denver for vegan options, it can get a little tricky on the road. We'll be searching out plant-based dining throughout Colorado this summer with a vegan road trip series.

Ski season brings tons of downhillers to Breckenridge, but summer is just as fun here. Hiking and biking trails are plentiful, and historic Main Street is filled with restaurants, bars and breweries. Top it off with festivals, like Summer Beer Festival and Breckenridge International Festival of Arts, and we’ve got ourselves a must-do road trip.

Vegans have no better option than Piante Pizzeria, a completely plant-based pizza place baking New York City-inspired pizzas in a wood-fired oven. The menu for Piante, which means "plants" in Italian, is created by vegan chef and co-owner Jason Goldstein.

Organic, non-GMO, local and seasonal ingredients are used whenever possible to create a dozen or so specialty pizzas, along with appetizers, salads and desserts. A can't-miss appetizer is spicy roasted jalapeños  stuffed with organic cashew mozzarella, hot Italian “sausage” and red onion. Other starters include garlic knots, pesto garlic bread, bruschetta and salads.

You can design your own pizza or opt for one of the combinations listed on the menu. To create an original, start with the sauce – creamy Italian, garlic butter, marinara, Buffalo, ranch, or balsamic vinaigrette. All of the cheeses are house-made from cashews and include mozzarella, smoked mozzarella and ricotta.

In addition to an array of veggie toppings (arugula, green onions, olives, broccoli and so on), you can also top your pie with plant-based meats, including a meat crumble, spicy Italian sausage or smoky shiitake mushroom bacon.

The pesto pizza is topped with a garlicky, flavorful kale-walnut pesto, cashew mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions and artichoke hearts, made even better with the addition of mushroom bacon. The Angorio has San Marzano tomato sauce, cashew mozzarella, green bell peppers, white onions, Italian sausage, Roma tomatoes, and roasted lemon-drizzled jalapeños.

Finish off with tiramisu, a seasonal cheesecake, or sweet knots, which are the restaurant’s signature dough baked with cinnamon brown sugar and topped with vanilla icing.

Piante Pizzeria is located at 520 South Main Street, on the top floor. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., with happy hour — $1 off starters, wine and draft beer — every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 970-423-6693 or visit the restaurant’s website.

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