If you haven't visited the breezy, artistic campus known as Miami Iron Side, you're missing out on a lovely little respite from mainstream Miami. This creative mecca is home to a lineup of right-brained tenants, from architects to hair salons to, most recently, a wood-fired pizza joint.
There's no better place for a vegan lunch -- with vegan dessert, to boot.
The spot, officially titled Iron Side Pittzza, was launched by the folks who run the complex. When the spot was vacated by a previous tenant, they decided to offer edibles to their tenants and visitors.
The glass-enclosed eatery is equipped with a wood-fired pizza oven, and the pies themselves are crafted by Giovanni Gagliardi, a pizza maker from Naples, Italy.
In itself, the crust -- a chewy, flavorful treat -- is vegan. There are six specialty creations on the menu, including the standard margherita, with tomato, mozzarella and basil ($12) and the veggie-heavy melanzane ($12), with zucchini, eggplant, peppers and tomato. You can also make your own pie, choosing from topping options like tuna, olives, and eggplant. They have a gluten-free crust option, too, for an extra $4.
They have regular cheese for the average eater, but vegans have the option of choosing Daiya (a dairy-free shredded alternative) for an extra $3. I sampled the funghi pie -- mushrooms, tomato, Daiya, olives and oregano. The tomato sauce is slightly sweet and intensely flavorful. A newbie to vegan pizza, I was pleasantly surprised.
The focaccia, too, is a treat. I tried the di casa variety, topped with fresh mixed greens, feta, and grape tomatoes. This can also be served vegan or regular.
Also on the menu: salads, bruschetta, pitta, and calzone elections. Prices range from $7 to $12, so lunch here won't break the bank.
And, if you need a sweet treat to round out your meal, the House of V is right next door. Valentina Cordero's vegan cupcakes make the perfect finish to a delicious meatless meal. While the little locale was originally pegged a pop up, it's still going strong.
There are tables and couches and chairs strewn throughout the courtyard, so there are plenty of places to sit and wile away an afternoon under the palms. I can't imagine a better spot to spend a lunch hour.
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Iron Side Pittzza is open Monday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 7580 NE 4 Ct, though hours may vary depending on demand.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.