During our Sydney eat-a-thon a couple of years ago, we brunched at (the now relocated and rebranded) Naked Espresso. We didn't get to try out its nocturnal identity, Basil Pizza, though the Moody Noodles loved their meal there a few nights later. We made sure to catch up on it this time.
Basil's menu is not entirely vegetarian or entirely pizza - they've got a range of tapas on the wall, then meat pizzas, some pastas, sides and salads in print - but the vegetarian and vegan pizzas are front and centre. Most are thoughtfully composed from fresh vegetables and cheeses, and a few feature mock meats. Cheezly and gluten-free bases are available at extra cost.
We found the bases to be quite thin, and crispy round the edges; 'the regular' size makes a nice meal for one at our appetite level. Michael's Vegan Mexicana ($14.50) layered the tomato base with vegan pepperoni, Cheezly, roasted red capsicum, Spanish onion, jalapenos and chilli flakes.
I found myself indefensibly nostalgic for Hawaiian pizza ($14.20) - this one had plenty of vegan ham and Cheezly and less canned pineapple. A garnishing sprinkle of parsley barely elevated the nutritional value or gourmet rating of my meal.
Though there are tapas and gig posters on the walls and candles on the tables, Basil retains the atmosphere of a suburban pizza shop. The pizzas fit that vibe too, with a knowing nod to Sydney's inner-city veg*ns in their topping selection.
Basil Pizza seems to be loved primarily by vegan bloggers, see cupcake kitteh, The Tropical Vegan, In The Mood For Noodles and Sydney Vegan. Omnivores at For the love of Pizza and Conquering King Street, Newtown have had more mixed (but generally positive) experiences.
126 King St, Newtown
(02) 9519 4880
veg pizzas $10.20-24.70
Accessibility: There is a very small step up on entry (see photo above) and a fairly crowded but flat interior. Pizza can be ordered takeaway from the counter, or at the table to eat it. Michael paid for our meal at the medium-height counter. We didn't visit the toilets.