Gastronomy & Food Service

Mora Pizza Opens Manhattan’s First Vegan Pizzeria with Innovative Pleese Cheese

Mora Pizza has opened what is claimed to be the first fully vegan pizzeria in Manhattan. To create authentic New York-style pizza, the shop is serving Pleese Cheese, an innovative plant-based brand developed to perfectly melt on pizza. 

Classic and beyond

Located inside the Vegan on the Fly restaurant on West 45th Street, Mora Pizza offers a smorgasbord of decadent dairy-free pizzas ranging from traditional to the highly unusual. Founded by Jonathan Mora, a 3rd-generation pizza maker, the ever-changing menu includes everything from classic cheese and Margherita to Buffalo Mac, Hot Chicken, S’Mores and Birthday Cake pizzas. 

Mora Pizza recently re-located from Miami, where the shop’s old-school, hand-tossed pizza and authentic-tasting cheese attracted a loyal customer following. On its Instagram page, Mora has hinted at a larger future expansion, with new locations coming to Miami, Boca Raton, Denver and more. 

Jonathan Mora/ Mora Pizza
Jonathan Mora ©Kobi Regev/ Pleese Cheese

A slice above

Pleese Cheese was founded by Kobi and Abev Regev, two native New Yorkers who missed the experience of enjoying a slice of New York-style pizza after they went vegan. Realizing the massive market gap for dairy-free cheese that met the high standards of chefs, the pair set out to create a premium recipe that was both functional and delicious. One of the key qualities to perfect was vegan cheese’s meltability. 

“Other products melt at higher temperatures than traditional American cheese,” Kobi told vegconomist in 2020. “So if you’re a restaurant wanting to use a meat alternative with a common cheese alternative on top, you have to resort to alternative methods to get them to melt before the burger burns. Some places melt the cheese directly on the griddle first, but this method is inefficient in large-scale quick service operations.”

KOBEV PLEESE
©Pleese Cheese

UK launch and more

To prepare for retail launch, the brand ran numerous tests with chefs and restaurants throughout the city. In January, London’s NXT LVL Pizza, a video gamed-themed pizza delivery service, became the first UK restaurant to offer the brand. In the US, Pleese Cheese can be found at multiple pizzerias throughout NYC or purchased online.

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