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North Austin vegan pizza parlor offers big expansion for little food truck

North Austin vegan pizza parlor offers big expansion for food truck

Lil Nonna's pizzeria Big Nonna's
Fans of Lil' Nonna's can expect an expanded menu of pizzas and Italian favorites.  Lil' Nonna's/Facebook

A little vegan trailer is making big moves. This fall, Lil' Nonna's, a vegan pizza truck in the St. Elmo development, is opening its first brick-and-mortar in North Austin.

Big Nonna's, an all-vegan pizza parlor, will open its doors at 12601 Tech Ridge Blvd., Ste. 300, in October, dishing out a menu of vegan pizza classics and "adventurous" specials. Most of the ingredients are made in-house, like beet "pepperoni," nut-based cheeses, and even a housemade ranch dipping sauce. 

With more space, of course, comes a bigger kitchen, and Big Nonna's will offer an expanded menu of Italian classics, including appetizers, salads, and mains. 

Along with its fully vegan dishes, Big Nonna's also features gluten- and soy-free options so "that those with allergens may dine with confidence."

Growing Big Nonna's into its first brick-and-mortar are co-owners Rob Lordi, who left Austin's famed Via 313 to start Lil' Nonna's in 2016; Amelia Raley, whose dairy-free ice cream shop, Sweet Ritual, has become a dessert destination for vegans and non-vegans alike; and Sean Connolly, who cut his teeth as general manager at Spiral Diner, a Dallas vegan restaurant.

"This is an exciting and much-needed expansion for vegan food for those of us in North Austin, Pflugerville and Wells Branch," said Britty Hamby, CEO of ATX Vegans, in a September 15 release. 

To begin, Big Nonna's will open for curbside, takeout, and delivery only, citing the Good Work Austin restaurants guidelines for COVID-19. According to Raley, the pizza parlor will eventually offer a gelato program from the Sweet Ritual team. Until then, guests will still be able to order a few of Sweet Ritual's dairy-free desserts to-go or visit the Airport Boulevard location, which will remain open. 

To help with the expansion, Big Nonna's is now offering virtual gift cards to help the brick-and-mortar get off the ground. Gift cards may be used once the restaurant opens, or may be applied as a "pie it forward" to help feed someone in need.