• Daiya Vegan Cheese Pizza now at Whole Foods: The Day the Earth Stood Still

    June 17th, 2009mr meanerLA restaurants, whole foods


    Last night was NOT the best of nights. I had to work late and then run a bunch of errands before coming home to work some more, dreading the “cupboard is bare” syndrome as I’ve not been shopping in days. I pulled into the Whole Foods Market at Third and Fairfax on the way home, deciding to get some warm food to carry out so I could pretend like I had prepared it myself (denial is a wonderful thing). Upon passing the pizza bar, I saw a sign that said “vegan pizza” so I stopped and inquired. Well, after a lot of to and fro it appears that Whole Foods not only have a vegan cheese pizza offering at every location in Southern California but they started topping it with the amazing Daiya cheese (yes, I had to pinch myself on this one – I even asked to see the cheese packaging, and they pulled out a bag that had “Daiya Vegan Cheese” written all over it.

    In case you have been living under a rock or accidentally got to this page by Googling “asian pizza porn” (and, yes, that is an example of a real search than brought a visitor briefly to quarrygirl.com recently), you will be aware that Daiya cheese is the  most amazing vegan cheese substitute on the planet, and takes the whole experience of being a pizza-loving vegan up a notch or two.

    So, I wasted no time in ordering a pizza with my standard toppings: Mushrooms, Garlic and Tomatoes and while I was waiting for it to be prepared I scuttled around the store picking up a nice bottle of organic wine and some groceries I’d been needing for a while. As soon as I was done shopping, I picked up my piping hot pizza and was back in the car and home in no time.

    Massive Vegan Pizza from Whole Foods

    Massive Vegan Pizza from Whole Foods

    When I plopped the pizza down on my countertop I had to step back and take a reality check at what just happened. I’d gone into a Whole Foods Market, and brought home an absolutely enormous vegan pizza, covered in melty Daiya cheese and chunky vegetables all piled on a crispy Italian-style crust. And, all for just $17. I’m glad I accidentally left my iPhone on the pizza box when I snapped the picture, as it provides some scale of the enormity of that 16 slice pie which is easily 50% bigger than an Extra Large pizza anywhere else.

    Vegan Pizza with Daiya Cheese, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic. $17

    Vegan Pizza with Daiya Cheese, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic. $17

    So much for the size and Daiya cheese, but how did the pizza taste? The bottom line: If I’d been served this pizza in a pricey restaurant at twice the price, I’d have been impressed. The fact that I bought it in a GROCERY STORE, and it cost less than a three topping X-Large vegetarian pizza from most crappy delivery joints is seriously impressive. The crust was crispy and tasty, the vegetables were perfectly prepared and the vegan cheese needs no introduction.

    Daiya: The Best Vegan Cheese out there

    Daiya: The Best Vegan Cheese out there

    The pictures really don’t do this pizza any justice at all. The convenience of popping into any Wholefoods for one of the best vegan pizzas you’ll ever eat cannot be beaten. According to the duty manager, “all” Whole Foods Market outlets in SoCal will soon (or already do) have Daiya cheese, presumably replacing the chemical mass that is Follow Your Heart vegan cheese. (Of course, your results may vary, so call ahead if you have to go out of your way).

    I predict that within two years most mainstream pizza joints will have a vegan cheese offering, where the cruelty free nature of vegan cheeses cannot be beaten. Also, vegan cheese (especially Daiya, which has less fat and calories than most) is a healthier option than dairy-based cheeses.

    Rock On Whole Foods Market: you just made hundreds of thousands of vegans in Southern California very happy!


    whole foods
    6350 West 3rd St
    Los Angeles, CA 90036 USA

    Check with your local Whole Foods to see if they’ve started carrying Daiya!

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53 responses to “Daiya Vegan Cheese Pizza now at Whole Foods: The Day the Earth Stood Still” RSS icon

  • Wow, that’s epic!
    Whole Foods isn’t too close but I hit the Glendale or Van Nuys one sometimes.

    The texture of Daiya feels like process cheese (American cheese) so I hope they’re working on that… but it’s still the best melting vegan cheese.

  • excuse me, i have to call my parents and tell them to screw off for not listening to me when i told them to invest in the company.

  • what are “proven health benefits” of vegan cheese?

  • Brittany: Daiya are don’t have public stock as far as I can tell. They are a private company. How could one invest in them?

  • Greg: Vegan cheese has at least 25% less calories than regular cheese, no cholesterol, no antibiotics, no saturated fat, no casein (about to be recognized as a carcinogen) and is missing a bunch of other nasty things. Dairy will be the next tobacco: something people KNOW is terribly bad for you, but choose to ignore until public opinion aligns, and lawsuits are filed.

    To be clear, though, vegan cheese only has health benefits if consumed instead of regular dairy-based cheese. You’re still healthier not eating it at all!

    I will also edit the post, and clarify.

  • holy smokes batman!! trekking to 3rd & Fairfax ASAP!

  • Now, THIS is incredible news! I’ll most certainly be inquiring at my local Whole Foods next time I need to shop. Wow, this means I don’t have to drive out of my way for Daiya pizza and I don’t always have to make it myself! Way to go, Whole Foods!

  • and btw QG, I’m sure you can’t eat all that wonderful pizza by yourself so make with the leftovers woman!! 😀

  • Wow, this changes everything. How cool!

  • My nearby Whole Foods does not have vegan pizza in their minuscule deli nor do they carry Daiya. Hopefully this will change very soon.

  • I was just at the El Segundo location yesterday and saw they were selling vegan pizza. It looked pretty skimpy, so I passed it by. Will definitely see if they’re using Daiya cheese the next time I go there and order a pie for myself!

  • SHUT UP! Really?!? Dude, I wonder if the Valencia Whole Foods already has it? The SCV’s local WFM has vegan pizza by the slice every day, usually selling out by lunch and having to make another one for the evening. Usually the pizzas are made with FYH mozz but they have also made no-cheese and hummus instead because the main guy over there doesn’t like the taste of FYH.

    It would be pretty cool if they have it. Is it available for individual sale or only with pizzas at the pizza bar?

  • as of today the whole foods in venice is only serving follow your heart (yuck) cheese on their vegan pizza…but hopefully that will change soon!!!

  • I ran – did not walk- to the newish Whole Foods in Venice and ditto – only Follow Your Blah. The Pizza people had never even heard of Daiya . I was certain this “super” Whole Foods would have it as they have a vegan food bar; organic salad bar,Indian food bar -the works.They claim this is as all ‘Whole Foods” are independently owned and source their product and produce from local manufacturers/farmers.
    I made sure to tell at least 10 people working there that this was a necessary item!!
    I never knew I liked “cheese” this much:)

  • miss anthrope

    kazzy and diana – that sucks the venice whole foods didn’t have daiya! according to the person i spoke to, daiya will be rolling out all over so cal, nevada and arizona soon…so i hope they are right.

    in the meantime, you should really get a pizza from the 3rd/Fairfax location if you have the chance! it’s soooo good. i will keep you posted if i hear of more whole foods offering it.

    to be honest, when i went in yesterday most of the staff didn’t even know they were selling daiya. i don’t think the main staff was educated at all…i seriously lucked out by asking to see the package!

  • okay, so it’s not made from soy or wheat or nuts, and that’s great, but what IS it made of? their website just says “nutritious pure and natural plant based ingredients” i’m sure it’s one of the healthiest cheese substitutes for you, i’m just curious what’s in it.

  • miss anthrope

    jacqueline – from the veganstore.com website where i ordered my daiya, these are the ingredients they list:

    “Ingredients: Purified water, natural whole ground cassava and/or arrowroot flours, high oleic sunflower and/or safflower and/or identity-preserved high oleic canola oil, coconut oil and/or palm fruit oil, pea protein, salt, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, natural flavors (derived from plants), xanthan gum, sunflower lecithin, natural vegan enzymes, natural vegan bacterial cultures, citric acid, natural color.”

  • jacqueline – yes, it’s basically flour, oil, water and flavorings. it’s not what’s in it that’s the issue but more the process they follow while making it. quite interesting if you ask me.

  • Sucks that Venice Whole Foods doesn’t have Daiya – Who’d have thunk it ?They are soooo progressive;)
    I think I will hit Cruzer for pizza before Whole Foods on 3rd just because.Once I make the trek from SM I might as well go for the REALLY good stuff!
    Maybe Cruzer at the next vegan drinks .It is soon enough.
    I will eat healthy until then( repeat 10 times)
    Thanks for caring about all of us and our delicious appetites MA:)

  • mr meaner: not sure, but they have a section on their website for investors… also when i spoke to the guy over the phone, he mentioned they were looking for investors.

  • “Whole Foods Market outlets in SoCal will soon (or already do) have Daiya cheese”

    Does that mean they will sell Daiya by package or that they’re just getting it to make their vegan pizzas?

  • This is better news than the coming of the freakin’ messiah.

    My WFM probably won’t have it –they’re not very vegan-friendly at ALL– but it gives me hope!

    That pizza looks so delicious. I am uberly jealous.

  • miss anthrope

    rachel- i’m not sure, but i think they just have it to put on the pizzas. i didn’t see any out to buy separately. hopefully that will change!

  • Last night I found out about the DAIYA pizza and drove to my local wholefoods in El Segundo(the new one on PCH) To my suprise they had no DAIYA pizza ready. I was so sad I drove all the way to the Whole foods Fairfax store because I knew they would have one!!! IT WAS F’N incredible!! Thanks W.F. Fairfax

  • Nature Boy: was worth the drive, right? Amazing pizza. I just had microwaved/toaster oven reheated leftovers at work and it was every bit as good. Don’t want to sound like a Daiya fan-boy, but the stuff really does taste amazing, and Whole Foods know exactly how to prepare it!

  • i work on 3rd so i went over today after to see if they had any to sell in consumer size or even a slice of pizza to sample and when i rolled up the pizza man was showing a customer this post (too cute)! I told him that I saw this blog too and was curious about the cheese and he says they only get it in a giant wholesale amount and there wasn’t any yet in consumer size 🙁 but i talked to the cheese girl who was really knowledgeable about the fyh cheese so i told her that if she put in a order request for daiya it will for sure sell out. so… cross your fingers!!

  • Hi QuaryGirl~

    Leave it to you to discover this first,… you are so amazing!
    I too live closest to Venice WFs so I will need to be patient for it to get there. (actually, bugging them about it is probably a good idea).
    We only learned about the vegan option at Whole foods a couple months ago, but have been getting them regularly.
    Note that it is rarely offered as a per slice thing and the small round gluten-free ‘vegan’ pizza is not worth it.
    The pizza, as shown in your pics is HUGE. Often they will use 2 whole packs of Follow Your Heart cheese and the cost is still only $15.99. Toppings are $2, though you can ask for: garlic, basil, oregano, even spinach to be added for the same price (may vary by employee).
    Now it’s even more amazing with Daiya being offered!
    Thanks for the great news.

  • That is INSANE! Nowhere in N. Cal, but everywhere in S. Cal!


  • For all those headed to OCo anytime soon, I wrote to the Tustin (mega) whole foods to see if they had Daiya available. I got a quick and kind response back that it just arrived, so be sure to ask for it specifically at the pizza counter. The informant also said that if the person does not know about it, ask for somebody else! Thanks for the tip-off, Quarrygirl.

  • Went and got a pizza last nite. The girl working the counter said they had a run on the vegan pizza since this post a couple of days ago. We got sauted spinach, whole roasted garlic, and mushrooms. Man was it good. They also told us that the 3rd and fairfax Whole Foods was the only one with the Daiya cheez, so head there and enjoy. Thanks Quarrygirl

  • I just went to Whole Foods at 23rd and Wilshire in Santa Monica- listen closely Venice peeps- good news!!!
    ( I think I live at Whole Foods but that is another story ;))
    I had a look at the Vegan pizza and could see the tell tale signs of non-melting Follow Your Heart.
    I asked the pizza guy about Daiya and he said they HAD IT IN THE FRIDGE- a couple tubs !He loved the fact that Daiya melted.
    He “knew”.
    They were ready to make me a pizza of my choosing right there on the spot!
    Unfortunately I could not wait so they said to call in advance and I could have a Daiya pizza tomorrow- whenever.
    So call friends .and enjoy!

    PS- if WF’s is passing around this thread-It is working!

  • Just had one @ the Santa Monica, Wilshire/23rd WF today!
    Daiya cheese does taste as good as I remember. We got it with the mixed veggies (eggplant, mushrooms, etc.) and it was $15.99, however, the size was smaller than the Venice WF pizzas, maybe by a third. Also, with the sauteed veggies it was very oily, so I recommend doing spinach, or fresh raw peppers (added at end). Still, the way we got it was yummy.
    I did call ahead, which is a good idea especially when they’re busy.
    Thanks again QuarryGirl!!

  • Sad report from Tustin: went today, told the Pizza Man that I had written about the new vegan cheese, Daiya (asked for it by name), and asked again if he had it. “Yes. We just got it.” “Oh, great, I am going to want a pizza with that…” I took a few minutes to decide on my toppings, then, when I placed the final order, I mentioned it again by name, and he seemed happy to help (even offered to make a BBQ chicken pizza using the gardein from the deli case!).

    Came back 20 minutes later, got the pizza, went in the car, and started on my way, opening up the box for a piece…it looked fantastic, but when I pulled a piece…no stretch.

    Hmm…perhaps it has to cool some more, and it will get stretchier. As I ate the first piece, still no stretch. And the taste was definitely disappointing after all of this hype.

    Then I had a thought: maybe this was not Daiya. So, I went back, and talked to the guy again.

    “Yeah, so, I was just wondering what was the brand name again of the vegan cheese you used?”

    “Um, Heart something.”

    Apparently, since they only had cheddar flavour of Daiya, he took it upon himself to use bleeding FYH -no wonder I did not like it! I cannot stand that stuff! I go out of my way to avoid it! So, I asked him again, “But I mentioned the brand name specifically 3 times, why would you not use it?”

    Cheddar is, apparently, not a traditional pizza flavour. Well, vegan cheese is not a traditional pizza item!

    It is okay though, everyone, because, it was a ‘misunderstanding.’

    I wrote ‘Free Pizza’ on the box, left it on a table, and hoped for the best. I had to get home. Sad.

  • I realize that I’m a little late to the party here, but I did try Daiya for the first time last night. It was nothing shy of AMAZING!!!

  • Sorry to be the lone dissenter here, but I tried a Daiya pizza from Cruzer LF this weekend and was extremely disappointed. Perhaps my reaction was inevitable after weeks of hype, but I found the the cheese to have a distinctly chemical tang at first bite. Nothing cheese-like about the flavor profile. The texture was ok and I appreciated the efforts at “stretchiness”, but I could not finish one slice of the large pie I had hoped to devour.

    I miss a cheese pizza as much as anyone here, but given the option, I would rather have a cheese-less pizza from Vito’s any day of the week.

  • I went to the Whole Foods in Torrance in search of Daiya pizza. One of the workers said they received “the cheese” but sent it back because “it didn’t melt right.” I asked if he was talking about Daiya, but he didn’t know, and couldn’t find out.


  • I went to the Whole Foods in Torrance in search of Daiya pizza. One of the workers said they received “the cheese” but sent it back because “it didn’t melt right.” I asked if he was talking about Daiya, but he didn’t know, and couldn’t find out.


  • I finally tried it today for lunch at the Fairfax Whole Foods…it was amazing! The pizza guy there totally knows about it and is super nice and he mentioned how awesome Daiya is. He offered to add some soy meats (I declined) along with any veggies. I can’t wait to actually buy this stuff in stores, hopefully they’ll sell it here soon.

  • The Daiya Cheese is now available at Whole Foods Market in Glendale! Thanks for telling the world about this exciting new option!

  • I love this blog! I’ve had a couple Cruzer pizzas now…really good! I tried the pizza over at the Whole Foods on Fairfax/3rd. EXCELLENT! I popped into the Whole Foods in Sherman Oaks (Coldwater) last night, and they’ve got Daiya! Unfortunately they don’t have the pizza oven or all the toppings that the Fairfax WF has….but it was still good, and for $8 – I can’t complain!

  • Had the pizza with Daiya at Cruzer last week and it was outstanding. Now available at Whole Foods. How great! Unfortunately there aren’t any Whole Foods stores in the desert (Palm Springs area). Can’t wait for someone out here to get it. And, I can’t wait for somebody in So. Calif. to sell it at retail so I can cook with it. Thanks for your blog… it’s super informative!

  • GAH! I’m so jealous! I’m a Canadian, and up here where I live we have no Whole Foods and no crazy cheap delicious vegan pizzas to purchase so easily. Well, I will make sure to check it out if I visit LA at some point! Seriously, I have to stop reading your blog, you lucky people.

  • thanks for letting us all know about the daiya pizza at whole foods. just got an enormous pizza home and it was pretty damn good. love the blog and happy i live in l.a. so i can enjoy everything you write about.

  • So yesterday I tried the vegan pizza with Daiya cheese from Whole Foods and have to say I could barely swallow one piece let alone a whole pie. That faux cheese was really disgusting – tasted like liquid Velveeta. ICK! I won’t be buying the vegan W.F. pizza again.

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  • I’m currently visiting family for Thanksgiving and discovered that the Whole Foods on Ray Road in Phoenix is offering vegan pizza with Daiya. Haven’t had a chance to pick one up yet but I’m very excited. This is one of the scary-big Whole Foods. I know they’re not offering them in either of the tiny ones in Tucson but hopefully it’s coming soon. The Whole Foods on Speedway in Tucson is selling biodegradable plastic tubs of Daiya shreds in the refrigerator case near the deli, though, if you’d like to make your own!

  • Looks so good!!!

  • I finally dropped by the Pasadena Whole Foods on Arroyo this morning. They had vegan pizzas and vegan burgers available as well as several ready-made vegan items in their salad/take-out deli. I was also really happy to see the small vegan chocolate and desserts selection.

    I will be going to the Arroyo WF quite often now 🙂

  • Only some of the Whole Foods Markets have the hot vegan pizza. The one at 23rd and Wilshire in Santa Monica had 2 types of hot vegan pizza (one was italian and one was spinach- mushroom) when I went there last week (July 2010). But the Whole Foods in Beverly Hills and in West Los Angeles didn’t have any hot vegan pizza.

  • wow, thanks for this… i live in PLB and i go to this whole foods all the time, why on earth have i not even bothered to look over to see if they were making a vegan style pizza? well, its good to know that this is this way, i go back and forth with being vegan and honestly its mostly because of my obsession with good pizza… rarely do you find a good pizza with vegan cheese, i have since learned to make homemade pizzas that are in my opinion the best pizza i have had, i think its great that there is a good cheese option now.. in other-words… thanks for the post.

  • Hey, just wanted to defend Follow Your Heart vegan cheese, which you refer to as “chemical mass”. Actually, the ingredients list looks okay to me; it’s specified on the site that their products are non-GMO. Here are the ingredients lists, for comparison, of the two brands’ version of mozzarella cheese.

    Ingredients to Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet mozza cheese: Filtered water, expeller pressed canola oil, tofu (soybeans, calcium sulfate), soy protein, inulin (a natural extract of chicory), agar, sea salt, natural flavor (vegan), carrageenan (from seaweed), calcium lactate (vegan), lactic acid (vegan).

    Ingredients to Daiya mozza cheese: Filtered water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and /or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, vegan natural flavours, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor).

    I haven’t had the pleasure of trying Daiya yet, but I love Follow Your Heart, and just wanted to recommend people try it as well. 🙂 It’s delicious! I recommend microwaving it for 30 seconds or so to warm it up a bit before you top your pizza (or whatever), to ensure that it melts enough.

  • OMG down in SD those pizza’s are only $10.81 out the door on sundays. You could easily feed a family of 4 or 2 stoned people

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