Is the Best Vegan Pizza in Knoxville at A Dopo?
While I don't think A Dopo Pizza's owner Brian Strutz would claim to make the best vegan pizza in town, there's definitely a case to be made that his wood-fired sourdough pies are the most exquisitely crafted.
Here's Brian explaining a little bit more about A Dopo:
While certainly minimalist, the pizza marinara I had during my last visit was really delightful. The sourdough crust is as flavorful as promised, and if any state in the country can fully appreciate sauce composed of just tomatoes and salt, it's Tennessee (shout out to Grainger County)!
Because we put so much intention into our dough, and into our ingredients, we can offer really excellent options that are inherently vegan. – Brian Strutz
As a passionate lover of garlic and basil, I was perfectly happy with this little piece of heaven, though I admit that fans of lots of toppings may want more. If you're more of a maximalist, just pair it with a salad, the mushroom pâté, and a glass of wine.
Speaking of wine, you can thank sommelier Amanda Lovingood for her selections, chosen for their balance of quality and affordability (most clock in at under $30). If you're more of a beer person, you'll be happy with the carefully-curated local and regional selections on draft, including Last Days of Autumn, Blackberry Farms, and Yee Haw Brewing.
Finally, the salad specials are anything but minimal. Chock-full of local ingredients, they're the total opposite of the sad iceberg piles that vegans are so often relegated to. And while I've been told that the homemade sorbettos are only occasional...hey, a girl can dream. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for lemon-blackberry.
The A Dopo Backstory
Brian Strutz has wanted to own a restaurant almost from day one. He went to grade-school career day as a restaurant owner, and his first job was at a pizza shop. Though his career has occasionally taken him a little further afield, it has always brought him back to the pizza oven.
Brian picked up cooking experience here and there while backpacking across Italy with his wife, and later as a cook at Blackberry Farms, where he gravitated toward the wood-fired station. A stint at a similar pizza restaurant in Arizona cemented his direction for A Dopo.
Those experiences have all informed his menu, which is focused without being too minimal to satisfy different tastes. Superior process and local ingredients take precedence over flashy preparation and endless options (thank god).
The restaurant's interior is fitting. A Dopo is housed in an inviting industrial space that's mostly cement and tile with touches of wood and polished metal. With an intimate atmosphere and seating for about 40, it's the perfect location for a date night or a dinner with friends.
Oh, and in case you've been wondering, A Dopo means "See you later!"
A Dopo Pizza is located at 516 Williams street. You can find their hours, explore the full menu, and more at adopopizza.com.