A small vegan trailer is taking big steps. This fall, Lil ‘Nonna’s, a vegan pizza truck in the St. Elmo Settlement, opens its first stationary operation in North Austin.
Big Nonna’s, a fully vegan pizza place, will open its doors at 12601 Tech Ridge Blvd., Ste. 300, in October, a menu with vegan pizza classics and “adventurous” specials. Most of the ingredients are made in-house, such as beet peppers, nut-based cheese, and even a homemade ranch dip sauce.
With more space comes a bigger kitchen, of course, and Big Nonna’s offers an expanded selection of Italian classics, including starters, salads and main courses.
In addition to its completely vegan dishes, Big Nonna’s also offers gluten-free and soy-free options “so that allergens can eat safely”.
Rob Noni, who left Austin’s famous Via 313 to start Lil ‘Nonna in 2016, made Big Nonna’s his first brick and mortar. Amelia Raley, whose Sweet Ritual dairy-free ice cream parlor 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 vegan restaurant in Dallas.
“This is an exciting and much-needed vegan food addition for those of us in North Austin, Pflugerville and Wells Branch,” said Britty Hamby, CEO of ATX Vegans, in a September 15 press release.
Initially, Big Nonna’s will only be open for roadside, takeout and delivery, citing Good Work Austin restaurant guidelines for COVID-19. Eventually, according to Raley, the pizzeria will host an ice cream program from the Sweet Ritual team. Until then, guests can still order some dairy-free desserts from Sweet Ritual to take away or visit Airport Boulevard, which will remain open.
To help with the expansion, Big Nonna’s is now offering virtual gift cards that can be used to get stationary operations off the ground. Gift cards can be used once the restaurant is open, or they can be used as a “pie it forward” to feed someone in need.