Vegan pizza: South Bay residents who are devoted to vegan cuisine have a saucy new option: Plant Based Pizza in San Jose's Willow Glen area. Here, they make their pies with Daiya cheese (a dairy-free, soy-free cheese substitute that melts nicely); vegan-style pepperoni, ham and sausage; and lots of organic veggies. The Mediterranean pizza, for example, combines grilled portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, kalamata olives, garlic, basil and Daiya on a vegan crust. The Indian-style pizza is a spicy melange of garam masala, ginger, turmeric, paprika, spinach, cilantro and green onions. Need a taste before you're sold on vegan pizza? A daily lunch special offers a slice of pizza, a side salad and a beverage for $7.95. Details: Open daily from 11 a.m. at 1111-2 Meridian Ave., San Jose. 408-448-8881; www.plantbasedpizza.com.

New cupcakes: Noonie Cakes is bringing the Southern classics to the East -- as in Eastridge Mall in East San Jose. Longtime caterer Jackie Jackson has launched her new bakeshop venture with cupcake flavors straight from the South: peach cobbler, pineapple coconut, sweet potato, banana pudding and the flavor that seems to have sparked the whole cupcake craze, red velvet. Located near the movie theaters, Noonie Cakes is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Details: 408-600-7170; www.nooniecakes.webs.com.

Holiday help? A longtime Merc subscriber who doesn't want to spend hours reheating prepared foods is looking for recommendations of restaurants or markets that will be selling fully cooked holiday meals -- for takeout -- on the days leading up to Christmas. Surely she's not the only one. Have a suggestion? Email it to Linda Zavoral at lzavoral@mercurynews.com.

Send South Bay and Peninsula dining tips to Linda Zavoral at lzavoral@mercurynews.com.