MEATLESS MEAL: The pies at Plant Based Pizza are made only with vegan ingredients. Photograph by Jeff Cianci

Among all the flavors of the South Bay, pizza may not be the first staple that comes to mind. That being said, with all the different styles and toppings offered these days, nothing really seems out of the ordinary. But what about a vegan pizza? If you enjoy the vegan lifestyle or simply enjoy being an adventurous eater, Plant Based Pizza in Willow Glen is worth a visit.

Specializing as the area’s first vegan pizzeria, Plant Based Pizza will disabuse you of any assumptions you have that vegan cuisine being nothing more than tofu and cardboard. The owner moved his business from Los Angeles—where, he says, vegan food is not all that trendy anymore—to Willow Glen, where the new take on pizza seems to be drawing a line of curious customers.

The small restaurant (be aware, Plant Based Pizza has only a handful of tables; try ordering out) offers a wide range of pizzas made completely free of any animal products. With choices ranging from a Vegan Meat Lovers and Hawaiian to Veggie Special or even an Indian-styled pie, pizza lovers can enjoy their favorites, free of guilt. The taste? The crust is crispy, the “cheese” stringy and creamy; even the vegan pepperoni stands in just fine for the real thing.

Those looking for a new favorite pizza should sample the Indian version, which features a smoky, cumin-laced tomato sauce contrasted by zesty cilantro with a generous helping of roasted peppers, red onions and tomatoes.

The restaurant’s menu also includes pizzeria classics such as calzones and strombolis, made vegan of course. Even the most skeptical who adventure to Plant Based Pizza will be rewarded with a tasty pizza on a par with more familiar pizza joints.

Plant Based Pizza
1111-2 Meridian Ave., San Jose