Looking for a simple but classic meal in Japan? Japanese curry may be the dish you’re looking for: the curry sauce has the perfect balance of savory, sweet, and spicy, paired with fresh vegetables and plain rice.
Luckily Japan’s largest and most famous curry restaurant chain, Curry House Coco Ichibanya, or just “Coco Ichi” for short, carries a completely vegetarian, vegan-friendly version of their popular curry. With over 1,000 restaurant locations within Japan, wherever you go you likely aren’t far from enjoying delicious plant-based curry.*
*Disclaimer: In the author’s experience, all Coco Ichi locations in Japan they have been to have had this vegan curry on the menu; however it is not guaranteed to be available at all locations. Please check with the restaurant directly before you visit if you are concerned. Also, please note that the vegan-friendly curry is prepared in a kitchen where meat and animal food products are also handled. Confirm directly with the restaurant before you visit.
The vegan-friendly curry is clearly labeled on the menu when you visit with pictograms and English, so ordering is easy and convenient. Mixed vegetables, fried eggplant, soy-based protein (hamburger patty, etc.), and a variety of vegetable toppings are also available; be sure to get a couple of options so you aren’t just eating the curry roux.
In addition to toppings, you can also customize the spice level of the curry, as well as the amount of rice.
The curry has a classic and mild Japanese curry flavor that is very satisfying. It is one of the author’s favorite comfort foods and is a reliable vegan-friendly option in Japan. If you’re ever in a pinch for a quick and easy meal, be sure to consider Coco Ichi!
Coco Ichibanya also does takeout and delivery (depending on where you are located), so you can enjoy their delicious vegan curry at home, too.