Restaurants in Japan aren’t known for offering large portion sizes–especially when it comes to vegetarian and vegan meals. With planning and some research, however, you may be surprised by how delicious and filling some of the plant-based food in Japan can be.
This article introduces restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto with 100% plant-based, vegetarian and vegan options. From ramen to hamburgers to matcha parfaits, these spots have something comforting for everyone, and won’t leave you feeling hungry an hour later.
1. Vegetarian Butcher in Ikebukuro, Tokyo
Vegetarian Butcher is a plant-based brand known for its high-quality, hearty vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives that non-vegans and non-vegetarians can enjoy whilst being friendlier to the environment.
The Vegetarian Butcher brand started in Europe and currently has restaurants and stores throughout the globe–including a restaurant just a few minutes away from Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo, Japan.
The choices at the restaurant center around the Vegetarian Butcher’s most famous offerings–fake meat–so definitely try ordering their sandwiches or burgers. Vegan choices are marked (and the rest of the selections are vegetarian) on the menu. Pictured above is a chicken-based sandwich–juicy, full of flavor, and with a great chewy texture. A generous portion of fries comes with “meaty” sandwiches.
Vegetarian Butcher Japan also has an online store that ships throughout Japan. If you don’t get the chance to visit their restaurant in person, you can try some of these yummy, plant-based meat alternatives ordering online.
Vegetarian Butcher Japan: https://www.thevegetarian-butcher-jap.com/
2. Tokyo’s AIN SOPH.soar and Kyoto’s AIN SOPH. journey
AIN SOPH. is a small brand of vegan restaurants located in Tokyo and one location in Kyoto, Japan. All are vegan and focus on providing healthy, delicious plant-based food, but out of all the locations, AIN SOPH. soar in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, and AIN SOPH. journey in Kyoto offers incredibly tasty vegan comfort food in the form of massive hamburgers and delectable desserts.
The hamburgers here are some of the best you can find in Japan: prepared with hot, fluffy buns, a healthy amount of toppings, and a savory, grilled patty. There is also a variety of curry and other offerings for those craving something lighter.
Ain Soph also offers gluten-free options and oriental vegetarian-friendly choices (made without the five pungent roots). If you have any allergies or special food requests be sure to ask the staff.
Ain Soph: https://www.ain-soph.jp/
3. T’s Tantan in Tokyo
If you’re in Tokyo and craving noodles, T’s Tantan is the first place you should go. With locations inside of JR train stations throughout Tokyo (Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, and Ikebukuro Station)*, this vegan tantan noodle and ramen specialty restaurant is convenient for a quick bite or gathering with friends, and is super tasty.
In addition to the gold, white, and black sesame tantan noodle options on the menu, the restaurants often offer seasonal flavors of the noodles that keep each visit interesting and delicious. There is also a slew of sides, like gyoza dumplings, dessert, non-ramen main options, too.
*There is a T’s Tantan location in Narita International Airport. Please check the website below for official information on business hours.
T’s Tantan Website: https://foods.jr-cross.co.jp/ts-tantan/
4. Paprika Shoduko in Osaka
Paprika Shokuda is a local vegan mainstay in Osaka City’s Yotusbashi area. This 100% plant-based restaurant offers flavorful, filling meals that have proved popular to vegan and non-vegan diners alike. Meals are made with organic ingredients and vegetables as much as possible.
The unique menu here contains everything from Japanese teishoku (meal sets with soup and rice) to fried vegan “oysters” made out of mushrooms. Those craving “junk food” can choose a vegan hamburger made with their choice of alternative meats. For something sweet, there are ice cream parfaits and baked goods to enjoy for dessert.
A small selection of vegan groceries and snacks are sold inside Paprika Shokudo, too.
Paprika Shokudo Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/papurika_vegan/?hl=ja