Osaka is a foodie paradise with famous local dishes like okonomiyaki and takoyaki but is not as vegan and vegetarian-friendly as Tokyo. However, with some research and preparation, you will find more than enough plant-based and vegan food to enjoy and plenty of chances to experience this Kansai city’s most famous food cultures.
1. Vegan Okonomiyaki and Ramen at Meguri Meshi Megumi
Megurimeshi Megumi is a cozy all-vegan restaurant in Osaka offering plant-based Japanese food made with quality, often organic ingredients. The photo above features okonomiyaki, a savory pancake made with green onion, carrots, cabbage, and seasonal vegetables.
The okonomiyaki here is made with soba flour and gluten-free sauce is available upon request. You can also add natto (fermented, sticky soybeans) as a topping for an extra boost of nutrition and flavor.
The menu contains other classic Japanese favorites, like ramen, and there is also dessert!
The restaurant is close to Minamimorimachi Station on the Tanimachi and Sekaisuji Osaka Metro lines.
For more details see the restaurant website: https://www.megumi168.com/
2. Paprika Shokudo Vegan, a Local Favorite
Paprika Shokudo Vegan is a popular vegan restaurant in the Shinsaibashi neighborhood in Osaka. The menu include a wide variety of delicious choices, like soymeat karaage, fried mushroom “oysters,” juicy burgers, and ice cream parfaits. Everything is made with high-quality, often organic ingredients. The restaurant is small but has a friendly, fun atmosphere that is perfect for grabbing a lunch or dinner with friends and family.
Paprika Shokudo also has a selection of vegan products and snacks, like instant ramen, for sale by the restaurant register, making it convenient if you want to do some shopping after your meal too.
The closest stations are Shinsabashi on the Osaka Metro Midosuji line, and Nishiohashi Station on the Nagahori-tsurumiryochoku line.
See restaurant Facebook for more details: https://www.facebook.com/papurika.vegan/
3. Green Earth, a Classic Vegan and Vegetarian Diner
Green Earth has been in operation since 1991 and is a well-known vegan and vegetarian eatery in Osaka. This charming restaurant serves curry, a daily special plate (pictured above), vegan pizza, and more.
All choices here are vegetarian and there are plenty of fully-vegan options, too–for example, you can choose soy and cashew cheese for the pizzas and sandwiches.
The restaurant has a classic cafe feel and is great for meeting friends or solo diners. Green Earth is closest to Honnmachi Station (Osaka Metro Yotsubashi, Chuo, and Midosuji lines) and is a good lunch spot when heading to the Shinsaibashi area for shopping or sightseeing.
See restaurant website for more details: http://osaka-vegetarian-ge.com/
4. Terrace Lunch at Optimus Cafe
Optimus Cafe is a vegan eatery perfect for a relaxing outdoor lunch, near Kitahama Station. The menu here is filled with healthful and tasty choices made with seasonal vegetables and ingredients, like the buddha bowl pictured above.
Optimus Cafe has just a few counter seats and small tables inside, so this is an option best suited for small groups, but there is also outdoor seating on the cafe’s terrace that overlooks the Tosabori River.
More information here: http://www.optimus-cafe.com/
5. Authentic Okonomiyaki at Asoberu Okonmiyaki OKO
Close to the lively nightlife areas of Namba and Dotonbori, Asoberu Okonomiyaki OKO is a fun dinner and drink spot offering an authentic okonomiyaki experience. All okonomiyaki here is gluten free, and there is a separate vegan and vegetarian menu with plant-based choises. Drinks are priced reasonably, too.
The vegan okonomiyaki comes topped with the diner’s choice of veggies and you can add vegan-friendly mayonnaise to taste. Portions are large–a medium sized okonomiyaki should be enough for two.
See the restaurant website for more info: https://www.oko-osaka.com/
6. natural kitchen Medaka No. 2 for a Balanced Vegan Meal
natural kitchen Medaka No. 2 is a health and nutrition-focused restaurant just a walk away from Umeda and Osaka stations. Not everything Medaka serves is plant based, but there are vegan choices and several options can be made vegan upon request. For example, plant-based offerings include vegan curry, soymeat karaage, and fried and breaded gluten katsu.
The choices here are balanced and satisfying; a meal set (pictured above) comes with several small side dishes, a salad, miso soup, and multigrain rice.
For more info see the restaurant info: https://shin-medaka.com/
7. Vegan Ramen at Mitsuka Bose Kamoshi
Vegan ramen is a rare to find in Osaka, but Mitsuka Bose Kamoshi, a ramen specialty shop in the Umeda area, offers several flavors that vegans can enjoy. This casual restaurant also serves an array of local Japanese craft beer, making it a great place to visit with friends.
The unique vegan ramen here uses fresh vegetables and characteristic, rare flavors and spices from Kyoto, Osaka, and other nearby regions. Mitsuka Bose is worth a visit, as you won’t be able to eat this kind of ramen anywhere else!
The Umeda Sky Building is close by so this is a great place to visit while sightseeing in the area.
Restaurant Info: https://mitsukabose.com/shop-access#kamoshi-shop-jamp
8. Mexican Cuisine at El Pancho
Mexican restaurant El Pancho is a recommended visit when you are in the Shinsaibashi area of Osaka. While the restaurant serves meat and fish, there are many satisfying vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, from burritos to bean quesadillas, to tacos.
The restaurant has a kitschy, festive atmosphere and also carries a good selection of Mexican beer and cocktails on their drink menu. This is a popular spot so try to avoid dining at peak meal times or get a reservation in advance.
The restaurant is close to Shinsabashi Station.
For more info, see the restaurant website: https://tabelog.com/osaka/A2701/A270201/27001670/