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Who knew Tokyo was so vegan friendly? If you’re in love with Japanese food and thought you couldn’t find certain dishes made fully plant-based, then you’re in luck. From tempura and teriyaki-filled bento boxes to delicious ramen to Michelin-starred cuisine to moreish burgers and desserts, here’s our ultimate Green Queen guide to eating your plant-based way through the busy Japanese capital.
T’s TanTan is an all-day vegan ramen restaurant located in Keiyo Street. Hoards of vegans and vegetarians have been raving about this place that serves up delicious Japanese noodle soups made from only plant-based ingredients. They are also one of the few restaurants in Tokyo who have made eco-conscious strides, offering no disposable cutlery and only paper straws. Note that the restaurant is inside the underground train station, so you will need to buy an admission card to visit – but omnivores and vegans alike have said it is totally worth it.
Address: T’s TanTan, 1 Chome-9-1 JR, Keiyo Street, Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo, 100-0005. Open daily: 7.00am – 10.30pm.
Veganic To Go
From coconut curry to gluten-free pumpkin muffins and teriyaki burgers, Veganic To Go has just about everything made 100% vegan. Located in the Roppongi neighbourhood, the small takeout and plant-based café is a popular hangout spot for many local vegans and vegetarians. They also have on offer quirky drinks, such as the Green Hemp Smoothie and Sesame Charcoal Superfood Smoothie! Make sure to try classic Japanese soft-serve ice-cream too – it is vegan-friendly, of course!
Address: Veganic To Go, 7 Chome-4-14, Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo, 106-0032. Open daily: 11.30am – 5.00pm; until 9.30 on Friday & Saturday.
Ain Soph: Journey
Ain Soph is fully plant-based restaurant in Shinjuku serving vegan Japanese and International cuisine inspired dishes, and one of the few places in Tokyo that offers a English-Japanese bilingual menu. You can satisfy all your cravings by choosing plenty of mini dishes, from mac and cheese to burgers, fries, pancakes, tempura and more!
Address: Ain Soph Journey, 2 Chome-46-8, Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0021. Open daily: 11.00am – 9.30pm.
This small vegan café is almost always packed with visitors, because their completely plant-based dishes are just that good! Nagi Shokudo, located in the heart of Shibuya, is influenced by Japanese, Lebanese and Indian cuisine. From bento lunch boxes with fried mock meats to a hearty veggie curry with poppadoms, you will definitely leave here feeling satisfied. Make sure to wash down your meal with their local Japanese lager – visitors have all recommended it!
Address: Nagi Shokudo, 15-10 Uguisudanicho, Shibuya City, Tokyo, 150-0032. Open daily: 12noon – 3.00pm; 6.00pm – 10.00pm (half-day only on Sundays).
If you’re feeling a fast meal, Falafel Brothers is the place to go. The small fast casual restaurant and takeout is 100% plant-based, and is so popular it is almost always packed during lunch hour. You can choose from many healthy and tasty fillings, such as kale, pumpkin and baba ganoush, and pair your meal with craft beer.
Address: Falafel Brothers, 5 Chome-1-10, Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo, 106-0032. Open Monday – Saturday: 11.00am – 9.30pm.
Brown Rice Canteen by Neals’ Yard Remedies
Brown Rice by famed British natural beauty concept Neals’ Yard Remedies is a completely vegan and organic restaurant or canteen, serving up simple authentic Japanese dishes made from whole foods. The menu comprises of traditional Japanese fermented foods, such as miso, pickles and tofu, as well as seaweed and fresh organic vegetables, sourced locally. Nothing served at Brown Rice contains additives and preservatives, making it the perfect place for health-conscious diners.
Address: Brown Rice Canteen, 5 Chome-1-8, Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo, 150-0001. Open daily: 11.30am – 6.00pm.
Nezunoya is a whole foods based vegan restaurant serving up delicious Japanese food. A typical lunch set at Nezunoya is comprised of Japanese brown rice, miso soup, plenty of stir fried vegetable sides and curry sauce. They also serve delicious desserts like Japanese Matcha Cake. Most of their ingredients are sourced locally and organically produced, whenever possible!
Address: Nezunoya, 1 Chome-1-14 Nezu, Bunkyo City, Tokyo, 113-0031. Open daily (closed Wednesdays and Sundays): 11.30am – 3.30pm.
Organic Bar Nourish
Organic Bar Nourish is a 100% vegan restaurant and bar with an eclectic menu, made with organic ingredients. Although most of their items are not labelled in English, the staff are more than happy to help and translate as much as possible. They serve up fusion-style mains, such as “fish” fillet burgers and pasta with taro sauce.
Address: Organic Bar Nourish, 1 Chome-37-8, Komagome, Toshima City, Tokyo, 170-0003. Open daily (closed Wednesdays): 11.30am – 2.30pm; 6.00pm – 10.30pm.
If you are looking for something a bit more high-end, Daigo might be the place. The vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant has earned two Michelin stars, and features an artsy menu influenced by Japanese Buddhist monks. A dining experience at Daigo has been called “vegetarian heaven” by some visitors, and they are more than happy to cater to fully plant-based folk too – just call ahead of time.
Address: Daigo, 2 Chome-3-1 Atago, Minato City, Tokyo, 105-0002. Open daily: 11.30am – 2.00pm; 5.00pm – 8.00pm.
Although this restaurant chain does serve meat, they are the most famous ramen and udon bar with 8 branches across Tokyo, so we had to include it in our roundup! AFURI’s menu has one vegan ramen option: the Seasonal Vegan Ramen, made with 100% vegetable-based broth and topped with fresh seasonal veggies and wheat noodles and lotus root. Green Queen has tried it herself, and loved it!
Address: Afuri, 1F, 3 Chome-6 3-1, Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo, 151-0051. More outlet locations available. Open daily: 10.00am – 3.00pm.
Lead image courtesy of Gastroplant.