Dining Guide: Best Vegan & Vegetarian Japanese Restaurants
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Celebrated for its emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, Japanese cuisine is usually recognized for its prominence on seafood. Unsurprisingly, Japan consumes 10% of the global fish catch; seafood is deeply engrained in the nation’s culture. However, the country also has a rich history of preparing vegetables with gastronomic flair. Japanese food has plenty to offer for both vegetarians and vegans. While 100% meat-free dishes aren’t as common in mainstream Japanese restaurants, a small and steady crop of dedicated vegetarian Nippon food eateries are sprouting up to big fanfare. Green Queen has the complete list of Hong Kong’s top veggie-friendly Japanese restaurants.
Isoya Japanese Vegetarian Restaurant
A fave amongst Hong Kong herbivores (and carnivores from all the great things we’ve been hearing!), Isoya’s traditional Japanese vegetarian fare is also a hit with vegans, offering fresh ingredients imported from Japan. Featuring a set lunch and dinner menu with nightly kaiseki, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner selectively chosen by the chef, the word-of-mouth marketing surrounding this restaurant (coupled by the fact it has no website or official Facebook page) has certainly made Isoya one of the most sought-after vegetarian Japanese restaurants in the city.
9/F, 83 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai, +852 5500 8812. Open Monday – Saturday 12:00PM – 2:30PM; 6:00PM – 11:00PM.
With an extensive dedicated menu full of veggie-friendly offerings, Kyoto Joe has been a longstanding Japanese culinary institution in Hong Kong that has catered to vegetarians. A number of appetizers, rolls, and hot dishes are prominently displayed with a few mock dishes (like faux chicken and prawn) available to sink your teeth into. Their sweet and spicy vegetables featuring lightly fried cauliflower, asparagus and mushroom served with sesame sauce is delish!
2/F, 1 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, +852 2804 6800, firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for reservations. Open Monday – Saturday 13:00PM – 2:30PM; Sunday – Thursday 6:30PM – 11:00PM; Friday – Saturday 6:30PM – 11:30PM.
Vegan and vegetarian fine dining at its best, Dining at MURASAKI is a definite treat for meatless connoisseurs and meat-eaters alike. With a gastronomic nine course Japanese-French vegan omakase, this contemporary Causeway Bay haunt offers an unforgettable vegetable-forward dining experience. Read our full review here.
UG/F 08, Sino Plaza, 255 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, +852 2817 8383, email@example.com. Open Monday – Sunday from 12PM – 2:30PM; 6:30PM – 10:30PM.
A Chinese/Japanese vegetarian establishment located in Kowloon, Ying Vegetarian specializes in meat analogues, otherwise known as mock meats or faux meats. Crafting soy- or mushroom- based sashimi and sushi platters, they do feature some dishes that contain egg, but are more than happy to remove them for vegan patrons.
G/F, Kamly Court, 61 Temple Street, Yau Ma Mei, +852 2770 6188. Open Daily 11:00AM – 11:00PM.
Images courtesy of Isoya, Kyoto Joe, Green Queen, and Ying Vegetarian (lead photo).