The 12 Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Tokyo
The One Bag Traveler recommends Gear, Destinations and Adventures. Tokyo is one of the foodie capitals of the world, but it doesn’t have the best reputation for vegetarians. It’s true that if you wander into a random restaurant you’ll struggle to avoid meat and fish, but with a little planning you can find amazing vegetarian
The One Bag Traveler recommends Gear, Destinations and Adventures.
Tokyo is one of the foodie capitals of the world, but it doesn’t have the best reputation for vegetarians. It’s true that if you wander into a random restaurant you’ll struggle to avoid meat and fish, but with a little planning you can find amazing vegetarian food in Tokyo. The food was a highlight of our stay and the quality was outstanding from high-end restaurants to simple ramen shops.
Most guides to vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo focus on westernised places serving veggies burgers, salads, and smoothies. We didn’t come to Japan to eat burgers, and with only a few weeks in the country, we wanted to make the most of the delicious national cuisine. I made it our mission to find the best vegetarian-friendly Japanese food in Tokyo whether that was at places that are entirely vegetarian or vegan or at traditional Japanese restaurants that specialise in one type of cuisine.
The vegetarian scene has grown since our last visit six years ago and I was delighted to discover that there are many tasty veggie eats in Tokyo if you know where to look.
The current exchange rate is approximately 1 USD = 113 yen and 1 GBP = 148 yen.
Vegetarian Ramen in Tokyo
Ramen in Japan is almost always made with pork or fish broth so we didn’t have any on our last visit. Happily, there are now a few options for vegan ramen in Tokyo and it was fantastic being able to try this classic dish which makes a tasty, inexpensive, and quick meal.
Midori vegan ramen at T’s Tantan
T’s Tantan is an entirely vegan ramen restaurant in Tokyo Station! This is so convenient if you are passing through the massive station where many of the city’s local trains and bullet trains around the country depart.
There are many different ramen choices including sesame, shoyu (soy sauce), and two spicy options which we went for—Simon had the “hot” Midori Tantan and I had the “very hot” Shiro Tantan. Both were full of flavour and the noodles were the best we tried. My spice level was manageable until it came to sip the broth! All the ramen contain soy meat, which we’re not fans of, but they are small, rather innocuous chunks. There wasn’t much veg, so next time I’d pay extra to add some. Our side of dumplings was good too.
We bought some pots of their instant ramen to take away for a cheap, easy meal on another day.
Cost for a Main Dish: 900 yen.
Details: Keiyo Street food hall in JR Tokyo Station. Follow signs for the Keiyo line. 7 am – 10.30 pm every day (limited menu before 11 am).
Website: Happy Cow listing.
Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka
Spicy vegan ramen at Ramen Ouka
Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka is a typical small ramen restaurant with counter seating where you order and pay at the vending machine by the door (it’s in English) then hand your ticket to the chef behind the counter. It’s a halal restaurant that also offers a vegan ramen—spicy or normal in regular, large, or extra large size. The staff spoke good English and were very friendly, so don’t worry if you’re not sure how it all works.
Although we preferred T’s Tantan’s softer noodles, we loved the spicy broth here (level 3 was really spicy!) and the chunks of broccoli, peppers, courgette, and corn. They also gave us some cold peach tea when we were finished. The regular size was plenty for me but Simon polished off his large.
It was quiet when we visited on a Saturday lunchtime, but it can get very busy so try to arrive early to avoid queuing. To make a reservation via their Facebook page you have to book the 2500 yen set menu including drink and dessert.
Cost for a Main Dish: From 1100 yen for a regular vegan ramen.
Details: 東京都新宿区新宿1–11–7. Near Shinjuku Gyoen Gardens. 2 – 10 pm on weekdays, from 5 pm on Fridays and 12.30 pm on weekends.
Website: Facebook page.
Seasonal vegan ramen at Afuri
Afuri is a ramen chain that offers a vegan ramen packed with seasonal vegetables. You buy a ticket from the vending machine then take a seat at the counter. Our ramen looked beautiful and the noodles were good, but the vegetables were undercooked and the soy broth wasn’t very flavourful.
Despite being our least favourite ramen, it’s still a decent option if there’s nothing else around as there are many branches all over Tokyo.
Cost for a Main Dish: 1350 yen for vegan ramen.
Details: Various branches including Shinjuku, Ebisu, Harajuku, and Roppongi.
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Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Tokyo
There are many vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo. Many of them serve Western dishes so we focused on ones with Japanese cuisine, often a set lunch including multiple dishes, rice, miso soup, and pickles. It’s usually much cheaper to eat at lunch than at dinner.
Another place that sounded good but we ran…