Whether you’re on a long-term overseas experience or here on holiday, transitioning into the crazy-cool hustle and bustle of Tokyo can be difficult at the best of times. However, being vegan and having the Japanese speaking ability of a five-year-old (if that), made my transition a little more challenging, to say the least.
After six months of wandering the streets of Tokyo on the hunt for everything and anything vegan, I now have a decent list of delicious eateries that I would love to share with any fellow ‘vegos’ making their way through the magical city of Tokyo!
We all love a good burger, right? So, if you find yourself wandering the streets of Roppongi craving a finger-licking burger, this is the place to go. They make three varieties of hemp burgers: tartar, teriyaki, and avocado, all priced at around 1000 yen. I had the teriyaki hemp burger, and although the daikon (Japanese radish) gave it a slightly bitter taste, it was still delish! I’m already eyeing up the avocado one for next time. Also, if you manage to bite into the entire thing without it falling apart – bonus points for you! My technique was to work my way up from the bottom.
Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30am-10:00pm
This is a wee cafe hidden away in the quiet streets of Meguro and is about a five-minute walk from Gakugeidaigaku station. I usually come here on days where I need something quick-to-go. So a tasty sandwich, scrumptious homemade banana muffin and a small packet of the delicious maple and cinnamon cookies are my ‘go-to’s here, all priced at around 300 yen to 600 yen. They also serve a variety of other baked goods like cakes, bagels, as well as beverages that are all entirely vegan.
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00am-5:00pm
This is a great place located on the 1st floor of the LUZ Building in Jiyugaoka; less than a five-minute walk from Jiyugaoka station. Believe it or not, veggie gyoza is difficult to come by in Tokyo as, unfortunately, most contain a variety of meat. So, T’s veggie gyoza makes a perfect appetizer for any of their delicious mains – the massaman curry or the sesame broth ramen are my favorites. However, if you’re in a (soy) cheese pizza mood, T’s make a great pizza too! Also, no matter how full you think you are, do not leave without devouring one of their chocolate parfaits.
T’s Restaurant also has a ‘brother’ store called, T’s Tantan inside the Tokyo station which only serves vegan ramen. I have yet to try it out but I hear it is also delicious!
Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00am-10:00pm
This is a Hawaiian themed cafe with a great, easy-going atmosphere. My ‘go-to’s here are their delicious taco rice bowl, fries (if I’m feeling extra naughty) and either the acai or peanut butter smoothies. If you’re a typical vegan with a peanut butter addiction (like myself), the peanut butter smoothie is a must and compliments either the taco rice or one of their burgers (yep, another place that does awesome vegan burgers) perfectly.
However, this place isn’t entirely vegan as some items on the menu contain dairy and honey (for the strict vegans) so be sure to ask.
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:00am-7:00pm
Website *Japanese only
Like I mentioned earlier, everyone loves a good burger and for those that don’t quite like the mess of trying to bite into Veganic’s mammoth hemp burger, Lima’s veggie burger is perfect for you! The crumbed tofu, cabbage slaw, and Lima’s special mayo make a great tasty combo, and on top of that, the lunch set comes with a delicious miso too. Lima also has a scrumptious brown rice soft serve ice cream that makes a perfect pre or post lunch dessert.
Lima also has it’s own health foods store next to it, which is worth checking out if you want to stock up on more vegan treats!
Hours: Mon-Sun 11:30am-7:00pm
Website *Japanese Only
Looks can be deceiving as it may look like standard chicken nibbles, but this photo is only one of many succulent deep fried soy chicken variations that the Hang Out provides. The Hang Out is a hip, little restaurant slightly off the beaten track of Shibuya, and is definitely worth tracking down. The jerk soy chicken and the bibimbap are a must for first-timers. Although I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with anything on the menu here. It is definitely a place that could potentially make even the most stubborn of meat-eaters consider a partial transition from the ‘dark-side’ to the veggie side.
Hours: Mon-Sat 5:00pm-11:30pm
This place is smoothie heaven and is located in Hiro-o and Nakameguro. Trueberry is vegan and soy free, and what’s even better is they’re gluten-free friendly too! Their veggie sushi roll is amazing and filled with fresh vegetables and plenty of avocado. The girls that work there are so friendly and lovely too!
Hours: Mon-Sun 8:00am-7:30pm
Website *Japanese Only
Unfortunately, this blurry photo doesn’t quite do this place justice. However, hands down, Phono’s is my all time favorite. I love everything about it, from it’s homely, peaceful atmosphere to it’s delicious, healthy and authentic Japanese vegan food. The small restaurant is run entirely by a sweet Japanese lady, who was nice enough to write an English version of her set menu options since I became a regular. The set menu available is only 1000 yen and includes miso soup, rice (or bread), cabbage slaw and three side dishes of your choice. Everything is always delicious. On top of that, her blueberry parfait is amazing too, along with her homemade cakes and biscuits! This place is heaven for vegans that love a peaceful, friendly homely atmosphere.
Hours: Mon 11:30am-7:30pm, Fri-Sun 11:30am-7:30pm
The aspect I love the most about vegan eateries is the peaceful atmosphere that each place creates, along with the positive and bubbly people who work there. The people really do make it. There are still so many more places I would love to try in Tokyo but for now, these are my eight vegan lucky charms, and I hope you get the chance to try at least one. Enjoy!
・Top 100 Things to Do in Roppongi, Famous for its Daytime and Nighttime Attractions, in 2018
・100 Things to Do in Shibuya, Tokyo’s Fashionable Metropolis, in 2018
・Visit this Top Vegetarian Restaurant in Kumamoto: Private Lodge Cafe&Diner