- Quality: ★★★★- Delicious!
- Type: All Vegan
- Location: Inside Tokyo Station, Tokyo
- Hours: Mon-Sun: 7:00-23:00
- Price: Inexpensive (typical entree about ¥800)
- Recommendation: Midori Tantan (¥850)
- Website: Restaurant Website, HappyCow Page
About & Directions:
T’s TanTan is an offshoot of the Jiyugaoka, Tokyo vegetarian restaurant “T’s Restaurant”. Unlike T’s Restaurant, though, T’s TanTan exclusively sells ramen and curry, and as far as I can tell is completely vegan (some of the items at T’s restaurant contain honey). Located within the gates on the 1st Floor of Tokyo station, T’s TanTan is a convenient place to stop along the Yamanote line if you need a bite to eat but don’t want to pay extra fare for a pit-stop. However, because it doesn’t have an exact address and it’s located inside the station, it can be a bit confusing to get to. It’s locate along “Keiyo Street,” a strip of shops along the passageway that leads from the JR and Shinkansen lines to the Keiyo Line. The beginning of Keiyo Street has a Uniqlo on the right, so if you see it you’re on the right track! And if you can’t find this part of the station, ask for directions to Uniqlo – chances are that staff will be much more familiar with that than T’s Tantan. If you need more help, check out these video directions, or this map from the T’s Tantan website.
Address, Train Access & Contact:
- English Address: JR Tokyo Station, 1st floor, inside Yaesu South Exit ticket Gate, on “Keiyo Street”; 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
- Japanese Address: 東京都千代田区丸の内1-9-1 JR東京駅１階八重洲南口改札内
- Train Access: Inside Tokyo station (inside the ticket barriers)
- Contact: 03-3218-8040
While I haven’t been to T’s Restaurant yet, I can verify that the ramen at T’s TanTan is absurdly delicious. Ramen is an ubiquitous Japanese dish. You’ll see ramen shops everywhere: in shopping centers, within train stations, and along dimly-lit side streets. It’s typically quite cheap, and a hearty meal often enjoyed by people on their way home from a long day at work. Sadly, the store-bought instant ramen we’re used to in the West really isn’t in the same category as real, fresh-cooked ramen. However, essentially all ramen in Japan is neither vegetarian nor vegan. They often contain meat, and even vegetable ramen often has fish, pork or beef base, and the noodles are frequently Chinese egg noodles.
But never fear! T’s Tantan is here! So far, I’ve been back to T’s Tantan about 10 times because the food was so delicious. Granted, it isn’t perfect: I think the ramen would be improved by the addition of more vegetables and perhaps more of their delicious soy meat, which is used very sparingly. Much of the dish is broth and noodles. That said…. Oh my god are those broth and noodles delicious. It’s certainly worth a side-trip just to get to experience a typical Japanese dish, but customized for a vegan diet.
So far I’ve had the following:
- Shoyu Ramen (T’s醤油らーめん), ¥700 yen and served hot
- Sura Tanmen (スーラータンメン), ¥850 yen and served hot
- Midori Tantan (緑たんたん), ¥850 and served hot
- Shiro Tantan (白たんたん), ¥850 yen and served hot
- Cool White Sesame Tantan (Shirogoma Hiyashi Tantan, 白ごま冷やしたんたん), ¥800 and served cold (which is very refreshing in summer)
- Brothless Tantan (Shirunashi Tantan, 汁なしたんたん) – ¥900 yen and served hot
- Sweet & Sour Soy Chicken Bowl (ミニから揚げ丼), ¥450 or ¥300 yen as a side dish (with ramen)
- Mini Jyajya Rice Bowl (ミニジャージャー丼) – ¥450, or ¥300 with Ramen
The flavors do change seasonally, so there’s no guarantee that each flavor will be there when you visit. However, the Midori Tantan, one of my personal favorites, appears to be there all year long. It’s just a bit spicy, is sprinkled with sesame seeds, and has a little more soy meat and vegetables than some of the other offerings. The Shoyu Ramen, which was available in winter (so it may be a seasonal item), is a delicious soy-sauce based ramen that I also absolutely loved.
Atmosphere & Service:
T’s Tantan takes the atmosphere from it’s like: Like Tokyo Station, it’s busy and often fairly crowded. You may even have to wait 10-15 minutes for a seat, possibly more at lunch-time (I haven’t visited during the lunch hour, only for dinner). The atmosphere isn’t quiet or spacious like some of the other vegan restaurants in Tokyo. However, the inside is very clean, comfortable, and quite suitable to an individual traveler: While there are many tables for small groups (2-4 people), there’s also ample counter space for single diners.
Service is friendly and efficient, nothing exceptional but perfectly adequate.
T’s Tantan also sells some instant food at its front, which is very useful for vegans who will be staying in Tokyo for a while. They sell instant curry packages as well as packets of vegan dashi stock (which can be a bit of a pain to make on your own). While more expensive than their regular-fish-filled-counterparts, they’re probably worth the money for a busy vegan staying for an extended period.