Brown Rice Cafe (Omotesando, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) – ★★★

Quick Check

  • Quality: ★★★ – Good
  • Type: Vegetarian (almost entirely vegan)
  • Location: near Omotesando Ave & Aoyama Dori intersection, Harajuku, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
  • Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:30-23:00 (Last Order 22:00); Sun/Holidays:  12:00-21:00 (Last Order 20:00).  *Note: website has conflict ion information about when lunch and dinner are available.
  • Price: Moderate (Lunch Set ¥1680)
  • Website: Restaurant Website, HappyCow Page

About & Location:

Brown Rice Cafe is a café specializing in simple, healthy food locate in the Harajuku area of Tokyo. Most of their recipes are based on Japanese cooking, although they do sometimes have veggie burgers and other foreign-inspired items. The shop is just off of Omotesando Ave, on the Right hand side if you are walking from Harajuku station towards Aoyama or Omotesando Station. It’s in the alleyway between MAX&Co. and Kawai (the piano shop). They have a convenient map on their website. The restaurant is hidden in the back of Neal’s Yard Remedies, a natural cosmetics shop. Just walk into the store and move towards the back left-hand-side of the store, where you will find a glass door that leads into the restaurant.

Address, Train Access & Contact:

  • English Address: Green Bldg 1F, 5-1-17 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-0001
  • Japanese Address: 東京都渋谷区神宮前5-1-17
  • Train Access: 5-10 minutes walk from Omotesando Station
  • Phone Number: 03-5778-5416
  • Email: brown@nealsyard.co.jp

Google Map:

Food Review:

NOTE:  Nearly everything at Brown Rice Café is vegan.  However, some of the desserts contain milk or honey, so please check with staff before ordering!

Brown Rice Cafe is one of Tokyo’s numerous “health” restaurants:  Their menu consists largely of steamed vegetable dishes, brown rice, and salads.  However, that’s not to say the food is plain. They utilize fresh, seasonal vegetables and traditional Japanese cooking methods so that their dishes are often simultaneously simple and delicious.  The first time I went, I ordered an a la carte veggie burger for about 800, which turned out to be disappointingly small.  Sadly, I lost this photo.  The next time I went, however, I ordered the steamed vegetable set, which turned out to be a much better deal.  For 1680 I received a bamboo steaming basket filled with steamed vegetables, a bowl of brown rice, two dipping sauces (for the vegetables), miso soup, pickles, and a cup of tea (you can choose from coffee, herb tea or green tea), which made for a much more filling meal than the burger.

The next time I visited, in February 2012, I ordered the Sukiyaki Lunch Set (which doesn’t appear to be available anymore):

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 When I returned to Japan in Fall 2013, I went back to Brown Rice Cafe again.  This time, I ordered the Tofu Salad and a tofu tomato pasta dish (a daily special).  It was pretty exceptional – I wouldn’t have thought I could enjoy anything that involved tofu and salad together, but it actually worked really well!
IMG_0191

Tofu Salad & Tofu Tomato Pasta

And finally, last time I visited (in November 2013), I ordered the Bean & Vegetable Curry (¥1300).  This was my favorite dish so far, as it was very hearty but also rich, with a coconut milk base.  Sorry for the terrible photos, my camera take fantastic day-time photos and god-awful-horrible low-light photos!
With Flash:
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Bean & Vegetable Curry (¥1300)

Without Flash:
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Atmosphere & Service:
The Brown Rice Cafe seems a world away from the bustle of Omotesando ave, partially because the street noise blocked by shops on both sides.  The inside is a bit cramped but very clean and bright, and outside there is a small patio where you can also enjoy your meal in a bit of seclusion.  That said, this restaurant often becomes crowded during the lunch hour and peak dinner hours, so you may have to wait for 20-30 minutes to get a seat.  Once you do get a seat, however, service is prompt and the staff are very attentive and happy to answer whatever questions you may have.  They also have an English-language menu, for those who don’t speak Japanese.
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Okay, that’s all for the Brown Rice Cafe!
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One thought on “Brown Rice Cafe (Omotesando, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) – ★★★

  1. Pingback: Brown Rice Cafe @ 5-1-17 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku | Vegetus. A way of life.

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