Organic Cafe Aoi Sora Nagareru-kumo (オーガニック カフェ 青い空 流れる雲)
- Quality: ★★★ – Good
- Type: All Vegan
- Location: Maruyamakoen, Sapporo, Hokkaido
- Hours: Sun-Wed: 10:30-17:00; Thur-Sat: 10:30-21:00 (Lunch from 12:00). No closed days.
- Price: $$ – Moderate (Lunch Sets ¥1000, Dinner Set ¥1600)
- Website: Restaurant Website, VegeNavi Page, HappyCow Page
About & Location:
Aoi Sora Organic Cafe is an entirely vegan cafe in Sapporo, Hokkaido. It is located about a 10 minute walk from Maruyamakoen Station on the Tozai line. Maruyamakoen Station is roughly 10-15 minutes from Sapporo Station. From there, it’s a bit of a headache to get to the cafe itself – I ended up lost for about 30 minutes trying to find it. So, I’ll give you walking directions below.
Address, Train Access & Contact:
- English Address: 22-1-7, Minami-Ichi-Nishi, Chuuou-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan
- Japanese Address: 札幌市中央区南1条西22丁目1-7 裏参道ルーム22・1F
- Train Access: 10-15 minutes walk from Maruyamakoen Station (Tozai Line)
- Phone Number: 011-623-3887
So, first, at Maruyamakoen Station, take Exit 6. Walk up the stairs until you reach the shopping complex. Then cross to the escalator, and take it up on floor (to the ground floor). When you get off the escalator, walk toward the Daiei and Starbucks. Exit out the front doors.
Once you’ve exited, turn left, and walk down the street for approximately 5 blocks (not exact because there are some non-through streets).
At some point you will see a Sunkus (convenience store) on your right, and shortly after, a store called LAND USA. Keep walking straight!
Eventually, you will see these stores on your right (one is an interior goods store, and I believe the other is a cafe/bakery – look for the orange & yellow ruffled awning over the door. Keep walking straight, the restaurant is on this block!
About halfway down, look for a deep recess in between buildings. Aoi Sora is deep in this recess, at the back. This is particular hard to see when it’s dark! It has a sign with a blue sky and clouds on it, and this is lit up at night.
After seeing rave reviews of this restaurant on Happy Cow as well as Vegi Navi (a Japanese vegetarian cuisine website), I decided that I had to visit Aoi Sora first. It ended up being well worth the visit. The menu was entirely in Japanese (with no photos), so choosing what I wanted was a bit difficult, but the waiter was happy to help me out and explain what each item was.
Sadly, I didn’t see the faux fish burger that everyone was raving about online (I think it’s a lunch-only item), so I opted for the Chinese Vegetable Plate set (with cake and tea) for 1600 yen. The set came with a bowl of warm Ma Po Tofu, a hearty mound of brown rice, a small side of warm vegetables (including Chinese broccoli, carrots, cabbage, white radish, and some kind of flavorful paste), another cold side-dish of vegetables (with onions, daikon, squash, and I think some curry and other spices), a hot clear soup with daikon radish, and side salad. Everything turned out to be quite good, although I wasn’t particularly fond of one of the pastes used to flavor the first assortment of Chinese vegetables. Each dish was individually small but did a great job of filling me up over the course of the meal.
Afterwards I was served a cup of Earl Grey tea (they also had other tea options) and a tiny but delicious chocolate cake served with vanilla soy ice cream. Finally, I found a vegan restaurant in Japan that makes a chocolate cake that is rich and moist (as opposed to the dry, crumbling cakes I’ve received and multiple other restaurants). That said, if I’d ordered it without the set it would have cost roughly ¥600 for slice of cake smaller than my palm, which seems a bit much. The dessert menu also offered an apple tart and an array of soy milk ice creams.
Overall, the meal wasn’t quite as awe-inducing as I had expected (given the nearly entirely 5-star reviews I saw online), but it was still very good and definitely worth visiting.
Atmosphere & Service:
The cafe itself was wonderfully well-heated and very spacious and clean. It had a similar atmosphere to many other vegan cafes I’ve visited – very natural, with lots of wood and large windows. The service was exceptional: I was the only person there at 7 pm on a Saturday, so the waiter was incredibly attentive. I couldn’t read most of the all-Japanease, no-photo menu (I need to study more kanji), so the server walked me through the menu and translated everything I asked about. I don’t think he was exactly fluent but he knew how to describe what the dishes were. Since I was the only person there there wait was only about 15-20 minutes (pretty good considering that there was so much detail in the dishes). I was quite pleased.
Okay, that’s all for today! More Sapporo restaurant reviews to come over the next few days!