Island Veggie (Hiro-o, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) – ★★★

Quick Check:

  • Quality: ★★★ – Good
  • Type: Vegetarian (has a few vegan* items); Fast food, Hawaiian *Burger buns contain honey!
  • Location: Near Hiro-o Station, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
  • Hours:  Mon-Sun 8am-7pm
  • Price: $ – Inexpensive (about ¥900 for a burger)
  • Website: HappyCow Page, Restaurant Website
  • Menu: Click Here
  • Language Barrier: Menu has some English

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About, Access & Contact Info:

About: Island Veggie is a vegetarian burger & acai bowl cafe in Hiro-o, Tokyo.  Everything they serve is vegetarian, and while many of the items on the menu don’t contain milk or egg, the burger buns contain HONEY, so very few items on the menu are strictly vegan.

Access: It’s located a 3-5 minute walk from Hiro-o Metro Station (on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line).  Go to Exit 2, and immediately turn right and walk until you get to the intersection.  Then turn right again and walk down the road until you see a small alley on your right.  Turn down this alley, and walk just a little longer.  You’ll see Island Veggie on your left.

Address & Contact Info:

  • English Address: CAS Building 1st Floor, 5-3-9 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan  
  • Japanese Address: 東京都渋谷区広尾5-3-9 CASビル1F
  • Phone Number: 03-6277-0962

Map:


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Restaurant Review:

I don’t really feel right giving this place a true “review” since I only visited once, only ordered one thing, and didn’t even get what they specialize in: burgers.  So don’t take this review too seriously, it’s basically just foodporn.

By looking at the menu, you’d think that most of the offerings are vegan – it’s all vegetarian, and only a few things are marked as LV, “lacto vegetarian.”  But unfortunately, it turns out the buns used for the burgers all contain honey, so while many of the offerings on the menu contain no meat, fish, milk or egg, very few are truly vegan.  (This actually worries me – I wonder how many other places that are presumably vegan actually aren’t because of honey – none of the items are labelled as such, I asked after seeing that someone on Happy Cow had mentioned it.)  I intended to buy my own buns and return for a second shot at glorious burgerness, but didn’t have a chance to do so.

Since I couldn’t get a burger, on my first visit I ordered a small Chocolate Banana Acai Bowl (¥650) and a side of  French Fries (¥300), both of which the server assured me were entirely vegan.  Generally I scorn all things vaguely healthy, but if you pour chocolate on time I can’t say no.  I only got the small size bowl, but it was still very filling and rich – in fact it was a bit rich for a breakfast meal!  The french fries were also really delicious – they had a slightly maple-y taste that I’ve tasted at other Japanese “Hawaiian burger” places.

French Fries (¥300) & Acai Bowl (¥650)

French Fries (¥300) & Acai Bowl (¥650)

Chocolate Banana Acai Bowl (small, ¥650)

Chocolate Banana Acai Bowl (small, ¥650)

The decor was really cool and very playful – one whole wall is made of wardrobe drawers in different colors and textures, which I’ve never seen before anywhere.

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There isn’t a lot of space, just some small tables with a cushioned booth along one wall and chairs along the other.  But I went at 11 am and there was only one other couple in the restaurant, so I think so long as you don’t hit a lunch rush you won’t have trouble.

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Island Veggie also had a very could community vibe – they had weekly English cafe nights and you could sign up for nearby yoga classes at the front.  It was nice to see a restaurant interested not just in seeing food but in being a sort of community space, especially in a place like Hiro-o, which is very diverse (a lot of foreigners live there).  I really wish I’d had a chance to try out their burgers, so hopefully next time I’m in Japan I’ll either get my own or they’ll start serving honey-free buns!

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