Macrovenus & Pan-Yakibito – ★★★

Quick Check:

  • Quality: ★★★ – Delicious!
  • Location: Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
  • Type: All Vegetarian, Vegan-friendly; Bakery
  • Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Last Order 19:15)
  • Holidays: Every Monday & Tuesday, Obon Holiday (in August). Note: If a National Holiday falls on a Monday or Tuesday, store is open! Call ahead.
  • Price: $$, Moderate
  • Website:  HappyCow Page, Restaurant Website

About & Directions:

When I vistied, this place was listed as all-vegan on Happy Cow. However, since then the Happy Cow entry has been updated to indicate that some items contain milk and eggs. Because of this, I can’t guarantee that all of the items that I chose (& photographed) are vegan – please ask before buying! A Happy Cow user wrote that the staff are super helpful, so if you tell them you’re vegan they’ll be able to point out which items to avoid. A bummer for sure, but it seems they still have a lot of vegan options!  It’s kind of pain in the ass to get to (although it’s a short walk, it’s a lot of turns and walking up and down hills), so make sure you’re wearing appropriate shoes for walking.

Address, Access & Contact:

  • English Address: 1 Chome-35-13 Daita, Setagaya, Tokyo 155-0033, Japan
  • Japanese Address: 東京都 世田谷区 代田 1-35-13 殿塚ビル1F
  • Phone Number: 03-3421-9399
  • Train Access:
    • ~9 minute walk from Setagaya Daita Station (Odakyu Odawara Line)
    • ~15 minute walk from Shin-Daita Station (Keio-Inokashira Line)
    • ~15 minute walk from Shimo-Kitazawa Station (Keio- Inokashira Line)

Google Map:

Restaurant Review:

I’ll be honest – I went here aaaaaaagessss ago (August 2015, to be exact), and I’m just getting around to posting about it now.  So I won’t fuss too much over probably-misremembered details.  Instead, lots of photos!

Also, to reiterate:  When I went here this restaurant was listed as all-vegan.  Now it is not, and some items contain milk or eggs. Please ask the owner which items are vegan-friendly!  Even if it’s photographed here it may not actually be vegan 😦

As you may have guess Macrovenus and Pan Yakibito produces almost exclusively baked goods.  This includes various types of freshly-baked breads, and a variety of sweets and savories.

There’s a selection of popular Japanese-flavored sweet breads, including red-bean filled buns, Melon Pan, and  kinako-flavored (roasted soybean flour) cream bun.

There’s also plenty of pastries that will be more familiar to the foreign visitor, including croissants, chocolate coronets, and tons of others luscious cream-filled pastries.

Being a sweets fanatic, I went straight for the Melon Pan (a Japanese favorite that is sold everywhere), a cream-filled and sugar-bedecked bun, and a croissant.  The Melon Pan was amazing – I’ve never had non-vegan melon pan so I can’t say how comparable it is, but it was very sweet, crunchy and delightful.  The cream-filled bun was similarly delicious.

The croissant was good, but didn’t have the light, buttery flakiness that I remember croissants having back-in-the-omnivore-day.  That said, it was still a very satisfying.  I won’t bite the hand that feeds me vegan croissants.

The inside is simple, casual, and wonderfully well-lit.  I’m a sucker for big windows – I’ve been inside a few too many dingy cafes.  Supposedly (reports from HappyCow users) they no longer serve lunch and dinner, but their website still suggests that they do.

Overall, is it worth the trip?  If you have the time, absolutely!  It is a bit of a walk, but if you have a craving for European-style breads or vegan pastries, then this is the place to go.  If you don’t think you’re up for the trek, however, Lima Cafe also frequently sells a small selection of their baked goods, on a small wooden shelving unit at the front of the restaurant.

 

 

 

Vegan-friendly Tokyo Grocery Stores

Okay, the name is a bit misleading. Obviously most Japanese grocery stores are vegan friendly simply because they’re loaded with fruits, veggies, and tofu products. However, today I want to introduce Tokyo grocery stores that might have typically hard-to-find vegan products, especially processed foods that you wouldn’t be able to find at a typical supermarket.  This is by no means and exhaustive list – they’re just places I’ve personally visited or heard of.

1. Natural House (Aoyama,Tokyo + other locations)

Quick Check:

  • Location(s): Aoyama, Shimokitazawa, Meguro, Ogikubo, Nihonbashi, Ikebukuro, Yurakucho (all in Tokyo)
  • Hours: Varies by location.  Aoyama Hours: 10:00-22:00
  • Website: Supermarket Website, HappyCow Page

Address, Train Access & Phone Number (Aoyama Location):

  • English Address: 3-6-18 Kita Aoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Japanese Address: 東京都港区北青山3-6-18
  • Nearest Train Station: Omote-sando Station (Tokyo Metro)
  • Phone Number: 03-3498-2277

Google Map:

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Natural House is an organic-foods grocery chain, and has locations in various parts of  Tokyo, including Shimokitazawa, Aoyama, Meguro, Ogikubo, Nihonbashi, and many other areas (a full list can be found in Japanese on their website here).  However, the store that I visit most frequently is the Aoyama location, which is located near the intersection Aoyama Dori and Omotesando Dori.  It’s just a 5-10 minute walk from both Pure Cafe and Brown Rice Cafe.

Natural House specializes in organic goods, and has  a moderate selection of organically-produced produce.  What will likely be of more interest to visitors, however, is their selection of to-go lunch bowls and sandwiches, many of which are vegan.  All of the prepared foods that are vegetarian are labelled with green “for vegetarian” stickers, and allergen labels will warn for contents such as milk or eggs (I would recommend asking about honey).

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They also have a juice bar in the front, for those who are looking for a filling on-the-go snack.  This juice bar also sells vegan ice cream!

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For those who are hear longer-term, there is also a large selection of vegan and vegetarian products that often would not otherwise be vegan, such as Japanese curry roux, instant ramen, vegan bread, soy margarine, soy mayonnaise, tempei, vegan gyoza, vegan mock-meats, and much more.  Many of these products are Japanese, but they also have some imported goods as well.  All vegetarian products are marked as such (on the tags below them with the price), and milk and eggs are marked as allergens.  Check the ingredients labels for honey (はちみつ or ハチミツ).

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Vegan Curry Roux

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Breads (many are vegan)

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Tempei and Soy Meat

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Soy Margarine

As you would expect, things here are generally pricier than at your typical grocery.  However, most of these items are difficult (if impossible) to find at any normal grocery store, so it’s definitely worth a visit and, in my opinion, worth the cost!

2. National Azabu (Hiroo, Tokyo + Den-en-Chofu, Tokyo)

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Quick Check:

  • Location(s): Hiro-o, Tokyo & Den-en-chofu, Tokyo
  • Hiro-o Hours: 8:30 – 21:00
  • Den-en-Chofu Hours: 9:00 – 21:30
  • Website: Supermarket Website

Address, Train Access & Phone Number (Hiro-o Location):

  • English Address: 4-5-2 Minami Azabu,Minato-Ku,TOKYO 106-0047
  • Japanese Address: 〒106-0047 東京都港区南麻布4-5-2
  • Nearest Train Station: Hiro-o Station (Tokyo Metro) (for the Hiro-o location)
  • Phone Number: 03-3442-3181

Google Map:

While hardly a vegan store, National Azabu is an import store that has a large number of products that would make any vegan giddy:  Amy’s Vegan Pizzas, soy mayonnaise, Shreese, lentils, imported dark chocolate, rice milk, even vegan tortillas.  It’s just a short walk away from Island Veggie, and well worth a look around if you’re missing something from home.  It’s expensive, but worth checking out if you really feel you’re missing something.

They also have another store near Den-en-Chofu Station, called National Den-En.

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Soy Ice Cream (maybe vegan?)

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Amy’s Products (including vegan pizza and veggie burgers)

Soy Mayonnaise

Soy Mayonnaise

Soy & Rice MIlk

Soy & Rice MIlk

Breaded Veggie Patties

Breaded Veggie Patties

Alvarado St. Bakery Breads

Alvarado St. Bakery Breads (These are from my home town! It was so nice to see them!)

Shreese Vegan Cheese Products

Shreese Vegan Cheese Products

3. Natural Mart (Hiro-o, Tokyo)

Quick Check:

Address, Train Access & Phone Number:

  • English Address: Hiroo Flower Home 102, 5-19-5 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-0012
  • Japanese Address: 東京都渋谷区広尾5-19-5 広尾フラワーホーム102
  • Nearest Train Station: Hiro-o Station (Tokyo Metro) (for the Hiro-o location)
  • Phone Number: 03-6408-2528

Google Map:

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Natural Mart is a tiny organic food store located in Hiro-o, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.  They sell various imported and domestic cereals & grains, soy milk, rice milk, snacks, pet food, produce, skincare products, home products (like detergent), pet food, and way more.  This store leans much more to the natural end: there aren’t a lot of processed foods, but there’s a lot of great staples for anyone who loves to cook from home.

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4. Lima Health Shop 

Quick Check:

Address, Train Access & Phone Number:

  • English Address: Tokyo Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-23-1, Tokyo, Japan 151-0053
  • Japanese Address: 〒151-0053 東京都渋谷区代々木2-23-1
  • Nearest Train Station:  Shinjuku Station, Miniami-Shinjuku Station, JR Yoyogi Station
  • Phone Number: 03-6304-2005 

Google Map:

Lima Health Shop is a small healthy food store operated in the same building as Lima Cafe in Shinjuku, Tokyo.  Unlike Lima cafe, Lima Health Shop doesn’t exclusively sell vegan products.  However, they do have an impressive selection of of vegan-friendly foods, including small pots of flavored vegan cream cheese (perfect for bagels!), lots of imported and domestic vegan snacks, and a huge freezer filled with vegan ice cream!  They also have a small selection of vegan bento (lunch) boxes at the front, and several of these are vegan as well.

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Aisles of yum at Lima Health Shop

Happy Dates vegan energy bars

Happy Dates vegan energy bars

More Vegan Ice Cream than any mere mortal can handle

More Vegan Ice Cream than any mere mortal can handle

Vegan Ice Cream flavor chart

Vegan Ice Cream flavor chart

Bento (Lunch) Boxes at the front, many of which are vegan

Bento (Lunch) Boxes at the front, many of which are vegan – look for the Itadakizen lunch boxes!

I’m sure there are many other health shops and import stores in Tokyo with impressive vegan-friendly selections – these are just the one’s I’ve personally visited! If there’s any places I haven’t mentioned that you like, please tell me about them in the comments section!

Loving Hut (Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) – ★★★

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Quick Check:

  • Quality:  ★★★ – Good
  • Type: All Vegan – Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, International; Dine-in and Take-out
  • Location: Between Jimbocho Station & JR Suidobashi Station
  • Hours:
    • Lunch: Mon-Fri, 11:30-17:00
    • Buffet: Fri, 17:30-21:00 (Last Order 20:30), ¥2000; Sat: 11:30-15:30 (Last Order 15:00), ¥1500
    • Closed: Sunday, Holidays. Sometimes closed on Fridays, Saturdays for event catering.
  • Price: $ – Cheap (about ¥1000 for an entree)
  • Language Barrier: English-language menu, some English-speaking staff
  • Website: HappyCow PageRestaurant Website

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Location & Map:

Address, Train Access & Contact:

  • English Address: Okada Bldg 2F, 1-54, Kandajinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0051
  • Japanese Address: 〒101-0051 東京都千代田区神田神保町1-54岡田ビル2F
  • Train Access: 5 minute walk from Jimbocho Station, Exit 5; 10 minute walk from JR Suidobashi Station
  • Phone Number: 03-5577-6880

Google Map:

Restaurant Review:

Loving Hut is an international chain of vegan restaurants run by Chiang Hai, a Vietnamese spiritual leader.  It’s the largest chain of vegan restaurants in the worlds, and while the ever-present videos of the Supreme Master and her followers can be a little distracting and off-putting to new visitors, the food at Loving Huts seems to be pretty consistently delicious and inventive.  The Tokyo location is no exception:  they offer a small but delicious selection of Taiwanese/Chinese, Japanese and international dishes for very reasonable prices, as well as a more expensive weekly buffet.  They also have lunch boxes and steam buns for take-out, which is great for tourists on-the-go.

Several years ago, I visited their old location and tried the Vegan Kabayaki, a sort of mock grilled unagi eel-over-rice dish.  While it’s probably the only place you’ll find a vegan version of something so unique, I didn’t find it that appealing.  That said, I’ve never had actual eel, but I can imagine I would like it much either, so I won’t use that as a point against them.  That’s what I get from trying something new!

The second time I went, I ordered the Dim Sum Lunch Set for ¥1000 (pretty cheap by Tokyo’s vegan cafe standards).  The Dim Sum Set includes the Taiwanese Delicatessen Plate, and your choice of one of 4 steam-bun dumpling sets. Lunch Sets are only served during the lunch hour, from 11:30 -14:00.

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Dim Sum Lunch Set B (¥1,000)

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Delicatessen Plate 

The delicatessen plate included Radish Rice Cake, a mock omelette square, a faux meat skewer, summer rolls, a spicy “shrimp” salad, and a noodle salad.  Each items was beautifully prepared. and tasted delicious.  While there are other vegan Taiwanese places in Tokyo, the deli plate is a wonderful chance to sample a number of different Taiwanese dishes.

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Delicatessen Plate

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Pickles

I ordered Dim Sum Set B, which included 1 Vegetable Bun, 1 Black Vinegar Veg Pork Bun, and 2 pieces of Shumai dumplings. The Deli Plate was really good, but the steam buns and shumai were the highlight of the meal – they were fluffy, chewy, and incredibly flavorful.  The Black Vinegar Veg Pork Bun was my personal favorite – I could have eaten them for lunch every day. It also came with Douhua, a delicious tofu pudding.  In addition, I ordered Taiwanese Tea – I’m not sure exactly what type of tea it was, but it was delicious.

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Mantou Dumplings Set B – Black Vinegar & Veg-Pork Dumpling, Vegetable Dumpling, Steamed Chinese Dumpling

Vegetable Bun

Vegetable Bun

Black Vinegar Pork Bun

Black Vinegar Pork Bun

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Mango Douhua (Taiwanese Tofu Pudding)

The decor was kind of boring and unstylish, and like all Loving Huts they had songs from the Supreme Master and her followers playing (I think there was  TV playing them, but I can’t remember).  I personally find this distracting and a little strange, since I’m not a follower.  But hey, it’s their restaurant and they serve some damn good food, so I can’t complain too much.  The staff were incredibly friendly (as always), and my waitress spoke English!  I of course can’t guarantee that  all servers do, but if you’re nervous about ordering in Japanese they may be able to help.

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Overall, I definitely recommend visiting this Loving Hut location.  It has some delicious food for really reasonable prices, and with it’s central location and take-out dishes, it’s ideal for visiting tourists.

CLOSED The Biokura Cafe (Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo) – ★★★

Quick Check:

  • Quality: ★★★ – Good
  • Type: All Vegan; Macrobiotic
  • Location:  Near Omotesando Station, Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  • Hours: Closed Monday; Tuesday-Saturday, 11am – 4pm (lunch), 4pm – 9pm (Last Order at 8 pm); Sunday: 11:00 am – 6:30 pm.
  • Price: $$-$$$ – Average  to Slightly Expensive (about ¥1300 for a Lunch Set, ¥1800-¥4000 for dinner)
  • Website: Restaurant WebsiteHappyCow Page
  • Menu: Click Here
  • Language Barrier:  Menu entirely Japanese, but has photos

Address, Access & Contact:

Address, Closet Train Station & Phone Number:

  • English: 5-54-67 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Japanese:  東京都渋谷区神宮前5-53-67
  • Closest Station: Omotesando Station (Tokyo Metro)
  • Phone Number: 03-6427-3338

Directions:

Go to Omotesando Station on the Tokyo Metro subway line.  Take Exit B2.  (Biokura Cafe is a 10-15 minute walk from this exit.)  This will place you on Aoyama Dori, a little away from Omotesando dori.  Keep walking along Aoyama Dori away from Omotesando dori.  You will pass Starbucks, Natural House, and KFC.  Keep walking. Soon a large plaza will open up on your right, with restaurants in a semicircle. Keep walking.  Soon you’ll arrive at a small street with United Nations University on your left and the plaza on the right.  The street will have little blue signs that say book (本) on them.  Turn right on the street and walk down it, then take the escalator at the end of this road down.  Enter the sliding glass doors.  Aoyama Book Center will be on your left, and Biokura Cafe will be on your right.

Google Map:

Restaurant Review Food Review: What I keep going back to Biokura Cafe for is their soft serve.  So far, I’ve only found a few other spots in Japan that serve vegan soft serve, most notably Vegan’s Cafe & Restaurant in Kyoto.  Biokura Cafe’s soft serve seems much more healthy than Vegan’s Cafe’s, and it lacks the malty nostalgic flavor that I remember form childhood trips to Dairy Queen.  But it’s still creamy and swirly and will hit the spot if you’ve got a soft serve craving. It’s a soy-based soft serve that’s only lightly sweetened, so it still retains a soy flavor.  However, you can choose from 3 flavorings, which are sprinkled over the top: 穀物コーヒー (kokumotsu koohii, grain coffee), きな粉黒蜜 (Kinako-kuromitsu, Brown Sugar Syrup-flavored soy flour), or フルーツスプレッド (Fruit spread).  There’s a layer of puffed rice cereal at the base, which I’ve seen at several other Japanese restaurants – it seems to be common way of serving sundaes, and you can mix it into the ice cream for extra texture and crunchiness. I only ever got the grain coffee soft serve, and ended up going back to get it about 5 times.  I’m not a huge fan of soy flavor, but when I mixed the soft serve together with the coffee powder and cereal all I could taste was yummmm.

Soy Soft Serve with Coffee Topping - ¥450

Soy Soft Serve with Coffee Topping – ¥450

P1040125 Several times I went to Biokura Cafe and only ate the soft serve, mainly because their dinner menu is pretty expensive.  However, I did visit for lunch once, and was very impressed.  I ordered the The Brown Rice & Seasonal Vegetable Quiche Set (玄米作ったキッシュ~季節の野菜のせ~ セット) for ¥1300 (¥1404 with tax).  It comes with Brown Rice Quiche topped with seasonal veggies, a mini salad, and your choice of Miso Soup or a mini European-style soup (varies seasonally).   Mine was topped with lotus root, Japanese pumpkin, cauliflower and red pepper (I think).  Unfortunately wasn’t very quiche-y, but that makes sense since they don’t use eggs or mock-cheeses:  Biokura Cafe is very focused on clean, simple ingredients, skilled cooking and detailed presentation.  What I got was more of a tasty baked vegetable and brown rice dish, and although the portion size was small, it was the perfect size for a light lunch.  If you really like clean, healthy cooking you’ll find lots of dishes to your taste here.

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Brown Rice & Seasonal Vegetable Quiche Set (¥1404)

My friend ordered the Veggie Katsu Burger Set (Vegeカツバーガーセット, ¥1404 with tax), which also looked amazing.  I’m more junk-foody than health-foody, so I kind of wish I’d opted for that!

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Veggie Katsu Burger Set (¥1404)

Atmosphere & Service: Biokura Cafe is a slightly upscale cafe, which is typical of restaurants located in the swanky Omotesando and Aoyama District.  There’s no dress code, and casual clothing is fine, but you’d feel pretty out of place coming in your grungiest, ripped garb.   The cafe is spacious, quiet, bright & clean. It has a mostly open layout with a small selection of macrobiotic groceries on the left, a large cafe space in the middle, and a cooking school separated by a glass wall on the right.  The cafe has one long communal table and 4 small, low tables for parties of 2 along the front wall. P1040124 If you’re lucky enough to visit while a class is in session, you can look through the glass and observe students in starched uniforms dutifully taking notes as their teacher instructs them on the finer points of cooking.  However, you can’t hear what they’re saying (or, at least I couldn’t), so if you aren’t interested it’s easy to block it out and focus on your own conversation. Service is prompt and efficient, but not notably friendly.  The servers mostly just take your order, deliver you food with a smile, and then leave you to enjoy in peace.  I found the atmosphere and service to be very pleasant. Overall, I enjoyed Biokura Cafe.  Portions are a bit small and prices are fairly high at dinner time, but if you swing by for lunch (before 4 o’clock) or even just for a cup of soft serve, You can get a more moderately-priced meal.  I especially recommend it for those who enjoy healthy and natural cooking.

Ain Soph Soar (Ikebukuro) & Ain Soph Journey (Shinjuku)

Note: This is a bit of an unusual entry since I’m combining two restaurant reviews, but as I’ve only visited each for one meal it seemed more appropriate to combine the reviews.  I’m not going to “rate” this entry as a whole since I had mixed feeling about the two restaurants, but they have overlapping menus.

Quick Check (Ain Soph Journey):

  • Quality: ★★★★ – Very Good
  • Location: Shinjuku Sanchome, Tokyo, Japan
  • Type: All Vegan
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am – 11:00pm, Sun 11:30am- 10:00pm
  • Price: ¥¥¥ – A little expensive (expensive course menus but more moderate lunch and single-course options)
  • Website: HappyCow Page, Restaurant Website
  • Note: RESERVATIONS REQUIRED (make an online reservation here)

Address, Access & Contact:

  • English Address: Shinjuku Q Building 1F, 3 Chome 8-9, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 160-0022
  • Japanese Address: 〒160-0022  東京, 新宿, 三丁目-8−9, 新宿Qビル1F
  • Closest Train Station: Shinjuku Sanchome (also a 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station)
  • Phone Number: +81 3-6228-4241

Google Map:

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While at Ain Soph Journey (Shinjuku),I started with the Raspberry Champagne. It was a hefty ¥1000, but I was feeling a bit impulsive and hey, how often can a vegan order Champagne at a restaurant?  It gets exhausting asking for winery names and checking Barnivore and usually disappointing, so I often don’t drink wine when I’m out.  So I went for it, and I have to say, it was very good.  The raspberry portion made it so sweet that I ended up drinking it a bit too quickly… which might explain why I found everything afterwards so goddam delicious.  Maybe.

Raspberry Champagne

Raspberry Champagne

For my main meal, I ordered the pancake set for ¥1400 (this also for sale at the the other Ain Soph complexes).  It’s a lot for a meal and even more for pancakes, but I was with a group of people so I decided to just give in a bit and treat myself to something I might not ordinarily get on my own.  Several members of the group ended up ordering it, since it’s a popular item and we’d all been talking about it on the walk over.

In spite of the high price tag, I have to say that somehow these pancakes were WORTH ¥1400.  I make pancakes all the time for myself and they cost almost nothing, so I was prepared to be disappointed, but I was happily surprised.  These were the best pancakes I have ever had, vegan or otherwise.  I have no idea what recipe they’re using, but these were just absurdly fluffy and rich, and liberally coated in vegan butter, jam, cream, fruits, nuts, and a small scoop of ice cream.

Vegan Pancakes - ¥1400

Vegan Pancakes – ¥1400

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My group also got a side-dish of fried “chicken” (I believe it was about ¥600), and they were also pretty exceptional.  I’ve had vegan fried “chicken” a few times, and it sometimes a bit tough or fried too crispy for my taste.  This was just right though – crispy but not to the point that it scratched your mouth, and tender enough that chewing it didn’t become a jaw exercise. I’m really happy I had a chance to try a few bites, and would definitely recommend it as a side-dish or appetizer: it’s a perfect “sharing” food!

Fried "chicken" Side-Dish

Fried “chicken” Side-Dish

 

Quick Check (Ain Soph SOAR):

  • Quality: ★★★ – Good
  • Location: Higashi-Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan
  • Type: All Vegan
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-4pm, 5pm-11pm; Sun 11:30am- 4:00pm, 5:00pm-10:00pm
  • Price: ¥¥¥ – A little expensive (expensive course menus but more moderate lunch and single-course options)
  • Website: HappyCow PageRestaurant Website
  • Note: RESERVATIONS REQUIRED (make an online reservation here)

Address, Access & Contact:

  • English Address: Shinjuku Q Building 1F, 3 Chome 8-9, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 160-0022
  • Japanese Address: 〒160-0022  東京, 新宿, 三丁目-8−9, 新宿Qビル1F
  • Closest Train Station: Shinjuku Sanchome (also a 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station)
  • Phone Number: +81 3-6228-4241

Google Map:

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Ain Soph Soar is another branch of the Ain Soph chain. It’s located in Higashi Ikebukuro, just across the road from Sunshine City.  They have many of the same offerings as Ain Soph Journey, with a mixture of reasonably priced lunch sets and more expensive course menus.  I ended up ordering the Green Curry Set. It included a side of soup, and small vegetable side-dish, and a mini-dessert for about ¥1400, which is pretty reasonable (although a bit more expensive than average).

Green Curry

Green Curry

I was expecting something like a Thai Green Curry, so I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed to receive something that appeared significantly less likely to give me heartburn.  It was actually boiled daikon with some sort of green sauce, and while it was good and and tasted very clean, I can’t say it was exactly delicious. I tend to prefer rich food, so this may have just been a personal preference, but I would have chosen a different dish had I known.  On the bright side, though, the tomato soup that was served on the side was hot, flavorful and really hit the spot.

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My friend ordered the Mushroom Curry & Hayashi Rice set, which in hindsight I should have ordered!  It looked much richer, and she really enjoyed it.

Mushroom Curry & Hayashi Rice Set

Mushroom Curry & Hayashi Rice Set

The highlight of my meal was the teensy little dessert that was served afterwards.  I chose the bread pudding, and it was so beautiful-looking and had a perfect texture – it was moist but not soggy, and was absolutely delicious.

Bread Pudding

Miniature Bread Pudding

On the way out, I saw an Candied Orange Peel & Matcha (Japanese Green Tea) Muffin at the counter, and bought it on impulse to eat later.  It was such an interesting flavor combination that I just couldn’t pass it up!  However, I wasn’t very impressed by it.  The combination of flavors was great, but there was just way too much orange peel in it – it’s a very intense and bitter flavor, and there was so much that eating it was just unpleasant at some points (in spots where too many peels were concentrated).

Orange Peel & Matcha Muffin

Orange Peel & Matcha (Green Tea) Muffin

Overall, I would say my visit to Ain Soph Soar was mixed – what they did well they did exceptionally, but a few of the items left me unimpressed.  I don’t know if this is an issue with this location, or if just by a fluke I chose a the more disappointing options.  I’d give it another chance, but if you end up going, I recommend you don’t go for the green curry or the muffin.

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Buona Tsubu Tsubu (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo) – ★★★

Quick Check:

  • Quality: ★★★ – Good
  • Location: Near Edogawabashi Station, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
  • Type: Vegan; Italian, Pizza, Macrobiotic
  • Hours: Mon & Wed-Sun, 7am-10am (morning), 11:30am-2:30pm (lunch), 6pm-11pm (dinner).  Not open every Tuesday, unless Tuesday is a national holiday (then it will be closed on Wednesday).
  • Price: $$$ – A little expensive
  • Website: HappyCow Page, Restaurant Page
  • Menu: Click Here

About & Location:

Buona Tsubu Tsubu is an all-vegan Italian restaurant with a large selection of salads, pastas, and pizza.  It’s a sister-restaurant to Tsubu Tsubu Cafe in Waseda, Tokyo.

Address, Train Access & Contact:

  • English: 1-17-9 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Japanese: 〒112-0014 東京都文京区関口1-17-9
  • Train Access: Edogawabashi Station, Exit 4
  • Phone Number: 03-6457-5045
  • Email: kagurazaka@b-tubutubu.com

Google Map:

Restaurant Review:

Buona Tsubu Tsubu (an off-shoot of Tsubu Tsubu Cafe in Waseda) is an all-vegan Italian restaurant in the Bunkyo-ku district of Tokyo.  They have an impressively large menu for  a small restaurant, with dozens of salads, pastas, pizza, and a few other main dishes (such as a hamburg set) to choose from.  Salad and pastas are things I often have to get when I eat out in the US because they’re the only veganable thing on the menu, so whenI have a choice, I rarely order them.  So both times I visited Buono Tsubu Tsubu I went directly to the pizza section.  I have NO regrets.

The first time I visited, I got the Takakibi & Mochiawa Ortolana Pizza.  Takakibi is red brown sorghum (a frequent ingredient in Tsubu Tsubu dishes), and Mochiawa is a type of glutinous high-protein millet.  Presumably, these two ingredients were used to make the crust, which thankfully was very thick and chewy. Sometimes Japanese macrobiotic restaurants serve pizza with crust so thin it bears more resemblance to a cracker than anything breadish, so this was a relief!  The pizza was topped with tomato sauce, splotches of melty vegan cheese, and thick pieces of grilled eggplant, tomatoes, peas, and peppers.  The vegan cheese was unusual – it wasn’t quite as chewy as actual cheese, but it was very rich and flavorful and contrasted well with the acidity of  the sauce and some of the veggies.  I was really impressed.  I also loved that they served the pizza with the exposed peas-in-pods – it made it feel like it was fresh from someone’s garden.

Takakibi & Mochiawa Ortolana Pizza - ¥1575

Takakibi & Mochiawa Ortolana Pizza – ¥1575

Takakibi & Mochiawa Ortolana Pizza Close-Up

Takakibi & Mochiawa Ortolana Pizza Close-Up

My friend ordered the Mochikibi & 5 Kinds Mushroom Spaghetti (¥1280). Mochikibi is the Japanese word for Millet, so I think the pasta was made of millet.  I didn’t try it, but she said it was really good!

Hie & Potato Peperonchino - ¥1,155

Mochikibi & 5 Kinds Mushroom Spaghetti

The next time I visited, I ordered the Hie & Potato Baccala Pizza.  I’ve never had this sort of pizza before, so I decided that instead of ordering the same thing as before, I’d branch out a little.   Traditional Baccala pizza, from what I’ve read online, is served with salt cod, and it doesn’t seem like it usually has lemon, so I don’t think it bears much resemblance to actual Baccala pizza.  This pizza was served with a very light sauce, potatoes and mushrooms, and then you squeeze the lemons over it and it.  In spite of it’s simple appearance, it was really incredible – I’d never though to use lemons on a pizza before, but it’s really the perfect addition (so long as you don’t have tomato sauce).

Hie & Potato Baccala Pizza - ¥1580

Hie & Potato Baccala Pizza – ¥1580

Hie & Potato Baccala Pizza Close-Up

Hie & Potato Baccala Pizza Close-Up

Overall, I would say that Buona Tsubu Tsubu is a must-visit place for any vegan Italian food enthusiasts visiting (or living) in Tokyo.  The prices are a bit high, but the selection is large and the quality is consistently good.  They’re obviously unafraid of experimenting with unusual grains, toppings, and flavorings, which makes their offerings so much more interesting then any standard veggie pizza or spaghetti you could get at a non-vegan restaurant.  I love it when restaurants are adventurous with their ingredients.  So, if you’re nearby, I really recommend checking this restaurant out!

Lima Cafe – ★★★ (Shinjuku, Tokyo)

Quick Check:

  • Quality: ★★★ – Very Good
  • Type: All Vegan; Macrobiotic, Healthy, Take-out
  • Location: Shibuya-ku (between Shinjuku, Minami Shinjuku and Yoyogi Stations)
  • Price: $ – Inexpensive (Lunch Set around ¥750-¥900)
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 11 am – 7 pm (Last Order 6:30), No Holidays
  • Website: Restaurant Website, HappyCow Page
  • Menu: Click here
Chashu Don - ¥900

Chashu Don – ¥900

About, Location & Contact:

Lima Cafe is an all-vegan macrobiotic restaurant with Lima Health Store, located just 10 minutes from the South Exit of Shinjuku Station.  They have a small teishoku (set) menu, with 2-3 meal options, as well as some smaller a la carte items and macrobiotic desserts.  Lima Health Store also sells a lot of vegan items (although it isn’t a strictly vegan or vegetarian store), including energy bars, bento boxes and vegan ice cream.

Address & Contact:

  • English Address: Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-23-1, Japan, 151-0053 (NOTE: Even though it’s technically in Shibuya, it’s between Shinjuku Station and Yoyogi Station!)
  • Japanese Address: 〒151-0053 東京都渋谷区代々木2-23-1
  • Train Access: near Shinjuku Station, Minami Shinjuku Station, & JR Yoyogi Station
  • Phone Number: 03-6304-2005

Map:

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Restaurant Review:

Sadly, I went to Lima Cafe for the first time just a few weeks before I left Japan for good, so I only got to go twice.  I wish I’d known how good it was before!  For some reason I thought it was on the outskirts of Shinjuku so I just never bothered to go until some friends invited me.  I’m SO happy they introduced me to it!  The first time I went I got the Teriyaki Tsukune Burger set + drink set, for a total of ¥1050.  Although it was a burger, it didn’t taste like junk food – the burger was definitely more grains and veggies than processed soy, and while it was fried it wasn’t overly oily.  It was really soft and flavorful, although I don’t recall there being a strong teriyaki flavor.   Unfortunately since I was really hungry and with friends I didn’t take good notes on it, but just trust me, it was good.  Order it.

Teriyaki Tsukune Burger Set + Drink Set - ¥1050

Teriyaki Tsukune Burger Set + Drink Set – ¥1050

Teriyaki Tsukune Burger

Teriyaki Tsukune Burger

The second time I visited I got the Gluten Chashu Don (rice bowl)  (車麩チャーシュー丼) for ¥900 (I didn’t add the ¥150 drink this time).  It’s a lot like a Japanese donburi bowl, but with a Chinese-style arrangement.  It was incredible, even better than the burger!  It included a bed of rice topped with chunks of  moist gluten mock-meat (intended to take the place of boiled pork), green beans, carrots, something delicious and pickled (but I couldn’t place it), and garnished with stripes of daikon and  sprinkled sesame seeds.    The gluten was tender, juicy and rich (but without a pork-like flavor), and not crispy (not that crispy is bad, but a lot of mock-meats are breaded and fried, so a little variety is really refreshing!)

Chashu Don - ¥900

Chashu Don – ¥900

Close-up on that juicy gluten Chashu!

Close-up on that juicy gluten Chashu!

Lima Cafe also offers some onigiri, buns and other food that you can take to-go for very reasonable prices.  All of the main dishes on the menu can also be purchased for take-out for a reduced price as well (for example, the Chashu Don above is only ¥750 if you order it to-go).

To-Go Foods from Lima Cafe

To-Go Foods from Lima Cafe

Lima Cafe is attached to Lima Health Shop, a small health food store. Although the health food store isn’t entirely vegetarian/vegan, it offers a lot of vegan/vegetarian items, including energy bars, bento boxes (lunch boxes), and sweets.

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Takeout Lunches from Lima Health Shop (many are vegan)

The highlight (for me) was their enormous selection of vegan ice cream:  Chocolate, vanilla, rice, matcha (Japanese green tea), chai tea, milk tea, earl grey, cafe mocha, banana, blueberry, mango, and way way more. Not one to shy away from a challenge, I tried to eat as many flavors as I could.

First I got the banana, because banana ice cream is my absolute favorite flavor of ice cream.  A lot of banana ice creams and popsicles taste sort of strange.  But this one definitely passed the yummy-test – it tasted just like banana, and was really soft and creamy (although I had to let it thaw for a while after purchasing to get to the right softness).

Banana Soy Ice Cream - ¥410

Banana Soy Ice Cream – ¥410

The Cafe Mocha was great, with a perfect creamy texture and a strong but still very sweet coffee flavor.  I’m not generally a fan of coffee (I don’t like the bitterness), but they used just the right amount of sugar to balance out the coffee flavor.

Cafe Mocha Soy Ice Cream - ¥410

Cafe Mocha Soy Ice Cream – ¥410

The Chai was also really good, although it was perhaps more realistically chai flavored than I was expecting.  I thought it might be an over sweetened Thai-iced-tea style of ice cream, but instead it really tasted like sweetened by still very spiced black tea (it actually has cardamom and cinnamon mixed in).  It was really good, but don’t pick it if you’re going for something that’s really subtle.  Great for those who love Chai though!

Chai Soy Ice Cream - ¥410

Chai Soy Ice Cream – ¥410

The atmosphere is very bright, clean and “natural,” like most vegan restaurants in Japan.  It’s not particularly stylish and there isn’t a lot seating, which at lunch time means it can become crowded.  However, both times I visited I didn’t have any problems finding a seat.  You order at the front and pick up your food when they call your number, which may cause a little trouble for non-Japanese speakers, but the staff are really helpful so I’m sure if you missed them calling your order they’d get your attention.

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Overall, I really liked Lima Cafe and wish I’d come by sooner!  I’d still recommend Chaya Macrobiotic first if you’re in the Shinjuku area, but if you’re on more of a budget, looking for more Japanese-style offerings, or want a take-out lunch, this is the place for you!

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T’s Restaurant – ★★★★ (Tokyo Station, Meguro-ku, Tokyo)

Quick Check:

  • Quality: ★★★★ – Very Good
  • Type: Vegetarian (almost all vegan, but they use some honey); International
  • Location: Near Jiyugaoka Station, Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
  • Price: $$ – Average (Entrees about ¥1200)
  • Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00am-10:00pm (Last Order 9:00 pm)
  • Website: HappyCow Page, Restaurant Website

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About & Location:

T’s Restaurant is a vegetarian restaurant located in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo.  They offer lunch & dinner, as well as to-go lunch boxes & sweets.  It’s located in the basement of the LUZ Jiyugaoka Building, which can make it a little bit difficult to find.

Address, Train Access & Contact:

  • English Address: LUZ Jiyugaoka Building B1F, Tokyo, Meguro-ku, Jiyugaoka, Tokyo, Japan 152-0035
  • Japanese Address:  Luz自由が丘B1F, 〒152-0035東京都目黒区自由が丘2-9-6
  • Train Access: Jiyugaoka Station
  • Phone Number: 03-3717-0831

Google Map:

Restaurant Review:

T’s Restaurant (sister-restaurant to T’s Tantan in Tokyo Station) is a beautiful underground restaurant in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo. Jiyugaoka is filled with boutiques and charming, winding alleyways, so it’s worth a visit simply to explore.  So, although it’s a little ways outside of central Tokyo, you can make a full trip out of it and do some sightseeing and get lunch at the same time!

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T’s Restaurant’s offerings are almost entirely vegan – they use no eggs, milk, or meat, but they do use honey in some dishes.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this when I visited, so I didn’t ask specifically – so there’s no guarantee the things I ordered are absolutely vegan.  Just make sure to clarify with your server that the dish doesn’t contain hachimitsu (honey)!

I went for lunch, and so I chose one of the options on their lunch menu (there were only about 5 to choose from): the Masaman Curry (¥1350).  I’ve never had an opportunity to try Massaman Curry before – it’s apparently a Thai dish originally inspired by Persian cuisine, but I’ve never seen it on any menus in the US.  It was fairly mild and a rich coconut-milk flavor.  My favorite parts were the addition of cashews and the crunchy mock-Chicken on the side.

Masaman Curry (¥1350)

Masaman Curry (¥1350)

My meal also came with a simple side-salad, covered in thin slices of mock-ham and a light vinaigrette.  I’m not usually a huge salad person, but the dressing was just scrumptious, and the mock-ham added some interesting texture and flavor to it.

Side-salad

Side-salad

My boyfriend ordered the Soymilk Doria (¥1280), a delicious melted vegan cheese concoction with pesto and tomato, served in an Italian Doria dish..  It was very rich, and I won’t lie: I wish I’d ordered it for myself!   I’d never heard of “Doria” before, so I had to look it up.  According to this site, Dori is originally a French dish inspired by Italian cuisine, and was made to reflect the colors of the Italian flag.  And Wikipedia describes Doria as a Japanese “yoshoku” (Western food) that has a gratin base and is covered in white sauce and cheese, and is served in this this type of oval white gratin dish.

パエリアドリア (Paella Daria?) - ¥1280

ドリア (Doria) – ¥1280

T’s Restaurant is also home to – in my opinion – Tokyo’s best vegan parfait.  At ¥680 it’s not badly priced – it’s much less expensive than Tsubu Tsubu Cafe’s whopping ¥1580 parfait, and Pure Cafe’s Parfaits are similarly priced but not nearly as delicious. I ordered the Chocolate Parfait, and it came with a first layer of corn flakes (common in Japan), vanilla cream, and a generous serving of creamy chocolate ice cream slathered in chocolate syrup, nuts, seeds, yellow cake and banana.  It was so rich and so good that I really wanted to go back specifically to get it again, but never ended up having the opportunity.  Such a shame!

T's Chocolate Parfait - ¥680

T’s Chocolate Parfait – ¥680

T's Chocolate Parfait - ¥680

T’s Chocolate Parfait – ¥680

Overall, even though it’s a bit out-of-the-way for the average Tokyo Sightseer, I highly recommend visiting T’s Restaurant if you have the chance.  The Jiyugaoka neighborhood is a charming contrast to the skyscrapers of central Tokyo, and T’s Tantan offers unusual international dishes that you may never have another opportunity to try.

Chien-Fu (Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo) – ★★★

Quick Check:

  • Quality: ★★★ – Good
  • Type: All Vegetarian (vegan friendly); Taiwanese, Chinese
  • Location: Near Roppongi Station, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  • Hours: Open Mon-Sun, 11am-2pm, 4:30-9:30pm.
  • Price: $$-$$$ – Average  to Slightly Expensive (about ¥1000 for a main dish at Lunch, more expensive at dinner)
  • Website: Restaurant Website, HappyCow Page
Tofu in Black Soybean Sauce - ¥930

Tofu in Black Soybean Sauce – ¥930

Location, Directions & Contact:

Address:

  • English: 3-1-22 Nishi Azabu 4F, Minato-ku (SAI building), Tokyo, Japan 106-0031
  • Japanese: 〒106-0031 東京都港区西麻布3-1-22, SAI BUILDING4F
  • Phone Number: 03-6438-9128

Directions:

From Roppongi Station’s Hibiya Line*, walk towards  Exit 1C, which will take you to an underground shopping area at he base of Roppongi Hills.

(*The Hibiya Line isn’t the only line that runs through Roppongi Station, but unfortunately I’m not sure which exit is best for other lines.  Please use the map in that case.)

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You’ll see this structure above you, but don’t go up the escalator!  Keep walking past it to the right.

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Keepin walking straight, and then go up the furthest staircase, shown here:

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When you exit, turn left and walk straight for about 3-5 minutes. It will be on your left (using the map below will help).  The restaurant is inside the SAI Building, on the 4th floor, so you’ll have to take the lift up to the restaurant.

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Google Map:

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Restaurant Review:

Chien-Fu is a Taiwanese restaurant with two locations in Tokyo: Kunitachi and Roppongi.  I went the second location, in Roppongi. Chien-fu serves all vegetarian Taiwanese / Chinese food, so even though many of the dishes on the menu say “pork” or “chicken,” don’t fear – it’s all mock meat.  However, not everything on the menu is vegan – look for little stickers next to the menu items. Blue means it contains milk, and yellow means it contains egg!  If you’re worried about honey, it would probably be good to ask – it seems that some places don’t take it into account even if they mark dairy and egg.  When I ordered I didn’t ask, but I regret that now that I’ve realized how many vegetarian restaurants don’t take it into account.

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Yellow dots mean “contains egg,” and Blue dots mean “contains milk”

The lunch menu was massive, and most of it was vegan, so it took me forever to choose what I wanted.  They had several inexpensive lunch sets in addition to a lot of a la carte items. I finally ordered the Tofu in Black Bean Soy Sauce (¥930) and the  and a side-order of 5 Grilled Dumplings (¥580), and a side of white rice (it was extra, but I can’t remember how much it was).

Meal at Chien-Fu

Meal at Chien-Fu

The  Tofu in Black Bean Soy Sauce with rice was absolutely delicious – I’ve had a lot of Chinese food in my time (and a lot of Taiwanese food specifically), but this was one of the most perfectly delicious stir-fires I’ve had.  It wasn’t too oily, and the sauce was neither to salty nor two sweet – it really was just right.  And the combination of vegetables was a refreshing change, too: it included green pepper, baby corn, tofu, hearts of palm, mushrooms, and celery, most of which I don’t eat much of in Japan.

Tofu in Black Soybean Sauce - ¥930

Tofu in Black Soybean Sauce – ¥930

Tofu in Black Bean Soy Sauce Close-Up

Tofu in Black Bean Soy Sauce Close-Up

The Grilled Dumplings (¥580) were a bit less impressive – not that they were bad by any means, but compared to the stir-fried vegetables, they just weren’t that flavorful.  they were also filled with veggies, but the sauce was nothing to rave about and since I ordered them grilled and not fried, they just paled in comparison to the main dish.  I did see other reviews on Happy Cow complaining that some dishes were bland, so this may be a consistent quality issue.  However, there’s also fried dumplings on the menu, so if you’re really in the mood for pot stickers, those might be a better option.

Grilled Dumplings - ¥580

Grilled Dumplings – ¥580

Grilled Dumplings Close-Up

Grilled Dumplings Close-Up

The atmosphere is quite formal – the tables are covered in white tablecloths, chandeliers decorate the ceiling, and the chairs are all upholstered in heavy fabric. Even the waiter is decked out in a suit.  At night the restaurant serves large set courses that can be quite expensive – I haven’t visited during dinner, but from reviews I’ve read online, the courses seem to run around ¥3500 yen, which might explain the formal atmosphere.

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Oddly enough, though, when I visited at lunch the music choice was entirely 90’s American pop music – which I’m sure might be very pleasing to some people, but it’s definitely not my music genre of choice, and it clashed strangely with the elegant atmosphere.  Maybe they throw on the radio during lunch time to bring down the formality, but it still seemed an odd choice.

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The service was good and the server was really kind – he asked me a few questions in both Japanese and English about where I was from and what I was doing in Japan, and seemed genuinely warm and friendly.  My dumplings were a little slow to prepare, but that’s reasonable since they had to be both prepped and grilled.

Overall, I’d rate it good, but with some reservations:  the stir fry was incredible, the dumplings so-so, the service friendly and the atmosphere a bit confusing but not necessarily bad.  I definitely want to go again at some point!

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!