Peace and Quiet at Cafe VG: Tokyo Vegan Tales (Part 3)

Peace and Quiet at Cafe VG: Tokyo Vegan Tales (Part 3)

Fuad Olajuwon

When people talk about Tokyo food culture, rumor has it that finding vegetarian cuisine is a challenge. Hence, individuals who choose a meatless lifestyle decide that living in Tokyo constitutes living a life of monotony and home cooked meals. Well, don't fear, as there are a variety of different restaurants that offer delicious fare for an affordable price. With vegetarianism on the rise, major cities like Tokyo offer a different way of eating for those curious to try something new. If you’re looking to experience an alternative culinary lifestyle, then look no further than Cafe VG.

Located in Takadanobaba, the establishment is about a 5-minute walk from the Tozai Line and an even shorter walk from Waseda University. With the restaurant hidden in a shaded corner, Cafe VG may be hard to spot initially, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. From the minute you walk towards the entrance, you enter a noiseless grotto that seems as if you're experiencing a truly Zen moment. The location has two sets of seating, with an outside patio suitable for warmer evenings and an inside area if you're looking to get away from the elements. Right away, you open one of the sliding doors where you'll meet friendly staff and even friendlier pets. Three small dogs wander throughout the place to give the restaurant a unique bohemian feel, as they prance around back and forth greeting new customers. If traveling solo, don’t be surprised if one of them sits next to you! They're just friendly. After being seated, you’ll receive two sets of menus that showcase an assortment of foodstuffs that are fully customizable for the individual palate.

Cafe VG offers different types of food depending on the day. If you go from opening time to about 3:00 p.m., the restaurant offers the lunch menu, comprised of various dishes such as vegetarian pasta, taco rice, and the “meal of the day,” a macrobiotic combination of rice, vegetables, and tofu protein. After 3:00 p.m., the restaurant offers the “light” menu, which is an assortment of various salads and lightly cooked foods. The vegetarian tacos are an example of this, comprised of freshly chopped bell pepper, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, shaved carrots, baby corn, topped with a tangy chipotle sauce. If you’re more of the vegan persuasion, then have no fear, as the staff is okay with removing anything you find unsuitable. The drink menu is just as extensive, offering an array of different teas, coffees, beers, and mixed drinks. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, then feel free to try one of the several Italian sodas to go with your meal.

Lastly, if you’re still not full from the previous courses, then a dessert may tickle your fancy, as Cafe VG offers both Japanese-style and Western-style sweets. One of the signature desserts available is the vegetarian pancake, topped with sweet confectionary that satiates the sense of taste just enough to complete the end of the meal. If it’s your birthday, then you’re in luck, as the staff will provide a little extra treat of writing your name on the plate in chocolate sauce, while sticking a few candles in the pancake to stimulate childhood memories.

If you’re looking to have a healthy lunch or wishing to end the evening with a nice dinner, then look to Cafe VG to satisfy your needs. Just be sure to say hello to the pets when you go.