Being a vegetarian or even a vegan while living in Tokyo is not an easy life at all. Just look around you, and all you can find are the world’s freshest sushi, mouth-watering Yakiniku beef, Izakaya (Japanese bars), tempura, katsudon chain stores and the list goes on. Although it can be challenging, vegetarian restaurants, or at least vegetarian-friendly restaurants, do exist in this land of the rising sun. In general, it’s certainly best to check with the waiter before ordering if the food you are choosing contains meat ingredients, such as ramen soup broth.
Below is a list of vegetarian-friendly restaurants, each offering delicious Japanese, western or fusion menus you foodies shouldn’t miss out when in Tokyo. Some of the shops below serve full vegetarian menus, so you have a lot of options to choose from, while others are healthy restaurants which have decent vegetarian/vegan or even gluten-free options. Make sure to check out their website for opening hours before visiting to save unnecessary hassle.
1. Brown Rice by Neal’s Yard Remedies, Omotesando
Modern home-made Japanese style cookingThis place is a 100% vegetarian café located less than 5-minute walk from Omotesando station. For lunch, usually 3 different sets are available for you to choose from; today’s special, the local cooked vegetable set and a curry special. The staff speak fluent English, so you can ask them more about the set menu options. This place also serves really nice herbal tea and different kinds of drinks. Lunch set price starts at 1,700 yen.
Hours: Mon–Sun, 11:30–18:00
Location: 5-1-8 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0001
Brown Rice by Neal’s Yard Remedies website (Japanese)
2. Vegan ramen Tan Tan's, Tokyo Station
With the soup broth made from red pepper, white sesame, and onion, Tan Tan’s ramen are all vegan and inexpensive, with price starting from 780 yen. This place is ideal for those who are allergic to dairy product or eggs. Since Tan Tan is located at one of the busiest stations in Japan, Tokyo station, it’s best to avoid the peak hours. The last thing you’d want is to fight for a seat with Japanese salarymen. There is also another branch at Ueno station, which should be less busy compared to Tokyo station.
Hours: Mon–Sun, 7:00–23:00
Location: JR Tokyo station (inside the ticket gate) at Yaesu South exit
Tan Tan's website (Japanese)
3. Capolavoro, Takadanobaba
This Italian restaurant serves plenty selection of vegetarian dishes, for both ala carte and course menus. All the menus here are very healthy as the restaurant’s main concept focuses on natural beauty and healthy living.
Lunch courses start at 2,630 yen, while dinner courses start at 4,400 yen. There are other ala carte menus to choose from for a cheaper price too.
Hours: Mon–Sun, 11:00–15:00 (lunch) and 17:00–23:00 (dinner)
Location: 2-14-5, Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (1-min from Takadanobaba station)
Capolavoro website (Japanese)
4. Mr. Farmer, Roppongi/Shinjuku/Omotesando
Vegetarian green curry and egg white omelette saladThis is always my go-to place whenever I hang out with my meat-loving mates. Not only is this café located at the most convenient locations, but it also serves very healthy meat and non-meat plates, so it is a win-win choice for both vegan and non-vegan. I have tried every single menu item here and they were all amazing. You can also get their freshly-made smoothies for dine-in and to-go.
The opening hours of each branch slightly varies, but they all cover breakfast, lunch and dinner time.
Interior of Mr. Farmer OmotesandoMr. Farmer website
5. Vegan ramen at Kyushu Jangara, Ikebukuro
There is no way you won’t spot a ramen shop when walking around in Ikebukuro. Although most of the ramen bowls served here are meat options, Kyushu Jangara’s vegan ramen bowl is very popular among fellow vegans living in Tokyo, with the broth made of veggies and thick soy sauce. Since it is a popular Kyushu ramen shop, there might be a queue before you get to your delicious ramen, so going earlier can reduce the waiting time in line.
Hours: Mon–Fri, 11:00–23:00 and Sat–Sun, 10:30–23:00
Location: Dining Park Ikebukuro 8F, 1-28-1, Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
6. Sorano, Daikanyama
Serving one of the best tofu in town, Sorano is a modern-looking traditional Japanese dining house which offers authentic and fusion tofu dishes, from home-made slow-cooked pure tofu (extremely soft and unique) to nicely fried tofu skin. If you are looking for food which reminds you of a sense of home, here is the right place to visit. Depending on what you order, the average price per meal starts at around 3,900 yen/person. Sorano is only open for dinner, and it is best to reserve beforehand if you’re coming in a group of people.
Hours: Mon–Sun, 17:00–23:30
Location: Cherry Garden 1F, 4-17 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0031 (7-minute walk from Shibuya station/15-minute walk from Daikanyama station)
Sorano website (Japanese)
7. Cold ramen at Tsurushiko, Shibuya
Serving both cold and hot ramen, Tsurushiko isn’t entirely a vegetarian ramen shop, but the chef can modify the dishes to be vegetarian upon request. The ramen here is made from Japanese wheat and potato starch, and all ingredient that goes into your dish are natural and MSG-free.
Hours: Mon–Sat, 11:00–16:00 and 17:00–22:00 (closed on Sundays and national holidays)
Location: 1-27-6 Higashi, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0011 (10-min walk from Shibuya station)
8. Hemp Café Tokyo, Ebisu
This newly opened vegetarian restaurant not only serves vegetarian dishes, but also serves vegan-friendly menus which mainly are made using organic ingredients. Both hot plates and raw food are available. Note that Hemp Café is only open for dinner, so be careful not to come during lunch time.
Hours: Mon–Fri, 17:00–23:00 (last order 22:00)
Location: 3-17-14-8F, Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-0011 (1-minute walk from Ebisu station)
9. Ukafe at Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi
Ukafe is not just another regular café; in fact, it also organizes cooking and beauty & well-being events and services. At Ukafe, the menus served are extremely healthy and clean, while also not limited to vegan and gluten-free options. With prices starting from 1,100 yen for lunch menu and 1,200 yen for dinner menu, Ukafe also serves snack, afternoon tea, and organic wine.
Location: 2nd floor of Tokyo Midtown at Roppongi