8 New Vegan Foodie Options In Tokyo 2020
Wild Vegan Food Appeared!
As a vegan you may have already heard or experienced it but the Japanese vegan lifestyle can be very difficult, especially when eating out. You have to go through an extra mental effort making decisions, reading menus and communicating with staff in a language you might have trouble understanding. You start to question if finding something new to eat is really worth the struggle to find it.
For those of us living in Tokyo, we’re a little more fortunate with more and more vegan options becoming available over the past couple years, especially with the postponed olympics coming up again next year.
So here are a few new vegan menu items and eateries around Tokyo we’ve found for you to check out if you’re someone looking for something vegan and new to eat:
Blue Globe Tokyo is a new sustainable deli and cafe that opened in Omotesando this September. Their concept is to explore the fresh original flavors of seasonal and organic vegetables procured within a radius of 120km. Their five cooking themes are: Vegan, Beauty, Health, Athlete and Guiltfree. Their menu has more than 35 kinds of seasonal items centered around deli and cafe foods, sweets, and boulangerie. Although not everything is vegan, their menu has a variety of very clear vegan options including their signature dish “Seasons”, a plant based salad cake.
Price: Varied (“Seasons” ¥600)
Location: Il Palazzino Omotesando 1F, 5−1−6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Takeaway Available (Delivery available from November, 2020)
For many Tokyo Vegans, the Botanist Cafe on the second floor of the Botanist Tokyo shop has been a great go to vegan friendly restaurant since September 2018. In commemoration of their vegan line launch anniversary, Botanist is further expanding their vegan menu for a limited time until the end of October with fun autumn themed treats using sweet potatoes! Don’t forget to check out their first floor shop that sells their standard Botanist line along vegan options for shampoos, treatments, and skin care items.
When: Limited time autumn menu only available until Fri, Oct. 30, 2020.
Location: Sukekawa Bldg. 2F, 6−29−2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Takeaway Available (Delivery available on UberEats)
Deeney’s Tokyo proposes Scottish flavors from London, at their first Japanese roadside store in Tokyo which opened late July this year. Due to the impact of the coronavirus, their opening had been delayed by four months. They are currently taking part in a UK exhibition at the Nagoya Takashimaya which causes their Tokyo shop to be closed until the end of September 2020. Their Tokyo shop will be back and running October first with great vegan options such as the “Vegan Lady Toastie” that comes with vegan haggis, caramelized onions, vegan mayo, rocket and mustard.
When: Back open from Thu, Oct. 1, 2020.
Price: Varied (“Vegan Lady Toastie” ¥840, add vegan cheese +¥300)
Location: 2-3-26 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Made with plenty of bananas, special sesame seeds from Kuki Sangyo, soy milk and sesame oil, this rich drink by Gomaya Kuki is very satisfying. In addition, it is topped with mineral-rich crushed nuts, such as cashews, pecans, and almonds, with some cocoa crunch for a pleasantly crunchy texture. Their other menu items such as their traditional sesame ice cream can be enjoyed by vegetarians.
Location: Harajuku H Building 1F, 4-26-22 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Vegan pastry chef, Haruo Okada has opened his first take-out specialty store for vegan sweets in Hiroo. Using 100% plant-derived ingredients, chef Okada explores sweet vegan flavors in order to provide you with ever-evolving products. Although his initial menu release consists of just one menu item, Okada’s masterpiece the Strawberry Vegan Shortcake, he plans to release seasonal and new products in the future. The store operates as a take-out specialty store where you can make reservations and payments online in advance as an option.
Price: Strawberry Vegan Shortcake Piece: ¥680 Whole: ¥4,300
Location: 1F, 5-4-18 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Takeaway Only (Nationwide delivery available in future.)
Cafe Bonheur in Ginza Mitsukoshi has a brand new menu with authentic French-based deli and dessert assorts. The vegan option here is the “Legume” plate that uses 30 types of vegetables. Legume is a part of the Special French Assort, however the whole assortment is not vegan. Make sure to specify that you only want the Legume assort and not the full special french assort set to keep it vegan.
Price: “Legume” ¥1,400
Location: Ginza Mitsukoshi 4F, 4-6-16, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Some Takeaway Available
8ablish is a vegan sweet shop that avoids all animal ingredients, refined white sugars and chemical seasonings. 80% of their sweets are gluten-free and don’t use wheat, barley, rye, or oats. They have a cafe in Minami-Aoyama but also recently in August opened a new takeaway shop inside Matsuya Ginza. Make sure to try their new vegan “Pumpkin Pudding”! 8ablish pride themselves on making universal treats for everyone. Vegan or not, their sweets also make great souvenirs and presents.
Price: Varied (“Pumpkin Pudding” ¥680)
Location: Matsuya Ginza B1, 3-6-1, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Noodle cuisine shop Azabu Tei, started offering a new vegan menu earlier in July this year. The shop offers mainly udon noodles made without using any chemical seasonings, and instead with kelp and shiitake mushrooms. Their vegan menu consists of hot and cold udon dishes made with veggie based soups and toppings. Highly recommended is their “Vegan Curry Noodles” which is made with specialty vegan curry offered at the Hyakumi Onjiki curry shop in Kyoto.
As part of their new initiatives to promote sustainability and address climate change, IKEA Japan recently announced the addition of seven plant-based vegan dishes in its nationwide menu. This menu includes a vegan version of katsu curry which typically is made of pork or chicken. The “Born From The Fields Plant Katsu Curry” will be made with a soy katsu and curry roux made of vegetables and spices. Their other new vegan menu items include stuffed vegan cabbage rolls, veggie cheese dogs and plant-based chocolate mousse. Yum!
Price: Varied (“Born From The Fields Plant Katsu Curry” ¥499)
Location: IKEA stores around Japan
Looking for vegan fast food?
Check out Is It Vegan Japan’s blog for great vegan options at common fast food and chain restaurants in Japan.
Looking for more vegan friendly eateries in Japan?
These sites provide a searchable list of restaurants and cafes to meet your vegan or vegetarian dietary needs:
A great list of restaurant menu options that can be vegetarian, vegan, organic, macrobiotic, low carb and gluten free. They have no customer rating system but it’s a great way to find vegan near you.
Similar to Vegewel, Happy Cow provides a searchable list of vegan and vegetarian options around Japan. Happy Cow actually does come with a customer review section however, so you can see what others have enjoyed.
Vegemap is a little harder to navigate and has less information than the options above but does pinpoint most eating options available all over Japan. It is a great site to check out if you want to see which areas in Japan are vegan friendly from a broader perspective.
Hachdory (Japanese only)
Although Hachdory can only be navigated in Japanese currently, for those of you who can read the basics, it is a great way to find specific genres within vegan options around Japan.
Tokyo Vegans Club (Japanese only)
Tokyo Vegan Club’s website is also only in Japanese but provides a very simplistic list of vegan restaurants around Tokyo and parts of Japan with symbols specifying how vegan each place is.
For more information about the vegan lifestyle in Japan don’t forget to check out our article about the three biggest challenges as a vegan in Japan.