Veg Out in Eat More Greens, Azabu Juban
For vegans or vegetarians, the prospect of finding anything to eat in Tokyo can be daunting, considering Japan is a country where vegetarianism is still quite unfamiliar. But fear no more, because a wide range of vegetarian-friendly restaurants has been opening across the city, making things easier than ever before. When you visit Eat More Greens in Azabu Juban, you'll realize that a veggie meal in Tokyo doesn't have to mean salad.
With its slogan, “where all you need is love and vegetables,” Eat More Greens is a vegetarian eatery and cafe located in Tokyo’s Minato ward. The atmosphere is warm, casual and cozy, and there’s a lot of space, although it does get quite packed at dinnertime. The space is apparently based on the kind of eatery and cafe experience you may come across in New York City. Having never been there I can’t really comment on that, but what I can say is that it is a lovely place to spend a relaxed afternoon or evening. Indoor seating options are mainly tables for two, but these can be joined together for larger groups. A series of counter seats overlook the open kitchen, which is decorated with a row of ivy and the walls contain a few posters, one of which cheerfully says, “Let’s eat lots of greens!” There’s also a nice outdoor seating area, but customers can smoke there, so if this bothers you, it’s best to get a seat indoors.
There is a small but comprehensive menu of main dishes, salads, soups, desserts, and beverages including tea, coffee and alcoholic drinks. The lunch menu, available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., features four options, and I settled on the taco rice (¥1,280). Each option includes a choice of coffee or tea, and it is not just any ordinary tea. Eat More Greens serves Organic Ceylon Tea and Corn Tea. A small dessert, such as a tiny dish of yogurt with sweet sauce, is also included.
The taco rice came with a light sprinkling of salad over a small portion of sekihan red rice. The ingredients (onion, lettuce, tomato, avocado and jalapeños) were piled high and created a nice balance of different flavors, while the jalapeños gave everything a good kick. I also decided to try the corn tea, which was delightful, a simple brew with a slight smell of corn wafting from the cup. The taste is very light, but satisfying and delicious. It’s a nice accompaniment to a more hearty and heavy meal like pasta. All the meals are meat-free, delicious and eminently affordable, and at dinner the choices expand to include other dishes such as pasta and veggie bolognese.
Make sure you leave room for the dessert, because if you have a sweet tooth, they are highly recommended. I ordered the apple pie, and it was much heftier than I had expected, with a pastry shell that was very flaky and rich—a wonderful surprise. The filling itself was chunky and fragrant of apples, with a slight hint of cinnamon. If you’re craving something a bit sweet but are on a small budget, there is also a display case near the front entrance with a range of inexpensive baked goods like cookies, muffins and scones.
Eat More Greens caters to all kinds of customers, from mothers with children to students, businessmen and foreigners, all no doubt keen on healthy eating. Many of its lunchtime dishes are also available at dinnertime for the same price. That alone makes it worth its weight in soy!
Address: 2-2-5 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Open: Daily, 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. (last order 10:15 p.m.)