Since my first trip to Japan, I’ve gone vegan and that meant navigating the vegan delights in Tokyo. I had mentally prepared myself that it wasn’t going to be as easy finding food and that I would have to do a bit of research before I went.
I’m not going to lie, Tokyo is not a vegan-friendly city and you will have to go out of your way to find good food and spend a little extra. Good news is that I’ve done the hard work for you so let’s get eating!
My Tips for Vegans Travelling to Tokyo
- Many of you would already know about the ‘Happy Cow’ app, for those of you who don’t it’s like the Google Maps of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Japan. Make sure you download the app before you go so it makes it easier to find food options on the go.
- Vegetable dishes may have meat/fish products added on top even though it doesn’t state it on the menu. For example, I ordered a plate of cold tofu which came out smothered in fish (bonito) flakes. I ended up scraping all the bonito flakes off but if you are on a strict vegan diet please keep this in mind.
- If you can’t find any vegan restaurants nearby, go into your local combini (convenience store) and pick up some inari sushi, kappa (cucumber) maki sushi, and miso soup (make sure to check it doesn’t have fish stock!). This was my go-to breakfast most mornings.
1. Ain Soph Journey – Shinjuku
Address: Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−8−9 新宿Ｑビル1F
Luckily the day Jayden and I went to visit the spring blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, this restaurant was only a 10-minute walk away and is a must-visit when you are in Tokyo. Everything on the menu is plant-based (some items do contain dairy so please double check) and I was absolutely mouth-watering. Tokyo is famous for its ‘souffle’ pancakes and Ain Soph Journey does their own vegan version with fruits that are in season.
I ordered the White Chocolate & Strawberry Pancakes with a soy chai latte, and it was a little slice of heaven. I could have ordered two rounds of it. The pancakes were light and fluffy, the vegan cream and ice cream was smooth with hints of vanilla, and it was all balanced out with the tart flavour of the strawberries.
For lunch, I ordered the soy nuggets and Jayden ordered the vegan Hayashi red wine stew. It was packed full of flavour and warmed us up on the cool spring day.
Tip: Ain Soph Journey is very popular and there is a queueing ticket system outside the restaurant. If it’s full inside, grab yourself a ticket from the machine out of the front. Multiple language options are available on the machine.
2. The Botanist – Harajuku
Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 6 Chome−29−2 助川ビル1F
The Botanist was originally a natural hair and beauty product store, specialising in botanical and organic ingredients. It’s a popular brand in Japan, so they decided to expand into the world of food!
Upstairs in the second level of the Harajuku store is the Botanist Cafe. The cafe has a minimalist chic style with gorgeous, lush plants hanging everywhere. It’s a breath of fresh air from the chaos of Takeshitadori street.
This place was a priority because during spring they had a special ‘Cherry Blossom’ burger that I was dying to try. Japan loves it’s seasonal themed food and unfortunately most of it’s not suitable for vegans. When I came across this pink delight I knew I had to get in on the action.
Jayden tried the Butterfly tea that turned from blue to purple in the cup! Pure magic. He also ordered the vegan Bolognese, hearty and comforting it gave us the energy to keep shopping.
3. Ripple – Shinjuku
Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 2 Chome−46−8 日章ビル １F
We were incredibly lucky that our Airbnb was so close to this vegan restaurant in Tokyo. Ripple is a part of the Ain Soph family and it’s their take on an ‘American’ style restaurant. Hearty vegan burgers, loaded fries, and mac and cheese, this was a vegan junk food dream.
I ordered the fried ‘chicken’ burger and Jay ordered the cheeseburger with a side of the loaded fries, and I think we ate it all in less than 10 minutes. The loaded fries were some of the best I’ve ever had and I need to steal their recipe.
My only gripe with this place was that it was super expensive for some burgers and fries. When I converted the total back into Australian dollars it turned out to be $70AUD! Worth it for the loaded fries though.
4. T’s Tan Tan Ramen – Tokyo Station or Ueno Station
The Ueno Station restaurant was so hard to find! We spent a good 20 minutes walking around the station trying to find it, it was only until I went into the JR Ticket information office and asked for directions did we find it.
The best way to get to the restaurant is to enter from the outside of the station, don’t go through the station because you have to go through multiple ticket gates. It’s near the entrance of the station on the parkside, where all the shops are on Level 3.
After the stress of trying to find T’s Tan Tan, we could finally sit down and enjoy a big bowl of vegan ramen. I ordered the Sesame Ramen and Jayden ordered the Peanut Butter Ramen (yes you read that right). It was everything I hoped for in a bowl of vegan ramen. Salty and full of umami, the noodles were delicious and thick, and the toppings added an extra kick.
For sides, Jayden ordered the vegan gyoza and I got spicy mapo tofu. Our first good gyoza in Tokyo! Crispy on the outside and super juicy on the inside. The Mapo Tofu wasn’t as spicy as I hoped for but it was still really good.
Last but not least I ordered dessert, I ordered vegan creme caramel with powdered soy sugar on top. The creme was soft and creamy with hints of caramel. The powdered soy sugar I’m not a big fan of it because the texture is quite dry, but is very popular in Japan.
5. Coco Ichibanya – Shinjuku
Address: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−18−10 吉川ビル 1Ｆ
Coco Curry is a popular chain restaurant in Japan that serves big bowls of Japanese Curry for a cheap and affordable price. This year they launched their vegan menu which can be found at certain locations. When you get to the restaurant just ask for the vegan menu and it should look like this:
I love love love Coco Curry and ate here multiple times because it’s so heartwarming and satisfying, and best of all affordable. I ordered the vegetable curry, and you can add in items like eggplant, mushrooms and okra. You need to try this place at least once while you are in Tokyo!
I hope you enjoyed my 5 Best Vegan Restaurants in Tokyo. Tell me which restaurant you would like to try when you visit!