Thursday, June 14, 2018

Kyoto Japan Vegan Food Guide

Last year, we had the pleasure of living as a family just a one hour train ride away from beautiful Kyoto, Japan and we enjoyed quite a few sightseeing adventures and some of the best vegan meals during all our Japan travels. People always ask me about vegan food in Japan and the answer is VERY simple; be sure to visit Kyoto.

Kyoto is very vegan-friendly.

In Kyoto, there are vegan restaurants located in the center of the city as well as near many of the temples. You can always find vegan food and options using the HappyCow app. You can find traditional Japanese foods, and you also find pizzas, pastas, and more western foods like vegan burgers, sandwiches, and cheeses around the city. Most of the all vegan restaurants we visited had a little bit of fusion going on.

We frequented Tokyo and Osaka as well, while we lived in Japan, and Kyoto was the most vegan friendly out of the three. I think what sets Kyoto apart is that it has many dedicated, all vegan restaurants in a relatively small space where you don't have to travel to the far reaches of the city to do all the sightseeing, shopping, and eating your heart desires.

Kyoto has a vegan food festival every year which is worth putting into your travel plans if you want to sample a variety of vegan foods and hang out with other vegans. (Here's us at the Nagoya Vegfes).

* Nagoya, where we called home, was not as vegan friendly but we have a survival list, here, for that city, too.


We visited all of the restaurants on this list with two small somewhat well-mannered children. Along with sharing all of our vegan meal photos we'll talk about how these places worked with kids.

The city itself does't exactly have the fun more kid-friendly theme parks and museums that you find in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, the kids really enjoyed visiting all the temples and were encouraged with little toys and trinkets to enjoy on our adventures of eating our way around the city. We even brought a folding scooter for our 5 year old the last time we visited so he could zip around a little faster and it worked out great.

So with that in mind, enjoy our list of ALL VEGAN restaurants we visited in Kyoto and check out our sample itinerary that includes all the temples to see in the spring if you are planning a trip!

Veggie Cafe

Address: 604-8363Kyoto537 Nishikiinokumacho, Nakagyo-ku
Phone: 075-366-3979

Veggie Cafe is a simple American style menu of soup, sandwiches, lasagna, french fries, soup and fresh squeezed orange juice. It is casual and the food is very kid-friendly. Check out our full review for more info and pictures.


Organic House Salute

Address: 600-31, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

This place is a little bit hidden but worth finding. Their menu is handwritten and very little English but we were able to figure out how to order a little bit of everything for lunch. The food is healthy and delicious! They had this more traditional Japanese lunch set, Japanese curry, quiche as well as sandwiches and desserts. Check out our full review for pictures of everything we ate as well as turn by turn how to get there. It was very kid-friendly with books available for kids.

Veg Out

Address: 600-8133Kyoto448 Inaricho, Shomogyo-ku, Kamogawa Bldg.1F
Phone: 075-748-1124

Veg Out is the only restaurant we visited twice in Kyoto because it was so delicious. Everything was really flavorful, healthy and plant based from their daily set meal, to their savory quiche, although options are limited and baked goods (which you can purchase at the counter). The kids really liked their muffins and the grown ups really liked the food and the beautiful view of the river. Check out the full review here. 

Ukishima Garden

543 Asakura-cho, Nakagyo-ku (at Tomino-koji), Kyoto, Japan, 604-8074

This was certainly the fanciest vegan restaurant that we visited for dinner in Kyoto and probably the least kid-friendly. It has a great ambiance and a full menu of carefully crafted vegan dishes that are rich and flavorful. We tried a few different items including a delicious potato gratin and a cheese that was amazing. Everything was presented beautifully and the wine was fantastic too.

As far as kids go, there wasn't much that they were really all that interested in and were happy just to try a few things and play with little toys and our devices. We stuck to a few small items and drinks and didn't stay long.

I have to include the funniest story because the kids were so well behaved at this gorgeous place, even though we worried about bad table manners and the lack of patience that are typical of their age group. One of the items the kids built at the restaurant was a little foam airplane model that you snap together from a couple pieces you have to punch out.

We left the restaurant and Dad demonstrates how to fly the airplane on this deserted street where there is one guy down at the end that is clearly too far away to accidentally hit with a paper airplane. Chances were 1 in 1,000,000 but the airplane catches wind and ends up hitting this big guy in the back of the head and drops to the ground. Luckily, the dude doesn't even flinch. Not even a swat, or a look. I'm pretty sure if it was me I would have felt it and turned around, I mean I haven't tested this, but it nailed him and just kept walking. We all just about died after this near disaster dissipated. The problem is, we celebrated too soon. We should have waited until we got to a hotel to pat our selves on the back for making it through a fancy meal.

Choice Cafe

89-1 Sanjo-dori, Ohashi-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan, 605-0009

Choice is known for its vegan cheese. You can actually buy the house made cheese at the counter in this all vegan and entirely gluten free restaurant. You can also sit down and be treated to menu items like a cheese plate, pasta, pizza, and of course, dessert! Our favorites on this menu was definitely the cheese and the dessert. Everything else in between is good too, but next time we visit I may just grab a cheese and find a baguette at a local market and eat picnic style in the park.

Morpho Cafe

Address: 602‐8242Kyoto309 Saikachicho, Kamiguo-ku
Phone: 075-432-5017

Morpho Cafe had probably the best vegan pizza I have had at a plant based restaurant in Japan. This place really got the crust right and added some unique and cheesy flavors in the toppings. Their pasta was creamy and delicious, and their burgers and sandwiches were amazing. It was a bit out out of the way for us to visit this place but it was totally worth it as it was a favorite for the entire family. The kids loved the really cool table we got to sit at and were happy with all the eats.

The restaurants that are on the list for next visit:

Vegans Cafe and Restaurant - located near the temples and recommended by my local vegan shop in Nagoya.

Ain Soph Journey - We visited their restaurant Ain Soph Ripple in Tokyo, where they also have an Ain Soph Journey and we loved Ripple very much. We've only heard good things about Journey, too!

If you liked this post, pin this image on your Pinterest travel board!

Or this image is fun too ;)

Make sure you check out some of our other Vegan Japan posts:

Vegan Food at Tokyo Disneyland

This post has all the shopping tips and vegan-friendly stores in Nagoya, Japan as well as our family's vegan meal plan.

Where to stay in Kyoto:

(affiliate links - I may receive a commission if you book after clicking on these links)

We recommend Airbnb for vegans visiting Kyoto in order to cook some of your own food.

Get $34 Airbnb credit when you use my link
( you will receive an automatic $34 credit applied to your first stay)

Loews Hotels are a PET-Friendly chain we LOVE.

They have a location in Kyoto and although we have stayed at Loews hotels, we didn't get to stay at this one (they're always really nice in our exerience, though).
Get 10% off Loews

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