logo of whats up in Kyoto
Event Calendar
Experiences Shopping Sleeping Getting Around Submit Event
Highlight of the Month Monthly Highlights - Archives Experiences Restaurants - Japanese Restaurants - Vegan/Vegetarian Shopping Sleeping Getting Around Submit Event

Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Kyoto

Although vegan and vegetarian meals in Japan have long been associated only with Buddhists and temple kitchens, recently, things are beginning to change! Below is a selection of Kyoto's restaurants that are dedicated to vegetarian or vegan cooking, plus a number where at least a few such options are normally on the menu. We have linked to English websites whenever possible. Bon appetit!

Shojin Ryori - Buddhist Cuisine

Shojin Temple Cuisine in Kyoto.

A vegan speciality of Kyoto that you should definitely try is shojin ryori, a cuisine traditionally eaten by people who live by a strict Buddhist doctrine, like monks. This style of cooking allows no meat and fish, and also does not contain root vegetables like onions or leek garlic where eating the plant will kill it. In contrast, beans and fruits are allowed. Another version of Buddhist cuisine called fucha ryori is prepared by the Obaku school of zen.

You can sample shojin ryori at restaurants and even temples in Kyoto, but in most temples a prior reservation is necessary. Note also that temple restaurants offer only lunch and may close very early.

Restaurants

- Yoshuji website
shojin ryori; lunch, dinner

- Hanagokoro website
shojin ryori, kaiseki; lunch, dinner

- Yachiyo website
shojin ryori, kaiseki; lunch, dinner

- Izusen Sagano website
shojin ryori; lunch

- Ajiro website
shojin ryori; lunch, dinner; reservation required!

Restaurants

- Ippukutei website shojin ryori, kaiseki; lunch, dinner

- Tobajin Fushimi website
shojin ryori, kaiseki; lunch, dinner

- Daitokuji Ikkyu website
shojin ryori; lunch, dinner; reservation required!

- Arashiyama Kan website
lunch only

- TowZen soymilk ramen; lunch, dinner;
website

Temples

- Seigen-in website
shojin ryori and yudofu; restaurant located inside Ryoan-ji temple; lunch

- Shigetsu website
shojin ryori; lunch

- Izusen Daiji-in website
shojin ryori; lunch

- Tenryu-ji Shigetsu website
shojin ryori; lunch; online reservation required!

- Kanga-an Temple website
fucha ryori; lunch; reservation required!

- Manpuku-ji Temple (in Uji) website
fucha ryori; lunch

Vegan Restaurants

Vegan Black LT Sandwich by Creatv Eight on unsplash.

Recently, more and more Kyoto restaurants embrace plant-only menus. Here are a few of the vegan restaurants and cafes in Kyoto that do not use any animal products in their meals and drinks.

Restaurants

- Mumokuteki website
lunch, dinner

- Morpho Cafe website
lunch, dinner; closes when sold out

- AIN SOPH. Journey Kyoto website
lunch, dinner

- Sunny Place website
lunch

- Little Heaven website
lunch; reservations required

Restaurants/Cafes

- CHOICE website
lunch, dinner, cafe

- Veg-Out website
lunch, dinner, cafe

- Arashiyama Kan website
lunch, cafe

- Sujata website
lunch, cafe

- gomacro Salon website
lunch, cafe

Cafes

- Mushiyashinai website
cafe with lunch; gluten free, anti-allergenic choices; shop

- Smoothie Etc. website
cafe with lunch

- Apelila website
vegan bakery

- Kitten Company website
tea house with light meals

- Organic House Salute website
cafe with dinner; shop

- Yoshifumi Cafe website
cafe and event space

Vegetarian Restaurants

Vegetarian food with lots of veggies.

Kyoto's vegetarian restaurants and cafes have many fans, and while cooking mostly plant-based meals, they also allow milk, eggs, honey, etc. in their dishes. The selection of food ranges from traditional to modern Japanese as well as international cuisine.

- Smoothie Etc. website
cafe with lunch

- Miso Pota Kyoto website
tiny place with miso soup takeout; two locations

- Padma website
lunch, dinner; gluten free snacks

- Koso Cafe 85 website
lunch; organic enzyme foods

Restaurants With Vegan or Vegetarian Options

A pasta dish by amirali mirhashemian on unsplash.

Going out with a larger group often means to compromise on both sides of the meat vs. no meat divide. Here are some restaurants in Kyoto where there is always a vegetarian or even vegan option on the menu. There are also many excellent Indian restaurants in Kyoto, where you can eat meat as well as vegetarian dishes.

Restaurants

- Falafel Garden website
lunch, dinner; vegetarian/vegan options, Israeli cuisine

- da Maeda website
lunch, dinner; vegetarian/vegan options, Italian cuisine

- Monpan Shokudo website
lunch; vegetarian/vegan options, Asian fusion cuisine

- Orto website
vegetarian options at lunch only, reservation required 1 day in advance

- Mimikou website
lunch, dinner; vegan options, curry udon

- Omen website
lunch, dinner; vegetarian options; three locations in Kyoto

- Pettirosso website
dinner, lunch only on weekends; vegetarian cuisine and fish

Restaurants

- Seike website
lunch, dinner; yuba, vegetarians welcome; two locations in Kyoto

- Arash's Kitchen website
lunch, dinner; vegetarian and halal options, Persian and Indian cuisine

- Asian Chample Foods Goya website
lunch, dinner; vegetarian options, meat dishes

- Musubi Cafe website
lunch, dinner; vegetarian and vegan options, meat dishes; three locations

- Whole Food Cafe Apprivoiser website
breakfast, lunch, dinner; vegetarian and vegan options, meat dishes

- Gojo Paradiso website
breakfast, lunch, dinner; vegetarian options; reservation required

Cafes

- Gohanpankobo Tsubutsubu website
rice-flour bakery; vegetarian options

- Premarche Gelateria website
icecream; vegan options; only from April - October

- Alpenrose website
bakery; organic bread, vegan/vegetarian options

- Honkuzu Pops website
ice cream; no coloring or preservatives, vegan options; three locations

- Hanbei Fu Sabo website
specialises in fu - rice gluten foods - and sweets; vegan options

- Arrow Sweets website
sweets and cakes; organic, vegetarian options

This is only a small selection of the vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Kyoto. Did we miss one that absolutely needs to be on the list? Please let us know and we'll add it above. Thank you!