You have your passport in hand, your luggage in tow, and you’re off to an otaku‘s dreamland—Tokyo!
I recently traveled to Tokyo with a group of other vegans from peta2, and we were shocked AF to find that it has one of the fastest-growing vegan scenes in the world—the number of meat-free restaurants there beats out even the most vegan-friendly U.S. cities (sorry, Los Angeles).
Check out our favorite places to grab a bite as well as our tips on how to eat vegan in Tokyo:
Where to Go
If you thought the option of adding soy, almond, or coconut milk to your morning coffee in the States was great, imagine having a VEGAN DOUGHNUT to go with it! Well, people in Tokyo don’t have to imagine, because Starbucks stores there offer one—and it’s everything I ever wanted in life.
This kawaii (“cute”) and quaint little shop features some of the best vegan ramen I’ve ever had. The cruelty-free options here are abundant, and the owner has a fantastic understanding of vegan eating. Be sure to notice the amount of work that goes into making each bowl of ramen, as each order is made individually and with immense pride.
3. Hanada Rosso
In case you’re missing some familiar flavors from the West, Hanada Rosso—an all-vegan hot spot—serves up one mean veggie burger as well as other delicious dishes. The hip-looking shop also sells vegan cookbooks and other items that’ll help you proclaim your love for plant-based living.
4. T’s Tantan
After a day of sightseeing, hop off of the train at Tokyo Station and eat at T’s Tantan. This all-vegan restaurant inside the train station serves up yummy and comforting Japanese food and proudly displays a vegan message on the walls and menu.
【西武 池袋本店】 ２/８（水）〜１４（火） @南館B1F お食事ちゅうぼう 期間限定で、T’sレストラン・ビーガンラーメン出店します！ 五葷抜きの対応も♩ ＜テイクアウト＞汁なしたんたんも用意！ . . 本日10:00から営業しております！ . 今回はT'sたんたんで大人気の担々麺を２種類、そしてオリエンタルベジタリアン（五葷抜き）対応も行います！ テイクアウトとして「汁なしたんたん」をご用意しております。 . ビーガンの方もそうでない方も、食の背景気にせず「おいしい！」と思っていただける幸せな時間をご提供できますように。 みなさまのお越しを心より、お待ちしております！ . ———————- From February 8th to 14th, we are selling our menus at "Oshokuji-Chubo", which is a special event booth at Seibu Department Store in Ikebukuro. We are preparing two vegan ramen that are popular in T's Tantan. *Oriental Vegetarian customer please ask our staff for more information. *<Take out Ramen> Dried noodle will be soled for take out only! . Please come and enjoy our dishes!! #ビーガン #vegan #veganramen #ビーガンラーメン . #ビーガン #vegan #veganramen #ビーガンラーメン #Tsレストラン #Tsrestaurant #野菜 #お正月 #ビーガン #ベジタリアン #Tsレストラン #Tsrestaurant #Tsstory #Ts #smileveg #スマイルベジ #自由が丘 #jiyugaoka #vegan #ビーガン #ヴィーガン #ベジタリアン #vegetarian #tokyo #japan #東京 #日本 #veganintokyo #veganinjapan #vegantokyo #restaurant #レストラン #野菜 #vegetable #veggie #ベジ生活
Set up outside the Tokyo National Museum, this adorable and all-vegan food truck makes hearty rice bowls with healthy and protein-packed toppings to keep you going all day.
6. Nagi Shokudo
peta2 works out of the Bob Barker Building in Echo Park, Los Angeles—a neighborhood now known for its hipsters and DIY art scene. I was surprised to find an area with a similar vibe halfway across the globe, where Nagi Shokudo is located. The fun DIY zines and unique atmosphere of the restaurant can be rivaled only by its unique and craveable food. Months later, I still think about the food at Nagi Shokudo.
As you start making your way around the outskirts of Tokyo, be sure to stop by the adorable and all-vegan Komenoko. Right near the Nishi-Ogikubo Station on the Chūō Main Line, this is the perfect place to stop for lunch or dinner—but be sure to stay for dessert!
If dessert is more your thing, then you’re in luck! Few do sweets better than the Japanese, and the all-vegan desserts at Kanro Shichifukujin are a testament to that. Its desserts are so decadent and cute that it’ll be hard for you to decide which to do first—dive in or take a photo.
7-Eleven is perfect for when you’re in a pinch and the good news is that there’s one on just about every corner! The convenience store is stocked with vegan snacks like rice, edamame, beans, and steamed buns.
These are just a few of the more than 60 all-vegan restaurants located in Tokyo. For even more great places to hit up, be sure to check out HappyCow! You can also visit the wonderful site Is It Vegan? Japan for more restaurant tips and tricks.
Note: Since there’s an abundance of vegan restaurants in Toyko, we suggest choosing one of them over trying to find cruelty-free options at a nonvegan restaurant, as it can be tricky. This is because traditional Japanese cuisine is based around fish, and fish sauce could be hiding in just about anything. For example, a soup stock called dashi, which is typically made with dried fish, is used in many dishes—not just soup.
Here are some helpful phrases that you can use while dining out in Tokyo.
I am vegan.
私はビーガンです (Watashi wa bigan desu.)
Many people in Tokyo will understand what the above statement means, but in case you get a server who doesn’t understand the term “bigan,” you can use this phrase:
I am vegan.
私は完全菜食主義者です(Watashi wa kanzen saishoku shugisha desu.)
Or if you want to be more specific about the foods that you want to avoid, use this phrase:
I don’t eat meat, seafood, eggs, or dairy products.
私は肉とシーフードと卵と乳製品を食べません (Watashi wa oniku to shīfūdo to tamago to nyūseihin wo tabemasen.)
This list just goes to show that finding a healthy and compassionate vegan meal really is easy—even across the ocean!