9 of the Best Vegan Restaurants in Shinjuku, Tokyo
According to a 2014 survey, only 4.7% of Japan's population is vegetarian or vegan. As a result, finding restaurants with vegan or vegetarian options can be ridiculously difficult. Add on the language barrier and you've got the beginnings of a holiday disaster! However, as this article will show, travelers actually have a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options in Tokyo. Read on to get introduced to vegan foods you can enjoy in Japan like vegan ramen!
Apr 21 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
1. AIN SOPH.ripple
First up is AIN SOPH, a vegan chain restaurant that has several branches across Tokyo. This particular branch in Shinjuku has gotten rave reviews for its burgers, which are massive and so delicious that many travelers have made repeat visits in a short span of time just to see if the other menu items are just as tasty!
You can find several food options apart from burgers on AIN SOPH's menu, including burritos, salads, and even desserts like french toast. There's a signboard outside that displays the full menu, but if you're just passing by, you can get a glimpse of what they offer from the menu items painted on the glass exterior.
If you're sightseeing in other parts of Tokyo like Ginza and Ikebukuro, check out some of AIN SOPH's other branches. All of them offer vegan menus, and you're bound to find unique options not available in the Shinjuku branch!
2. AIN SOPH.journey Shinjuku Branch
This is another branch of the vegan restaurant chain, AIN SOPH. It has a completely different menu from its fast food counterpart, offering delicious vegan restaurant fare such as the delightful Gluten-Free Pasta Lunch (1,350 yen plus tax) shown above.
One of the great things about this particular branch is that the menu comes in English and clearly lists the ingredients and allergens, which you'll find to be a rarity in Japan. Their extensive menu has enough items to cover all four seasons and a delicious dessert menu consisting of options like the Heavenly Pancakes (1,500 yen plus tax) pictured above.
We recommend visiting this restaurant when you're looking to take a breather from the busy streets of Shinjuku. The wood tones will soothe you, and the variety of drink options - from wine to herbal teas - are sure to give you a moment of peace and serenity.
3. CHAYA Macrobiotics
This restaurant has dishes that incorporate seafood, so they're not 100% vegan, but they do have several options for the typical vegan traveler. The menu is written in both English and Japanese, so you can easily see what you're getting, but make sure to ask if a dish contains seafood if it isn't clearly marked as vegan.
While this shop is great to visit on any occasion, we highly recommend coming when you're looking for a sweet treat. They have a wide selection of vegan desserts, including cake that also happens to be free of gluten, eggs, dairy, and refined sugars. Pair said desserts with their organic coffees or teas!
Pronounced "Mi-seh-ruh-mah", this unique cafe serves up excellent vegan dishes, homemade bread, and gluten free pastries for lunch. At night, it turns into a bar, offering 50 varieties of craft beer from all over the world.
The owner of this cafe pays attention to the small details, ensuring that the veggies are organic, the homemade breads are not made with eggs or dairy, and so on. If you are allergic to anything or require halal food, all it takes is one spoken request to the owner. Her English is fantastic, so you're unlikely to run into any communication problems.
This quaint shop can only fit around 6 people inside at any given time, so expect to wait in line on extremely busy days. Even so, we strongly believe that it's worth the wait! Not only do you get to indulge in vegan food, a true rarity in Japan, but you can also watch their friendly shop cat doing cute cat things!
5. wired bonbon
If you've got a bit of a sweet tooth, you have to visit this cafe! It's conveniently located within LUMINE, a giant department store in Shinjuku that's annexed to the train station, so you can grab a bite to eat in-between your shopping.
While they don't have many savory food options for vegans, their dessert menu is entirely vegan and highly rated for its deliciousness and generous portions. The picture above showcases one of these desserts: the Apple Daigaku Potato (980 yen plus tax). Give it a try if you want to eat something sweet but still stay healthy!
6. Sky High Shinjuku Branch
Thirsty? Stop by Sky High for a vegan smoothie or juice. All the fruits and vegetables used are organic and fresh, so you know you're getting the best there is. For a fun surprise, try their monthly special! They also have branches in Aoyama and Hiroo.
7. Mr.FARMER Shinjuku MYROAD Branch
This popular restaurant chain takes pride in the high quality of the ingredients and the people behind them. All the produce, for example, come from around 100 farms across Japan that were chosen by the restaurant. Furthermore, they try to use organic ingredients whenever possible and stay away from food additives.
While they do not offer a fully vegan menu, they do have vegan and gluten free options, such as the Vegan Vegetable Green Curry, Quinoa & Brown Rice (1750 yen plus tax) featured in the picture above. You can even get a vegan version of the Vietnamese pho! They do come a little pricey, but that's to be expected given the quality of the ingredients and the dish.
Other points to take note of are the free flavored waters that come in the four flavors shown in the image above, as well as the stunning decor that will surely help anyone calm down from a stressful day. Both have been highly raved about by fellow travelers!
8. Futaba Fruits Parlor Shinjuku Marui Main Building Branch
This restaurant was actually born from a collaboration between Futaba Fruits, a fruit store that has been operating in Tokyo for over 75 years, and the company managing wired bonbon (mentioned earlier in the article). It has an extensive menu on offer, including hotcakes, sandwiches, and even savory foods like curries, but keep in mind that not everything is vegan.
The dessert section of their menu stands out from the rest, with people coming back several times just to partake in their wide selection. Pancakes, parfaits, ice cream - whatever sweet delight you think of, they probably have a vegan version of! And if you can't handle gluten, they can tailor for that with just a quick request. This is a great spot for groups of travelers with different dietary requirements!
9. AFURI Shinjuku LUMINE Branch
Yes, you can now have vegan ramen! This is one of the first restaurants in Japan to offer a vegan version of ramen, using 100% vegetable-based broth, fresh seasonal vegetables as toppings, and noodles blended with lotus root (and no eggs!). The picture above gives you a good look at its actual appearance.
If you're interested in trying this vegan ramen, the easiest branch to spot is this particular branch, which is located right inside LUMINE. Just keep in mind that most of the menu isn't vegan-friendly, so it may not be a great spot for anyone who doesn't like the smell of meat!
Vegan or even vegetarian options can be ridiculously hard to find in Japan. If you, a friend, or a family member plan to visit Japan in the future, it's imperative that you search up your options ahead of time so you don't go hungry in Japan.
If you want options outside of the nine listed in this article, why not consider going on a foodie tour aimed at vegans or those looking to eat healthy Japanese food? Not many of these tours exist, but we've found one for you to consider:
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.