Last time, I introduced you to my vegan recommendations around Nijo Castle. You must go to this beautiful 400 year old castle, you simply cannot leave Kyoto without seeing it! When you exit the castle, it might seem like there’s no places around to eat. However, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes in just a 10-20 minute walk. It gets even better – since many of these places are vegan JYay!
This week I shall continue summarizing all the great places around this area. Here you go – two more vegan restaurants for you to explore.
About a 20 minute walk from Nijo castle you will find a 100 year old house that is home to an ItadakiZen restaurant. This small chain was actually started in London by its Japanese owner, and has since become very successful. Today they have a few branches in England, as well as branches in Kanazawa city and Aichi prefecture. The Kyoto branch is located in a traditional Japanese house with heavy wooden tables and dark walls, as well as interesting Western elements.I find it hard to describe what it was like! Imagine the atmosphere of a samurai movie, but with a display of alcohol bottles that reminded me of a British pub.
The food was really good. For starters we tried the tofu croquettes and three kinds of appetizers. Then, we had the soy sauce ramen and sushi for our main dishes. The appetizers (which were mostly vegetables) and the ramen were really delicious. As for the sushi – it was also good and I really enjoyed it, but my partner, who was kind enough to come with me, said he missed the soy-sauce dip,which was not served.I could really live without it.
The prices were also very reasonable: each appetizer was only 600 yen, 800 yen for the sushi roll, and only 1,000 for the ramen.I really like places that serve affordable food that also tastes great. Value for money attracts more people and encourages vegan food consumption! 😀
I hope you find the time to visit ItadakiZen, and get to enjoy both the food and the atmosphere.
Veggie Café (near Omiya Station)
I had the chance to eat in this little café one evening after rescuing my bicycle that has been taken by the Kyoto Police (I parked in a forbidden place – horrible me).After some bureaucracy, like proving it’s mine and paying the ticket, I came in to Veggie Café and asked for a cup of coffee.I really needed it! The owner looked at me, surprised: “Only coffee? Okay…”. A few minutes later we started talking, he seemed to be a really nice guy and a good conversation partner. We spoke a lot about vegan places in Kyoto, veganism in general, his trips around the world, and the way he makes falafel 😊
This café is a little hidden, though very close to the main road of Shijo. The decoration is simple yet warm, and there’s a long diner-style sofa with western tables. The food is also western style: he serves hamburgers, pasta, and falafel (which is considered western to Japan 😉). You can really enjoy some good, familiar food. The owner used to live in The States for a while, so he adapted food ideas he liked there, to make vegan versions of it here in Kyoto.
This café also offers gluten-free options, though it can be a little more expensive than the other options. Although I wasn’t hungry, I made the decision to take something home with me. Naturally, I chose the falafel: half a pita bread (which is freshly baked there!) with 3 falafel balls, lettuce, tomato, and a unique sauce.As an Israeli, I can confidently say it tasted good! It’s a little smaller than what you’d get in other places around the world – but for me it was the perfect portion.
The prices are quite cheap: starting from 800-1,100 yen for a regular dish, and around 1,800 for gluten free dishes.
If you’re hanging around Shijo-Omiya area in the evening, you might want to give it a try. The owner is super nice and the atmosphere is good.
All right! We finally covered all the great vegan places you can eat nearby Nijo Castle! I really hope you’ll enjoy eating at these places, and of course – don’t forget to visit Tokugawa’s castle too 😉
See you all next time!
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