A few pointers though for those being vegan in Tokyo that are worth knowing:
- Soy Sauce can contain fish: ask to be sure.
- Most grocery stores have Onigiri that serve as great food stop gaps for when you need something. Read ingredients but you can fairly easily find a vegan option to keep in your bag.
- Happy Cow does have options but Vegwel is more local.
Here is what I would recommend to taste whilst in Japan. I was travelling with 2 others (not vegan) and had a lot of options we never got around to as a result, a good excuse to come back!
- Ain Soph Journey: A really great option. Has amazing tomato soup that feels like a hug in a bowl. The tofu omelette was unusual with almost a jam on top. I went there the first day and my jet lag over ordered food but the Japanese style ‘chicken’ was worth trying for that fried food hit.
- Bio cafe: I went for lunch there, had this incredible burger. There was a berry soda too that was refreshing and complimented the burger. This gluten free bun was possibly one of the fluffiest ever had.
- Sorano: This is a traditional tofu restaurant and wow it didn’t disappoint. They clearly mark what has fish (avoid soy sauce here). Try the ‘house special’ tofu made at table and Yuzu sour. Finishing up with the tofu ice-cream and seasonal sorbet (grape when I visited) is a great end to the meal.
- Ripple: This was a rushed choice but turned out not to bad. I didn’t get a burger and regretted that option (they did have gluten free option). My box of tofu with vegetables was heavy on peppers, but tasty. The fries were ok’ish but the food was fast and all plant based.
- Mr farmer: They have a build your own salad which was really nice for an option. The ‘roasted’ potatoes were more like skin on wedges but nice. I finished up with an almond rice desert that was a little like runny rice pudding but a good balance of sweet to end on.
- Oyaki company (closed Tuesday and Monday): I would strongly encourage a visit here. Get there just as they open (8am) and see the little fluffy pockets of joy being made. Really great breakfast option (went twice) that means you can power on until a late lunch. They have a gluten free option which is really tasty too.
- Brown Rice, Neal’s Yard: The rice is incredible here which well the name should lead you to believe but it truly is. I could even being vegan and gluten free have their ‘lunch special’. This is a rare occurrence for me and was very welcome!
- Darjeeling: The server was vegan which was great as I was hungry and not into playing ‘hunt through menu’. I was made something, not given option but that turned out great. Super mild but really tasty tomato and cauliflower with some rice. The tea selection is incredible and worth taking time to have after meal. No vegan desert sadly.
Soranoiro Nippon: Vegan ramen was on my list to try and I did get to. It was unusual, tomato based, but really tasty and satisfying.
- Ippodo: Here I had an incredible tea experience. Get the expensive matcha it’s worth it! You are asked if you have any food preferences before the tea comes so can say vegan and you get a sweet just for you.
- Cantonese ‘en’ Ken Takase: This was a rush find due to hunger but worked out well in end. A little heavy on mushrooms but the fried tofu was satisfying and the rice was really well cooked with toasted seeds on top.