Japanese cuisine is known for its fresh fish and seafood, Kobe beef, and meaty broths, so it can be tough finding vegetarian places to eat. However, going meatless is a growing trend and healthy, fresh vegetable-based dishes are becoming available at restaurants nationwide, especially in its food capital, Osaka. Here are some of the best places to grab a vegetarian meal in the city.
Organic Raw8 Cafe (オーガニックローハチカフェ)
Cafe, Restaurant, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Like its name suggests, Raw8 Cafe specializes in raw vegetarian food, including salads, pizzas and cakes, all prepared with fresh ingredients. The food has been inspired mostly by Western cuisine, with a Japanese touch in the use of local ingredients. Located north of the city center of Umeda, Raw8 Cafe is a literal breath of fresh air from the oppressing buzz of the metropolis.
Le Coccole (レコッコレ)
Restaurant, Vegetarian, $$$
Located on a quiet street in Minami
, it’s easy to miss Le Coccole. But, you don’t want to skip this vegetarian establishment which serves simple, organic food. Run by two vegan ladies, the shop has a quaint and dainty setting. Their signature curry is more similar to spicy Indian
curry than the slightly sweet curry served in most Japanese restaurants
. Their opening hours are limited, but you can check out their food and wellness blog
Organic & Vegetarian Cafe Atl
Cafe, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
This vegan café, located in Shinsaibashi
, has a warm ambiance that feels just like home. They serve a mix of Japanese and Italian dishes, all made with healthy, organic vegetables and grains. Most of their vegetables are seasonal, and some are even home-grown. Kansai is famous for its tofu, so the beancurd dish is recommended, and their homemade grain bagels are hearty and thick.
Green Earth (グリーン・アース)
Restaurant, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
One of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in Osaka
, Green Earth serves a variety of Western dishes, from pizza to cake. Many of their dishes feature mock meats that taste very much like the real deal, so you can enjoy meatless hot dogs, karaage
(deep fried chicken), and even hambaagu
(burger patties). They also have delicious take-away items such as vegan cookies. Natural, environmentally-friendly cosmetic products are also on sale in the shop. The café has a picturesque terrace surrounded by plants and greenery, allowing you to forget for a moment that you’re in the middle of one of Japan’s busiest cities.
Restaurant "AMADEUS" (レストラン「アマデウス」)
Restaurant, Italian, French, $$$
Enjoy a meal in the lovely environment of Amadeus, with its wide floor-to-ceiling glass windows that let in plenty of natural light. This restaurant, located in the Westin Osaka
, overlooks the hotel’s lush garden. With the thick greenery and pond in view, it is easy to imagine that you’re eating at an elegant restaurant in the countryside. While it is not specifically a vegetarian restaurant, Amadeus offers a ‘Nature Cuisine’, which features organic food and vegetarian dining options.
Vegetable Curry – Camp (野菜を食べるカレーcamp)
Restaurant, Vegetarian, Japanese, $$$
Not every vegetarian restaurant has to feel like a countryside retreat: Vegetable Curry – Camp is proof of that. This busy little shop, which seats no more than 15, is located at the Ekimae Marche, a shopping complex connected to Osaka Station, the singular most hectic transportation hub in the city. With all the atmosphere of a modern urban restaurant, the menu at Camp features traditional Japanese cuisine. Despite not using any meat, their curry is flavorsome and has generous amounts of vegetables in it.
Solviva (有機茶寮 by ソルビバ)
Cafe, Restaurant, Vegetarian, $$$
This organic café is located in Namba City
, a shopping complex in one of the busiest areas of Osaka, but that doesn’t stop it from having a comfortable and relaxing setting. Decorated with nature in mind, Yukicharyo by Solviva looks like a Western coffee shop but serves Japanese food such as onigiri
(rice balls) and miso soup. Both meat and vegetarian options are available. They have a unique selection of drinks, including matcha cappuccino and a black sesame smoothie. The café has an outdoor seating area that you can enjoy when the weather is nice.
Restaurant, Vegetarian, Japanese, $$$
Although there isn’t a strong vegetarian tradition in Japan, kaiseki, a cuisine that originated in Kyoto, places a heavy emphasis on vegetables. Hakkakuan is a kaiseki restaurant that uses tofu, another Kyoto specialty, in its food. However, as it is not a vegetarian restaurant, some meat dishes may also be available so watch out for those if you are ordering from the set menu. The restaurant is located on the 16th floor of the Osaka Station City South Gate Building, so you can enjoy the view of Osaka’s bustling downtown while you indulge in Japanese fine dining.
Vege Batake Cafe Komachi (ベジ畑カフェ小町)
Cafe, Restaurant, Japanese, Vegetarian, $$$
This rustic restaurant is located on the edge of Osaka Castle
Park. Everything from the décor to the presentation of the food has a serene theme, fitting in with the restaurant’s healthy fare. Vege Batake Cafe Komachi serves simple, organic food in a fusion of European and Japanese styles, so salad and pasta are on the menu along with curry and rice. The café has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
Restaurant, Vegetarian, Buffet, $$$
Located in the stylish shopping mall Namba Parks
, which incorporates natural elements into the shopping complex experience, SAIJIKI is an organic produce buffet restaurant. The impressive selection available at the buffet includes both Japanese and international vegetables, all of which are organically grown and visibly fresh. Some meat dishes are available but the star is undeniably the vegetarian fare. Despite being an all-you-can-eat establishment, SAIJIKI is inexpensive, making it great value for delicious food.