isn’t always easy on vegetarians, but with a bit of planning it isn’t hard to find quality restaurant options that will satisfy even the strictest vegetarians and vegans in your travel group. Sapporo
, the capital city of Hokkaido, has plenty of highly ranked restaurants and cafés for diners who want to experience the local cuisine without having to compromise their diet.
Soup Curry Samurai
Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
Featuring both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, Samurai offers everyone a chance to try one of the most famous staple dishes of Sapporo. There are three soup base options (tomato and meat stock, tomato, and coconut), the last of which has more of a Thai taste to it. In addition to the regular menu, there is a special Matsuri (festival) menu allowing patrons to customize their orders and add additional toppings and sides. There are four locations in the city, and English menus are available upon request.
Farm to Table Terra
Restaurant, Contemporary, Vegetarian, $$$
This trendy fusion restaurant combines local Hokkaido ingredients with Western-style dishes, primarily European. While there are some options for meat eaters, the menu caters to vegetarians, with marks indicating which items are vegetarian. The menu is in both English and Japanese, and the restaurant employs English-speaking staff as well, so the language barrier is not an issue. With dishes such as “Hokkaido Hummus” and “Vegan Open Hamburger,” this is an ideal spot for travelers in need of a break from traditional Japanese food.
Cafe, Japanese, Vegan, $$$
This hip vegan café and art gallery is conveniently located near the famous Maruyama Park and provides diners with a cozy atmosphere to enjoy lunch, coffee, and sweets. Popular with the art crowd, a lot of attention and detail has gone into the decor of the café, creating a pleasant and charming atmosphere. As for the food, a lunch set (soup, sandwich, and a side) will cost about $10.00, which is more than reasonable for authentic, local vegan food in Japan. The menu items often change depending on season and availability, so expect a unique dining experience each time you go.
Restaurant, Japanese, Fusion, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Iki Laboratory serves organic vegan-friendly versions of traditional Japanese food. For vegan diners who don’t want to miss out on staple dishes such as tonkatsu
(fried pork cutlet), karaage
(fried chicken), and ramen, this is a must-try. There are some options to satisfy the meat eaters of the group, but this lab’s menu is primarily vegan and organic vegetable dishes. Additionally, there are some Italian
-style meals as well as a beer and wine menu.
Aoi Sora Organic Café
Cafe, Japanese, $$$
Aoi Sora is a vegan’s safe haven in Sapporo
; the menu is entirely vegan and features various staple dishes from all around the world: Chinese mabo-tofu, faux fish burger, stir-frys, cakes, and soy ice cream to name a few. For drinks, the standard coffee and tea fare are available as well as beer and wine. The menu is in Japanese only and there are no photos, but the staff are friendly and will help you through the menu in English if necessary.
Restaurant, Japanese, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
With locations in Tokyo, London
, and Sapporo, Itadakizen offers vegan and vegetarian versions of traditional Japanese cuisine. The main menu items are kaiseki-
style, which is a multi-course meal comprised of several small dishes, each prepared with its own unique ingredients and flavor. The chefs use locally grown and farmed organic produce from Hokkaido, and even the beer is brewed organically. This is a great option for health-conscious diners who don’t want to miss out on local cuisine.
Cafe, Restaurant, Japanese, Fusion, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
This raw food café features both Japanese and Western-inspired vegan and vegetarian dishes, herbal drinks, smoothies, and coffee. Even the strictest diners will be happy to know there is a raw vegan lunch set as well as a vegan tiramisu for the sweet tooth at your table. The restaurant only operates for four hours a day, opening for lunch and closing in the afternoon, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly.