Last week, we brought you the Kobe and Osaka Vegan Guide, and now we're back with the best vegan-friendly restaurants in Hiroshima! Much like the city itself, Hiroshima cuisine is vibrant, cosmopolitan, and unique. Some of its most famous dishes include a distinctive style of okonomiyaki, where ingredients are layered to create a savory pancake-type dish, and cold tsukemen noodles that are served with a spicy sauce for dipping into. There are also a number of great options if you’re looking for vegan restaurants in Hiroshima, serving plant-based versions of both local and international food.
Read on to discover six of the best places to visit for a meal out if you’re vegan in Hiroshima.
Let’s start with a disclaimer: at the time of writing, there are no 100% vegan restaurants in Hiroshima. Fear not though, as this doesn’t mean there’s nothing here for you to eat! There are several non-veggie restaurants in the city offering plant-based dishes that will keep you more than satisfied during your Hiroshima visit. Whilst it’s not the best place to go if you’re looking for authentic shojin ryori (take a trip to Kyoto to try this Japanese Buddhist vegan cuisine), you will find a surprisingly wide variety of vegan dishes available when traveling in Hiroshima, from Indian and Mexican food, to plant-based versions of the most popular Hiroshima food, okonomiyaki.
Here are some fantastic vegan-friendly options in Hiroshima!
This bright and peaceful coffee shop and cafe is a delight for vegans in Hiroshima. Kissa Saeki’s reasonably-priced menu is comprised of local, organic food, with no chemical or GM ingredients used. The space itself is elegantly decorated in neutral colors and is ideal for both small groups and solo diners. Rock up early to enjoy the breakfast set, or indulge in one of the lunch sets later in the day. One highlight is the vegan katsu cutlet sandwich, which is made with bread from a nearby bakery (if you like it, check out the display at the counter for loaves to take home). For dessert, don’t miss the raw chocolate tart: a rich, smooth, sugar-free slice of heaven!
For a fun and funky dining experience during your trip to Hiroshima, look no further than Otis! This family-run Tex-Mex restaurant doubles as a music venue and is literally bursting with character, with posters and vinyl lining every inch of the walls. Vegan options are well labeled on the menu, and the chef is happy to substitute ingredients to suit a plant-based diet wherever possible. All the classic dishes are available, including chili, pizza, nachos and enchiladas, all loaded with melty home-made vegan cheese. Vegan cake is also on offer for dessert. Whilst it may not be high-end dining, Otis! serves delicious comfort food in a friendly environment, and is great if you fancy a change of pace from Japanese cuisine.
There may not be a purely vegan restaurant in Hiroshima, however Saishoku-Kenbi is as close as you can get. A 100% vegetarian restaurant located in a residential part of the city, it’s well worth making the trip for. There are plenty of plant-based options on the menu, with the possibility to substitute ingredients in others to make them vegan. The portions are generous, the prices are reasonable, and the food is incredible. Choose from richly-flavored ramen and gourmet sandwiches filled with salad and veggie meat, or appetizers like crispy spring rolls and succulent gyoza. There’s also a mini grocery store section on site where you can buy food and ingredients to take away – ideal if you’re plant-based in Hiroshima.
Just like most cities, if you’re vegan in Hiroshima then Indian restaurants are a good choice for a meal out. Roopali is located just a few minutes from Hiroshima Station and offers a range of plant-based curries as well as roti bread that’s suitable for vegans (for vegetarians the choice is even wider). The portions are huge, and the spice levels of the curries can be tailored to your individual preference. Although I haven’t personally visited this restaurant (yet!), the spinach and potato curry appears to be the most popular dish on the menu with their vegan visitors – rich, flavorsome, authentic, and soul-warming – simply perfect!
Eating in Hiroshima is incomplete without trying the city’s most famous local delicacy – Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. And for vegans, Nagataya is the place to go. The menu features three entirely plant-based versions of the savory pancake, plus six more that are just vegetarian, all clearly labeled. In traditional style, the dish is kept warm in front of you on a hot grill plate as you eat – and if you sit up at the counter, you can watch the chefs create your meal right before your eyes. It’s worth noting that this restaurant is very popular, so try to avoid visiting during peak hours if you want to skip the queue.
Taiko Udon is another fantastic choice for vegans in Hiroshima, especially if you love udon noodles as much as I do! The soup used in udon dishes is usually made with dashi (fish stock), but Taiko has created a plant-based version to use instead. Their broth is rich and flavorful, and the chefs have obviously put a lot of thought into its creation. A wide variety of toppings are available for your udon, such as mouth-watering deep-fried tofu, wakame seaweed, citrusy yuzu, and daikon radish. All the vegan dishes are listed on a separate menu, and as well as udon also include tempura, fried potatoes, salad, deep-fried eggplant, and lotus root croquettes.
As you can see, even though there are no entirely vegan restaurants in Hiroshima, there are still plenty of eateries in the city that can cater to plant-based travelers. So have fun eating and exploring this dynamic and modern metropolis!