Our Tokyo Vegan Guide, Kyoto Vegan Guide, Nara Vegan Guide, and Okinawa Vegan Guide covered the food scenes in these areas of Japan, and now we're back to bring you the best vegan-friendly and vegan restaurants in Osaka and Kobe!
When it comes to Kobe cuisine, most people think of Kobe beef – but luckily for plant-based travelers, there are vegan restaurants in Kobe too. This cosmopolitan city has eateries serving a mixture of traditional Japanese-style dishes and modern meals, all without animal products, which are perfect if you’re plant-based in Kobe.
Here are some delicious vegan restaurants to check out in Kobe!
Firstly, a word to the wise: as of December 2019, there is only one fully vegan restaurant in Kobe. Happily this isn’t a problem though, and you’ll find plenty of places you can dine at during your Kobe visit. And thanks to the city’s international nature, there’s a wide range of plant-based food from across the world to enjoy when eating in Kobe.
Easily recognizable by its bright blue exterior, Yidaki Cafe is a light and spacious vegetarian restaurant that’s great if you’re vegan in Kobe. The menu consists of an ever-changing selection of set meals, most of which are suitable for vegans (check with your server if you’re unsure). Served with a gorgeous array of side dishes, you can expect options such as curry, fried tofu, plant-based cutlets, and veggie burgers. You can get a great deal by choosing a set that comes with both a drink and dessert, with delicious offerings such as cheesecake, walnut tart, banana cake, and French toast.
This homely and welcoming cafe is currently the only 100% vegan restaurant in Kobe. In addition to not using animal products or white sugar, the menu is also entirely gluten-free. Thallo offers a range of lunch and dinner sets, with one of the highlights being impressively realistic, fluffy and creamy quiches flavored with rich tomato, leafy spinach or spicy curry. In traditional Japanese style, each set comes with a selection of side dishes such as soup and salad. There’s also a good range of drinks, including a unique hojicha (roasted green tea) latte. For dessert, check out the range of cute cakes at the counter and see what takes your fancy during your trip to Kobe.
Modernark is my favorite place to eat when I’m traveling in Kobe. It’s spacious but still cozy, with friendly staff and an extensive menu that has the multitude of vegan options clearly marked. These include chunky burritos, soul-warming chickpea curry, towering burgers, fresh salad, and a veggie platter. The latter is served with a whole host of tasty side dishes, such as soy patties and miso-drizzled potato wedges, plus the usual soup, seasonal salad, and brown rice. Dessert brings you a choice of classic cakes – like the rich and moist chocolate cake – and season special ones, such as coconut and carrot cake, and strawberry cake. Definitely not to be missed if you’re vegan in Kobe!
With the nickname “Japan’s Kitchen,” you just know Osaka cuisine is going to be good! And although many of the city’s classic dishes, like takoyaki and okonomiyaki, are not vegan, there are a wealth of vegan restaurants in Osaka where plant-based travelers can enjoy the hearty and extravagant food culture this neon-lit city is known for.
Here are some vegan restaurants in Osaka for tasty plant-based food!
In contrast to nearby Kyoto’s elegant shojin ryori, Osaka food is best summed up by the word kuidaore, roughly meaning to bring ruin upon yourself by eating extravagantly! While you may not want to take it quite that far, there are plenty of places where you can indulge in generous portions of the very best plant-based cuisine if you’re vegan in Osaka.
One of the oldest vegan restaurants in Osaka, Green Earth’s menu is full of reasonably-priced and delicious plant-based dishes. The restaurant itself is roomy, with quick service and super friendly staff, which makes dining here whilst traveling in Osaka a real joy. As well as a rotating lunch set of the day, there’s a choice of sandwiches, wraps and burgers, several different types of curry and pasta dishes, plus pizza fresh from the oven. Make sure you leave some room for dessert, because there’s pumpkin cake, rich and creamy cheesecake, and the best ever vegan apple pie on offer.
Tucked away in bustling Dotonburi lies this new Taiwanese eatery. Another fully vegan restaurant in Osaka, Fahua serves a mixture of dinner sets and a la carte options. The different style of cuisine makes a nice change from Japanese and Western dishes, whilst the outdoor terrace is perfect for soaking up the vibrant atmosphere during your Osaka visit. I recommend going for one of the dinner sets, as they come with a wide variety of stunningly presented side dishes, plus dessert and a drink. The dishes could be anything from a hamburger patty, braised soy “pork” over rice, and mushrooms, to steamed buns, deep-fried tofu, and grilled noodles. You’ll never go hungry eating in Osaka!
I love this restaurant, and if you’re vegan in Osaka I highly recommend you visit Paprika Shokudo Vegan! It’s popular, stylish, and conveniently located in Shinsaibashi. As the name suggests, the menu is completely vegan, with both Japanese and Western-style dishes on offer. If you’re hungry, go for one of the lunch or dinner sets – which come with salad, soup, and a side dish alongside your main – or for something lighter, try one of the many rice bowls. One of my favorite main dishes is the soy karaage (fried chicken), which is perfectly crispy on the outside and deliciously succulent on the inside, and comes drizzled in creamy vegan mayo. An unmissable spot on your trip to Osaka!
So there you have our quick introduction to vegan-friendly restaurants in these two great cities. If you’re vegan in Kobe or plant-based in Osaka, I hope this has given you some inspiration for where to find your next delicious meal. Itadakimasu!