As you are no doubt well aware, Japanese food rates among the best in the world. However, if you are vegan, or even vegetarian, you may struggle to find your needs catered to. Many vegetarians have found themselves offered the ‘vegetarian; option’ in a restaurant only to find that it contains seafood or fish. Even the fried egg rolls are usually made using the near-inescapable ‘dashi’, a broth made of dried bonito fish flakes!
But being a vegetarian in Nagoya does not necessarily condemn you to nights cooking at home. There are plenty of vegetarian restaurants out there, you just have to know where to look.
Queen’s Healthy Diner
The new vegan restaurant in Nagoya is Queen’s Healthy Diner, and it is an absolute must-visit, whether you are vegan or not. The food is guaranteed to be completely free of eggs, dairy products, cheese, butter, white sugar, pesticides, chemical seasonings and additives, and genetically modified foods. It is also guaranteed to be packed full of flavour!
The dishes on offer span a wide variety of international cuisines, including Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Peruvian, Spanish and even British (and yes, I know what you may think you know about British cuisine, but the shepherd’s pie at Queen’s Healthy Diner is phenomenal!). They do a great penne arrabiatta and of course there are some delicious fresh salads, but they also put together some mouthwatering non-meat meaty dishes. Vegetarian chicken burritos? Delicious. Vegan chicken pizza? Impossible to tell from the real thing. Tonkatsu ramen? Yes, seriously, a vegan tonkatsu ramen, and it’s oishiiii!
Another great thing about Queen’s Healthy Diner is that, unlike many vegan places in Nagoya, this isn’t just a cafe open around lunch, this place is open Tuesday to Sunday, 17:00 to midnight, meaning that you can enjoy a nice night out. And as it’s dinnertime, why not have a glass of bio wine to accompany your meal? Or how about one of their wide range of cocktails using soy milk? The Pina Colada is particularly recommended.
- Where: 15-9 Taberu Terrace Sakae 1st floor store 3 Sakae, Naka-ku 4-chome (map)
- Website: queenshealthydiner.owst.jp
- Tel: 052-263-3967
LOVE Cafe Pacific
The ‘LOVE’ in the name stands for local, organic, vegetable, eco-friendly, and as part of the Pacific Sports Club, you can expect healthy food. LOVE Cafe Pacific is probably best known for its lunch sets, and as such, they can sell out pretty quickly, so get there early! After lunch there are a few à la carte choices, the burgers, in particular, are a big hit. Keep in mind that it is counter service, and portions are on the Japanese side of size.
Offering delicious vegan, creative, fresh food from farm to table, Pupu Kitchen deals in macrobiotic cuisine. With a friendly decor to make you feel like you are sat at someone’s dining table, it’s another great lunch option. There are lunch sets of vegetables, dry food and grains for 1,300 JPY that includes a deli featuring brown rice and soup. For your children there are even kids’ onigiri and soup sets for just 400 JPY. There are only 15 Pupu lunches prepared each day, so it’s another one to get to early. But if you miss out, you could always hang around for the chocolate cake…
- Where:2 Chome-15-13 Josai, Nishi Ward (map)
- Website: www.heal-ai.com/en_organiccafe.html (English)
- Tel: 052-602-5959
Lala Natural Organic Cafe and Deli
The owner of Lala Natural gained valuable experience of the Vegan restaurant industry working in the UK, and has brought that experience to this lovely, rustic cafe. Selling vegan, organic food with no white sugar, they can even fulfill custom cake orders. On Sundays they hold a small vegetable market so you can make delicious organic food of your own.
- Where: Mukaeda-209 Narumichō, Midori-ku (map)
- Website: www.facebook.com/LalaNaturalOrganicCafedeli/
- Tel: 052-623-0660
Live and Lounge VIO
While most vegan and vegetarian places in Nagoya cater for the lunch crowd, Live and Lounge VIO is great for an evening out. Vegan-friendly, as the name suggests this is a venue providing live music with house nights, belly dancing, hip hop, jazz and reggae events throughout the week. The food itself is certainly heavy on the vegetables with a macrobiotic lean towards Japanese cuisine, and there is a full bar service.
Image: https://tabelog.com/en/aichi/A2301/A230109/23033065/ (screen grab) – Modified