With the new year comes new year’s resolutions. Whether your goal is to become vegan (or vegetarian) or you’re looking to reduce meat in your diet, you’ll need to find new places to eat and purchase food. The great thing about Kobe is that the city has vegan options for traditional Japanese food as well as for global cuisine. There are a few places that stand out as the best, all of which are easy to get to from anywhere in Kobe.
Modernark Pharm Café
This combination of a vegetarian restaurant and cozy café has a farmhouse-style atmosphere. There are numerous vegan options on the menu, all healthy and delicious. As the staff speaks English, this is a top choice for foreigners who have a limited proficiency in Japanese. In fact, you can even receive a menu in English.
Address: 3-11-15 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward
Open Hours: Every day, 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Vegan Cafe Thallo
Vegan Cafe Thallo is excellent for vegan lunch and dinner as well as for just tea or coffee with a snack — the café stays open for drinks and dessert between lunch and dinner times. All the dishes are vegan and gluten-free, which is a rare find in Japan. Plus, the prices are reasonable and the staff friendly (and English-speaking).
Address: 4-7-12 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward
Open Hours: Every day, 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., dinner is from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
You need to know about Hinabi to find it, as from the outside it looks more like just another house than a restaurant. Inside, however, you will be met with a casual and welcoming environment. The restaurant offers a set lunch menu, but you can also choose from a range of vegetarian and macrobiotic dishes. In the small gift shop, you can purchase cookies and cakes to take home.
Address: 6-2-8 Motoyama Kitamachi, Higashinada-ku
Open Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If you need to treat yourself while on a vegan diet, head over to Kanuata bakery. It is situated just across the street from Kobe Daimaru department store. This hidden gem offers baked goods like waffles, donuts, and cakes, all vegan and free from alcohol, white sugar, and wheat flour. Plus, the ingredients are sourced from local businesses and farms. Although there is limited seating room, it’s the ideal place if you want to pop in and take something home.
Address: 1-1-1 Motomachidori, Chuo Ward
Open Hours: Thursday to Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Last of all, we have Natural House. If you’re looking to purchase ingredients to cook vegan meals at home, you need to check out this store. The small supermarket stocks a variety of high-quality vegetarian and vegan products including soy mock meats as well as organic fruits and vegetables and regional items. Although it is more expensive than regular supermarkets, you will be able to find products that are not usually available.
Address: 2-7-7 Motomachidori, Chuo Ward
Open Hours: Every day, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.