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Sep 16, 2010 02:26 AM

best vegetarian restaurant in tokyo? also, okonomiyaki!

am in tokyo until sunday. any recommendations for good veg restaurants that serves japanese fare? i'm staying near higashi ikebukuro station but can travel via metro, of course.

also, where can i get vegetarian okonomiyaki?

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  1. if you can offer directions as well, that would be great! i have been having a hard time finding places in this city because the addresses make little sense to me, and maps are often in japanese. maps are useful but if you can provide directions too, i will be grateful! e.g. exit shibuya station at exist #3, turn right, etc.etc.

    1. You can order pretty much any okonomiyaki without fish or meat, at least at places that let you choose your toppings, so as far as toppings go, you can get vegetarian okonomiyaki anywhere. The only problem is that some okonomiyaki places might use dashi when making their batter.

      And definitely get your okonomiyaki without bonito flakes.

      Can't help with places in Tokyo. My favourite okonomiyaki place is in Kobe.

        celeb write about hitting up their fav Vegan place in Hiroo...gotta be J's.
        take Tokyo Metro's Hibiya (grey circle) line to Hiroo statio. J's is between exit #1 and #3.

        3 Replies
        1. re: tokyolo

          A-raj is in Higashi Ikebukuro and has great southern Indian food. Even a confirmed omnivore won't miss the meat there.

          1. re: steamer

            awesome, thanks! i am staying right there so that is perfect.

            question to everyone: is izakaya completely off limits for vegetarians (i can deal with dashi if need be)?

            1. re: helenhelen

              Most izakaya will have vegetable and/ or salad dishes. And many will have different tofu, rice, non-meat/seafood preparations. You'd have to be able to navigate the menu in Japanese or converse with the restaurant people in some manner i.e. learn how to ask for vegetarian recs in Japanese. Chain izakayas may have photo menus, some with English explanations. We've done mulitple threads on vegetarian dining and language issues. Suggest using the search function.

        2. You should try Harvest (it's actually pronounced Ha-a-be-su-to and the restaurant name is in hiragana). It's an all-you-can-eat "shizenshoku" buffet. What's shizenshoku? It literally translates as natural food in Japanese, although it's not necessarily organic. Lot of healthy veggie items, although some fish/meat items as well. Mostly washoku-style items, although some Western-style items as well. Very difficult to describe here, but I think you might like it. I really love it, and you can't get this sort of buffet outside of Japan.

          It's on the 8th flr of Lumine department store, which is on the west side of the Ikebukuro station complex. Lumine is connected to Tobu department store. You should be able to find it if you follow the signs for Lumine.

          Have you also checked out the basement deli section of Seibu department store at the Ikebukuro station? Huge variety of tempting prepared food, including stuff that vegetarians can have.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chowmouse

            There are actually a number of Japanese natural-foods buffets in Tokyo - Daichi no Okurimono in Ueno, No No Budo in Marunouchi for example.

            The problem for vegetarians is the same as in any Japanese restaurant though - there's usually some sort of fish product used in the preparation. I had assumed that OP asked for vegetarian restaurants specifically because she wanted to not worry about that sort of thing.

            Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Hiroba at Crayon House in Aoyama ( ) does a similar buffet that's all vegetarian.

            1. re: Robb S

              Oh oops, I've taken a vegetarian friend to one of those shizenshoku buffets in Saitama. She really enjoyed it, but it hadn't occurred to me that something like dashi might be off-limits to her.

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