Amazing place with great variety on the menu. Deserts are also fantastic.
Amazing place with great variety on the menu. Deserts are also fantastic.
I am not a vegan, I like meat, but this restaurant seriously made me consider joining my friends on the green road. The restaurant feels like a large dining room in a small house, very cozy but not cramped. Everything on the menu is vegan and good value. If your japanese isn't great all you need is a phrase book for the hiragana and katakana its very simply written and many of the staff have enough English to help. I didn't eat meat in Kyoto once and I'm actually happy about it!
Tucked away in a busy district but still pretty easy to find. There were plenty of options, I was even a bit overwhelmed on making a decision!
The mochi pizza, vegan pancakes and grain salad were pretty good but for something simple as baked vegetables, they really disappointing due to the small portion in comparison to the price.
Unfortantely the staff weren't very friendly and barely bothered to even smile. We didn't want to really go back because of the vibe but no other vegan restaurants were open between christmas and the new year period.
We were tipped off to this place by a friend. My girlfriend was craving a burger, and this place didn't disappoint.
The meals weren't huge, but were very reasonably priced and quite satisfying. I had an avocado burger plate, my girlfriend had a teriyaki soy-meat burger, and we shared a vegan cake for dinner.
The place has a very comfortable atmosphere, and while we had to share a table, it didn't bother us at all.
We will definitely return to this place.
We were staying nearby so this become our go-to for dinner. Burgers, fries and salad are all tasty. Good sized portions. Pizza is plentiful and sauce and "cheese" tangy and delicious. Surprisingly great is the smoked tofu and olives appetizer-- we were a little suspicious when a plate of canned olives and saltine crackers appeared, but the smoked tofu was creamy and smoky and actually really delicious with the olives and crackers. Staff is not super-helpful and food differs quite a lot with the different chefs.
I keep going back because the food is very good and affordable, and because they're open until late. Good list of vegan burgers, all come with salad and potatoes. They make their own ginger ale, overall the flavors are bold and the service is friendly and efficient (some of the staff speaks English). Menu is quite extensive for a pub this size, it includes various salads, a couple of mains and sides and always a different kind of soup.
The menu is English
Nice burger meals but for those who do not take garlic or onion, the choices are limited. Many dishes contain garlic and onion and they are not able to exclude them for non-eaters.
A small pub-like cafe with an urban vibe. My friend and I ordered two different types of tofu burgers and split them, both were really good! The tofu had a great texture and some great flavours, I would definitely go again to try other things on the menu.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday November 27, 2013
We dined here twice (or tried to at least). The first time we weren't thrilled by the food - tasted a lot of grease, the pizza was average and there seemed to be a bit of a sameness to the burgers. The burger buns were good and the bar was good too. The staff were surly and the atmosphere wasn't friendly. Vegan/vegetarian options can be lacking in Japan of course, but there are much better places in Kyoto food-wise.
A couple of days later we were in the area with a friend who wanted western food so we decided to eat there again despite the previous experience. We opened the door, waited to be seated at the nearly empty restaurant (in the early afternoon, at a time when they claimed to be serving lunch and around the same time we had been there before). The waitress's mouth dropped and she looked in horror at our friend (who cannot walk so needs to be in a wheelchair. It's tiny, fit through the door just fine and hadn't caused problems anywhere else in Japan), spoke quickly with another staff member and then practically ran to us, nearly pushing us out the door while saying "No space, full." and staring at my friend in horror the whole time. Wow. Whether there was a problem which would have affected us but not the already seated customers, they were closing early or what I don't know, but we were left feeling very uncomfortable. There looked to be plenty of space in there from the quick look we got. Next time I'm in Kyoto I'll be giving it a wide berth.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday October 07, 2014
... Which we did, after days of healthy macrobiotic and temple meals, just for a change. Fried breaded katsu burger with fries was yummy.
Kyoto is our vegetarian restaurant mecca in Japan and Cafe Matsuontoko is on our list os stops while there. This time, we stopped and met a friend for dinner. It has a cool, pub feel to it. We didn't find it too difficult to find, but I can't remember what it was like the first time we went. Both my husband and I got veggie burgers. I chose the avocado and he the teryiaki. They are a little on the small side, but SO delicious!!!! That with a beer and fries and I was just right. We hadn't found great veggie burgers in Japan until we visited this restaurant. We'll be going back on our next trip. :D
We, like others, found it hard to locate this place... it's sort of in the mall but sort of not - in a side street, a few doors from the main thoroughfare.
Once we found it we were starving and looking forward to a good veggie burger. It was ok, but nothing extraordinary and with the fries and lack of anything resembling real food it felt just a tad too junky for us. We came away feeling as though we hadn't really eaten - not hungry, but not nourished either.
Service wasn't very warm or friendly and the vibe wasn't really our cup of tea either - dark but not moody, rather a bit stale and stuffy - like an old house that's been left to sit for decades.
What we did like was that local kids seemed to be coming in to eat there. Good to see presumably non-vegans enjoying vegan fare.. even if it's not the healthy stuff, I guess it's a good start.
To HappyCow readers: this restaurant is inside the mall (across from a WeGo store in the alley). We had some shop owners help us sort of find it and then used the mall WiFi to have Google Maps pinpoint it, but if you ask for the WeGo store, I think it'll be easier.
The food is terrific and the prices are very reasonable. We had the burgers and chocolate brownie dessert and everything was great.
I went here for lunch one day on my last trip to Kyoto. It is located in a cool area with other restaurants and little shops--right off of Teramachi-dori. I used my phone GPS to help locate.
I had the burger set lunch which was a burger with french fries and a side salad. The burger was good, I did enjoy the texture and taste. The fries were also good and the salad was average. Overall I did enjoy it and would go back.
The place is a bit small and dimly-lit inside. One thing I didn't like was that there was hardly any ventilation, so the whole restaurant room smelled strongly of fried food--the kind that stays in your clothes after you exit the place. Not that big of a deal.
Visited Jan 2014
The fries and ketchup were great, so was the salad. As for the burger itself, it was kind of small. The patty was also strange- it was rice with black bean (or so it seemed), and the consistency was soft yet slightly textured. We also ordered the vegan meat sauce pizza. I think they put vegan mayonnaise on that, and that was just weird. Overall the meal was decent but thumbs DOWN on the vegan meat sauce pizza. I just finished it in order to not waste food. Also, the service was ok.
Went here twice while visiting kyoto. Burgers were delicious and come with chips and salad. Friendly staff. Would recommend!
It did require Google Maps to get here, but at once I was charmed by the old-world setting. The antique clock, cozy lights and laidback atmosphere was very inviting.
And it was a relief to walk into a restaurant and not become paranoid trying to figure out if the food had meat/fish.
I had the soy meat teriyaki burger which, though slightly chewy, was great.
And the soy milk icecream to top it off was a delight.
I'd definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for a good vegetarian meal in downtown Kyoto.
My husband and I were very happy to find this place in Kyoto, it was like a taste of home! With burgers, fries, pasta, and pizza, this place was like a cafe you would find in New York or San Francisco with little Japanese twists. For example, the pizza had a tasty sesame dressing drizzled on it and I loved the dessert options like green tea ice cream and pancakes.
It's also in a nice shopping area and close to Gion if you're around there. Overall, if you're looking for a taste of American food in Kyoto--this is the place!
We were there about a month ago. It was located right beside Shinkyogoku. We ordered burgers and drink. The food was yummy!! The environment was laid-back. And the staff was very friendly and nice. But the restaurant didn't provide the changing board to change diapers. I guess I'm just too spoiled with the convenience here. Anyway, it's still a very nice restaurant to go!!
Two young people cook.It is delicious.American-style restaurant is very comfortable.
For veggie burgers and fries, this was a great place. They were able to make something that my 4 year old would eat (pasta with vegan parmesan), which is always a plus. Good fries. Liked that it was totally vegan and I didn't have to worry about fish.
I already went to this place a few times. The staff are friendly, the food is nice, but it's really expensive for a small plate. I mean. If you got already used to eat japanese size of dishes, it might be fine. You'll get hungry after 4-5 hours again, but it's not enough, if you are used to eat western sized meals.
I like the ambiance of the places, but in my opinion the place is a bit too dark.
I was really looking forward to eating here, but after eating at a bunch of excellent vegan restaurants in Kyoto, I wasn't really impressed.
I ate here twice. First, I got the burger set and while the sauce was tasty, the burger itself was quite dry. Afterwards I got the brownie and ice cream set, which was good and fudgy, but again, very very dry. Luckily it came with amazing whipped cream which really helped.
I decided to come back again and order different things. This time I got the pizza, which frankly wasn't good at all. The crust was thinner than any I've ever seen - it was nearly a cracker. The sauce was good, but I paid an extra 500 yen to get the cheese pizza instead of just sauce pizza, and the cheese was disappointing. It was great TASTING, but it wasn't completely melted at all - there were large, thumb-sized half-melted blocks all over the pizza. Half the cheese was melted and half was still in a gooey block-form, so that I was occasionally getting huge sticky mouthfuls of vegan cheese. I would have asked it to be cooked more if I hadn't been in a rush.
That said, I would recommend everyone go here for the Fried Yatsuhashi with Ice Cream. Yatsuhashi is a popular Kyoto sweet filled with anko, and they did a great job frying it. It tasted like a funnel cake with ice cream.
So, it's worth checking out if you're hungry and in the area, but I definitely wouldn't go out of your way to eat here for lunch/dinner. But definitely stop by for the Yatsuhashi dessert!
Updated from previous review on Sunday December 01, 2013
A small cosy pub/restaurant and i love the atmosphere! I tried a veggie burger that was divine! I really wish i could make burgers like that.
Based on the reviews on happycow I went with my vegetarian girlfriend to this place. Only the name of the menus were in English and often not self-explanatory. The English skills of the very friendly stuff were not sufficient to start a conversation about the ingredients.
The food was ok and arrived very quickly, the portions not that big so we had plenty of room for desert. I had a vegan burger and Fried Yatsu Hashi with ice cream while my girlfriend had the vegan curry and Japanese Parfait.
Overall it was a worth a visit, but during our 5 days in Kyoto we never went there again since there were more places to check out.
The moment I walked in the door, I was thoroughly impressed. The atmosphere was quaint, and the decor rustic and cozy. The menu was actually more extensive than the menu online, which was a nice surprise. I ended up ordering the vegan cheese pizza, house-made ginger ale, and two doughnuts. My first real vegan meal in Japan! (Seriously, living off rice, tofu, fruits, and veggies is really hard for someone who loves junk food.) The pizza had a nice, subtle taste, and was just the right amount of food. The doughnuts were great too. I would recommend the earl grey flavor over the green tea one. It literally melts in your mouth. My favorite though was probably the ginger ale. It had bite to it, yet was still refreshing.
What's also great about this place is that everything is vegan, down to the soap in the bathroom. It was such a nice surprise!
As a plus, my non-vegan friends that came with me ended up raving about this place after their meals, saying that the burgers tasted just like real burgers. It made me happy to know that this place can change people's perceptions about what vegan food is really like.
The only downside was that you had to call the waitstaff over when you wanted to order or get the check, since our waitress was very absorbed in fiddling with her smartphone.
But otherwise, it was a great, first-vegan-restaurant-in-Japan experience.
I would definitely recommend it to vegans and non-vegans alike!
The menu is in English and us all vegan. Staff speak English too and are friendly. There's a delicious range if choices. The portions might look small when they arrive but we both felt very full. Nice ambiance and in an interesting area. I would definitely return.
This place is more a pub than a restaurant, with the bar being the dominant feature of the dining area and louder background music than most restaurants (though certainly not uncomfortably so - conversation was still easy). According to the staff and the menu the food is all vegan (to clarify from the review below - perhaps it has recently gone all vegan?). While it's great to have a vegan establishment in such a prime neighbourhood, I found the food to be not as good as other vegan restaurants in Kyoto, perhaps like the difference between a pub and restaurant anywhere else. The "cheese" pizza was very thin, and (besides the cheese) had few vegetable and lots of mochi, which sounds good but they were really just chewy and tasteless, and the fresh salad over it may have been healthy but I didn't think it really 'worked'. The burger was better, and the home-made ginger ale was quite refreshing. It's location is excellent, so close to Gion, so I would definitely recommend visiting for dinner while exploring Gion in the evening, but just don't expect it to be your best meal out in Kyoto.
We stopped in at lunchtime for a couple of burgers which we really enjoyed (try the teriyaki burger). Would have gone back again if we'd been in the area longer.
Maybe not the cheapest or biggest servings but the food was delicious, location is convenient and a vegan restaurant in Japan is a rare find!
If you walk into the Shinkyogoku arcade (the name is on the roof of the Arcade) it is the 3rd on your right (if you come from Shijo) and you will see the restaurant.
We had both lunch en dinner during our last stay in Kyoto.
Lunch was very good, I had a daily special, with a rice dish, soup, salad, tofu and vegetables, and my husband had a burger set.
A couple of days later, we came back to have dinner. My dish (fried wheaten cutlet) was OK and yummie, but my husband, who had the Kyoto vegetable burger set, thought the portion size was really too small. They do have some side dishes on the menu, so when choosing a burger set for dinner, it is advisable to also choose some side dishes.
During dinner time, there was a large screen which played a cartoon film, which was a bit strange.
But the restaurant is easy to find, the staff is nice and speaks some English and also the menu is in English and completely vegetarian, so I would recommend this restaurant.
We ate at Cafe Matsuontoko on a Sunday at lunch time. It's a small place, so it was busy, with an interesting mix of people. There are a couple of vegan options, everything else is veggie. I had the avocado burger, my husband the Kyoto tofu burger. The accompanying salad was out of this world. If only we'd found it before our last day in Kyoto, we'd have eaten there more than once!
Have been here atleast 6 times now it is divine!! try everthing :) nb. Burgers can be ordered for takeaway.
Hidden in an alley way off the shopping arcade (its the fourth alley on the right as you come north up the arcade). This place did fine posh vegan food but the menu was 98% in Japanese and the most the waiter could manage was to confirm that everything was vegan. So we just ordered two meals without knowing what we would get! They were good typically Japanese restaurant small size portions and relatively expensive but tasty!
We had a little trouble finding this cafe as our hostel had given us a map which had it marked on the wrong street! once we found it though it was so worth it! The menu was quite varied and it took us a while to decide.
I went for a bowl of Ramen, it was delicious! Quite creamy with a nutty flavor and plenty of veg too! It came as a set with a bowl of yummy brown rice and pickles as well.
My boyfriend went for the burger set, this came with quite a lot! The burger itself was delicious and it also came with a taster plate of side dishes! the set also included a frozen soya ice cream which I made him share! So nice!
Well worth the 2500 yen we payed, there were cheaper options available too. We were very full, which in Japan is unusual due to their small portion sizes! Try it!
Nice place in a cool part of town, right opposite to clothing store "Wego" in case you need to ask for directions. There are a couple of different vegan burgers, a random one of which is included in the burger lunch set (900) that includes fries, a small salad and a drink. Lunch lasts until five after which you have a greater selection of food. The soymeat karaage (500) is just heavenly.
In addition to parfaits and such, you can get two small pancakes (800) with chocolate sauce, whipped soy cream and two chunks of ice cream.
There are lots of great vegan eateries in the area but if you get tired of Asian food this one is highly recommended!
My friend and I went to this cafe for lunch and got the vegan croquette set. The cafe is lovely utilising the raw architecture of the space. I also loved the giraffe bonsai in the toilet. The lunch was good. The croquettes very crunchy and the flavours fresh and sharp. The onion soup that came with it was especially delicious. It seemed very crowded and popular. We got the last table and the burgers we saw looked yum. Also they had an extensive dessert menu for those with a sweet tooth. But we were too full from lunch to eat any.
Located just off of the Shinkyogoku shopping arcade, this is a hip cafe for vegetarian burgers and pizzas. We ended up ordering the evening's special set meal, a gobo (burdock root) burger, fries, salad, and homemade ginger ale. The gobo burger was quite tasty, and the salad was nice to get in a city with few salad options. There isn't an English menu, though the staff tried to be helpful in translating menu items and we tried to use our limited Japanese. The set was about 1200-1500 yen.
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