Choice Cafe and Restaurant

Overall rating: 4.0 stars 9 Reviews
Cafe and restaurant. The cafe serves light meals and smoothies using fresh produce and no sweeteners, Mon-Sun 10:30am-6pm. The restaurant serves course menus and a la carte, Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm, 6-10pm. Courses start with a fruit enzyme drink to enhance digestion. Choice of fermented vegan cheese with organic vegetables or fresh organic salad follows. Next is non-oil soup of the day. Then brown rice risotto or organic pasta. The main dish is made with organic vegetables and fermented food. The vegan desserts are all oil free. Serves no refined food such as white sugar, white bread, pasta or chemicals of any kind. Brown rice is sprouted before cooked. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan, Western, Italian, Japanese, Take-out
89-1 Ohashi-cho, Higashiyama-ku (Sanjo, Kawabata)
Kyoto, Japan 605-0009

Open Mon-Sun 10:30am-6pm.



First Review by jennjt
  • vegetarian

Good food in a clinical environment

4 Posted on 09 / 20 / 2014

When we first arrived we hesitated to go inside. It's literally some sort of medical clinic and looks and feels the part in every way. Brightly beaming fluorescent lighting, harshly sterile whites and cheap plastic materials abound. Everything about it felt wrong to us.

But alas, we had come a long way so we figured we may as well venture in. We were in a hurry so didn't have time to sit down to eat - and given the ambiance we didn't want to either. We ordered an acai smoothie and an oil-free curry each to go.

The smoothies hit the spot and were gone in seconds - no taking away involved in that interaction! Thumbs up. The curry we enjoyed later on in the bullet train and it was yummy too - very healthy and true to its words, oil free, so we felt good afterwards, which is important to us.

If only they would do something about the environment we'd be back for sure. Other reviewers speak of 6 course meals which does tickle my curiosity, but I wonder if we could stand being in there for long enough to eat 6 courses... all those bright lights would surely be off-putting. Still, might give it a go sometime. If we do, we'll report back again...

UPDATE: So we did it - we went back and tried the course. The lights and ambience were still a big issue for us but wow, can see why all the positive reviews as the food is wonderful.. inspired, creative, delicious and super healthy all in one. Definitely worth your time and money.

Updated from previous review on Wednesday September 10, 2014

Pros: Strong health focus, Robust flavours, Creativity is evident in the preparation
Cons: It's in a doctor's clinic.., bright lights, plastic materials..., ambiance needs some serious work
  • vegan

Lovely 6-course vegan meal

5 Posted on 06 / 26 / 2014

I visited Choice for dinner in Jan. 2014 after seeing it recommended by Miyoko Schinner and I had a wonderful time. It is a bit tricky to find--I was sure that it was on the other side of the street and stood looking around until I looked to the other side of the street and saw the lively green signage and plants through the front window. It was not busy so I was seated immediately.

The server was professional. I don't speak Japanese and she was a bit nervous to speak in English but she did great explaining everything. We both had a couple of laughs at each others language flubs!

First was a fruity enzyme tonic and some assorted pickles. Next was a very nice salad of tomatoes, radishes, persimmons, and homemade mozzarella cheese (from Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook). Next was a silky squash soup with soy milk foam. Then a brown rice and green vegetables risotto with more homemade cashew cheeses. The entree was a tempeh and root vegetable kebob with soy glaze and a creamy sauce. Finally, dessert was a plate of assorted treats: panna cotta, blueberry cake, poached apples, ice cream, and a fresh and dehydrated fruit compote. During the meal I was acquainted with Dr. Suzuki, the proprietor. She was a very pleasant lady and I chatted with her a bit about veganism and even vegan cheese-making.

The meal was light and satisfying. It is not heavily seasoned or spiced cuisine but it is delicious. The food presentation was also on point. The restaurant is very clean and has a nice window between the dining room and the kitchen through which you can see the chefs preparing the meals. My only regret is not having enough time to come back for lunch! I really wanted to but timing didn't work out. I will definitely go back and eat at Choice when I return to Kyoto. It was very memorable!
Updated from previous review on Thursday June 26, 2014

Pros: Delicious 6-course vegan meal
Cons: Can be a bit tricky to find at first
  • vegan

Delicious all vegan food

3 Posted on 06 / 15 / 2014

The food was delicious and light. The restaurant was difficult to find and the dining experience was a little awkward. We walked around the area that the restaurant was in for quite a while before finding it. There is a street entrance with the name written on the glass in green lettering, but it is hard to see and read and we we didn't notice it even when we were right across the street looking for it. When we did find the place, our language barrier initially made dining difficult. There was no one in the restaurant and we got the impression that they might only serve with prior reservations, but we are still unsure. They did seat us and went over the menu with us. When our food arrived, it was light and delicious. We had a sampler plate of vegan cheeses and various rice bowls. Mine was Mexican inspired and enjoyable. We were also served a nice small portion of frozen sorbet.

Pros: Good food, Light and healthy
Cons: Difficult to find, May require a reservation

  • vegetarian

Cafe Menu Needs Help

2 Posted on 03 / 27 / 2014

I really wish the cafe items were better as the ideal location would make it a regular stop for me along the Keihan train line. At 12:00, the cafe was empty and the gourmet restaurant just behind a few plants had four guests. It doubles as a study space if you want to just have a smoothie and read for a few hours, which I might do in the future given how quiet and well lit it is.

Pros: Just Above Sanjou Station, Well-lit , Fast Service
Cons: Bland, Small Portions
  • vegan

World Class Vegan Cuisine

5 Posted on 01 / 07 / 2014

I was lucky enough to go restaurant-hopping in Kyoto recently, and thoroughly enjoyed every one I went to. But Choice, an unassuming restaurant needing some clearer signage, stood out among them as having achieved a level of vegan cuisine I rarely encounter. From the presentation, service, to the plating and the subtle flavors, it captured it all. We were enthralled by every tasty bite of the five-course meals we enjoyed.

The place is hard to find, although it is very centrally located. It is simply because of inadequate signage. However, the owner is currently working on that so that may improve soon. The space is divided into two, with a casual cafe serving smoothies and simple lunches in the front, and the full-blown restaurant in the back. I highly recommend spending a couple of relaxing hours and eating in the restaurant. You will not be disappointed.

Pros: Fabulous cuisine and plating, Great service and attention to detail, Talented chef
Cons: difficult to find
  • vegan

Beautiful, Fresh, Healthy Cuisine

5 Posted on 01 / 03 / 2014

Choice Restaurant, Cafe, and Study Space, situated right near downtown Kyoto, serves organic and creative meals for a reasonable price. Owned and produced by respected plastic surgeon Dr. Harue Suzuki, this restaurant is great for health-conscious food lovers. The space is also designed for cooking demos/classes. They sell a variety of health food products that are impossible to find in Japan, as well as Dr. Suzuki's line of health products.

This business is fairly new--just opened in September (I believe)--and is underneath Dr. Suzuki's clinic and esthetic salon. As one reviewer mentioned, it was difficult to find--to this, my response is that a) Yes, it can be hard to see with the lobby in front, b) They are working on better signage! and c) you'll easily find it if you just get the address or call!

The cuisine is fresh and diverse. It is light and all oil-free, using organic ingredients (They do put bottles of olive oil and flax oil on the table, if you want a drizzle for your bread). Cafe menu is small (b/c not many customers) but nice variety. Includes smoothies, cakes, salads, etc. Dinner is elegant, beautifully plated, with innovative combinations of flavors and textures. The meals are perfectly portioned: considering it's Japan--the land of small portions to a Westerner--they will leave you pleasantly full.

For example, a recent several-course meal: we started with a chic pink elixir--a sort of fruit and enzyme drink to help with digestion--in a short martini glass with a side of delicious pickled vegetables; next, a salad of thin persimmon and beets and cherry tomatoes with mozzarella balls, based off of Miyoko Schinner's Vegan cheeses; Soup, risotto, a cabbage roll with veggies, and a healthy desert plate followed. The meal was quite impressive, and left one feeling satiated and refreshed. It was well worth the price--which was extremely reasonable!

It's not "white tablecloth" dining, but the quality of the experience is similar: professional staff, gorgeous food, pleasant ambiance, etc. The waiters are very polite and helpful. The space is sleek, with an open view of the kitchen. Currently, they are deliberating how to make the restaurant inviting from the outside (e.g., signs, outdoor seating, etc.).

I commend Dr. Suzuki: she runs 3 businesses, is a single mother, and is keen to educate people on health and making the right choices. This restaurant is a must-visit.

Pros: Fresh and tasty food, Clean, stylish space
Cons: Hard to see from street
  • non-vegetarian

Choice menu

5 Posted on 11 / 09 / 2013

I had twice! They served many unique vegetables and cheese which I never had before. Every plate were so lovely, surely tasty and healthy. I go to Choice next Friday again. Go there! You like it, too.

  • vegetarian

could not find this place

2 Posted on 10 / 19 / 2013

We walked all around the area that this was supposed to be located but we were unable to find Choice Cafe/Restaurant. Website is all in Japanese so that did not help.

Cons: cannot locate


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Last updated: 2014/06/15


Added: 2013/10/10


Added by: Guest