CLOSED: Cafe Proverbs 15:17

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 36 reviews )



Domus Hyakumanben 3F, 28-20 Tanak-monzenmae, Sakyo-ku (at Higashi-oji St/Imadegawa St, short walk from Demachiyanagi station), Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto restaurant cafe serving salad, tempeh sandwiches, tofu curry, taco rice, ramen noodle, beverages, and more. Mostly vegan except some honey and dairy products used in some of their products. Formerly Cafe Peace, now under new management since March 2008. SHUT DOWN AT THIS LOCATION JAN 15, 2014 PER ITS WEBPAGE. LOOKING TO RE-LOCATE - please let happycow know when it re-opens!

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Chinese, Japanese

36 Reviews

First Review by mprescott

You have to go here! - Edit

Very cozy cafe, it had a small opening onto the second floor, so you have to look carefully. The staff was very friendly. I had the Soy Milk Miso Ramen, which was the best ramen I've ever had. It was so creamy and tasty. If you go there, you have to try it out! It inspired me into making my own ramen at home.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, good value

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Vegan sets, good coffee - Edit

Location: at intersection of Imadegawa & Higashioji-dori . Landmark & bus stop is Hyakumanben. There 's a big gaming place called "Monako" on the corner, and Cafe Proverbs has a sign at the top of the building , and also on the sidewalk , at the entrance to their stairs. Go up to 2nd floor.

Food and ambiance : vegan food, lunch sets about 800 yen, with coffee or tea included. Lots of other choices : curry, tofu steak, noodles, salads and several types of cake and herbal teas. Very good coffee! The food portions were a bit small, and the service a little slow, but the staff were friendly , spoke English and gave us an English menu.
Updated from previous review on Sunday October 06, 2013

Pros: Extensive vegan menu, Easy to find, Open on Sunday

Cons: Small portions

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Totally impressed with everything about this place! I love the seasonal menus! The curry is wonderful, so is the tempeh sandwich! The waitstaff is friendly and speaks English! English menu available!

Pros: good location, large & seasonal menu, friendly English speaking staff

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Vegan Nirvana - Edit

This is a great place with a great menu that you should eat at. However, the tempeh sandwich was a bit dry, and so was the 'taco rice'. The blueberry cheesecake was good, and the ice cream is delicious.

If I were to visit again, I would order pasta or ramen so it wouldn't be too dry. Otherwise, this place is a jewel and has a cool atmosphere, as has been stated previously by another reviewer.

Pros: Cool place, Good food

Cons: Food can be too dry, Not Cheap

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Yummy Noodles, Cool Atmosphere - Edit

I ate in here a couple of times on my last trip to Japan in March 2013. It is really easy to find and the bus stops right across the road. The building is on a corner and you see the sign outside and go up the stairs to the top floor. Their opening times are listed here, but on my last trip to Japan they were unexpectedly closed for staff training, so this time I emailed ahead to check if they were planning any closures, which they weren't.

The soymilk ramen noodles are heavenly, and so filling. I prefer the one with vegetables than just with the tofu bits, as it's a more rounded meal than just soy, noodles and tofu. The gyoza is also very yummy and perfectly cooked. I also had some sakura cake, which was a strawberry and coconut cake - beautifully presented and so light.

The staff is lovely and helpful; they made me a teryaki tofu sandwich to take out for a long train journey I was going on, and were so helpful. I found the pound cake takeout a little dry, but maybe because I ate it the day after I bought it.

They have seasonal specials, which were all sakura related when I visited. They also do meal deals, but they aren't advertised in the menu, so do ask as they have them on a board there.

The area is full of students, so be prepared to walk carefully and stay alert so as not to be run over by the cycling students! The student population also seems to be the main clientele, so the place has a young and cool feel to it.

The staff speak some English, but were really great on the email and will do their best to help you. They have an English menu too.

It is quite expensive, but the food comes out really fast, is always great quality and delicious and the restaurant is very friendly, welcoming and impeccably clean.
Updated from previous review on Sunday April 28, 2013

Pros: Soymilk Ramen Noodle, Seasonal Menu, Friendly Staff

Cons: Expensive

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Easy to find, friendly staff, good food. - Edit

Cafe Proverbs is easy to find, has friendly staff, ample seating, and an extensive menu. The food was also very good. I'm really happy we found it.

'Cafe Proverbs 15:17'...
Although we're not religious by any stretch of the imagination, I looked up the Proverbs 15:17 verse:

"Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
than a fattened ox and hatred with it"

Nice message :)

This verse is printed on the menus, and we had just thought it was weird 'Engrish'!

Side Note:
After we found 'Sunny Place' closed, we came around the corner to Cafe Proverbs. Actually this was the third time we had found a place was closed (during normal trading hours, grrrrrr! ), and subsequently found an excellent alternative. So keep looking... it's often worth it!

Pros: Easy to find, Friendly staff, Good food

Cons: Could be a little cheaper

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One of my favorites - Edit

I study Japanese in Kyoto and it's becoming a habit of mine to go here at least once a week, slowly working myself through the menu. ;) It is a bit expensive but I definitely prefer going out for one or two tasty meals with friends every week over boozing up the same amount of money every weekend. :D My favorites on the menu so far are the soy ramen and the shockingly good chocolate cake.

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Awesome vegan options!!! - Edit

Visited September 2012. Delicious! The menu was huge, and I think everything (or almost everything) was vegan and clearly labeled. The staff spoke English and were extremely friendly! Very nice space, very roomy. I ordered a dish which had rice, veggies, and some vegan soy meat, and it was delicious and a good price. If I lived in Kyoto I would go here all the time!

Pros: Many vegan options, Friendly staff

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Cheap and delicious - Edit

In an expensive Japan this place is a real saviour,fast,friendly and tasty and won't break the bank,I had a tofu steak toasted sandwich with some twice cooked fries not the healthiest but so tasty,I finished off with the vegan chocolate cake highly recommended,the staff are friendly and the menu has a great variety of western or Asian food open ten which is later than most places in Kyoto

Pros: Cheap, Variety of menu, Tasty

Cons: Not easy to find be prepared before u go

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Excellent Food & Great Service...! - Edit

Really impressive menu, with English version available. The cafe itself is clean & tidy with extremely well presented food that is exceptionally priced, but above all tastes great. I'd highly recommend this location for anyone staying in Kyoto that wants vegetarian / vegan cuisine.
Please call ahead to confirm opening days & timing.

Pros: Excellent food, Friendly, English speaking staff, Great value for money

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Friendly, colourful, good food - Edit

very tasty fresh food - great menu - friendly and welcoming staff - relaxed and young feel

Pros: friendly staff, great food, value for money

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Friendly - Edit

This place was super friendly. We went here more than once and had great food each time. The staff were fantastic and look out for their great specials.

Pros: Very friendly, Good food

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This place is wonderful! - Edit

Almost everything on the menu is vegan or can be made vegan. The waiter even warned us about honey in one of the salad dressings, so they really get it.

We went one night and splurged on two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts because it was a special occasion, and then ended up going back the next night because we'd enjoyed our first meal so much (but just got one entree apiece and no dessert).

We tried the satay (excellent, highly recommended), gyoza (pretty good), veggie cutlet sandwich (excellent - ordered it twice), teriyaki tempeh sandwich (good but too salty, wouldn't order again), a curry ramen soup from the specials menu (good), and an interesting layered chocolate sundae dessert (very good) that came with a scoop of ice cream and a miniature slice of chocolate cake.

I wish there was a Cafe Proverbs in Toronto! I'm very glad we went there.

Pros: Delicious food, Nice presentation, Good prices by Japanese standards

Cons: Expensive by my normal standards

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Delicious!! - Edit

We stumbled upon Cafe Proverbs after spending some time at the Tezukuri-ichi Market,(held in the grounds of the Chionji Temple-very close by) Cafe Proverbs is clean, has lovely staff, good service and is well priced, though it does get quite busy. We both had a set at 1000 Yen each. I'm not sure if this was a lunch time special, but it was very well priced for the meal and a coffee. I had the amazing soy milk ramen (try it!!) and my partner had the vegetable curry. We were both very hungry when we got there but I couldn't quite finish it as it was quite a large servings and very tasty. They also have a few lovely looking desserts (though we were too full to try them!) Great little place, we will go there again before leaving Kyoto. Well worth the trip, we got there via bus from Kyoto station (bus 206 and get off at Hyakumamben) and it took around 20-30 minutes. Bus costs 220 Yen each.
NOTE: unsure if they have an english menu, but the staff speak very good english

Pros: easy to find, wel priced, yummy

Cons: can get busy, may have to wait for seating, unsure if they have an english menu

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One of the best vegan restaurant in Japan - Edit

One of the best vegan restaurants in Japan, where it is possible to eat a happy mix of Japanese, Chinese, and Western cuisine. Just a selection of what I had during my frequent visits there: teriyaki tempeh (marvellous!), gyoza, mabo dofu, soy milk ramen. And wonderful, yummy cakes, too!

Pros: wide selection, good food, friendly staff

Cons: cash only

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Best Vegan Food in Kyoto! - Edit

We went for lunch at Cafe Proverbs a couple of days ago, one word 'wow'. The food we tried was amazing, Friendly staff, google map correct, highly recommended for any vegan or veggie in Kyoto!

Pros: Great Food, Friendly Staff, Easy to find

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Love! - Edit

I loved this cafe! Easy to find, great atmosphere, plenty of tables, super nice staff, healthy food at reasonable prices. Went with the special lunch set that had the eggplant tofu dish with brown rice 1000yen. Excellent in every where. Had the pumpkin dessert and it seriously was one of the best desserts I've had in my life!

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Excellent food and value - Edit

Our first visit to Cafe Proverb left us very impressed. Friendly, helpful staff and mix of regular and special menu items. We both had the season 'Autumn Noodles Genovese", which was heavenly.

Update: word of advice. follow these instructions at the very booton of the page on their web site carefully:
"if the Monday happens to be a 15th, or a holiday, we will be closed on the following day, Tuesday

There will be closed-door events at times, so please check our homepage before visiting us, or you can always call at the number below."

We arrived on a Tuesday after a national holiday to discover them closed; and the following Friday night arrived to fins that there was a private party!.

Very frustrating. Bottom line: do not go here without calling first!

Updated from previous review on Thursday October 07, 2010
Updated from previous review on Sunday October 17, 2010

Pros: Food quality, Location, Value

Cons: Erratic opening

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Very accessible to tourists - Edit

Cafe proverbs is close to the Imperial Palace and Kyoto university, so if you are sightseeing it is accessible for lunch/dinner. It took us about 40 mins to get there from our hotel near to Kyoto station. It is really easy to find (the map and instructions are correct) and it is a nice modern cafe. The staff spoke good english and there was an english menu so it is very accessible to tourists. The portion size was good for the ramen dishes and there were lots of interesting things to try on the menu, which was very reasonably priced. My friend particularly enjoyed the taco rice and spring rolls, I tried the soymilk ramen and gyoza. They were well presented but they were not to my taste. For ease of eating in a comfortable setting, I would recommend Cafe proverbs, but I wouldn't rush back as the food was nothing special and not as tasty as several other veggie places in Kyoto.

Pros: Accessible for tourists, Good value, Friendly staff

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Flashy, Dish Size OK - Edit

Very flashy/modern with dish sizes that are a bit expensive compared to other Kyoto vego restaurants. That said, the cuisine is different from most other vego restaurants in Japan.

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No longer Cafe Peace, but still serves a good meal - Edit

Cafe Peace was my favorite restaurant during the time that I lived in Kansai, and I was sad to hear of its closing/renaming after the original owner's move to Tokyo a few years ago. I noticed from the new restaurant's website that its menu and decor had changed along with its name, and so when I returned to Kyoto a few months ago, I tried as much as possible to temper my expectations when I visited Cafe Proverbs 15:17.

Fortunately, my experience was still positive. The spicy veggie curry (which I think is a new addition since Peace) was good, and the gyoza were as delicious as ever. Proverbs has added many new dishes to the menu, but still retains some of Peace's classics like the Mabo Dofu. Unfortunately, my favorite dish of all, the soy chicken kara-age appetizer, is gone.

One of the things I loved about Peace was its cozy, "organic" atmosphere, with lots of wooden fixtures, low light, and a semi-private dining area for larger parties with a rock floor. The atmosphere made Peace a great place to relax with a few friends or read a book alone. Proverbs has gone in a different direction: the bright, bold, Ikea-chic look. It's still nice, and which decor you prefer is a matter of personal preference, but I liked the old way.

The overt religious emphasis in the name and the shop itself, even extending to the English-language gospel rock blaring over the PA, also makes me a little uneasy and detracts from the relaxed atmosphere I used to feel at Peace. But, again, I'm willing to chalk that up to personal tastes.

Overall, Proverbs is still a good place to have a good vegetarian or vegan meal, and I'm sure if I hadn't ever visited the previous restaurant, I would like it based on its own merits. Just don't expect it to be Cafe Peace.

Pros: Good food, Friendly staff, Nice view from the window

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wonderful place!! - Edit

Me and my boyfriend stayed in Kyoto for four nights, and we ended up eating at this place every day. The food was great, and the people who work there was so adorable and sweet. It was not expensive, and the quality of the food was good. The staff was so kind, and interessed in where we came from, and gave us sightsing recommendations:) You can order set menus, and we aslo had the special christmas dinner, a 4 course meal. The last day they even gave us a free cookies to take home. If you want great, inexpensive food in a modern, and warm setting, go to Cafe Proverbs 15:17.

Pros: great food, inexpensive, english menus

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Formerly Yummers - Edit

This oasis is down the street from my old apt (why did I ever leave you, Kyoto?), so as a newbie vegan (who decided to go vegan on the Kamogawa) I used to go there all of the time for homemade (re: lovingly made), diverse food.

It's a great place to connect with beautiful souls, as well.

At least one reviewer complained about it being a tough location for tourists, but that's nutty, as the rapturous, haunted Shimogamo-jinja is a stone's throw to the west. You should experience Kyoto on a bicycle, anyway, available for a few dollars from one of the city's numerous used bike joints.

I wouldn't recommend spending anything less than a week in Kyoto if you are going to visit. It's unmatched in the world, and contains ten thousand sacred secret corners.

It's unfortunate that they decided to rename it after a Bible verse over its supra-religious original name.

Goodbye Cafe Peace. Long Live Cafe Proverbs 15:17!

Pros: community, healthy

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Fantastic Veggie Food - Edit

I had been starving for good vegetarian food in Japan. This is my first time here and it took me a while to get around to the idea that it is NOT impossible to be vegetarian in Japan. Just back from dinner at cafe proverb and boy was it good! They had dinner set menus. For 1500 Yen, I had a Soy Milk Ramen (absolutely to die for as another reviewer said!), a small portion of Gyoza with a delightful side salad and brown rice. I was so full and contended after the meal. I still could not resist the Japanese Parfait (550 Yen). It was ok. Not as good as the Soy Milk Ramen. I strongly recommend this place if you are in Kyoto. The easiest way to reach there from Kyoto station is to take bus 206.

Pros: Excellent Food, Friendly Staff, Easy to reach

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Excellent but heading in a non-vegan direction... - Edit

I love this place. I've been here so many times that I've lost count. The soymilk veggie ramen, teriyaki tempeh sandwich and katsu sandwich are the best things on the menu in my opinion. Look out for the daily sets as they can be great value sometimes.
Sadly, I've noticed recently that they've now started offering cow's milk, real cheese and using honey in some of their dishes. The staff have always asked me about the honey and milk and you can of course still have everything vegan. I just hope that the owners are not planning on synchronising the Cafe Proverb and Kick Back Cafe (original parent cafe in Tokyo) menus as Kickback serves meat and fish :(

Pros: one of the best vegan places in Japan!, friendly staff, good value

Cons: now not entirely vegan

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vecca 22 Feb 2013 - Thanks for the update. I'm sorry to hear they're making it more like Kick Back. It's been such a great vegan place!  

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Delicious! - Edit

Only got to eat here once, but it was fantastic. You MUST try the Soymilk Ramen Vegetables. It was incredible. Tried to make it at home later that week, and just couldn't do it. The dessert special for Cherry Blossom was very unusual but delicious. Staff was extremely helpful and friendly. I just loved this place.

Pros: Excellent Food, Reasonable Price, Friendly staff

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Made us wish we could live in Kyoto! - Edit

We didn't know what to expect, but the lunch we had was fantastic. We tried the gyoza (potstickers--pretty good), the tofu steak (excellent!) and the soymilk ramen (out of this world!) The staff was incredibly friendly. We also bought a bunch of vegan baked goods--cookies, an amazing banana-nut muffin, and granola-type bars. They have an interesting and varied menu. It's right near Kyoto University, and it was good to see that lots of students were eating at the cafe. We would have loved to eat there more if we had time!

Pros: Terrific food, Super-friendly staff, Great variety

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