Casual restaurant specializing in Taiwanese cuisine, in particular herbal dishes and hot pot. Food is all vegan, no onion or garlic used. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-3:30pm, 5:30pm-8:00pm. Closed Sun.

Venue map for Cafe Ren - Nakagyo
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23 Reviews

First Review by lemurcat


Points +16

14 Sep 2023

Great food, amazing energy

Great place with healthy and delicious food, and very unique friendly atmosphere



Points +30

13 Aug 2023

Best food in Kyoto

Cafe Ren gave me and my husband the best experience we’ve had in Japan so far food-wise. It is incredibly delicious and healthy, with interesting spices and flavors. It isn’t heavy food, either. My husband had the hot pot, and I got some dumplings and steamed buns. I wish I could eat there all the time!

Pros: Cozy atmosphere, Excellent food, Focus on sustainability


Points +25

14 Jul 2023

Great place to enjoy healthy food

Had a great time having lunch after a busy morning visiting the Nijō Castle.

The daily menu is great.


Points +18

10 Jul 2023

Delicious and Healthy Teishoku

I ordered the daily set meal and was very satisfied. Price is good for fresh and healthy homemade vegan food. Staff was very kind. I was staying near Nijo station for a work trip, so it was convenient for me. It may be underwhelming/not worth the travel if you’re a tourist staying on the other side of town.


Points +209

03 Jun 2023

Really nice food with convenient take out

I got the daily set meal which was very nice, and conveniently packaged to eat on the go


Points +114

02 Jun 2023

Cozy family restaurant

Nice atmospheric place run by two people. The meal sets are diverse with refined flavors, not very strongly seasoned.

Updated from previous review on 2023-06-02

Pros: Lots of small dishes, Fully vegan, Organic ingredients

Cons: Flavors/seasoning could be a bit stronger


Points +42

23 May 2023

Came all the way there but they said they’re closed, 40+ minutes before time

The place wasn’t even full.. Should possibly fix their published closing time

Updated from previous review on 2023-05-22


Points +480

20 May 2023

‘Temporarily closed today’

Probably worth contacting the place prior to attending. Once again, came here tonight to enjoy dinner only to find out they were ‘temporarily closed today’. I am coming to the conclusion that restaurant’s timetables in Japan just don’t workout 😢

Cons: Temporarily closed today, apparently


Points +644

10 May 2023


It was such a great experience. The restaurant is in near Ōmiya station. They cook after when they take orders. Everything was well cooked and I really enjoyed karaage;)


Points +123

09 May 2023

Wow this place is legit.

The staff here is really friendly - it’s a small place with just two people in the kitchen it seems. The wait for the food took a little while but we were probably a bit impatient because we were hungry.

The food all tasted amazing. We had the curry steam bun and the red bean steam bun. And for main dishes we had the shojin lunch set and the unagi-don. I haven’t had an unagi-don since long before I was vegan so it had been quite a while. When I first bit into this one, I had a small moment of fear when I worried that this dish was somehow real unagi - that’s how legit it tasted. We had to double check the menu and website online before I took another bite. The more of it I ate, the more I could tell it was an imitation but it was so well done I was extremely impressed.

Highly recommend this place.


Points +64

08 May 2023

Best in Kyoto!!!

Google calls it “Vegetarian Cafe Ren Shijo Omiya”

A little hard to find but SO WORTH IT!!!


Points +61

15 Apr 2023

Love this place!

Lunch at Cafe Ren was delicious! If you’re looking for comforting Japanese food, then it’s a must try! I had the Shojin Ryori and my husband had the hot pot. We were very impressed so had to end with the cashew nut cheesecake.


Points +42

14 Apr 2023



Pros: excellent customer service. reasonable , all fine ingredients and no MSG , everything hand made One of a kind

Cons: this cafe is cozy and homy. not for the big group, hiding location.


Points +15

12 Apr 2023

Must try

Delicious food and friendly staff.


Points +167

05 Apr 2023

Vegan Japanese food yay

Traditional food made vegan thank goodness ! So yummy, so healthy & great family owned and made

Pros: Japanese style food, Home cooked fresh


Points +323

30 Mar 2023

So cute!

The restaurant and staff are so cute and kind. The food was excellent. We got the eel and omg I’ve never had anything like it. So delicious I’m still thinking about it. We got the doughnuts and cheesecake for dessert and both of them were insanely good as well!!


Points +86

29 Mar 2023

Amazing Food, Friendly Atmosphere

This was a cute and cosy restaurant just around the corner from our hotel!

They had two tables and counter seats inside, with a homely atmosphere. The owner was a Taiwanese woman and the staff were very friendly and welcoming.

We went as a family for dinner and we all ordered different dishes, and they were all tasty and filling with a lovely presentation!

I had the curry and added katsu pieces to make it a katsu curry and it was sooo good. The katsu was crispy and delicious and the curry wasn't like a typical Japanese roux curry, but really nice and a little bit spicy.

They had a specials board and a main menu with a variety of dishes and sweets. They also had a corner where they sold various vegan and organic products.

What I love most is when you finally find places in Japan that serve classic Japanese dishes but vegan versions of them - and Ren does it all amazingly.

Such great comfort food, I could eat here every day!

Updated from previous review on 2023-03-29

Pros: Delicious, Homely atmosphere , Great staff

Cons: No cons


Points +14

20 Mar 2023

Great food and amazing staff

They made us feel welcome. Food was delicious especially the rice dish in banana leaves.

Pros: Great vegan options , No onion no garlic (Jain friendly) , Not expensive

Cons: Location


Points +26

24 Feb 2023

10/10 best food in japan

We've been here for the third time and every meal we had was just delicious.
Can especially recommend the bento box and the katsu cutlet for 550¥.
(Seems also whats inside the box changes everday😄)
The curry I had this time was very yum and filling as well.
The hot pot is also a nice expierence.
As you can see, we really loved it!!

Pros: Affordable , Portions on the bigger side


Points +208

21 Feb 2023

Must go place when in Kyoto

Haven't eaten so good, with that amount of delicious variety in Japan before. The vegan fish fry side dish tastes insanely similar to what I remember fish sticks tasting like. We had the set Meal and it was a lot but if you are hungry, share one of the side plates. The fried soy is very good as well. And it is so affordable!
Restaurant is tucked away in a small side alley.
If you are hesitant or are far away, just go for it!
Will definitely come back and try the hot pot!

Pros: Vegan fish sticks that are insanely good, Cheap and a lot to eat, Everything is suuuper delicious!


Points +538

04 Feb 2023

Friendly staff and affordable

Everything is at rather affordable price. Portion not so big but as excepted.

Pros: All vegan, Affordable , Friendly store


Points +317

14 Sep 2022

Nice lunch options + sweets

Decent option when going to the silver temple


Points +319

21 Nov 2021

they have donuts

Lots of delicious food on the menu. I recommend the unajuu (faux eel).
Seasonal dishes, lunch plate, a couple options for cakes/desserts.
Also this is the only place I know in Kyoto currently to get donuts that are actually fried and not baked. They are more like donut holes than regular donuts, but if you're missing proper donuts you're in luck!
Nice atmosphere. Located on a residential street near Omiya station.

Pros: friendly staff, real donut (hole)s!

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