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Choice Cafe and Restaurant

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 53 reviews )
Contact 075-7621233

89-1 Sanjo-dori, Ohashi-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan, 605-0009

Vegan restaurant located one block from Keihan-Sanjo subway station. Serves light set meals and smoothies (no added sweetener), and a la carte. Meal service starts 11am with the last order taken at 8pm. Courses include fruit enzyme drink, fermented vegan cheese, organic vegetables or fresh organic salad, soup of the day, veggie burgers, brown rice risotto or organic pasta, and main dish made with organic vegetables and fermented food. Has quiche and bread. Brown rice is sprouted before cooked. Snacks, supplements, and house-made vegan cheese offered for purchase. Late 2016 introducing raw menu. Open Mon-Sun 9:00am-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan, Japanese, Macrobiotic, Western, Take-out

Reviews (53)

First Review by jennjt

Delicious Food, Warm Atmosphere and Lovely Staff - Edit

This was my first vegan restaurant visit in Kyoto and I must say, I was not disappointed with the absolutely delicious food! I had the vegan basil pizza with a soy latte and a chocolate cake for dessert. I didn't want the food to end! My only complaint with this place was the portion size. The pizza was really much too small for me, I was still quite hungry when we left.

Pros: Mouth-watering Food, Beautiful Interior Design, Friendly Staff

Cons: The portions were too small for me! I have quite a

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Good vegan choice - Edit

I know it's can be a bit complicated to survive as a vegan in Japan but this place is like a gem in Kyoto. I went there twice and I will go and go there while I'm in Kyoto. My recommendation it to go here for breakfast 8-10:30 you can get an amazing vegan breakfast in this place. They also has a big vegan cheeses edition. Mozzarella is insane, it's literally so good. You can try it on the Margarita pizza. Food it really good, but still healthy. There is a lot of gluten free options as well.

Pros: Friendly staff, Nice vibe and atmosphere , Excellent food

Cons: A bit expensive , Quite small portions

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Not very impressionable - Edit

I really tried to like choice, hence I went there twice, but each time I went the food was not anything to rave about and the portion size is very small. It is a very nice, well lit, and neat cafe but it feels like a doctor's office (the owner of the restaurant is a doctor, which is probably why it feels that way).

The first time I went with friends, we ordered a pizza, and two pastas. The pizza crust was very thin and a bit oily. The cheese texture was almost like real cheese but overall it did not really taste like a pizza and was quite bland. There were two different pastas that we ordered, one was a mozzarella and tomato pasta and the other was a cheese cream sauce one. Again the cheese was very good, almost like real cheese, but both pastas did not leave a lasting impression. There were three of us and the amount of food we got was probably enough for two people at most.

The second time I went, I ordered the burrito. For about 1000 yen I was expecting the burrito to be medium size but when I got my food it was almost a kid's size portion. It was good but it was not filling and surprisingly very oily (but the oil was what gave it any flavor). I decided to give the cream sauce pasta another chance and ordered it again, but the result was the same as the last time.

Overall this is a good place for tea time or a light meal, for vegans and vegetarians, but I do not recommend this place for lunch or dinner because you will definitely leave hungry and disappointed,

Updated from previous review on 2016-09-27

Pros: Completely vegan, good vegan cheese, very clean

Cons: Portion size , not very filling, overprized

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A great choice for vegans - Edit

We went here for breakfast, and amongst 3 people enjoyed the chocolate pancakes, the teriyaki burger and the basil tomato burger. All food is gluten free, making it a great choice for celiac's. The pancakes are Japanese style; meaning they are thick & small. The teriyaki burger was my personal favourite. It was drizzled with teriyaki, and topped with caramelized onions! The cafe is also a relaxing refuge from the heat. It's fitted out with plants, comfortable seating and a selection of books to flick through whilst you eat. Additionally, the staff are helpful & friendly. Overall a lovely cafe.

Pros: Gluten free, Nice settings

Cons: Less flavoursome than other vegan food in Kyoto

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Tasty but expensive - Edit

Had açai bowl (1200¥) and GF pancakes (1400¥?). Good and tasty but nothing special and thus a bit expensive.

Pros: open quite early (compared to other vegan places)

Cons: expensive

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good service, average food, pricy - Edit

Maybe I'm spoiled living in California and being a shareholder of the best vegan cheese in the world, in any case, the five cheese platter had tiny portions and was very expensive -2000¥. My pizza was tasty, but it was actually a crepe and the burrito was a rolled up crepe. The burger was the winner of the night. The desserts were pretty good too

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Pricey, but... VEGAN CHEESE - Edit

I went here with an Australian friend recently for the first time, after another friend, Japanese, actually recommended it to me. She had stumbled upon it by accident (she isn't vegan or vegetarian), had the burger, and was impressed. I wanted to go specifically for the vegan cheese, which we were quite excited about. We wanted to share a platter before going on for a main meal somewhere else, but they were a bit fussy about us having to order 1 menu item each. My friend ended up getting a smoothie even though she didn't want one. I completely understand that it's fair to pay enough for enjoying the space, but it wasn't as if it was a Saturday night and people were waiting to get in... and we left feeling a little ripped off. The cheese platter was incredibly small for the price (about 1400 yen) and we each got about 5 bites. It was worth it, however, simply because we really wanted cheese (which was tasty!), but I'm not sure I'd go back in a hurry. They sell blocks of their cheeses at the front, also incredibly expensive at about 2400 yen each. The desserts looked nice, and if I go back I think it would be for afternoon tea and cake.The sign outside is simple and a little hard to spot, on the left side of the road (when walking from downtown). The atmosphere inside is nice though.

Pros: Satisfied cheese cravings, Nice decor / atosphere, Decently sized menu

Cons: Overpriced, So-so service

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a great choice - Edit

It was a relief to find this cafe being a vegan coeliac. All of the menu is gluten free except for the pasta. Portions are small and on the pricey end but any coeliac would be happy to pay for a tasty, safe meal in Japan. After just a few days I've found it hard to get anything without wheat. So thank you choice for a great meal. I will be back again while I'm in Kyoto.

Pros: lots of gluten free, great vegan cheese, lovely at

Cons: price, portion size

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Western options and gluten free - Edit

Agree that the time and location listed are not correct. If you get to Sanjokeihan tube stop you are close, don't give up! It's not in the nearby block/section of 5-6 restaurants where I initially thought it would be. It is only over the other side of the river so very possible to visit if you have been mainly hanging around the center.

Sadly we failed to find this on our first attempt and only revisited twice before our time in Kyoto was up. We would have loved to try the breakfast/brunch as it is near impossible to find a vegan breakfast anywhere.

However, once we had found it it was worth the effort. Service good, staff spoke good English and there was quite a good variety for dinner. All in all if you are in Kyoto for more than a day or two, you will probably want to try this place.

The pizzas, while nice, would probably make an Italian confused, arguably I would say they are savoury crepes more than pizzas. Although I have no idea how to make a gluten free pizza so credit to them for this. The pasta dishes we had on our second visit were a bit more interesting and filling. The wine, beer and sake are all reasonably priced.

The star was the chocolate pancakes though which comes in a size sufficient for two to share with chocolate faux ice cream.

Everything is gluten free though neither of us had an issue with this. There are interesting Japanese books and comics around which appear to be informational/educational about various dietary issues. However the staff aren't pushy about this if it concerns you that you might get a lecture!

Pros: Nice interior, Welcoming staff, Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Cons: Pizza-esque, Ever so slightly over priced

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Saviour - Edit

My boyfriend is coeliac and I can't have cows milk and prefer vegetarian. Particularly gluten-free is difficult in Japan, and so we didn't book in any breakfasts in any hotels, knowing that most wouldn't be able to cope. Come in this amazing place. Great location next to one of the major tube stations/roads. We ate breakfast there every morning during our stay in Kyoto and always was the service lovely and quick. It's usually quite quiet, which is actually quite nice and peaceful. To have both vegan and gluten-free has been amazing. The vegan cheese is very creamy and flavourful - I wish I could take some home with me. We were also there for an evening and again service was nice and food delivered quickly. I personally think the price is not expensive for such special food at all!

Pros: location , gluten-free as well, nice drinks

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Over Priced and Disappointing - Edit

Firstly the closing time and location on Happy Cow are slightly wrong. They were open Sunday until 9 and it is a little further down the street than what the map tracks.
I had the risotto which was nice but nothing special.
My partner had the Teriyaki Burger and was so disappointed. The dough for the bun wasn't completely cooked and it had such little lettuce, if you even wanted tomato you had to pay more. For these two, quite small portions and a juice it was $3,300.
Restaurant was empty and we weren't too surprised after

Pros: Nice interior

Cons: High Prices, Small Portions, Average Food

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Really delicious! - Edit

Tasty, cheesy, comfort food! Pasta with cream sauce very satisfying, particularly in combination with the cheese plate and organic wine. Pancakes are a perfect dessert (if you're sharing and still have room! Loved it all.

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Good! - Edit

I had the veggie burger. It was tasty, filling but not too heavy. The bun definitely seemed homemade, and was perhaps gluten-free (?). My partner enjoyed the oil-free curry and the pancakes. The "Italiana" vegan cheese for sale at the counter is delicious. I think it is quite pricey, so I have only bought it a few times. I haven't tried the other three flavors.

Pros: Oil-free options, Non-smoking

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Not a good choice - Edit

I would not recommend Choice. The menu was uninspired, the portions were small and the prices were comparatively high. Do not under any circumstances order the burrito. The pasta was fine, but again, a waste of money. I had the cheesecake dessert, which was okay, but overpowered by cocoa powder which was garnishing the plate. There are plenty of other places in the vicinity that are better.

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Not bad for gluten free - Edit

I believe this place is a gluten free joint. I had a burger while my partner had a pasta dish. Both were good though my partner felt his dish was a little mean-portioned.
We also enjoyed a couple of smoothies, but again, I felt they were a little mean for a small size (especially, if some of the glass is taken up with ice -- not good form!)
I was not especially enticed by the choices on the dessert menu so we skipped this.

Pros: Non smoking

Cons: Could be better value for money

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Yummy vegan pasta and cheeses! - Edit

My partner and I being self confessed fat vegans loved having a bowl of cheesy pasta and cheese cake for dessert! Visited here twice. Restaurant itself is very relaxed, playing jazz music and the waitress spoke good English. They make a range of delicious vegan cheeses which you can buy on their own. The baguettes at the French chain Via de France are also vegan so my advice would be to buy a baguette and some cheese from Choice and enjoy (if you are a carb fiend like we are) ;)

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cozy, delicious, beautiful - Edit

We felt at home right away with the cozy, warm, spacious, mellow atmosphere. I could have stayed all day reading a book. Got so excited about their vegan cheese, which is so hard to find in Kyoto. We went for all things cheesy including the amazing resoto and cheese salad. Out of this world! But the burger needed a bun or something to make the dish more substantial. Otherwise the portions were unusually large for Japan, which was very welcome! The vegan cheese was definitely their strength. I tasted a nutritional yeast base to the cheese, but I'm no expert. Will go back. Good location.

Pros: vegan cheeses, tasty, good portions

Cons: not for the budget traveler

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Great food! - Edit

The restaurant is clearly health-oriented, the atmosphere rather "clean". But, anyway, the food is really really good! I wish I had visited this restaurant earlier, so that I could have come back for a second or even third time... I had quiche, soup, salad, bread, everything was good, the quiche and the bread were outstanding! They also have more creative dishes on their menu, and a huge selection of vegan cheese!
The location is easy to find and near tourist spots!

Pros: the food, easy to find

Cons: lack of atmosphere

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Healthy food with wonderful staff! - Edit

This is a beautiful decorated vegan cafe/lunch/restaurant. It has a cozy cafe vibe and the staff is super nice and helpful. If you have a hard time finding herbal tea for your stay in Kyoto they sell some teas and also chocolate!

We went there twice during our stay in Kyoto because it was about 1 min from our hotel! We had the pasta with their home made vegan cheese one night and pancakes the other night! The food is a bit expensive for how much you get, I would suggest ordering a starter first but don't come here if you're on a tight budget. The pancakes are great but a bit dry, which I didn't mind!

Overall a nice cafe but not a must-visit!

Pros: Wonderful interior , Cosy atmosphere, Great staff

Cons: Too expensive , Small portions

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Changed a lot in one year - food still A+! - Edit

One year had passed since I last visited this restaurant and things have changed quite a lot. The interior was redesigned entirely, for the better I think, as it feels more like a real restaurant/cafe the way it is now. There were some other changes I didn’t like quite as much though. The staff has grown in number and has become less warm and much more business-like. The lady behind the counter did not even listen to what I was saying to her whilst a year ago I had some nice conversations with the staff. It’s become way more popular and busy, maybe that’s why the service has become less warm. Not that it was terrible or anything.

The food on the other hand is still as good as ever! This is one of the few places I know of in Japan that serves home-made vegan cheese. We also had the vegan cheese cream sauce spaghetti which was really really good. I don’t usually order pasta in restaurants because it’s so easy to make yourself but I wouldn’t be able to make vegan cheese cream sauce that is thís good.

They also sell vegan cheese to go (around 2500 yen for a 4 inch round piece of cheese).

Oh and I wanted to make a reservation on the same day but they told me they didn’t accept reservations, I don’t know if they meant same-day reservations or reservations in general...

Pros: Vegan cheese in Japan!, Excellent food, Exceptionally good pasta

Cons: Staff less warm and more business-like

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yummy vegan food - Edit

I wish we had found this place earlier in our stay, i would definitely have gone back more. The decor is nice and has a wine bar/comfy lounge feeling to it with good music. The vegan cheese board was delicious (i wish i could make cheese like this as thats the one thing i miss about being vegan). I ate half of my friends pancakes too which were just as good. Definitely try it out and i will be back next time I'm in Kyoto

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Classy, Romantic - Edit

Upmarket feel with prices to match. Had the vegan cheese platter, deli plate and a glass of red bio wine. All very, very nice. My friend had the curry which was rather bland. Comfy seats, soft lighting and pleasant background music.

Pros: Stylish, comfy, classy, Distinctive menu

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Modern, Fancy and delicious - Edit

We loved this place. This is what a vegan restaurant (or any restaurant, really) should be like and look like.
We had pasta of the day, but it contained onions which I don't like, it was no problem to receive a different pasta dish, and it was delicious!
We also had smoothies and a chocolate cake as dessert. Everything was delicious. The server was very nice and the atmosphere in this cafe is great. Go there!

Pros: Great Atmosphere, Delicious food, modern

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Superb! - Edit

What a delight. We shared the caesar salad, the pasta dish and the fondue plus some chocolate pancakes [not your usual pancakes but still delicious]. All vegan and all gluten free. Wow! Would definitely come here again.

Pros: delicious , great vibe , clean

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Nice and Tasty Organic Vegan meals - Edit

We visited Choice in Kyoto 3 times. The food is tasty and the service is very nice. They are open at 11 am for 'eat in/lunchtime', but they are also selling some muffins and cookies starting from 9 am. The portions aren't huge, but because the set meal contains 5-6 dishes, we always left full and happy. Their 'pancakes' are not what you would expect - they are more like corn bread, not pancakes in the western sense of the word... Serves good organic coffee, and ingredients quality is very high: organic, local, macrobiotic, balanced. We'll happily go back on our next trip to Kyoto.

Pros: close to station, stylish, organic, healthy

Cons: pancakes are not what you'd expect ;)

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Clean, modern and good food - Edit

We visited this restaurant 3 times and had great meals, made from the buttom, and 100 % vegan.
The lunch, dinner and deserts were all very nice.

A nice and exceptional clean and hygienic local restaurant, with professional owner and very nice waiters and employees.

Absolutely WORTH visiting.

Thanks for a great experience.

LHJ from Denmark
Updated from previous review on Sunday August 02, 2015

Pros: Central, Close to Gion, Clean

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Great vegan lunch... - Edit

We ended up close to this place dragging our luggage to our hotel and it was a bit of a lifesaver. The atmosphere is bright, with white walls and green chairs, and the kitchen is very visible so you can see what's going on. The menu is simple but appealing. We ordered a taco plate and a quiche plate to share. From the three brightly coloured smoothies on offer I chose the red one and it was delicious. We were brought cups of vegetable broth as a courtesy. The taco plate was fine but nothing out of the ordinary, except that it didn't have tacos (but rice instead). Afterwards I had to order the green smoothie, while waiting for the next plate. The quiche was OK - quite "cheesy" according to my partner - but not with the 'eggy' texture of traditional quiches (as some vegan quiches are). We did have dessert: a coconutty, fruity cake, a bit like a muesli loaf but with a scoop of reasonably good vegan ice cream on top. A cup of Earl Grey with soy milk finished this nicely. A generally good experience, this place would be worth another visit.

Pros: Decent lunch

Cons: Cake fairly ordinary

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good and bad - Edit

This is a classy joint, possibly organic and definitely health oriented. Great for whole foods eaters. I was actually meaning to visit another restaurant with pizza but came here by accident.

Clean and welcoming.

My partner got the curry Which was just a bit small, and unusual tasting. Prob not for all although it did have its own thing going on. This was 2.5 stars.

My taco rice on the other hand was a 4... Tasty and large. Nice hearty bowl of stacked ingredients, lovely salad on top.

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Centrally located and clean, address in Japanese - Edit

Went there for the first time this week. The central location raises expectations that more people in Japan will get interested in veganism (so far behind right now...). The staff were very friendly and the food fine.
Regarding the exact location we had to call to find it. Although it is close to the Sanjō Keihan station, the GPS directions were inaccurate. From the crossing between Kawabata and Sanjō, one has to go East for about two hundred meters to find it (past the Family Mart and the first light). Here is the exact address in Japanese:
〒605-0009 京都府京都市東山区大橋町89-1 鈴木形成外科ビル1F
Unfortunately, it closes quite early on weekdays (19:00 last order Monday to Thursday and 21:00 on Friday and Saturday) and is closed on Sunday.

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nice place - Edit

We came here on a Thursday evening and it was closed because of an event of some kind. We returned on Saturday and had a nice meal. Mostly western food.

Pros: nice ambience , good eastside location

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Fair, but not great - Edit

Easy to find, large , clean and bright inside. They seem to put a great amount of care and effort into preparing the food, but it was a little disappointing taste-wise.

It's important to note that they take last orders at 19:00 on weekdays, one hour before closing time. We turned up hungry just past 7pm and were turned away on our first visit.

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Disappointing curry, but otherwise great food - Edit

I went here with two vegetarian friends and an omni after a day exploring the Kiyomizu temple area and ending up in Gion.

All of us ordered the Japanese curry, and while it was ok, it didn't taste the way I remember a Japanese curry tasting. I guess that might be because it was super-healthy (no sugar or oil), but I was just craving a real Japanese curry, minus all the non-vegan bits, and it just didn't live up to that standard.

On the other hand, the drink I had with it was amazing. It was a soy amazake (a sweet basically non-alcoholic sake byproduct) drizzled with chocolate sauce. I tried every amazake drink I came across while I was in Japan, and this was easily the winner.

I also ordered the cheese tasting platter, so we could all taste the different cheeses (although, to be honest, I ate more than my fair share). The cheeses didn't quite taste like their namesakes (for starters, the cheddar was spreadable) but they were nevertheless the best vegan cheeses I've tried so far anyway, except maybe the miso-tofu cream cheese I had at Iki Laboratory in Sapporo. They were certainly in a completely different league to commercial vegan cheeses.

The mini rice milk ice-cream was pretty good too, it was much better than the So Good soy ice cream I'm used to in Australia.

Overall, if I was in the area, I'd probably come again, but I'd pick something other than curry.

Pros: English menu available

Cons: Atmosphere was a bit sterile

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Great food, vegan cheese and ice cream - Edit

I tried this place with my girlfriend after a long morning in Kyoto. After getting lost a little on the way there (it's on the north side of the road, a little to the east of where the marker says) I entered and was struck by the feel of the place. The place had a modern high-class feel to it, while still being inviting. In the entry way there is a little store area with various vegan goodies for sale.

When we were seated we were greeted with an English menu and were served by a woman who had excellent English. We both decided to have the Japanese curry for a main, and were both very pleased with it.

For 'dessert' I decided to have a vegan cheese tasting plate. It was a little bit expensive for three small pieces of cheese on crackers, but it was amazing. I've not had a large selection of vegan cheeses, so perhaps I'm not the best judge, but it was far and away the best vegan cheese I've ever had. My girlfriend had the daily cake with a scoop of vegan ice-cream, and she was emphatic that it was the best vegan ice-cream she's ever had.

Overall it wasn't cheap for Japanese standards, but it wasn't expensive either. I would definitely visit this place again, and recommend others to do so, also.

Pros: Nice decor, Great vegan cheese, Great vegan ice-cream

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Easy to get to, tasty food - Edit

Very near to the train station and the river-- address shown is not exactly right-- walk past the Pig and Whistle and keep going down the block. Green sign, warm atmosphere. Staff speaks some English but not a lot. Set meal with quiche, soup, bread and salad was filling, if somewhat uninspiring. Easy to get to, easy to eat, and FULLY VEGAN.
Updated from previous review on Friday January 16, 2015

Pros: 100% vegan, great location, good value

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Location on the map is wrong - Edit

This is the correct location on Google Map, kindly update to this. Thank you.
https:[email protected],135.773824,3a,75y,345.66h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sbRUbukitHq5dfgrXO2G42g!2e0

Choice Cafe is conveniently located just outside Sanjo Keihan Station. Tried the Curry during Lunch.

The place is brightly lit, clean, price is reasonable. It would be perfect if the portion is slightly bigger.

Pros: Conveniently located near subway, Place is neat, clean and brightly lit, Price is reasonable

Cons: Would be better if the portion is bigger, staff do not speak much English

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Good food and clean Restaurant - Edit

We had a great experience in Choice Cafe, the food was tasty and fresh, we had the organic coffee and it was great even with Soya Milk...

The people were friendly, they also have a English Menu.

Pros: Delicious Food, Clean , Good location

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Not an impartial review - Edit

The restaurant is in the same building of a plastic surgery clinic.. and this can explain very well why it looked so "medical".
The food was good, nothing extraordinary or maybe we were only too influenced by the atmosphere.
Anyway, it is not easy to eat veg in Japan, so if you are close to this place, go for it, they serve what we believe in ;)

Cons: Medical ambient

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Not a food review, but... - Edit

While researching places to eat in Kyoto, this seemed to be the closest restaurant to where I was staying. I walked past every day and can say you will have no trouble at all finding it now as it has a large green sign outside saying VEGAN CAFE.It's on the same side of Sanjo as the Family Mart. However, I never went inside, there was always somewhere more exciting looking to eat.

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Delicious Food, Worth Coming Back! - Edit

The location is very central. The location on the HappyCow map was not too acurate though. There is a sign now however, so you should be able to find it.

The food was delicious. It was special also with yummie vegan cheeses.

The staff was very friendly.

Pros: Delicious Food, Special Foods Available, Friendly Staff

Cons: Cosmetics Publicity (No real Con though)

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Light & delicious vegan lunch/dinner/dessert - Edit

Location: on Sanjo-dori, one block east of the Keihan railway-Sanjo station, on north side of street. That's on the east side of the Kamo river. If you reach the cross-street Hanami-koji, you've gone too far. The shop front has a big glass window, with green lettering "Choices." We also saw tables and a menu board outside.

Menu : this vegan restaurant has rather pricey multi course meals for lunch (39',000 yen) and dinner, as well as a la carte options, and a selection of " take away" set meals that are reasonably priced. There is an English menu and spiral notebooks on the tables with photos of the different dishes. This is fine vegan cuisine, and we loved the house-made vegan cheese "tasting platter", sourdough bread and mesclun salad with crunchy vegetables. Other items on the lunch menu included taco rice, veg curry, tofu quiche and seaweed salad.

Ambiance: quiet, spacious, with polished wood tables and chairs, and an open kitchen at the back. In front,you will find organic groceries for sale, books and a counter for take out. The waitstaff were very friendly , spoke some English and tolerated our limited Japanese with a smile. They even suggested ordering a set meal from the "take-away" menu because it was a better deal. I will defiantly go back for more.

Pros: Easy to find on major street , Sanjo -dori , y, inventive, unusual vegan fare, Friendly staff

Cons: A limited menu, Multi course set meal is expensive, Moderate sized portions

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Good food in a clinical environment - Edit

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

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Lovely 6-course vegan meal - Edit

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

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Delicious all vegan food - Edit

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

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Cafe Menu Needs Help - Edit

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

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World Class Vegan Cuisine - Edit

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

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Beautiful, Fresh, Healthy Cuisine - Edit

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

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could not find this place - Edit

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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