Kinatei

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 71 reviews )
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080-6119-6105
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21-5, Sugigamachi (at front of Nara Life-long Study Cente), Nara, Japan

Vegetarian restaurant near JR Nara Station. The owner and chef is a long-time vegetarian who speaks English. Offers a lunch set which includes several different dishes (salad, steamed vegetables, fried items, etc.) served with brown rice and a soup. Dinner by reservation only. All vegetables are organic. Choice between dairy or non-dairy in some dishes. Name in Japanese: 喜菜亭. Address 奈良市杉ケ町25-1 生涯学習センター前. Note: kitchen may stop serving 30-60 minutes prior to closing, check ahead. Open Tue-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm. Dinner by reservation only.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Japanese

71 Reviews

First Review by JesseD

My best vege meal in Japan - Edit

Friendly service and the foods are good. This shop offer the pure vegetarian meal without onion and garlic.

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fresh vegan japanese food - Edit

The owner even closed the restaurant early to drop us at the top of the hill to explore the temples! could not recommend more highly

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Lovely gem in Nara - Edit

This is a small little restaurant in Nara is about a ten minute walk from the station. Limited seating, so get there relatively early. There was a choice of about 3 things for the lunch menu. We chose the daily lunch which proved a great choice. Lovely food, lovely people and a lovely place. Catering for vegans on request.

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so friendly and tasty - Edit

A short walk from the train station this was such a nice break from the touristy hustle and bustle of Nara! Excellent food using the best ingredients. Loved the set lunch. So nice to have such great vegan options in downtown Nara. Owner is friendly to a fault. She was so kind to us as weary travelers. Thanks so much!

Pros: top notch ingredients, close to train station, friendly staff

Cons: sometimes overly talkative staff

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Beware of exorbitant price! - Edit

Average food that costs too much.

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Deserves 6 Stars - Edit

This place obviously caters for tourists, but in the best way possible. The owner does everything she can to make your experience a memorable one. Only set lunch available, but it was incredible. The vegetables used were more flavoursome than any I'd tasted before, but was little coincidence because the owner knew exactly where her ingredients came from and used them aptly. She speaks very good English and was very talkative and generous to all the customers. Probably the best food I had in Japan.

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Best vegan ramen ever - Edit

We stopped here for lunch after visiting the deer park (it's maybe a 20 minute walk away) for a rest from the heat. While being a vegetarian restaurant, they are more than happy to cater for vegans and can make nearly all the dishes vegan! We had the ramen which came with a little side dish and some green tea and I can not speak highly enough of the quality.
The owner was so lovely and offered lots of information about the origins of all the ingredients (all organic non GMO), it was so great to be served by someone who seems so genuinely interested in her food and her customers.
It is definitely a worthwhile stop off when in Nara!

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Owner is the nicest lady ever - Edit

The service here is amazing, the owner is such a nice person! When we arrived she got is to put stickers on the world map on the wall which she keeps to record where all her visitors are from, and we left a little note in her guest book. She also took a photo of us, she seems to really love what she does and gets so excited about all the foreign customers she gets.

The lunch set was delicious, all so fresh and tasty. The dessert was a little pan fried cake thing and some fruit, which was a perfect little finish.

She even offered to drive us to the Nara deer park!

Pros: Service is fantastic, Food delicious

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best organic vegetarian restaurant in Nara - Edit

It is amazing I want to come here every day!
Non gmo, organic food, vegetarian or vegan
Very nice lady

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Incredibly welcoming - Edit

We received such a warm welcome at Kinatei. The food was lovely and the owner goes above and beyond what is expected of a host. After we finished our delicious meal, she drove us to the deer park and gave us food to feed them! A wonderful introduction to Nara- thank you!

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Great place in Nara - Edit

A great vegan place in Nara.
We had a lunch set and Udon soup which was amazing.
Yoshiko and her family are so nice and helpfull, we got great tips and even a drive to the temple.

Highly recommended

Pros: everything

Cons: nothing

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Only vegan place in Nara? - Edit

This was the only place I found to eat in Nara. It was great! I got the lunch set, but would have liked to try the ramen as well. Owner is a long-time vegan. They also gave me a ride to the deer park : )

5 stars for existing and offering healthy vegan food : )

Pros: Friendly Staff, Japanese Food!

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what an experience - Edit

not only was the ramen fresh and tasty but the owner is the most amazing lady you will ever meet.
she gave us an amazing experience, great conversation but also drove us to the deer park and gave us food to feed them.
If your ever around here this is a must!
thank you soo much for having us!

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Great food, generous owner! - Edit

My partner and I came here in February on a day trip to Nara. She is allergic to shellfish so we chose to eat vegan while in Japan. We both had the udon noodles with ginger which was made with organic vegetables, non-gmo soy meat and purified water. Tasted great! The highlight though was the owner's hospitality. She was well versed with the allergy card and spoke good English. After we'd finished eating, she proceeded to take us on a mini tour through town and dropped us at Nara Park. Worth a visit!

Pros: Vegan friendly, Friendly staff, Healthy

Cons: Couldn't fault it!

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delicious food and amazing hospitality - Edit

Hands down the best set menu meal I have had in Japan, flavoursome and decent quantity for the price. The owner enthusiastically discussed how she made the meal and engaged in polite conversation. However, she also drove us to the deer park (it was pouring rain), gave us food to feed the deer and gave an informative tour of the local tourist attractions as well as dropping myself and my partner off at the todaiji temple. If you are going to Nara to stay for a few days or even just for a day trip, this is a MUST and I highly recommend it. I will be returning on my next trip to Japan (I hear she runs an all vegan Airbnb as well for anyone planning a trip)

Pros: great tasting food , all organic, no GMO, different set lunch menu every time

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Carnivore and loved it - Edit

Checked out restaurant on a whim with my vegetarian girlfriend and found a hidden gem. Delicious food, and the owner provided fantastic service!!! She even offered to give us a ride to a local temple

10/10 would go again!

Pros: Delicious, Great service, Quiet atmosphere

Cons: None

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Best meal I had in Japan - Edit

If you are in Nara, you should DEFINITELY eat at Kinatei. The owner is extremely nice, and her food is incredible. This was the best meal I had in Japan, and I will 100% return on my next trip to Japan.

Pros: Incredible food, Wonderful owner

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Great food, fantastic service - Edit

It was a fantastic experience at Kinatei. Yoshiko is very friendly and spoke to us in English, describing all of the delicious food. The food is very good value, 1200 yen for a tasty lunch set that was all vegetarian. She even took us to Nara park after the meal. If you are a vegetarian or Vegan who is visiting Nara, I would highly recommend that you take the time to enjoy a meal here!

Pros: fully vegetarian with vegan options. great value.

Cons: limited hours

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wonderful vegeterian lunch - Edit

very good and plenty to choose from, vegeterian set menu or vegeterian curry or vegeterian ramen. food made with true love and concern for healthy nutrition. the owner and her daughter were so kind and caring! just a couple of minutes walk from nara station so easy to get here!

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Recommended Vegan/Vegetarian Spot in Nara City - Edit

I've been here once for dinner and once for lunch, and both times enjoyed it a lot.
You'll have the best experience if the woman owner is there, as she is genuinely so friendly, enthusiastic and careful about the food. She likes to explain what each dish contains and where the ingredients are from.
They describe the cuisine as a Japanese-Chinese fusion, which mainly consists of rice, miso soup, and an assortment of accompaniments like veggie patties, and veggies done a variety of ways. Although not everything is fully vegan, they've always been very careful to make sure my food is vegan.
The second time I went with a friend, it was raining, and she lady insisted on giving us a ride to the station in her car on her own way home.
If you're in Nara, it's definitely worth a visit!
Remember you need a reservation for dinner.



Updated from previous review on 2016-08-23

Pros: Food is nice, Lunch price is reasonable, Very friendly owner

Cons: A bit far from Nara Park, Dinner is on the more expensive side

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Hidden Gem - Edit

We were so happy to come across Kinatei on our trip to Nara! Eating vegan in Japan can be difficult without proper planning and finding this place was refreshing. The food was great and the friendly owner shared helpful tips on how to avoid animal products used in common Japanese dishes. The set lunch menu was both filling and delicious!

Pros: Food, Atmosphere, Customer Service

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Even got a photo of us! - Edit

We came here in April this year after finding it on the happycow app; the tourist centre at the park also knew about it. It would probably be a bit tricky to find without GPS.

When we arrived we discovered that we'd just missed the lunchtime opening hours, but as it happened the owner saw us outside and opened up again just for us! (We were so happy; it seemed like Nara has very few restaurants!)

The owner was very friendly and we loved the map on the wall on which she had us put a sticker on our hometown.

The food was also delicious. I can't remember what we paid since were just happy to have been fed after a busy day in Nara!

When we had finished eating the owner looked up train times for us, and seeing that we were going to miss one, even drove us to the station after locking up. Thank you so much!

Pros: Great food, Extremely friendly owner

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Wonderful Delicious Experience! - Edit

What a great experience and fantastic meal. We visited for lunch in early July and had the set meal. The owner, Yoshiko, is a delight. She speaks multiple languages and runs the restaurant with her daughter. The food was absolutely delicious and plentiful. And, on a super hot day, she offered to give us a ride to the temple area, which was incredibly kind of her! Highly recommended all around!

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absolutely amazing - Edit

I don't know where to begin. The food was absolutely delicious, portions were perfect and the owner not only speaks English but is very nice and actually drove me to see a temple because she didn't want me to have to walk to far inn the heat!

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Really Good vegan! - Edit

Really great restaurant with the Best manager. He talk in english and a very Good spanish! I'm spanish and i was really surprised. Really Good food with a soy "fish" amazing!

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also felt ripped off - Edit

also felt a bit ripped off. We expected much more from this place after reading all these 5 stars reviews. We booked the cheapest dinner menu for 3.000 ¥ which was quite dissapointing. The food was ok, but not excellent. At every other vegan/veggie place in Japan I had at least the option to get brown rice - at this place you get white rice without getting asked.
For me Nara is not a place for vegans/vegetarians compared to Kyoto

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Feeling ripped-off - Edit

Everything started off very well. We booked for dinner, the owner was very welcoming and brought out many small dishes from what I presumed was a set menu. It was not until I overheard her speaking to another couple that I realised we were paying per item. The bill was double what I have paid anywhere else over the past week in Japan, and I am disappointed that there was no indication of price or billing structure prior to commencing the meal.

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