CLOSED: Kyoto Cafe Shijo Nishinotoin

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 8 reviews )



701 Shijo-cho, Kyoto, Japan, 600-8472

Serves meat, vegan options available. Location may be difficult to find - it's under Le Myodenji Nishinotoi. This is an 85-year-old machiya converted into a restaurant, cafe, and a relaxation salon on the second floor. Offers food made with fresh locally grown vegetables with some vegan choices. Reported closed to HappyCow.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Ovo, Japanese, Non-veg

8 Reviews

First Review by Smithereens

closed - Edit

Went there tonight, Friday 6 November, at 8pm and not only was the restaurant closed, but all the signs indicating the place were removed. So it may be closed for good. I would suggest that you call before you go. In fact it would be good that someone living here and speaking Japanese could call and update the database as this could be just a change of opening hours or a temporary closure.

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not good - Edit

This was the worst meal we had in Japan. We had the raw veggies with a boring creamy tofu sauce. After we ordered we noticed a board with other vegetarian options. They looked more interesting.

Cons: unhelpful server

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fresh and very tasty veggie course - Edit

Hard to find but definitely worth the search. We ordered a veggie course (menu in Japanese and English) and the owner (very friendly guy) came to us 8 times with items from the menu. After all we were really stuffed. Highlights were the fresh salad, yuba, and dengaku. Ambience was also nice.

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Lots Of Charm - Edit

I work a ten minute walk from this hidden gem. Great value on lunch menu, as long as you don't order a beverage, which seems to be the case most places in Japan. Ate there at 3pm and had the whole cozy place to ourselves :-)
Updated from previous review on Thursday March 27, 2014

Pros: Environment, Price

Cons: Hard To Find

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Funky little place and tasty food - Edit

It's easy to miss the little laneway that leads to this cafe, but overall it's in a good location.
They have an English menu, a wide selection of alcohol, soft drinks, smoothies & teas.

We had the cheese risotto and the pumpkin soup, nothing too fancy, but it came out quite quick and it was both tasty. On the side we got some soft tofu, and 2 types of pickled radish, which was a nice touch.
This was on the specials board, around ¥900 each, the menu is a bit more expensive.

So overall a good little place, the guy is a bit weird and wasn't too friendly, but he might just had a bad day.
Would go back again

Pros: tasty, quick, fresh

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Vegetarian Paradise-tops in Kyoto, worth a trip - Edit

location: on Nishinotoin-dori near Shijo-dori. The entrance is halfway down Nishinotoin, where there is a wood sign "cafe-bar" at the alley leading to the building: a beautifully restored Machiya. A landmark for a taxi driver could be the Hotel Mitsui -Garden on the same block. Check the restaurant website for opening hours/days and a map :

Food & ambiance: my #1 Kyoto restaurant. We had Kai-seki traditional Kyoto dishes -in modern style vegetarian dinner sets: generous and tasteful servings of tofu, a choice of 4 miso soups, eggplant , a heaping plate of greens and raw veggies with sautéed garlic, brown rice and bancha tea. Each plate that appeared was tastefully presented and delicious. The restored Machiya house is gorgeous , with rustic wood tables and a small interior garden. At the end of the meal, the owner-chef, who had served us graciously but mostly silently, only naming the dishes and ingredients like "an edible flower" or "eggplant with ginger", began chatting, explaining how he had restored the house, built the furniture and even sewn the table linens and aprons himself--all evidence of a great eye for design. He understands what vegans do and do not eat (ie. ice cream) and we left eyeing the lunch menu : fig smoothies, risotto, edamame. Kyoto cafe serves wine, beer, non-alcoholic & non - veg items too.
Updated from previous review on Sunday October 06, 2013

Pros: Delicious inventive preparation, Tasteful surroundings, Set meals are worth the price

Cons: Hard to find, Cash only

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magical machiya and unique dining experience - Edit

This place is incredible. It is a mysterious, magical place off major road Shijo on Nishinotoin. Well, actually, one must walk down a secret alley to get to the restaurant from Nishinotoin. It is set in a beautiful old machiya, with a lovely garden in the back. The couple who run the place are interesting, interested and very knowledgeable about the food they sell. It is a very refreshing and insightful to experience food in this type of setting.

The menu is in English and in Japanese. The owners are happy to recommend different meals and interesting ways to eat them. The vegetables are so fresh and amazing and I think the majority are delivered to them from Osaka and other local places. The best thing though are all the sauces and spices they add to the food. Everything is handmade. The salad dressing we had on our unique vegetable salad was made with very interesting ingredients and was heavenly. Added such a rich, unique taste to the salad that even my meat-loving dad loved the dish!

The lemongrass tea we had at the end with the dried fruit tasted so healthy and my body thanked me after. Good value. Great people. Amazing location. Unique experience. What more can you ask for? Oh, also we had the whole place to ourselves :) This place is yet to be discovered - get there while you can!! I would highly recommend this place!!!! Enjoy :)

Pros: Unique and excellent food, Knowledgeable staff, Mellow and fun vibes

Cons: Only been one time

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Taste the freshness of locally grown vegetables. - Edit

There seems to be very little written about this place on the web, at least in English, which is a shame! I went here the other day and ended up staying for hours. It's not every day you get to study in a beautiful machiya while eating food made from fresh-tasting locally grown vegetables and listening to sweet, soothing music (there's a massage parlor upstairs). Despite its location close to a busy road in the center of town it's a very tranquil place. I believe it was opened in 2011. Sadly I was the only customer on the first floor the whole time I was there.

I ordered a very nice miso and soy milk soup set which contained meat, but it was possible to order a vegetarian version (the waiter asked me beforehand to make sure). There was no drink with the set but I got 150 yen off any drink on the menu. They have several more expensive sets, some purely vegetarian and some could be made vegetarian, all with fresh vegetables grown in the area. According to their website you can order vegetables from them too.

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