Matsuontoko Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 107 reviews )
Contact
075-251-1876
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538-6 Shijyo Agaru Shinkyougoku Nakanocho Nakagyoku, Kyoto, Japan, 604-8042

Vegan restaurant at 538-6 四条上る新京極通中之町中京区 serving burgers, pizza, pasta, salads, a few Japanese dishes, plus cocktails and drinks. Open Mon-Sun 12:00pm-3:00pm, Mon-Sun 6:00pm-10:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Pizza, Japanese, Organic, Fast food, Beer/Wine, Take-out

Reviews (107)

First Review by rabbits_nom

Decent and cheap food but there are better places in Kyoto - Edit

I have mixed feelings about Matsuontoko because I do go there quite often since it is located at a very convenient location downtown, but the quality of the food and service is pretty inconsistent. Sometimes the staff are quite nice but sometimes they are inflexible and aloof. The burgers, basil rice and curry are probably the best items in the menu. although bear in mind the portions of the burgers are pretty small. Most non-vegans I've brought here did enjoy the burgers though. The cakes are usually dry and too sweet. I would recommend getting the pancakes or matcha parfait instead. I wouldn't say my experience here has been entirely bad like some reviewers have suggested, but there are many better places in Kyoto where you can enjoy fresher foods of higher quality and better service. Overall I would only recommend going there for the convenience of the location and decent vegan fast food. They sometimes close unexpectedly so check their Facebook page ahead of time.

Pros: Affordable lunch menu, Super convenient location

Cons: Inflexible staff, Small portions, Closes unexpectedly sometimes

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great! - Edit

Nice, cozy, friendly staff! Try the miso burger!

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The least friendly staff in Japan - Edit

The worst service in all of Japan. We ate here twice because it was the only place open late. The staff were not friendly either time and acted like they were tired of doing their job. The food is not good. The only reason for the two stars was because my husband really enjoyed the teriyaki burger the first night (but not the second night).

Pros: All vegan menu

Cons: Unfriendly staff, the food is not good

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Best meal in Kyoto - Edit

I had the chicken burger set, it was great and I was jet lagged af so you know it had to be good to impress me. We ended up going back a second time - it's so cozy and quaint, the atmosphere is worth going for alone. I don't recommend the spaghetti, it was not great but Japan ain't exactly known as a global pasta phenomenon.

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Good vegan food - Edit

I went here several times and always enjoyed the food. In the menu the name of every dish is given in Japanese and English. More detailed descriptions are given only in Japanese, but the staff speaks english. All burgers I tried so far, were excellent, except for the avocado burger, which I would rate only average, because the patty was a bit dry. It was well flavored though. Both pizza, I tried, were yummy, although the tamatosauce was very sweet (like ketchup). I further recommend the fried soy meat, matcha ice cream and a salad with cheese-like tofu (don't know the name). Be aware that portion sizes are very small

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Fully vegan restaurant in Kyoto - Edit

This place is sooo good!! We went a couple of times. The burger sets are good value and the desserts were delicious. Highly recommend. It was our fave place in Kyoto.

Pros: Can eat anything in the menu

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Vegan option in the arcades area - Edit

Burgers, lunch/dinner sets, pasta and pizzas. I had the dinner set which was rice, fried soy cutlets, vegetables and a small soup plus a drink for 1500 yens. Small portions compared to other restaurants of this type in Kyoto.
Food was okay but not memorable.


Updated from previous review on 2017-06-18

Pros: fast, convenient location

Cons: Basic options, Nothing special

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Beer, burger and pizza - Edit

I had high expectations of this place and while the food was delicious, the hospitality and vibe created by the staff was below par. Actually, it was awful. We ordered an hour before closing time and it seemed like it was all too hard for them. It was a shame as the food was really tasty, the burger and pizza that we ordered.

Pros: Simple western options, Cold beer

Cons: Poor service

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very tasty and friendly - Edit

The food choices are great. I tried the avocado burger that came with French fries and a side salad. Very tasty and fresh. For dessert i tried the cake of the day, banana cake. The staff was very kind. I will definitely come again. Thank you!

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Not Bad But Not Great - Edit

Although the portions are on the small side, the food here is decent - I really like their whole wheat burger buns :) However.... the customer service is something I just can't get over. They really seem unhappy or something, as they are extremely ungracious and inflexible about all requests - even things like swapping potato chips for onion rings or paying the bill separately. I've been here twice in the past six months, and both times (even with my Japanese friend), it was the same. There are way better places to eat in Kyoto in my opinion.

Pros: Vegan burgers

Cons: Small portions, Bad service

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Ok - Edit

Food was OK, western style "burger"with fries. But it was a very hot day they put us upstairs and when we wanted to move downstairs they said they could not seat our party of three at an empty table which had six chairs. That table was empty the entire time we were there and we were sweating profusely over our food

Pros: Ok food

Cons: A little run down, HOT

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Excellent - Edit

Very tasty food. Bin there twice, tasted lots of different things. Pizza & pancakes were excellent, burger very tasty, the Japanese desserts are very interesting. A plesent place also.

Pros: Tasty and Plesent , Very reasonably prices.

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Great little restaurant - Edit

A quaint and homely little restaurant serving a good choice of mainly western type food. Very tasty. Dessert was also good.

Pros: All vegan menu

Cons: Smallish portions for price

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nice food, good atmosphere - Edit

Very much enjoyed the food here. Slightly smaller portions than back home (UK) but it's Japan so what can you expect? Still very filling and enjoyable food! Pretty good price too.

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Sadly gone downhill - Edit

Update since 4yrs earlier:
The main I ordered was poorly balanced. It was too sweet with little relief. The service was okay. The decor was rundown and not well cared for. The overall impression I had was of a lack of care. It's a shame because when it opened this was a great little cafe. I'm giving it 2 stars based on the meal I had (because I didn't like it). Other meals may be fine but I personally won't be returning because there are so many better options available in Kyoto.

Earlier review:
My friend and I went to this cafe for lunch and got the vegan croquette set. The cafe is lovely utilising the raw architecture of the space. I also loved the giraffe bonsai in the toilet. The lunch was good. The croquettes very crunchy and the flavours fresh and sharp. The onion soup that came with it was especially delicious. It seemed very crowded and popular. We got the last table and the burgers we saw looked yum. Also they had an extensive dessert menu for those with a sweet tooth. But we were too full from lunch to eat any.

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Still Great - Edit

We've been coming here since it opened and it remains a great Vegan option. Convenient location and quick service plus great tasting food. It's our go-to place in Kyoto.

Pros: Excellent food, Friendly staff, Great location

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Big let down! - Edit

We were pretty excited to come here but from the moment we walked in, the staff were bordering on hostile. We were made to hurry up despite arriving over an hour before closing time. The food was okay but was overshadowed by the rudeness we experienced. The serving sizes were small and the prices did not reflect this. I would not be able to recommend this to a fellow vegan.

Cons: food a bit tasteless

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Disappointing - Edit

The food was ok, but the waitress let this place down for me. Hardly any acknowledgement given and spent her time on her phone. Would of got a dessert, but never got the menu.

Recommend the Choice restaurant which is close by and has much friendlier staff.

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Meh - Edit

Food was pretty good but disappointing given the high quality of reviews. Maybe we went on a bad day...

Fried Ice Cream dessert was delicious, but was not fried ice cream

Pros: Good location near Nishiki Market

Cons: Hit or miss food

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Good Burger - Edit

Small place that has a good selection on their menu, we had the veggie burgers and fries. People next to us had the pizza which also looked good.

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very good -- 美味しい - Edit

I got the teriyaki burger set and a ginger ale. The burger was small by US standards but not at all by Japan's. Everything was very good and filled me up even though I hadn't eaten all day. Service was very good. People who say they are ignored may not be used to Japanese restaurants. When you don't have buzzers you're supposed to say "sumimasen" when you need something. I didn't even have to do that though, as they came to take my order when they saw I was ready. When it's busier, definitely just yell for someone--that's what you're supposed to do.

For me portion sizes were fine and the service was fine.

Pros: tasty, nice atmosphere , good location

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nice food - Edit

I went here once for dinner. Very good tasting food and reasonable prices. I had the vegan burger followed by the chocolate brownie which comes served with cream and ice cream (plant based but don't know exactly what kind). The food is very nice quality. Portions are small if you are used to Australian or US portions (but probably a more healthy size). The staff are friendly but not attentive. Other diners had to wave and call to get their attention, but personally I just got up and went to the bar to ask for the desert menu etc. Definitely give it a try but only if you can cope with slow service.

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Decent vegan joint - Edit

Went here twice as it was one of the only places open in the area (other vegan restaurants were closing at weird times or had functions on). Had one of the burgers the first day and a pizza the next. Both were tastier than I expected. Pizza was definitely better than the burger though. Got some side orders with both and they were good too. Was quite busy in the evening and there is limited seating, so make sure you get there just after it reopens at 5pm.

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Yummy food and cozy vibes - Edit

Loved the food here! Had the 4-cheese pizza and was honestly so worried that it wasn't vegan because the cheeses were spot on! Loved the overall vibe of the place, was very moody and cozy. Also loved the fact that they had a movie playing on a large screen above the bar - Harry Potter to be exact! Will definitely be visiting this cafe/restaurant on my next visit to Gion :)

Pros: Delicious food, Cozy atmosphere

Cons: A bit dark

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Disappointing - Edit

I ordered the vegan burger plate which comes with fries and salad. The best part was the bun and salad dressing. The fries are frozen not fresh cut and you can taste it. The burger came with just one slice of lettuce and tomato. The burger seemed homemade but tasted strange and I can tell what it's made from. Service was fine and location good but I ate at so many better vegan places in Kyoto

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great food, shame about the service - Edit

Went for dinner and had a lovely meal but once we finished and were hoping to order dessert we were completely ignored. We sat there for over 20 minutes being looked at by the staff but avoided. In the end we just stood up, paid and left. The quickest service we got was when they took our money.

It's such a shame as the food was so good. We had plans to come back to try as much of the menu as we could but now we're not sure we'll bother.

Pros: amazing food

Cons: service

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Been there 3x on our trip! - Edit

We love the food so much! Especially their burgers are so tasty. The food quality is amazing. Even a simple plate of curry rice deserves 2 thumbs up. We were staying in gion area and this is very near us. We will def come back on our next kyoto trip.

Pros: Reasonable prices , Excellent food quality

Cons: Nothing

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