Mumokuteki Cafe and Foods

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 44 reviews )
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075-2296996
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2F, Teramachi-dori (at near Shijo Teramachi), Kyoto, Japan

Food is vegan except for fish stock, which is marked. Note that miso soup contains fish stock. Wide selection of food and dessert. Reformed in Nov. 2016; cafe is on the 2nd floor above a vintage lifestyle store of the same name. Special seating area for families with small children. In the Teramachi-dori pedestrian arcade, between Rokkaku-dori and Takoyakusshi-dori. Open Mon-Sun 11:30am-10:00pm. Last orders at 9pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Japanese, Western, Non-veg

Reviews (44)

First Review by wanderingvegans

Very good option - Edit

Even though I tend to favorise vegetarian and vegan restaurants when I travel, I liked Mumokuteki and when back for a second time.
I had the noodle set dîner and a curry, both were delicious, filling and under 1200 yens. They use fish stock for some dishes but it is clearly labelled.
They have a few traditional japanese dishes and hamburgers, spaghettis and cakes.
It suite popular so you might be asked to wait a little.

Pros: Tasty, Nice staff, Bright, well decorated

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super tasty! - Edit

I've eaten here before I turned vegan, about 3 years ago and I really liked it but found it really weird because I we all new to the whole vegetarian substitutes and such. This time I knew a lot more and both me and my partner really enjoyed our food. I took a dish that said it had fish stock in it and asked if I could get it without and the waiter said they made a version without it for people who wanted and that I would get a buillion soup instead of miso. So even if it says it contains fish, ask if they can make it without!

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Wonderful find! - Edit

We ate at Mumokuteki three times during our stay in Kyoto. We are always delighted to find vegan food, especially when it is so tasty. They have a "pork" ramen that was simply amazing, great flavors and large in portion. Highly recommend this restaurant. We attempted to eat there on a Wednesday night but they were closed as is their norm, apparently. Also, this is a busy place and you may have to wait for your number to be called so make sure you pick one up.

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Great Restaurant - Edit

I had the Tofu Burger Set and it was very good. It came with a nice salad and excellent fried potatoes. The Burger had an interesting texture, crispy on the outside and soft inside. The cafe was very busy when we got there around 20:00 and we waited about 40 minutes for a table but the store was very nice to walk around in.

Pros: English menu, Good amount of vegan options

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Amazing meal - Edit

One of the nicest meals out I've had anywhere. Found this by accident when the local vegan eatery was closed. I had a dish with all kinds of food; rice, some tasty potato salad, leafy salad, tofu burgers, little crisps and some mayo type sauce. It was very tasty and the different flavours and textures really complimented one another. An enormous portion by Japanese standards. No room for any of the vast array of delicious looking desserts on the menu :/

Pros: Reasonably priced, Lots of vegan sweets, Delicious food

Cons: Some menu items contain fish stock (marked)

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Deserves a 5-star - Edit

Really enjoyed the food here and the non-veg (Dashi) food is labelled clearly. The food was really nice and was very generous proportions in my opinion, especially for Japan. We ordered a side of chips and we could hardly touch them alongside our meals. YMMV. Nice atmosphere, nice food, and seemed like a fair price

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Get the ramen not the burger - Edit

Great atmosphere!
Cool shops near there.
Tons of good options. I just picked the wrong one. I didn't like the vegi burger. My travel companions picked well.
Lots of other options.
Perhaps the problem was also that we eat an epic vegi burger the night before.
Still glad we went:)

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Reasonable prices & good food - Edit

The first time we tried this place they had closed early which didn't fill us with confidence. We returned for a mid afternoon drink the following day and proceeded to head back for dinner that night and the following night. After an inauspicious start they certainly won us back!

There are two entrances, one up the stairs at the front of the ground floor shop, the other at the back where there's a small waiting area (at busy times you'll be given a number - this happened both evenings we went) which leads directly up to the cafe itself. It seems popular with locals which was nice to see, as some vegan-oriented places we visited were wall-to-wall tourists.

The atmosphere is very relaxing and the staff friendly and English-speaking. They have clear English menus which they brought over as a matter of course. Food is clearly labelled if it contains fish - everything else is vegan apart from a couple of things involving honey.

Despite some of the menu being off-limits there were plenty of options to choose from, including some indulgent shakes which were the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. On our visits we tried a tofu-skin omelette draped over fried rice with an onion sauce, 'pork-bone' ramen (made with soya milk) and a couple of different burger options. We also forced ourselves to try some of the desserts and hot chocolate.

Everything was tasty, though some individual elements of dishes were a little bland - that tofu-skin omelette definitely needed the sauce it was swimming in. The burgers were excellent, not huge but not tiny. And the prices were some of the more reasonable we experienced in Japan: 2 mains and 2 desserts came in under 3000 yen, which was a bargain for the quality on offer.

Pros: Options clearly marked, great atmosphere, good pri

Cons: Seating times unpredictable

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Great place! - Edit

I would give this place 5 stars if it was possible. The atmosphere is really great and the place beautiful.
We had the vegan rice filled omelet (the one with ketchup and fried soy on top), the spicy fries and the cheesecake. Everthing we had was really really good! Totally a place to visit while in Kyoto!

Pros: - traditional dishes made vegan - really delicious

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Delicious and innovative vegan food - Edit

Had a beautiful experience at Mumokuteki cafe! The general vibe of the cafe was so cozy and relaxed, especially as we were having lunch there on a cold and rainy day! Several staff members knew English and the entire menu had english translations for all meals! Will definitely be returning to this lovely cafe on my next trip to Kyoto!

Pros: Nice vibe, Friendly staff, Amazing food

Cons: Slightly confusing to find as bottom level is shop

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Nice Atmosphere and Cakes - Edit

I've been here several times now, and although I would recommend it, I have a bunch of mixed feelings as well. The antique aesthetic of the shop and cafe is really nice, making it a really pleasant place to hang out and socialize. They also have a huge menu, but unfortunately a large portion of it is non-vegan simply because of the fish stock (and honey? I need to check that again). As others have noted this really feels like a shame for such an otherwise incredible menu. The other thing I'm less keen on this place is that, because of it's size, it lacks the friendly and personal feel that many other cafes have. The staff are nice, but always extremely busy. It's also mandatory that you order at least one item / person (my friend and I tried to share a plate once and felt they were rather rude about it). There is often a cue at busy times, and they will not seat anyone extra in the large portion of the space designated for families with small children (which is great except there usually aren't many families using it). I really want to love Mumokuteki, and I would go again, but it's definitely a shame that they're missing the opportunity to be such a great vegan restaurant.

Updated from previous review on 2016-06-28

Pros: Beautiful interior design, Decent food

Cons: Not fully vegan, Really busy, Inflexible service

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great - Edit

A bit of a wait (30 mins or so) but worth it. Pretty much everything is vegan. We had spaghetti, one of the fried cutlet sets, matcha milkshake and tiramisu cake. It's a lovely cafe that sits on top of a clothing store. Good atmosphere, vibe, pleasant staff and good food. The matcha milkshake was so good!

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Cute & Quaint with delicious food - Edit

Kyoto is such a cool place but has very limited vegan options so when we were told we would have to wait 40 minutes to be seated, we decided to wait it out.
After only 20 minutes we took a seat and ordered. There is only one set menu that the waiter said could be made fish free (miso has fish) so we ordered that as well as the Avocado Burger. We also added the salad bar to both meals (¥200 each) and ate our way through a few plates before our meals arrived.
Both meals were excellent in size and taste, the burger was the best we've had in Japan!
Overall a great cafe, we loved it! Such a shame they still use fish and honey but all the same, a solid 4 stars :)

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Good vegan choices - Edit

Mumokuteki cafe is tucked away upstairs above a shop, but once you get up there it is a nice, trendy cafe. It is very popular and our food took a long time to arrive - so much so that there is no photo of my tofu burger with avocado and fires because I ate it as soon as it arrived.
My husband and I found the portion sizes fine, in fact his noodle dish was huge. But that didn't stop me having an enormous fruit parfait for dessert.
There was an amazing dessert choice - muffins, parfaits, tiramisu, nocheese cake.
The fish stock and honey used in some of their dishes isn't ideal, but at least it makes me feel confident that they understand what vegan food is enough to tell us that it's there.
The food was delicious, good portion sizes and the service very friendly - just what I needed for our last night in Kyoto before setting off for the vegan desert of rural Japan.

Pros: Lots of delicious vegan choices, sweet and savoury, Very Friendly staff

Cons: Popular, so service was slow

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Great! - Edit

Super yummy food! Well priced, menu is easy to understand and items with fish broth clearly marked. Staff speak good English, friendly and great atmosphere. We had a great night here!

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high priced and fish stock - Edit

We had to wait 30min downstairs to get a seat for 2. Ordered 2 Burgers since the rest didn't seem affordable for us. As others have said, they mark the dishes with fishstock but it just makes you wonder why they don't just replace it. The restaurant would be vegan if they left out the fishstock and the honey. Don't know what their motivations are though. Burger was nice.

Cons: expensive

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Mumokuteki Cafe, Kyoto - Edit

2 of us tried Matsuontoko this evening. Matsuontoko wouldn't turned us and other people away saying they had sold out of food. We thus tried Mumokuteki since it was past 8 30 on a Monday evening and we were a little concerned we may not find somewhere reasonably easily that is still open and serving.

We found Mumokuteki to be a positive experience on many levels. My spouse ordered a noodle set deal that was good value at around a 1000 yen. I've found Japanese portion sizes to be a bit on the small side so far so decided to take no prisoners this evening. I ordered 2 burgers with salad and chips. This was a pretty smart decision. The burgers tasted great but were a little on the small side as were the chips.

I must confess I am struggling to understand why fish stock is used in so many dishes. I appreciate that they at least label the dishes with the fish stock. I find it a little surprising that in the 21ct century they aren't able to use a non-animal derived alternative.

If they ditched the fish stock I'd defo rate this place higher. If they ditched the fish stock and ditched the honey I'd likely rate it 5.

Pros: Vegan friendly, Tasty food

Cons: Fish stock used

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yummy soy parfait - Edit

I didn't get a full meal here but I just stopped by to try their soy parfait and it didn't disappoint! I would've liked to have a proper meal here as the menu looked like it had a lot of good options. It's in a really convenient location too and it was pretty busy when I went there so be sure to get there a little early.

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Nothing special - Edit

The restaurant was packed, fast service, decent food

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Good! - Edit

The food was pretty darn good. I got the set protein dinner thing with the creamy dressing/sauce and it was yummy but not super filling. So I got a burger and fries after, which was a 6/10 in my opinion. Prices were high per usual in Japan. The weirdest thing to me is 80% of the menu contains fish stock, which to me is sort of strange as its such a small ingredient to replace yet the rest of everything is vegan. Regardless, they will replace whatever has fish in it with a veg one if you ask

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Good food, strange concept - Edit

Nearly vegan restaurant in central Kyoto.

About the food:
Good food. Been there several times and had a tasty tofu-burger don (see picture) for 950 yen (L-size). Doria was very good, made with soy milk and coconut flakes to add some crustiness. Ramen is okay but doesn’t have a strong flavour - mostly tasted like coconut milk really - and sadly uses spaghetti instead of ramen noodles. Tofu cheese cake tasted really good but looked brown instead of white.

If you want to save some money:
If you order coffee with your food ask for the 200 yen discount and not the A-set (same coffee 40 yen more expensive).
Wednesday is ladies day with 10% off (it says ladies only but I went with my boyfriend and we both got the discount).

About the ingredients:
They do not use meat, eggs, milk or white sugar, but they do use fish stock and honey. The non-veggie dishes are clearly marked. If there is a fish mark next to a set menu this means there is fish broth in the miso soup AND in the side dishes. The drinks with honey are called soy-kinako-honey and ginger-honey so that’s crystal clear as well.

About the concept:
I must say I don’t really see the point in leaving out nearly but not completely everything that is not vegan. Staff had no interest in or knowledge of HappyCow or veganism. We arrived one minute past LO once and we were not allowed in anymore, not even for dessert or a drink, and they could not recommend any other veg-friendly cafe or restaurant in the neighbourhood.

Others:
There is an English menu.
I like the interior. Very cosy, but with lots of space. The cutest place is meant for families and if you don't bring kids you're not allowed in, not even if the rest of the restaurant is full. It's often full at noon so go early or be prepared to wait for 30 minutes+.

Updated from previous review on 2014-07-17

Pros: Good food, Cosy but spacey, Centrally located near Kawaramachi

Cons: Fish broth and honey, Long wait, Unhelpful and sometimes unfriendly staff

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Visited 1x, 2x, and probably 3x - Edit

Cafe mumokuteki was an awesome find, especially for a vegan who was trying to get his "Japan legs" and finding it difficult. Some of the best vegan food I've had in Japan. I am going back to Kyoto today and I'm pretty sure I'll be eating there a 3rd time despite the other options in the city. I won't bore you, just go. Its close to Nishiki market and chances are that you're going to visit there if you go to Kyoto.

Its above the their clothes store

Would give 5 stars but absolutely respect the happy cow rating system.

Pros: Environment, English menu, Items containing fish clearly marked

Cons: Maybe pricey for some? , A little tricky to find

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Favourite restaurant in Kyoto so far - Edit

I've lived in Kyoto for almost five months, and Mumokuteki is the restaurant I always find myself going back to. It's a nice restaurant with a cozy atmosphere, conveniently close to teramachi-dori shopping arcade.

The staff are generally friendly and there is an English menu available, though at the time of writing this menu is slightly confusing. It lists both a Lunch and Brunch menu, but the Brunch menu is actually the dinner menu (as I found out when I tried to order on my first visit). The staff understands just a little English, but generally I think one can get by without Japanese. If you don't speak Japanese, pointing at the menu while smiling seems to work, according to someone I met there today.

Note that there are some items on the menu which contain fish, but these are clearly marked and thus easy to avoid.

The food itself is divine. I've been here at least ten times (possibly more often) and only once when it was very busy did I get something that was cold and too greasy (my two friends at the same table ordered the exact same food and theirs was warm and not greasy, so I think I just had some bad luck).

The vegetarian tonkotsu ramen/soy milk ramen is the best I've had so far - I would absolutely recommend this to everyone. The avocado burger is also worth checking out if you'd prefer something more Western-style, and the soy milk chai is also very agreeable.

A note: I visited this restaurant with my Buddhist vegetarian friend, who can't eat leek, garlic, onion and certain other herbs in addition to meat and fish, and she could choose several items from the menu as well. In case any strict Buddhist vegetarians are reading this, I thought it was worth mentioning as I know it can be hard. It would still be best to ask the waiter or waitress for advice, but as I write this review they have options open for you.

The only potential negative is the waiting time - on busy days it can take up to thirty minutes to be seated. This restaurant is well worth the wait, though, so if you have time, please give them a chance.

Pros: Good food, Vegetarian and vegan options available

Cons: Sometimes you have to wait to be seated, The English menu is slightly confusing

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My favorite restaurant in Kyoto - Edit

This restaurant has a good location, big menu choice and they serve food all day long. We went there 5 times, tried different meals and almost everything was delicious (I didn't like some vegetables included in the Japanese set). Avocado hamburger with spicy potato was great. Also for lunch they have a salad bar (tomatoes, greens, beans, algues, onion), so you can serve as much as you want - closed after 3pm.
For dinner there is a big queue usually, so be prepare to wait 20-30 minutes.

Pros: Central location, good value, great food

Cons: long waiting time to be seated

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Fantastic desserts! - Edit

I order the parfait which was incredible! Huge portion, and yet still healthy (they include the calorie count for all desserts and drinks!). I also had the limited edition soy milkshake which was sooo deliciously chocolately and rich, and yet only 170cal.
The only thing that could make this place better would be if they went fully vegan! The space is also really cute.

Pros: dessert variety, tasty, cheap

Cons: busy, so expect a wait to be seated, non vegan main meals :(

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Awesome Dinner in Kyoto! - Edit

After discovering Cafe Matsuontoko was booked out for the evening (disappointing for us, AWESOME for them), we made our way around the corner to Mumokuteki.

We were seated promptly in the couch area and given English menus, clearly denoting which items contained fish stock. I had the tofu burger set which was tasty and satisfying for under 1000 yen!

Hoping to head back to this little gem before leaving Kyoto, for the atmosphere, staff and food.

Pros: Many vegan options, Great atmosphere, Friendly staff

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A quiet spot in Kyoto downtown - Edit

A great place if further up the mall than suggested by the map. I had the avocado tofu burger which was a treat and appropriately messy to eat! Lots of locals enjoying the food here too.

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