Little cafe tucked away in the back streets serving lunch and dinner. Offers salads, fried soy meat bowl, a vegan plate that changes according to the season, burgers, and other Japanese dishes. In the afternoon there's high tea with cakes. Sake, beer and wine available. Chef owned, English is spoken. Lunchtime can be very busy, so reservations are advised. Open Mon 11:00am-5:00pm, Wed-Fri 11:00am-5:00pm, Sat 11:00am-8:00pm, Sun 11:00am-5:00pm. Closed Tue.

Venue map for Onwa
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100 Reviews

First Review by Stella774


Points +15

29 Sep 2023

Great taste!

Nice atmosphere, great food! We had the Karage Bowl - nice texture and flavor 10/10



Points +52

21 Sep 2023

Great Little Nook with Friendly Service and Amazing Food

This place is only a five to ten minute walk from the station. It is there, don't worry! Just past another restaurant as you head south. Sneak in past the fence and be prepared to be greeted with smiling faces. A large variety of bakery sweets. Figs, chestnut, chocolate, banana, Japanese pear, etc. Can't remember them all. The fig (which was made fresh that day) was especially delicious and the chocolate was on par with the best of the vegan chocolate cakes I've had in Japan or the US.

I got the tacos and the rice bowl with the "fried chicken." This place didn't overly salt the crispy gluten chunks (I've noticed this trend at other places). Awesome presentation, delicious masa tacos, and all the traditional Japanese pickles. It was my birthday (thus the chocolate and fig cake indulgence) and they gave me a little candle, took my picture, and played a fun upbeat birthday song. Super English friendly, this was a truly wonderful experience! After you see all of Nara and climb the hill (I would get to Nara by 6:30 or 7 if you are coming from Osaka), don't even think about eating a different meal before getting to Onwa on the way back to the station (okay, not quite on the way back, but only a ten minute detour)!


Points +42

25 Aug 2023

A hidden gem (pinnacle of artisan vegan food)

This cafe is everything you can ever ask out of artisan vegan dining. It combines novel recipes (everything made from scratch) with international and local cultural staples (like basque cheesecake) to create a menu that is neither too large to maintain consistency or too small to feel restricted. The place is clean and artsy. The food is incredible and uses quality ingredients. The fried food is not too greasy, the desserts are flavorful without being overly sweet. Matcha was fantastic and the atmosphere was hipster and cozy. Passing this spot up would be a missed opportunity to say the least.

Pros: Desserts made from scratch , Matcha, Turnip cakes


Points +79

14 Aug 2023

from onwa stff 💕

We will be closed today, 8/15 due to a typhoon.
We will be open from Wednesday, August 16th.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Updated from previous review on 2023-08-13


Points +76

12 Aug 2023

Hidden gem

This small but comfortable restaurant has superb all vegan food and a very nice staff. I went there with my family in my birthday, Highest rating!!


Points +20

12 Aug 2023


Fantastic food, great atmosphere.

Pros: Food , Atmosphere , Price


Points +999

28 Jul 2023

Loved it! 🌱💞

This is such a calm and friendly place. We came here for lunch and stayed about two hours because it was so relaxing and nice. :)
The food was great, we had the karaage bowl and a suuuper yummy blueberry cheese cake matcha latte for dessert. Everything was lovely! Highly recomend it!

Pros: All vegan, Delicious food & cute place, English speaking staff + english menu


Points +24

09 Jul 2023


Incredible restaurant tucked away in the back streets. Delicious food, great flavours and friendly staff. Must try the plum wine!!


Points +63

07 Jul 2023

Hidden Gem!

Onwa blew us away with fresh, colorful, delicious food. We dined upstairs and went to town with: turnip cake, Karage, Veg Delight plate, and Karage bowls. All were amazing. Homemade kombucha too. We sampled nearly all their desserts, too: basque cheesecake, berry cheesecake, matcha cheesecake, and melon tart. A perfect spot for our first night in Nara and a birthday celebration.

Pros: Great flavor!, Colorful & seasonal, Cool vibe & tunes


Points +50

17 Jun 2023

Great lunch spot

I got off the train at Nara station and made a very short walk to this place after checking happy cow. Glad I did! The staff was exceptionally friendly. The food was delicious and healthy with a variety of fresh veggies, rice, and vegan protein. Price point was also totally reasonable for what you get. Don’t miss this one when you’re in Nara!

Pros: Nutritionally balanced meal, Super friendly staff, Cute and quiet environment


Points +104

03 Jun 2023


Super delicious and yummy food. My non-vegan friend also loved what she got as well. A great place to stop at before visiting the park


Points +65

28 May 2023

Very nice food and staff

We had very good experience!
Food is very esthetic


Points +751

25 May 2023

delicious & satisfying

We ate lunch here before spending the day in Nara. It’s quite convenient to the Nara JR station and east to find with google maps. The staff is friendly and welcoming. English menu is available and staff speak some English too. The food is delicious! And there’s a calm and cozy vibe in the small rooms upstairs (two rooms, each with two 4-person tables for floor seating on cushions).

We tried the medium and large portions of the karaage bowl. If you’re pretty hungry, I’d go for large. Desserts looked tasty but we didn’t try them. You have to order a dessert and tea set if you want to enjoy desserts at the restaurant. Otherwise you can order just dessert for takeaway.

Highly recommend visiting while in Nara!

Updated from previous review on 2023-05-25

Pros: Convenient location , Delicious food, Calm and relaxed vibe


Points +45

22 May 2023

Delish, charming and in back streets

I had a bit of trouble finding/getting into this place, but it was well worth it. Delicious karaage bowl, exactly what I needed after a long day, and refreshing iced matcha latte that came in what was basically a bowl! Staff spoke English and were lovely/helpful. Definitely recommend.

Pros: Food/drink, Staff, Atmosphere

Cons: Location/ease of getting to.


Points +359

14 May 2023

one of our fave meals in Japan :)

So delicious and charming. This place is a short walk from the Nara JR station. After a longgggg day in the park and striking out at another place nearby, we came here and had an incredible lunch. The food is delicious. The karaage is out of this world. We also had a couple of pastries that were delicious as well! Service is lovely. Eat here if you are in Nara!!


Points +747

14 May 2023

Great spot for lunch

I had a very relaxed lunch here! The karaage bowl was delicious and I appreciated Four Tet playing in the background. Only con is that the pies are not cheap (700-1100¥ excl tax for a small piece)

Updated from previous review on 2023-05-14

Pros: Cute place, Delicious meals

Cons: Expensive pastries


Points +225

14 May 2023

Delicious food and great service!

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Japan so far! I loved the food, and the desserts look amazing. I tried the cheese cake, and it was amazing. Tea is also really good.

The staff is extremely nice. They really go out of their way to make you feel good and help you with anything you need. They even called a taxi for me, since I was carrying a huge bag. So nice 😊


Points +79

15 Apr 2023

Really good food and pastries!

Loved the food and the pastries!

Pros: Great food and pastries!


Points +46

09 Apr 2023

Delicious food and wonderful staff!

The food was absolutely delicious, with lots of vegan cakes and sweets as well. All staff were so lovely and so accommodating. Such a cute little cafe, very welcoming


Points +69

23 Nov 2022

Tasty little spot

Found this place on HappyCow - nicest vegan food we had in Japan. We had the happy lunch set - so many different tasty bits with good protein content too. We topped it off with a sweet each and some tea

Pros: Delicious food , Lots of vegan sweet options , Cosy atmosphere


Points +133

21 Nov 2022

High Quality Karaage Don and Desert

Found this place while in Nara, and while it was a bit of a walk from the sights and deer, it was extremely worth the walk there!

Partner and I ordered large Karaage Dons, and found this to be more than enough food, with a variety of nice vegetables in the bowl, a large bed of rice, and a plentiful serving of the Chick'n itself (which was some of the best I've had, period).

Finished it off by sharing a Creme Brûlée Parfait, which was also of a high quality, and left feeling very well-fed.

Updated from previous review on 2022-11-21

Pros: High quality food , Great atmosphere and staff, Reasonably priced

Cons: A little out of the way from the sights of Nara


Points +317

15 Sep 2022

Everything was perfect!

Delicious vegan and gluten free food, lovely staff, amazing cakes. Yummy!


Points +273

14 Aug 2022

one of the best vegan places in Nara!

a very cute vegan place in Nara! they have delicious lunch plates and really amazing cake! the parfait is one of the best ones I've ever eaten.

Pros: many different cakes, seasonal vegetables/fruits used, kind staff :)


Points +2897

21 Feb 2022

Lovely cafe

Been wanting to come here for a long time based on the excellent reviews. Amazing food and great service. Thoroughly recommended.
Don’t forget to order some cakes!!

Updated from previous review on 2021-12-30

Pros: Relaxed vibe and friendly staff


Points +275

17 Jan 2022

Great food but best to reserve

Visited for a friend's birthday lunch on January 9th 2022.
Onwa is quite small and get's very popular on weekends and holidays so it's best to reserve if you can. We reserved and were seated in a private room upstairs (floor seating). The food was fantastic as usual. I had the vegan delight plate, mikan soda and fruit Tarte. Everything was fresh and delicious.
I think the prices for the main dishes are on par with most vegan restaurants in Japan, but the cakes are a little pricey, so it can get expensive if you have main, dessert and drink like we did. The bill came to about 3,300yen each.
The young male member of staff was very friendly and communicated quite well in English with the non-Japanese speaking member of our party.

Pros: Delicious food and cakes, Convenient location for JR Nara Station, Helpful staff

Cons: A bit expensive, Location far from Kintetsu station & Nara Park, Can get very busy


Points +198

11 Jan 2022


We waited our food ONE hour after driving from Nagoya for almost 2 hours and half, we were starving, but as we were waiting our friend there, we were patient, but one hour?
When the food came we couldn’t believe that. The set was with hamburger, but the hamburger was too small, very small portion of rice, some vegetables, a salad with no tomato (???) and two pieces of fried soy chicken COLD, btw, all the hot dishes were cold, unbelievable, for ¥1800? For those who don’t like to seat on the floor I don’t recommend to go to upstairs, it’s uncomfortable, specially for old people. The cakes were good, but pricey! When I went to pay, the male staff asked sorry for the long wait but he didn't even give a discount for that. The male staff was friendly, the lady wasn’t friendly at all. Our lunch was very expensive and we left the restaurant hungry. I was following them on Instagram for years and I was so excited to go there to have their food, but it was a disappointing experience.

Pros: Cakes are good

Cons: Tasteless, cold food, Long wait, expensive


Points +257

08 Jan 2022

The rave reviews are correct

Happy Cow used to list the wrong hours, so I barged in 90 minutes after the place had closed and everyone was preparing to go home. The chef revved up the kitchen and made me a spectacular bento. It was so good I went back the next day for more. Easily the best vegan food in Nara.

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