• Vegan Vegan
    ( 22 reviews )

Marikooji St, Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto-style Japanese organic restaurant, at 京都府京都市左京区吉田牛ノ宮町25-12, which is north of Higashi Ichijo St, 2 blocks west of Yoshida Shrine, east of Maruta. Serves vegan meals plus sake and herbal refreshments. Hosts music and events. Note: kitchen may stop serving 30-60 minutes prior to closing, check ahead. Open Mon-Wed 11:30am-2:30pm, Wed 6:00pm-9:00pm, Fri-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm, Fri-Sat 6:00pm-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan, Japanese, Macrobiotic, Organic, Beer/Wine

22 Reviews

First Review by kakusandha

Delicious and homey - Edit

I stepped in from the February cold to receive a warm welcome. Opted for the lunch set menu and was very pleased. Everything was fresh and delicious. Recommended.

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great overall experience - Edit

Padma restaurant is run by a really kind woman who does all the cooking.

Everything was delicious. The fried tempeh is to die for (I am still thinking about it two weeks later).

Must try!

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just great - Edit

if the place is full it might take a little while cause the women does everything by herself, but the lunch plate was just absolutely great. Best vegan place I have been to in Kyoto. Would strongly recommend this place! But beware of the opening hours :)

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Great Food made with TLC - Edit

One woman seemed to do everything, greet, sit, take orders, and cook/prepare everything. And it was all really tasty. We walked in early and were lucky to get a table. Since it’s small reservations seem prudent. Will be going back!

Pros: excellent food

Cons: small place.

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Excellent - Edit

Decided to check this place out and loved it!

Arrived a little late and the lady could easily have turned us away but she welcomed us inside.

We had the ¥1,800 set menu and it was really, really good. So many great flavours with a nice variety of ingredients. Washed it down with a couple of nice cool beers and some organic wine.

I really liked the vibe, the friendly / welcoming service and - of course - the food.

Definitely somewhere to check out for the vegan in Kyoto! Highly recommended!

Pros: great value, super nice service , cool music

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Very nice - Edit

Padma's food made us smile for the rest of the evening. Lovely prepared, fresh meal. Thank you so much!

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Love the ramen - Edit

Padma is a lovely restaurant that I really enjoyed. I loved their gluten-free, brown rice ramen cooked in soy's probably the best ramen I've ever had. I also tried a soy milk with apple juice, which was much needed on a hot day like this.

The sign outside the door isn't super obvious, but look for the HappyCow sticker and you'll know you're at the right place. The staff speaks English.

If you're already in the area I also highly recommend that you check out the Kamo River. You can actually go down and sit on rocks in the middle of the river. How cool is that! And of course I enjoyed some solo time there while devouring the vegan cookies I got from Padma.

Pros: amazing food, friendly staff

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Macrobiotic Japanese and Asian inspired food - Edit

Padma is one of my favorite spots in Kyoto. It is homey and warm, the food is consistently flavorful and delicious, and the owner is friendly and welcoming. She is the only cook in the restaurant so service can be slow at times but I like to go there to chill and relax for the evening. Try her delicious cold ramen during summer. Topped with grilled tempeh, fresh summer vegetables and dowsed in a chilled creamy sesame miso broth, it is easily my favorite noodle dish in Kyoto. Her set meals are also plated beautifully and absolutely delicious. I just wish she has more dessert options! Otherwise really amazing place with wholesome food.

Updated from previous review on 2017-07-18

Pros: Delicious and beautifully plated meals, Cozy and warm vibe, Friendly staff

Cons: Waiting times can be slow

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Healthy Japanese assortment! - Edit

Good to have proper Japanese food with variety. We loved it here, the lunch was perfect.. I think I ordered too much! Thanks

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Amazing food cooked with love! - Edit

hidden gem of a spot... quite chill the 3 times i've been here which means your food is lovingly cooked, and you can taste the difference. homey vibe. pleasant atmosphere. i recommend the "peaceful dinner plate" with perfectly portioned servings of wonderful japanese dishes. So good that i havent tried anything else on the menu. wed, fri, and sat are dinner hours. enjoy!

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Delightful and delicious - Edit

This was a real gem in Kyoto, so great I'm tempted to go back. I had a vegan macrobiotic lunch for some 1200 yen, my partner had the vegan lunch for 1300. It was one of the cheapest, and perhaps tastiest meal we had in Japan. The lady was very nice, the local beautiful. Food healthy, delicately flavoured and savourful japanese food.

Pros: Food, price

Cons: location

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Friendly, tasty - Edit

This place has a great atmosphere. Contrary to earlier reviews, I found it open at the advertised time. (But yes, opening hours in Japanese restaurants seem to be unreliable.) Everything I had was absolutely delicious, including the dessert (yes, no big choice, but this one cake was great).

Pros: Food, Ambience

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Told me she was closed - Edit

I walked for an hour to get here, there were 3 people at the counter, 7.20pm on Wednesday night (it should be open 6pm to 9pm on Wednesdays apparently), a lady there said she is closed now, she's going to cook food somewhere else. I'm so sick of places just closing because they feel like it, finding an open vegan restaurant in Japan is just pot luck.

Cons: Just be open as your advertised hours.

1 Response
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Stevie 26 Sep 2016 - Hi Eric,

Sounds like a bummer that you missed out. Food on this joint is ace. Maybe ring them up with something like Skype to ask if they are open?

Best wishes,

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Padma, Kyoto - Edit

This place was great. Two of us went and each ordered a different mixed plate that were on sale for us to share (to try as many different tastes as possible). This was delicious food. Nice vibe also. One was 1500 yen and one was 1800 yen. There's much cheaper dishes on the menu but what the heck.

Pros: 100% vegan, Fab food, Nice vibe

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Lovely - Edit

We went there after as a second choice after we found that Sunny Place was inexplicably closed that day (boo!).

Tasty food in a cosy environment. I'd give this a 3 and a half if I could since I did enjoy my meal but the only thing I was criticise was there seemed to be only one choice of dessert. I would have liked more choice…

Pros: Non-smoking

Cons: Limited dessert choices :(

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Good food - Edit

Visited for lunch. Not many options but had the standard lunch set. Had about 5-7 items with rice. Delicious food, and good host. Price slightly on the higher side at 1300 JPY for the food but probably because of the number of items.

Would probably visit again if other nearby places are closed in case you are eating regularly, but if you are visiting Kyoto, then I think you can visit. The food was delicious. The service was a bit on the slower side if you are in a hurry.
They are also open on 3 nights a week, wednesdays and i forgot the other days (maybe friday and sunday). Closed on saturdays for lunch.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday February 16, 2016

Pros: Good food, spacious, Nice host

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  Contributions +17

Welcoming and delicious! - Edit

We recently visited Kyoto for a few days over the Christmas holiday, and our meal at Padma was one of the highlights of our trip. I joined Happy Cow just for the opportunity to review it!

First of all, please note the place is a little hard to find because the sign is very small. "Padma" is written on a small stanchion, placed on the sidewalk outside the door. It is NOT the place indicated by the reviewer below, who is describing the bar/restaurant next door, which is easily identifiable by their distinctive decor (the hubcaps and industrial tubing). We walked in to that bar based on the reviewer's description, asked for the vegan dinner, and their waitstaff directed us next door, to Padma, which is a small, casual place with a counter and some little tables.

Everything about Padma was warm and inviting. We were the only diners there that evening, and in some places that might feel awkward-- but not Padma! Yuka treated us like family. She served us up some sake and we ordered the dinner set, on her recommendation. It was a delight to watch her cook everything up before our eyes, and it was so delicious! The style of the food seemed traditional, but the flavors and textures were unique and surprising and out-of-this-world!

To make things even better, Yuka told us about other places we should check out in Kyoto, and was very generous with her time and attention. We felt like royalty, and left knowing we had enjoyed a truly authentic meal with a generous and passionate host.

Please eat at Padma. It is well worth the excursion! Modestly priced, too. Please note that last service is at 8:30pm.

Pros: The food!, The host!, You will feel special!

Cons: None.

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Cozy neighborhood place - Edit

Location & directions: from Keihan Railway Demachiyanagi station, walk four blocks east (away from Kamo river) on Imadegawa -dori. Turn right at traffic light and walk 3-4 blocks south through residential area. The restaurant , on the left at the fork in the road , has a small hand written sign "Vegan set" and a tattered nori curtain over the entrance.

Ambiance and menu:This is a funky homey place with sliding glass doors open to the street, on the ground floor, with mismatched furniture, an open kitchen and counter decorated with old hubcaps and industrial tubing. The day we visited all menu items except one were crossed off the chalkboard, so we had the lunch set with rice, dal, veggie tempura , pickled squash. I also bought a small vegan scone , very tasty , to take away. The tempura was great--not salty or oily --but I was surprised not to even place an order. The waitstaff just kindly showed us to our seats (an old sofa) , served us water and then lunch: 500 yen for the set.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday October 07, 2015

Updated from previous review on Wednesday October 07, 2015

Pros: Vegan, Inexpensive

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MyVeganJoy 09 Oct 2015 - Nancy, that does not sound like Padma AT ALL. first off all, there is no "tattered nori curtain over the entrance". There is NO couch, and they have 2 floors. There is NO way the set meal was 500 yen... I haven't seen prices like that in Kyoto/Japan at all, it doesn't even sound realistic. Padma would be at least 1200 yen per person... Did you meet the owner Hisano-san? She would be your only chef and would definitely take your order... and she might have another lady with a bob haircut serve you... I don't know if you are completely confused or being malicious, but there door is wooden, their layout is completely not what you've described, and they don't have anything for 500 yen for sure... If you didn't actually go to Padma, and know for sure it was Padma (impossible from your description) then please remove your false review so you don't confuse others.  

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SandN 18 Jan 2016 - Dear Nancy,
The place you are describing is not Padma, it is the bar/restaurant next door to Padma. We went there based on your description, and were directed to the right place by the waitstaff. It seemed like a cool place, though!
Will you please update your review so that others aren't confused? The night we went there, the place you described, which I believe is called Muraya, didn't seem to be offering any vegan or vegetarian food.  

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MyVeganJoy 15 Aug 2016 - You are reviewing MURAYA, and NOT Padma. Muraya is an eatery nearby that shows up on Google Maps when you search for Padma, but it's a mistake. Muraya serves a 500 vegan lunch, but it's still NOT Padma. You got the wrong place.  

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Fancy delicious vegan organic food! - Edit

We had a great time at Padma! The meals were exquisite, unique, delicious made from local organic ingredients. The talented chef - Japanese lady - is great to talk to and can make Japanese and Thai dishes. Very good time! All vegan :)

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Great food - Edit

The adress on this site (HappyCow) was wrong, when we visited end of July 2015, but its right on the web-site. So please check out before you go!

We had a great lunch, 100 % handmade from the buttom, and 100 % vegan. A nice and local restaurant, with pationate owner and employees.

The food were excellent with many different flawour.

Absolutely recommendable and WORTH visiting.

Thanks for a great experience.

LHJ from Denmark

Pros: The food, The staff, passionate vegans

Cons: Not much space, A long way from center of Kyoto.

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BEST vegan restaurant in Japan!!! :) - Edit

My partner, a few friends and I were in Japan for a month last year and were in Kyoto for a week - we tried a range of great restaurants while in Kyoto (and the whole of Japan!) - but Padma Zen was by far our absolute favourite!!

We ate here 5 times - the owner is so lovely and would make us up the most delicious meals! We tried a variety of dishes - but sorry to say I don't know what any of them are because the menu is all in Japanese. The good news is EVERYTHING is vegan so we didn't need to worry just said to her to give us whatever she recommended. We had a mixed plate which was sensational. Some soups and amazing variety of noodle dishes - there was one that was creamy with these crunchy noodles on top - mind blowing!!

We usually sit at the bar and chat to other customers and to the wonderful chef. It was truly our favourite restaurant on all our worldwide travels and were so sad to leave!

I highly recommend this place to anyone who is in Kyoto - you won't regret it!

At the bar one night we were eating there, we starting chatting to a fellow from Europe and he said he lived in Kyoto and ate there nearly everyday - I asked him if he was vegetarian or vegan and he said no why do you ask? I said because this is a vegan restaurant! and he said oh he had no idea, he just came here because the food was sensational! :)

I love the decor and ambience of the restaurant and it was even open on Christmas which is where we had our Christmas dinner :) They also serve alcohol which is great. The opening hours above say they're only open for dinner on Friday or Saturday - however when we went they were open for dinner every night - so not sure if this is accurate or if it has changed?

HIGHLY recommend!!! I have reviewed many restaurants on Happy Cow - but I have never given any a 5 star rating - until now! Well deserved 5 stars to Padma Zen :) - I can't wait to return to Kyoto to eat here again!

Pros: EVERYTHING!!!, Food, Staff, Decor


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Superb Casual Japanese Vegan Cuisine - Edit

Conveniently located near the main campus of Kyoto University. The daily menu comprises several creative vegan interpretations of customary Japanese preparations, including shokado bento. Everything is freshly made to order by the chef in an open kitchen. Proteins include tofu, leguminosae, gluten, and also they offer a great tempe, made by the redoubtable Rustono in Shiga Prefecture.

A relaxed setting for delicious cruelty-free food, Padma easily ranks among the finest all-vegan Japanese restaurants in Kyoto, the rest of Japan, or anywhere in the world, and perhaps takes first place for a casual, unpretentious, and inexpensive meal. Very highly recommended.

Currently (early 2015) Padma is open for lunch only.

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