Yasai Cafe Meguri

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 18 reviews )

Tochigi-ken Nikkō-shi Nakahatsuishimachi 909, Nikko, Japan

This small restaurant with 10 seats is run by a couple, and the food is 100% vegan. The menu is very simple, just a "teishoku," like a "menu of the day". The number of food portions is limited, so reservation is suggested. On weekends, it's first come-first-served basis. Large drink menu is large, and vegan sweets are available. The "teishoku" costs approx. 1280 yen on weekdays, and 1380 weekends (drinks extra). Note: kitchen may stop serving 30-60 minutes prior to closing, check ahead. Open Mon-Wed 11:30am-5:00pm, Sat 12:00pm-6:00pm, Sun 11:30am-5:00pm.

Categories: Vegan, Japanese

18 Reviews

First Review by Ricardo

Very nice - Edit

This was a hard Cafe to get into. The first time we were turned away. But we were determined to eat at the only vegan Cafe in Nikko, so returned a couple of days later. Several people were turned away after us, so we were lucky. Very nice old building with traditional seating. Food did not disappoint.

Pros: Lovely setting and really nice food. Only one sta

Cons: Hard to get into so have a back up plan.

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stopped serving food over 2 hours before closing - Edit

We went (walked a long way in the freezing cold) and they had already stopped serving food at 3:30pm

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OK food - Edit

Went to this place for a lunch. There was only the one option left since the other 2 choices of meals had already sold out. The food itself was OK. I wouldn’t rush to go back there.

The thing that bothered me was the shoe rules. I’m OK with having to take one’s shoes off for a place like this, however, if the place is providing slip-on shoes for your use while you’re there, you need to make the rules clear. It seemed that there were two sets of shoes for two different purposes, one for walking around in the restaurant and one for outside (so you can go to their toilet). The manager got upset with us for using the wrong shoes for the wrong things. They need to realise that most of their customers may not know their rules or intentions and should therefore make it clear so as not to confuse people.

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delicious food, service is slow - Edit

This is a cosy little restaurant on the Main Street of Nikko. It is easy to find, however be prepared to wait out in the boiling sun for a table to free up. Once inside, it took about 15 mins before they brought the menu over, and 20 mins before they took our order. After that, it took another half an hour for our food to actually arrive, and one of the dishes was incorrect. The chef happily remade the dish as what we wanted. Overall the experience wasn't the best but I am rating this restaurant 3 stars because the food was amazing and the staff were really kind.

Pros: delicious food

Cons: long wait time

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Great organic food made with lots of attention - Edit

We came here twice during our stay in Nikko and really enjoyed the food. We were given 2 choices each day a platter set (Y1400) or a yuba set (Y1600). I really like the sprouted rice which had a nutty flavour. The yuba set is rather unique, but some people may find it too plain.

You can tell each meal is made with a lot of care, but that also means a long wait. Seats are limited. We had to come back 30 min later on the first day and we were glad we did. It is a good lunch break on a hot summer day.

Over all, it is a wonderful and unique food experience.

Pros: Fully vegan, Fresh and wholesome

Cons: Limited seats, Long waiting time for the food to be prepared

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great place - Edit

Japanese vegan food, we had a choice between two meals of the day which we both liked. You can sit on the floor in traditional japanese style, service is traditional and friendly. Would definitely recommend! It was a great addition to our lovely daytrip to Nikko :) about 2000 yen per person for the leal, extra for drinks, depends on what you order.

Pros: everything vegan, traditional japanese food and eating experience

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beautiful little spot - Edit

Very small place with a beautiful interior. Had the Yuba lunch plate and it was extremely filling. Also got to have a banana chocolate chip muffin! (I was very excited because it was the first pastry I had in Japan!) the server gave us an English menu and tried very hard to speak English to us.

Pros: easy to find. on main road., beautiful interior

Cons: small

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Authentic lunch set - Edit

Fantastic to have this little lunch spot in Nikko, not too far from the key sights and on the main street.

Food was plentiful and tasty - traditional Japanese cuisine with a choice of two set menus.

English menu available and staff easy to communicate with. Tatami matted, small restaurant with great character

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Awesome!!! - Edit

Restaurant provides only lunch set with limited option. Food is fresh and the taste is awesome but it is a bit take time to prepare each dish.

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A must in nikko - Edit

Serves pure vegan dish. For lunch, only set menu can be chosen.
Orange cake is very special and tasty.

Cons: A little bit expensive.

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Excellent Vegan Spot in Nikko - Edit

A very unassuming, peaceful, Japanese-style restaurant located on the Main Street of Nikko. Look for the corner store with the sign that says: "Oriental Fine Arts & Curios - Kobayashi Art Trading Co., Ltd." (see photos). Relaxing atmosphere with approximately 18 seats. Delicious food prepared fresh so it does take a bit longer but it's so worth the wait. Beautiful presentation and great fresh juices (again, see photos). Set menu options (there were 2 selections during our visit) but everyone was happily satisfied (1 vegan, 1 vegetarian, 2 omnivores). Highly recommended

Pros: Delicious, well-presented food, Very relaxed, cool vibe, Friendly, attentive staff

Cons: Could use 1 or 2 more staff members, Limited options (but all delicious!), Can be a bit difficult to find (see review/photos)

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everything was great!... except food was boring? - Edit

I think that this place gets good review because it has a special atmosphere, good service, and a general attention to detail (with everything- the food, the seating, the menu, the service, the room). But I was disappointed with the set lunch. I was taking my family out and I hoped that I could show them that vegan food can be delicious and interesting and filling. But what we got was some vegetables, a bowl of rice, some soup, and a type of samosa thing. It kind of just played into the stereotype that all vegans eat is chopped vegetables. Everyone left overcarbed and undersatisfied

Pros: great atmosphere, good service, quality food

Cons: hard to find, expensive drinks, lunch only, unoriginal food,, limited options, limited seating

1 Response
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paulkates 13 Aug 2016 - Hmm...sounds like there was a definite expectation gap - sorry to hear. Please keep in mind that this restaurant only uses seasonal/fresh/organic ingredients so perhaps your experience was affected by this in some way. We were a party of 4 (1 vegan, 1 vegetarian, and 2 omnivores) and everyone not only LOVED what they had but also walked out more than satisfied. Maybe give them another try the next time you're in Nikko :)  

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A little gem - Edit

As others have pointed out, the cafe is not easy to spot, so watch out for the building posted in the photo-section. There's also a small wooden plate "Meguri" and when you look beyond it you can see the entrance and a blackboard before it saying something about "vegan food".
This is a japanese restaurant, vegan style, so you get a tray full of little delicacies that are freshly prepared that day. A rare opportunity to try japanese food, as normally almost all japanese food is preprared with dashi - fish broth.
I liked the experience very much! The owners are very friendly and seemingly vegans themselves.
They prepare a certain amount of food, and when it is sold out, it is sold out. So when you have fixed plans to go there, you better call ahead or let your guesthouse make a reservation.

Pros: Unique food, Reasonable prices, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Hard to find, Can sell out fast

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Sold out after 2hours, sent home hungry! - Edit

I searched the restaurant from the main street on the way to the temples, but I could not find it. So on my way back two hours later I came back and saw it (it is easier to find there because its front does not face the main street.) I came there totally hungry, only to find that the restaurant was sold out. The sign outside said its open from 12to 18h and it was 14:10h!!!! Are you kidding me? The man told me it is sold out, appologized shortly and lost attaintion. The other vegetarian friendly restaurant on the other side was closed as well. I asked in a few other restaurabt and finally found something after communicating for 10min with the friendly stuff.

I need to.say the food looks really good, but it is no.way to treat customers like that. I was totally frustrated afterwards which made my trip a little less rememberable.

Pros: food looked good

Cons: sells out too early

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Good food, all vegan - Edit

Location: on Nikko's Main Street , just before the Shinkyo sacred bridge, in an old building with an English sign "Oriental Fine Art...Trading Company." There's a small wooden sign on the entrance with the name of the cafe.

Food and ambiance: friendly, stylish interior with a few natural food and body care products for sale. Serves a set meal for lunch, (about 1100 yen) coffee, tea and desserts. We arrived when all the set meals were sold out, but the owner-chef offered to make us a veg curry. It was delicious . I also bought fresh baked banana nut muffins to take out.

Pros: All vegan , Fresh local ingredients , Beautiful ceramic tableware

Cons: Lunch only

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Amazing Food! - Edit

I was visiting Nikko for the first time in March 2013, and this restaurant was recommended by the Hostel owners when I was emailing before my trip started. I emailed Yasai Cafe Meguri to make a reservation and didn't hear back, but when I arrived at my Hostel, the owners said they contacted the Cafe and a reservation would be ok. They drove me there and spoke to the owner. I am so glad I booked, as it was all sold out for the day and I would have missed out on this amazing meal.

The Cafe is on the main road in Nikko and although it doesn't look like a Cafe, it is pretty distinctive on the road! It's on the left hand side if you're walking away from the World Heritage Site towards the train stations.

There are only a few tables, I think they make around 10 meals a day, and it was fully booked this Friday lunchtime with everyone arriving shortly after I arrived, all sat and waiting by 12pm. There is one meal on the menu and you can choose to have it with or without tea and cake. I chose with! The service took a little while, especially those who arrived last (still only 5 minutes after I arrived) as it was only the owner and his wife doing all the preparation. It was so worth the wait, though, as the food was the best I ate on that whole trip in Japan.

My course consisted of tempura tofu in the most incredible creamy sauce, with a white cabbage soup (amazing!), some potato in a sticky sauce with black sesame seeds and sweet potato in a different sauce. it was accompanied by brown rice and bean shoot salad. Dessert was a tofu cheesecake and tea. The food was delicate, full of flavour and love and of a Michelin standard. The portions were not enormous, but it wasn't about quantity, simply quality.

The other 7 guests that day were all Japanese, and many others came to get a table only to be turned away. Please do book well in advance as it is popular, and my Hostel hosts said it is the best restaurant in Nikko, vegan or otherwise.

The owners were very polite and spoke a little English. They also sold a few natural products and foods at the entrance.

The building is so beautiful and a peaceful atmosphere. Needless to say I cannot wait to return to Nikko to visit the amazingly scenic sites and eat at Yasai Cafe Meguri again.

Pros: Amazing quality food, Beautiful setting, Inventive and special cooking

Cons: Must book!, Only serve lunch

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Exceptional food - Edit

This place is fantastic. When we arrived, they had already sold out for lunch, but were still willing to serve us as they couldn't think of anywhere else we could get a good vegetarian meal nearby. There is western and Japanese style seating. The crockery is wonderful soapstone stuff. The set lunch (800JPY) is very filling and varied, with lots of complimentary flavours, and the green tea (200JPY) is decent. Get there early to make sure they haven't sold out (unlike us!).

Pros: Excellent food, Friendly owners, Homely feel

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Good vegan food for lunch time. - Edit

The place is located within walking distance from the shrines, on the main (and only) street in Nikko.
The food changes frequently, so there is no one dish I could recommend. It's open for lunch time, and while it is a little more expensive than what you would pay for the same amount of food in other places (even in Tokyo), it is the only 100% vegan place around there.

The food itself was good, the size of the portions was normal for Japan, and the atmosphere was very cozy.
Perhaps the only downside is that the menu is fixed, so there is nothing to choose from. Also, the place has only 10 or so seats, and there is no waiting place inside, so if it is full, you'll need to wait outside (which may be a little bothersome when the weather is not nice).

Pros: 100% vegan, Relatively inexpensive, Cozy

Cons: Small, Pre-fixed menu

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