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Yasai Cafe Meguri

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 8 reviews )
Contact 0288-25-3122

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). Open Mon-Wed 11:30am-5:00pm, Sat 12:00pm-6:00pm, Sun 11:30am-5:00pm.

Category: Vegan, Japanese

Reviews (8)

First Review by Ricardo

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 :)

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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