The last few years have seen Kyoto vegan options on the rise, and vegan and vegetarian food in Japan becoming ever more in the public eye.
Vegan in Japan? Seeking Great Vegan Food in Kyoto? Mumokuteki Cafe's the place, and it's right Downtown
Nowhere more so than at Mumokuteki Cafe in the Teramachi arcade, right in the heart of Kyoto's downtown trendy shopping district. While it isn't strictly 100% vegan, around two-thirds of the 30+ items and set menus are, and many can be 'made vegan' by replacing miso soup with another alternative (the miso soup contains fish).
It May Look Like Pork Bone Broth Ramen But It Isn't, Honest
The only downside of Mumokuteki cafe is that it's very much the in-spot with health-conscious young Japanese, meaning that inevitably you'll have to wait in line to get seated. On a recent visit the FGL crew was number 9 in the queue - it can be double that on weekends - and we waited around 30 minutes before we were shown to our table.
The Healthy Tofu Hamburger Lunch
Mumokuteki means 'without any particular purpose', but the Cafe's aim is pretty clear: to provide healthy, organic, chemical free tasty fare, made with ingredients sourced from the company's own communal farms and other ethical suppliers. "Mumoteki Cafe and Foods. Veggie! Soy Milk! Crafted to warm your body and your heart!" Sounds good to me.
There are daily variations in the vegan menu according to season. On our visit vegan offerings included Healthy Tofu hamburger (M ¥910, L ¥950), Veg-Soya Milk Ramen Noodles (pork bone flavor, Set M ¥950, L ¥1000), Tofu Burger Curry & Rice (¥950), Veggie-Taco rice with soup (¥1200); Pumpkin Soup with salad and Buns (¥810) and Avocado Burger (¥1000).
Vegan deserts include the wholly vegan Soybean Parfait (¥810), Tiramisu Parfait (¥740) and 8 shakes including Tonyu Choko Shake (¥570). They use cocoa rather than chocolate and tofu rather than dairy. The Rice Flour Strawberry Mousse ((¥480) is a favorite.
Other dishes on the menu can be served in true form vegan without a fish dashi, but you'll need to say clearly to the staff 'no fish' (sakana nashi!). These include: Deep Fried Bean Curd Lees ('okara'9 plate (¥1150), Deep Fried Cutlet Miso Style (¥1150), Nanban plate (1150) and Mumokuteki Spicy Chinese Noodles (M ¥850; L¥900). The Steamed Vegetables set is ¥1000. Portions are generous and extra rice is free. It's a nice, chilled out atmosphere too.
Mumoteki Cafe just a ten-minute walk north-west from the Shijo-Kawaramachi intersection in the Teramachi covered arcade. Easy to find.
If you like this information about vegan dining in Kyoto, check out our other beyond meat Vegan Experiences in Kyoto, with the hot-spring delights and lunchtime onigiri set at Ohara Sanso the great fare at Veg Out and the sesame-inspired delights of Gomacro Salon. Keep coming back too, as we'll be updating our recommendations regularly.
Seats: approx 50
11.30am to 10pm (lunch until 3pm; last order 9pm)
Lunch & Dinner: ￥1200 ~ ￥2000
Reservations possible Monday to Friday (via web)