Unlike in some countries, where even a steak restaurant will offer at least one vegetarian option, it can be difficult to find meat-free meals in Japan. There are, however, some vegetarian restaurants to be found in the capital, and I’m making it my mission to go around trying them all.

Today I’d like to introduce Karan Koron Shokudo, located right next to Yoyogi Uehara Station.


Karan Koron Shokudo has a pleasantly relaxed atmosphere. The interior decor is fairly simple, fitted out with wooden tables and a counter with a view into the kitchen, and there are some cute little ornaments and a few knick-knacks on sale which somehow give the restaurant a homey feel.


The focus here is on health and being kind to your body, so all the produce the kitchen uses are organic and there are no additives or artificial flavourings in any of their cooking. Their online menu states that they don’t use any meat, fish, or dairy, however strict vegetarians and vegans may have to ask about each specific dish as it also states that they do sometimes use katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and other dried seafood, as well as eggs.


Now, onto the most important part; the food. For 1, 350 yen (US$10.80) you can get the daily lunch set, which consists of a varied selection of dishes containing between 15 and 20 types of veggies. I was served a garlic and herb croquette, vegetable stir-fry, sweet potato wedges, organic green vegetable salad and brown rice. The set also came with miso soup and a drink, making it a very filling option that’s definitely not bad for the price.



But what about the taste? In short, it was absolutely delicious. I really liked having so many different things to nibble on, and each individual dish had clearly been prepared with great care. That stand-out item was the croquette, which was crispy on the outside and filled with soft potato and flavourful herbs on the inside. Vegan food done wrong can be bland and cardboard-like, but I’m happy to say that this definitely wasn’t the case here.


For 900 yen, you could get the daily lunch plate, which on the day I visited was vegetable curry. I was a little wary at first, having had some not so great experiences with Japanese curry, but my doubts proved unfounded. While it wasn’t at all spicy in the hot sense, it was deliciously flavoured with herbs and spices, all while containing zero meat, fish, or dairy products.



Karan Koron Shokudo is an excellent place for a chilled-out lunch that’s both healthy and delicious. The only potential downsides I can see are that this may not be the best location if you’re looking for a place to dine out out with friends at night due to its homey but not exactly luxuriant tables and chairs, and, while some things are completely vegetarian and/or vegan, you’ll have to double-check about the use of fish stock and eggs. Those slight issues aside, I’d definitely recommend the restaurant to vegetarians and health-conscious folks alike, and it would also be a great place to show your non-vegetarian friends how delicious meat-free food can be.

▼Om nom nom. Vegetarian seal of approval.


Restaurant Information:

Karan Koron Shokudo
3 Chome-4-3 Nishihara, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0066
東京都渋谷区西原3-4-3 アミティ代々木上原 2F
Official Website

All photos © RocketNews24