By Bonson Lam
An authentic ramen meal is an absolute must when visiting Japan. Unfortunately for vegans, this obligatory travel experience tends to be off the menu due to the fish, meat, or bone broths that ramen is traditionally prepared with. But, alas, with the growing popularity of veganism, particularly in Japan, vegans can now enjoy ramen at both entirely vegan and vegan-friendly joints throughout the country. Here are three spots to check out in Kyoto.
You’ll want to head to this cafe with an empty stomach as their ramen dish is one of the creamiest, most filling bowls you’re likely to try. The portion is extremely generous and the noodles are thick with a slurp-friendly soft texture. Peanuts are heavily used to flavour this dish, so unfortunately if you have a nut allergy, this option is off the menu. Cash only.
Mon 11:30am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm, Wed-Fri 11:30am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm, Sat-Sun 11:30am-9:00pm 309 Saikachicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-8242
Vegans Cafe and Restaurant
Another generously sized bowl of ramen is served at this unapologetically vegan cafe, with a choice of either soy-milk miso ramen or miso ramen. The soy-milk miso is creamy as always, with a bit of a spicy-kick that even those who claim to not be able to handle their spice will enjoy. The flavours are strong yet balanced in this dish, and I would be hard-pressed to say that it might just be the best bowl of ramen I’ve had in Japan thus far, topped off with plenty of bean sprouts, seasonal vegetables, and a block of crispy tofu. Located near Fushimi Shrine so makes for a fitting stop to grab breakfast or lunch on your way to the must-see attraction. Accepts credit cards.
Mon-Tue 11:30am-5:00pm, Thu-Sun 11:30am-5:00pm 612-0029 Kyoto-shi Fushimi-ku Fukakusa Nishi Uramachi 4-88
Mumokuteki Cafe and Foods
Mumokuteki offers a soy-milk ramen dish that can be ordered as a medium or large as a set with side dishes and brown rice, or on its own. Whilst more softly flavoured in comparison to the previous two, this dish is still delicious in its own right, by no means mild or lacking in taste. This cafe tends to quite busy during lunch and dinner time as it is centrally located, so be prepared to wait if you’re heading down during peak hours. Cash only.
Mon-Sun 11:30am-9:00pm 2F, Teramachi-dori (near Shijo Teramachi)
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