Located down a quiet side street opposite of Iroha Yokocho Alley, and right across from the entrance to Nonaka Shrine is a vegan paradise. The number of vegetarian and vegan options in Sendai are still limited, which is probably one reason that the entire vegan menu offered at Vegeto LIKO has become so popular for both locals and travelers. The other reasons would be the friendly service, the relaxing atmosphere, and high-quality mouthwatering creations.
After climbing a narrow stair case to the second floor, enter through some homey doors to a calming café-like interior. Subdued colors with simple decorations and artwork keep your eyes busy while waiting for the order, but nothing is loud or distracting. The entire restaurant can fit about a dozen people, so it can get crowded during peak times. I found a later lunch around 1pm or 1:30pm to be a good time to visit. This is a great place to unwind, and the experience deserves at least 45 minutes, so don’t come here if you are looking for a quick meal. After leaving, I thought next time I would bring a notebook to jot down ideas or journal, as checking my phone didn’t feel right even though I was dining alone. It felt quite refreshing to know you are eating healthy and slowing down to enjoy an authentic meal. Maybe I need to incorporate more of this in my stressful life.
OK, so let’s just dive into the food, the main reason you’ll be coming here. It’s amazing. Everything on the menu is vegan—no meat, no dairy, no eggs, etc. On top of that, most ingredients, when possible, are organic. The variety of the ingredients on each plate is remarkable considering veggies are prepared fresh each day and everything is handmade from scratch. The menu is simple with just a few dishes offered for lunch: “Gluten Free Burrito” (1,300 yen), “Power Salad” (1,150 yen), “Lunch Mini Sweets” (385 yen), and my recommendation: “Daily Lunch Plate” (1,650 yen). The daily special is ever-changing, but you can expect ingredients piled high and erupting in color like a volcano, which was my interpretation of the Vegeto Liko logo.
My plate included grilled and raw veggies, organic brown rice, a sweet potato mash, deep-fried cauliflower (or it could have been lotus root) which looked and tasted just like meat. All of this was topped off with a homemade tomato and cheese sauce—the “cheese” being made of nuts and other vegan ingredients. The lunch plate came with a tasty miso soup and organic drink served with a paper straw. I chose apple juice.
Vegeto Liko meals are packed with nutrition, are healthy, and have tastes that mimic meat, cheese, creamy milk, etc. to please even the pickiest of carnivores. You’ll leave very full, and fully satisfied. The meals here are more expensive than other restaurants, but that is reflected in the quality of ingredients and preparation. Also, understand that meals here are made after being ordered for freshness, so waiting up to 20 minutes for your order does happen. Alcoholic drinks are available. Lunch is served 11AM to 3:00PM (last order is 2:30PM). Dinner is by reservation only, serving an “Omakase” style course for 4,500 yen. The restaurant is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.