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Osaka is up there with Kyoto and Tokyo as one of the most vegetarian-friendly cities in Japan.
We found a wide range of vegan restaurants as well as Japanese restaurants specialising in typical dishes like ramen and okonomiyaki that offered meat-free versions.
We focused on finding the best vegetarian restaurants in Osaka that serve Japanese meals.
The food is so good in Japan that we wanted to take advantage and be able to try local dishes rather than eat the Western-style salads and burgers that some veggie restaurants serve.
Here are our picks for the best Osaka vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants plus a map with everywhere mentioned.
- Tips for Being Vegetarian in Osaka
- Where to Stay in Osaka for Vegetarians and Vegans
- Osaka Vegan Restaurants
- Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Osaka
- Vegetarian Cooking Class in Osaka
- Vegetarian Osaka Map
- More Japan Posts
Tips for Being Vegetarian in Osaka
As with anywhere in Japan, you will struggle as a vegetarian in Osaka if you just wander into a random restaurant.
We’ve found that the Happy Cow website or app is the best resource for finding veggie-friendly meals nearby.
Google Maps is the best way to find your way around, so be sure to have data on your phone. Airalo eSIMs are the easiest way to stay connected and conveniently, you can set it up before you arrive.
As many restaurants in this guide are small, family-run places, it’s worth checking their Facebook pages before you visit to make sure they aren’t closed (you may have to use Google Translate). It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan.
I’ve included current prices but they are subject to change. Note that most restaurants don’t accept credit cards. 7-Eleven is the best place to withdraw cash with international cards for free.
The current exchange rate is approximately 1 USD = 141 yen and 1 GBP = 169 yen.
Our vegetarian Japan guide has lots more tips.
Where to Stay in Osaka for Vegetarians and Vegans
Staying within walking distance of at least a few vegetarian-friendly restaurants will make your stay in Osaka much easier.
After a long day of sightseeing, you don’t always want to trek across town to find a place to eat.
It’s also worth considering staying in an apartment or a hostel with a kitchen so that you’ll have the option to prepare some of your own meals.
There are plenty of apartments to rent in Osaka and they are often cheaper than a hotel room.
We stayed in Shinsaibashi which was ideal with most of the restaurants below within walking distance.
The area is quiet but there are lots of cool shops and cafes nearby, and it’s just a 20-minute walk to the vibrant Dotonburi neighbourhood.
Osaka Vegan Restaurants
More and more vegan restaurants are opening in Osaka. All these restaurants and cafes are entirely vegan, so you can safely choose anything from the menu.
On our next visit we are keen to try Yuniwa, a vegan ramen restaurant in Osaka.
1) Green Earth (TOP PICK)
Green Earth is the oldest Osaka vegetarian restaurant and dates back to 1991. It does have an old-school feel with simple decor, but the food is tasty and excellent value.
The staff speaks English and there’s an English menu. It turned fully vegan in 2019.
The most popular dish is the lunch set meal which changes daily. It includes a choice of brown rice or a black and white rice mix with a main dish, salad, vegetable side dish, and soup.
We had a tasty potato and bean curry on one visit and an okra and soy meat curry on another. You can add a kombucha to the set for just 150 yen.
The Japanese curry and rice is even cheaper and you can choose your ingredients—the sauce was so tasty I wanted to lick my plate. The vegan pumpkin cake is also delicious and won a TV award.
They also have sandwiches, salads, pizza, and pasta on the menu and sell a few vegan products like cookies, muffins, and lentils.
Cost for a Main Dish: 1200 yen for lunch set and 800 yen for curry.
Details: 4-chōme−2−2 Kitakyūhōjimachi, Shinshaibashi. Open Mon – Thurs and Sat 11.30am – 4pm, Fri 11.30am – 3pm/ 6pm – 10pm. Closed Sunday.
Website: Green Earth
2) Rocca (TOP PICK)
Rocca has the most traditional Japanese set meal we ate in Osaka. There’s no English menu and the owners don’t seem to speak much English, but you don’t need to order.
Just take a seat at the counter in this stylish, minimalist space and you’ll be brought a lovely vegan meal.
Our set included tea, rice, miso soup, pickles, three vegetable sides, and a main dish of delicious fried balls (possibly potato) in a tasty sauce.
It’s the kind of Japanese meal I love—artful, delicate flavours, and an array of dishes that I can’t quite identify but which all taste delicious.
The location is a little out of the way, but it’s worth a detour for a traditional Japanese meal at a great price.
Cost for a Main Dish: 1300 yen for lunch set including tea.
Details: 3 Chome-26-5 Tanabe (Vegetarian Meals ROCCA on Google Maps). Open Mon – Sat 11.30am – 2.30pm/ 5.30pm – 9pm. Closed Sunday.
3) Genmai Cafe
Genmai Cafe (listed as Haigenki Salon Shinsaibashi on Google Maps) has a modern canteen feel and is popular with Japanese office workers on their lunch break (arrive before noon or after 1 pm to avoid the rush).
At this Osaka vegan cafe, you order at the counter (there is an English menu) and have the choice of five set meals. The focus is on brown rice balls, but there are also curry, salad, and daily main options.
We got the most expensive Shokujido-Zen set which included a choice of two brown rice balls (fillings include fried tofu, pickled plum, and pickled vegetables), tea, soup, salad, and five vegetable side dishes.
There are vegan desserts too.
While it isn’t one of my top picks in Osaka, we did enjoy our meal and it’s worth visiting if you are in the area.
Cost for a Main Dish: From 1045 – 1320 yen for lunch set.
Details: 3-chōme−6−9 第3酵素ビル1F, Shinshaibashi. Open Mon – Wed and Fri – Sun 11pm – 5pm. Closed Thursday.
4) Paprika Shokudou Vegan
Paprika is a cosy, stylish vegan cafe. The staff didn’t seem to speak much English but were friendly and brought us an English menu. Just ring the bell when you’re ready to order.
The menu is more limited at lunch and focuses on sets—choose a main and it comes with rice, miso soup, salad, and a side (ours was potato salad).
We found the menu too fake meat focused for our tastes with options like soy meat karaage and vegan hamburger.
We chose a vegetable and tempeh teriyaki stir fry, which didn’t feel very Japanese but it was tasty.
At dinner they also have rice bowls, pizza, and pasta as well as the sets. There’s a 300 yen seat charge in the evenings.
It’s not my favourite place in Osaka, but it’s a good option if you’re in the area and like soy meat.
Cost for a Main Dish: From 800 yen for a main meal. Credit cards accepted.
Details: 1–9–9 Shinmachi, Shinshaibashi. Open Mon – Sat 11.30am – 3pm/ 5.30pm – 10pm. Closed Sunday.
Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Osaka
Some of the best vegetarian food in Osaka isn’t found in vegetarian restaurants. The restaurants below serve meat and/or fish, but they also cater for vegetarians (and often vegans).
They are a good opportunity to try classic Japanese dishes like ramen, gyoza, and okonomiyaki in a typical setting.
You may need to explain your dietary needs, but we didn’t find it difficult in any of these places.
Note: Unfortunately, Chabuton used to offer a vegan ramen but reportedly they no longer do, so I’ve removed it from this post.
5) Matsuri (TOP PICK)
This halal restaurant has a whole separate vegetarian menu (not on their website) which includes Japanese classics like ramen, okonomiyaki, tacoyaki, yaki soba and more.
This is one of the best places for vegetarian and vegan ramen in Osaka.
We appreciated that they don’t seem to use fake meat.
Vegan dishes are marked but ask if you want something adapted as they speak perfect English.
We both got ramen—the curry ramen and spicy Samurai ramen with beansprouts, eggplant and mushrooms were both tasty. We would have returned to try more things if it was nearer to our Airbnb.
The location is a bit out of the way, but we stopped here on our way back from Universal Studios Japan (which has limited vegetarian options) as it’s close to Noda station where we had to change trains.
Cost for a Main Dish: From 1000 yen for vegan ramen and vegan takoyaki.
Details: 3-chōme–27–17 Yoshino. Open Fri – Tues 11am – 2pm/ 5 pm – 9pm. Closed Wednesday and Thursday.
6) Asai Togei (TOP PICK)
Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course fine dining experience in Japan. It’s difficult to find meat and fish free versions of kaiseki, but luckily Asai Togei does a vegan set.
For the vegan kaiseki you must book 24 hours in advance—I emailed them at [email protected] but you could call as they speak good English (our server had lived in San Francisco).
We went for the most expensive option at lunch which included eight dishes—it was a lot of food so you could choose one of the cheaper options.
You have no choice over what you eat—you’ll be brought a series of beautifully presented small plates using seasonal ingredients.
Our meal included pumpkin soup, a pretty plate of konnyaku, yuba, and mountain yam, lily root dumplings, tempura, noodle soup, and green tea mochi to finish.
The food was excellent and worth the splurge. If you are also visiting Tokyo and only have the budget for one fine dining meal, we preferred Bon which is entirely vegan and has a more traditional setting.
Asai Togei has a more casual feel where you sit in private booths rather than on tatami mats (an advantage for some).
Cost for a Main Dish: Vegan set lunch is 3500 yen, 5000 yen or 7000 yen depending on the number of dishes. Dinner is likely more expensive.
Details: 2-chōme–2–30 Shinsaibashisuji. Open from 11.30am – 2.30pm and 5pm – 11pm. Closed Sunday.
Website: Asai Togei (use Google Translate).
7) Okonomiyaki Chitose
Okonomiyaki is a typical Osakan dish that’s often described as a savoury Japanese pancake—an egg and flour batter is cooked with cabbage and various fillings of your choice.
Although it can easily be made vegetarian (but not vegan), it can be difficult to explain this in most okonomiyaki places.
Okonomiyaki Chitose is happy to cater to vegetarians, though. This tiny backstreet place in the Tennoji area has just four seats at the counter and two tables.
It’s popular with tourists and there’s often a queue outside, so arrive early (we got the last table just after midday).
There’s a handy English menu and we were served by a friendly lady who runs the restaurant who speaks English too.
Her father operates the grill and you can watch him work. Our veggie okonomiyaki came with cabbage, tofu, peas, sweetcorn, carrots, and pineapple.
They might not be the traditional fillings but it was good. We also got a modan yaki which includes noodles—it was our favourite but very filling so one of each worked well. Go hungry as you have to order one dish per person.
Cost for a Main Dish: 1200 yen for vegetarian okonomiyaki and 300 yen for modan yaki.
Details: 1-chōme–11–10 Taishi, Nishinari-ku. Open Thurs – Mon 11.30am – 3pm/ 4.30pm – 8pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Website: Happy Cow
8) Gyozaoh Dotonbori
Dotonburi is known as the area to eat at night in Osaka, but vegetarian options are limited.
I definitely recommend coming in the evenings to experience the neon chaos, and Gyozaoh Dotonbori is the ideal place for a quick and affordable meal.
This traditional gyoza bar has counter seating, where you can see the chef at work, and a few tables. There’s an English menu and the friendly staff speak a little English.
They have vegetable gyoza either pan-fried or deep-fried (both are worth trying) and a few vegetable sides—we got the cucumber and the eggplant.
It’s worth telling them you are vegetarian as they advised us that the eggplant dipping sauce contains dashi (fish broth) and brought us soy sauce instead.
Some vegan gyoza are available.
9) CoCo Ichibanya Curry House
If you are ever stuck for a vegetarian meal in Japan, look for the nearest CoCo Ichibanya.
Most branches of this Japanese curry chain have a separate vegetarian menu—look for signs on the window or for the green menu at the tables. The regular English menu is helpful to explain the ordering process.
You can choose your fillings (we usually get vegetables and eggplant), spice level (3 is pretty spicy), and size of rice portion. It’s tasty, filling, inexpensive, and quick.
We went to the branch nearest to our Airbnb, “CoCo Ichibanya Nishi-ku Awaza 1-chome” but “CoCo Ichibanya Kitahorie 1 Chome” between Shinsaibashi and Dotonburi also has a vegetarian menu.
There are many other branches. I check the Google Maps reviews to see if anyone mentions the vegetarian menu.
Cost for a Main Dish: Vegetarian curries from 705 yen.
Details: Various branches. Open from 11am – 11pm (times may vary across branches).
Website: CoCo Ichibanya
10) Mochisho Shizuku Shinmachi
We’re not usually fans of Japanese desserts (rice and beans don’t appeal in sweets), but we loved this traditional Japanese wagashi (sweet) shop that our Airbnb host recommended.
It’s minimalist and stylish. We got sweets to take away, but I recommend eating in with some green tea for a unique Japanese experience (apparently there is an English menu).
You can choose from the rows of colourful daifuku on the counter. Names are written in Japanese so we just pointed.
Our host recommended the Framboise Daifuku (the bright pink one) and it was definitely our favourite—a soft glutinous rice ball with a whole raspberry inside. The chocolate one was also good, but the green tea was less to our taste.
I believe the daifuku are vegan.
Cost: 452 yen for Framboise Daifuku.
Details: 1-chōme−17−17 Shinmachi. Open Wed – Mon 10.30am – 6pm. Closed Tuesday.
Vegetarian Cooking Class in Osaka
Taking a cooking class is one of the best things to do in Japan.
It’s a brilliant way to learn about Japanese cuisine and familiarise yourself with the unusual ingredients like yuba (soy milk skin tofu) that are often found in vegetarian Japanese cuisine.
Why not try this private Japanese In-Home Cooking Lesson and Meal with a local that offers vegetarian and vegan options on request.
Vegetarian Osaka Map
Our Osaka vegetarian map lists all the restaurants mentioned above.
The vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Osaka are marked in green and veggie-friendly restaurants in blue.
I hope you enjoy eating your way around Osaka as a vegetarian as much as we did. There are many more places we have yet to try, which gives us a good excuse to return! Leave a comment below if you have any more recommendations.
More Japan Posts
Our Vegetarian Japan Guides
- Vegetarian Survival Guide to Japan
- The Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Tokyo
- The Best Vegetarian Kyoto Restaurants
- 11 Best Rides at Universal Studios Osaka
- 26 Unforgettable Things to Do in Kyoto
- 16 Unmissable Places to Visit in Japan
- Planning a Trip to Japan: Dos and Don’ts
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