Neighborhood Spotlight: Shimokitazawa
There is such a wide range of neighborhoods in Tokyo, each with their own unique charm and vibe. One of my personal favorites is none other than the hip and trendy, Shimokitazawa. Not only is it packed full of thrift stores and cafes, it also provides many different options to satisfy all your vegan needs.
A beautiful, secretive spot to be sure not to miss is Alicia. Alicia is a very traditional Japanese restaurant that serves fish but has predominantly vegan options. They are only open during lunch hours 11:30-5:30 and is closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. I had a set lunch of fried tempeh and vegetable croquettes alongside some very traditional Japanese pickles, brown rice, and varying types of seaweed. You could really taste the love and care that the meal was prepared with.
The next place I would recommend to check out is Bar Mother. Mother’s interior is quirky and exceptionally unique. It looks as if you are inside a cave which was decorated with artwork. I really love the atmosphere. The bartenders and cooks here are super welcoming and kind. They also serve some of my favorite cocktails in Tokyo. The menu is clearly marked with vegan and vegetarian options for food such as hummus and baguette, pad thai, natto rice, and cucumber avocado salad just to name a few. The cocktail menu has a whole page solely dedicated to vegan drinks such as the soy Mori chai which I highly recommend.
Next up is the beloved Tit Chai. Tit Chai is a Thai restaurant which again, is really unique and well decorated. It has clearly marked vegan options ranging from Pad Thai to my favorite, Tom Yum soup. Be sure to say which level of spiciness you enjoy, or you may end up with some very hot peppers in your soup!
If you’re hankering for vegan ramen, be sure to stop by Chabuton which is very close to the station. It has lovely veggie ramen as well as veggie gyoza for a very reasonable price of 1000 yen. Also, if you are in the mood for a little stroll, you can walk about ten minutes or so to Yakuzenshokudo Chabuzen. This is a completely vegan restaurant and your food will be prepared in front of you by the kindest elderly Japanese man. The dragon ramen is chewy and garlic and delicious. Make sure to try the gyoza as well!
Desserts: Cake, Muffins, Treats
Last but certainly not least, if you are looking for desserts in Shimokitazawa, the boba tea shop Alley sells vegan cakes and goodies. Or head to the west exit of the station to Inning+ where you will find vegan and gluten-free treats (they also sell vegan and gluten-free burgers here as well!).
Drinks: Coffee, Tea, Beer
If you are a craft beer fanatic like me, check out Kitazawa Konishi for a huge selection of import beers which often times end up being vegan! (One like Modern Times clearly label them as vegan beers). More into coffee and tea than beer? Cafe Stay Happy or Frankie’s coffee shop are a hit with me and my friends! You can get soy chai tea lattes and soy coffees if you wish.
In between all the amazing thrift stores, art shops and cafes, there are plenty of vegan treats and eats to find in this trendy and fashionable neighborhood!
Happy eating 🙂