Osaka is considered the food capital of Japan, and Japan is not generally seen as a particularly vegan-friendly country due to things like fish dashi finding its way into most meals. When people visit Osaka, they often hope to try regional dishes such as okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and udon, and vegans and vegetarians may feel like they are missing out.
However, considering that Osaka is one of the biggest cities in Japan, it has a large variety of restaurants offering vegan and vegetarian restaurants, and alongside Tokyo, it’s probably the best place to find delicious vegan food in Japan. You’ll probably be spoilt for choice!
Most of the vegan restaurants in Osaka aren’t fully vegan since they serve meat as well. Though this can be disappointing, it works well for any Osaka vegetarian or vegan since you can suggest trips to these places where there will be options for people who need meat in their dish too. The ones listed below are very familiar with veganism, where you can feel confident that at least your dish is vegan. From vegan sushi to Italian restaurants, there are so many restaurants in Osaka serving both Japanese and international vegan and vegetarian cuisine.
Base Island Kitchen (serves meat)
Speak to any vegan in Osaka about the vegan restaurants in Osaka and Base Island Kitchen is likely to pop up. This tiny izakaya-style restaurant seats less than 10 people and serves a fusion of Japanese and Jamaican food. The owner is very friendly and the food she offers is creative and exciting. Eating here is a unique experience, making it one of the best vegan restaurants in Osaka.
Base Island Kitchen is a lunch spot offering a ‘tapas’ style menu alongside main dishes too. We recommend trying the tapas-style menu where you can choose a selection of unique specials, often including vegan ‘karaage’, stuffed mushrooms, curries, jerk tofu, mapo tofu, stir-fried veggies, lasagna, the list goes on.
Make sure to save some space for a sweet treat because the owner bakes some very creative cakes, some of these are usually gluten-free as well.
Sushi Roll Double Quotation Iki (serves meat)
If you are in Osaka and looking for vegan sushi, this place has your answer! Alongside the vegan sushi, they do also serve meat and fish sushi, but the place is popular for its vegan sushi for a reason.
It’s a one-man business, run by a sushi chef who spent some years in America, he speaks great English and fully understands what vegan means. It sits around 6 people so it’s a very intimate and relaxed restaurant. It’s one of our favorite vegan restaurants in Osaka for good reason. The vegan sushi is exquisite! There’s a variety of different rolls to choose from, natto, avocado, matcha, coriander to name a few. His vegan sushi is unique and tastes incredibly fresh too.
Not only this but the owner is super friendly and a very welcoming host. The whole meal is an experience that any vegan in Osaka should if they can! Though it can be a bit out of the way for some (it’s in Naniwa-cho, not too far from Umeda), it is worth the journey.
OKO – Fun Okonomiyaki Bar (serves meat)
This Okonomiyaki bar is known for having a friendly and cozy vibe and some enormous okonomiyaki, the host is wonderful too! They offer a vegan menu where you have a choice to customize your toppings.
You can eat whilst sitting on the floor, which creates a nice relaxed atmosphere. OKO is conveniently located in Higashi-Shinsaibashi.
Bar Banjara (serves meat)
Any Osaka vegetarian or any vegetarian in Japan will eventually find that pretty much any Nepalese or Indian restaurant will have at least one vegetarian option (and usually a vegan option too). An Indian restaurant is a great option for anyone in smaller cities since you’ll usually be able to find an Indian restaurant (as well as some Italian restaurants too probably). Most Indian restaurants are also good value considering the quality and how delicious the fresh food is.
Bar Banjara is probably the most delicious Indian restaurant I’ve been to (and there’s a lot of really good ones too). Though they do serve meat as well, there is a variety of vegetarian options that will get any Osaka vegetarian excited to come back. If you speak to the staff, they will also be able to adapt some of the dishes into vegan options.
Some of the delicious dishes they offer include paneer tikka (for vegetarians), rich spinach curries, a deep chana masala, tasty chapatti, and a variety of naan.
The restaurant itself has a nice ambiance, located on the top floor of a building in the Umeda area. The lighting is soft making for a pleasant dining experience.
Optimus Café (fully plant-based)
If you’re looking for vegan restaurants in Osaka that do a great brunch and lunch, check out Optimus Café. It’s a fully plant-based café offering a variety of different cuisines packed with tasty fresh veggies. Some of the popular dishes include a ‘karaage’ bowl, a Buddha bowl, the classic avocado toast, soy spaghetti bolognese.
Located in Kitahama, close to the Nakanoshima rose garden the café has a sheltered outside seating area looking over the river. It’s a great place for any vegan in Osaka to go and chill out and enjoy some nice food.
Café Absinthe (serves meat)
Wishing you could find more vegan options in Italian restaurants? Looking for vegan restaurants in Osaka that serve vegan pizza? Café Absinthe might be the place for you.
Not only does it beat most Italian restaurants in Osaka for vegan options, but Café Absinthe also has some delicious Lebanese options. It has a lovely falafel lunch plate, and also offers tabbouleh, couscous, hummus, and baba ghanoush all at a decent price.
Some other places you can also check out include El Zocalo (affordable burritos, serves meat), Shizen Bar Paprika (the first fully vegan restaurant in Osaka), Falafel Sababa (affordable and tasty falafel, serves meat), and Slices (Canadian-owned bar with an extensive vegan menu – try the vegan feta).
Do check out the Happy Cow website for more vegan and vegetarian-friendly places – it’s a lifesaver for any vegan in Japan! There are so many places so we hope you can enjoy some of Osaka’s delicious food.