Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Genmai Dashi Chazuke Nijiya: The Best Vegan Izakaya in Kyoto

You might have heard the term Izakaya (居酒屋), a type of informal Japanese bar that serves alcoholic drinks, side dishes, and snacks. But because Izakayas in Japan aren’t vegetarian or vegan-friendly, it is usually the restaurant type that we skip. The good news is Kyoto has a vegan Izakaya near Gion! The food offered at Genmai Dashi Chazuke Nijiya (玄米だし茶漬け 虹屋) is incredible, and what brings the dining experience to the next level is the hospitality you will receive.

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About Genmai Dashi Chazuke Njiya

Nijiya is run by two kind ladies. Their friendly smiles and kindness made us feel welcome. Holding the warm wet towel served as soon as we were seated immediately made us feel relaxed.

Because of its size, striking a casual conversation with the chef or other customers is easy. The restaurant is also pet-friendly. So don’t be surprised if you see various kinds of animals during your visit!

There are only six seats in the small restaurant, so be there early, or you will need to put your name down on the waiting list. We got there just after 6 pm, and one group of customers was already enjoying the food.

All of the seats at Nijiya are counter-seat. This setting allows you to see how your food is prepared. The vegan side dishes (Obanzai) are placed on the counter so you know exactly what you will get if you order the Obanzai 5 kinds of assortment (おばんざい五種盛り).

The Ochazuke at Genmai Dashi Chazuke Njiya

Although the number of items on the menu is limited, all of them are amazing. Because the restaurant takes the dashi broth so seriously, what you must try at Nijiya is the Chazuke.

The dashi broth used at Nijiya is made from konbu (kelp), dried shiitake mushroom, reddish, and burdock. All of these ingredients are highly nutritious. The resulting broth is, hence, not just smooth and delicious but healthy.

You can pour a small cup of dashi into the cut and taste it first before pouring it into the bowl and mixing it with the rice.

All rice served at Nijiya is pesticide-free brown rice. Combined with the dashi broth, the rice dish is good for your stomach and body.

The Vegan Barbeque Meat and Other Dishes at Genmai Dashi Chazuke Njiya

The vegan barbeque dishes are the most astonishing ones for us. Initially, we ordered the vegan yakitori skewers. The vegan meat tasted just like the real chicken. Loving it so much, we ordered the vegan yakiniku to try. Again, the taste and texture were 100% like real meat, and you wouldn’t know the meat was vegan if you weren’t told!

Another dish that is worth mentioning is the dumplings. They are made without leek, shallot, and garlic, so your breath won’t smell afterwards!

The tofu and yuba in the last photo in the Instagram post were nice, too. Just a shame that the real wasabi wasn’t used.

Genmai Dashi Chazuke Nijiya’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Genmai Dashi Chazuke Nijiya is open from 6 pm to 2 am, usually from Tuesday to Saturday.
  • The Izakaya is a 5-minute walk from Kyoto Subway’s Sanjo Keihan Station (三条京阪駅) or Keihan’s Sanjo Station (三条駅) or a 2-minute walk from Hankyu’s Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (京都河原町駅)

Discover Other Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Kyoto

The good news is the prefecture has many vegan-friendly restaurants. Even in the rural area, there might be a restaurant close to where you want to visit serving delicious vegan or vegetarian dishes that satisfy your cravings!

Refer to our Guide to Kyoto’s Vegan-Friendly Restaurants for more information!

Click the photo for more information about Kyoto’s vegan-friendly restaurants.

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