Ramen is one of the most well-known Japanese dishes. Although it has traditionally been a non-vegetarian dish, things have changed in recent decades, and vegetarian/vegan ramen has become more commonly available! In Kyoto, the best place to enjoy a bowl of ramen noodle soup is Ramen TowZen (京都下鴨豆乳ラーメン専門店豆禅). On top of being a vegetarian place, it can also remove pungent ingredients such as garlic upon request.
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About Ramen TowZen
To replicate the smooth, rich, and creamy broth of the traditional Tonkotsu Ramen, soy milk is used at Ramen TowZen. But rest assured that you won’t be served with a bowl of soy milk topped with noodles and vegetables! The soy-based broth is properly seasoned. Even our meat-lover friends love TowZen’s ramen!
In addition to the noodle soup’s flavor, you can also choose what kind of noodle you want, as well as the portion.
Dining at TowZen
TowZen isn’t located in Kyoto‘s bustling area but in a rather quiet residential zone sandwiched by two private houses. Especially at night when the lighting is dim, the little alley lined with vegetation from the entrance will make the experience feel like it is leading you into a mysterious world that appears in Ghibli’s movies!
While the restaurant isn’t spacious, it has a homey vibe. The decoration makes the space resemble the living area of a typical Japanese household.
In winter, the low table on the tatami mats at the back of the restaurant will be covered by a Japanese futon (quilt) to become a Kotatsu (heated table). It is the best spot in TowZen, where you can enjoy amazing ramen noodles and be part of the Japanese culture!
You can refer to their menu HERE in advance.
Note that you will need to take off your shoes when entering Ramen TowZen.
Our Visit to Ramen TowZen
We visited TowZen on a cold autumn night. Arriving at around 6 pm, we didn’t need to queue and got the table in front of the small backyard.
There are two soup flavors to choose from, Musashi (武蔵) and Tantan (坦々). We ordered both and found we liked Tantan better. Musashi’s flavor was a bit plain for us. It would taste better if more seasonings were added. Maybe increasing the Japanese pepper level from normal to intense.
The Tantan noodles, on the other hand, were much more favorable. Different from the Musashi, you can choose the spicy level.
While we could choose to change noodles to either rice noodles or chlorella noodles, we decided to stay conservative that day.
Instead of just a bowl of noodle soup, ordering the set menu is recommended. It comes with a small bowl of salad, the incredible eggplant sushi and a tasty soy milk pudding. I personally don’t like eggplant. But the eggplant sushi was perfectly seasoned and was so tasty that we got one taken away for breakfast the next day! The emoticon handwritten on the takeaway bag was cute (refer to the 3rd photo in the Instagram post)!
☛ If you are unsure what to order, go with Musashi (武蔵). It is the ramen that will amaze meat lovers. Their Eggplant sushi is a popular side dish. It is said that you can hardly taste the eggplant!
☛ You can make a reservation by messaging them using the LINE app. It is a phone app similar to WhatsApp.
Important: If you are vegan, please check with the staff for the type of noodles and soup you can order.
Ramen TowZen’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Ramen TowZen is open from 9:30 am to 9 pm from Wednesday to Sunday.
- The restaurant is a 15-minute walk from Kyoto Subway’s Matsugasaki Station (松ヶ崎駅).
- If you plan to take a bus, get off at Takagichō (高木町).
Discover Other Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Kyoto
In addition to Ramen TowZen, there are other vegan-friendly restaurants in Kyoto. With various options available, no matter which cuisine you crave, you can find a restaurant serving delicious vegan or vegetarian dishes that satisfy your craving!
Refer to our Guide to Kyoto’s Vegan-Friendly Restaurants for more information!