As you might already know, the port city of Kobe is more than just the Kobe beef. It is a great destination to enjoy Japan’s nice hot springs, nature, harbor cruise, and much more. But the term Kobe beef might deter you from visiting the city if you are a vegan or a vegetarian because you are unsure if you can find a restaurant that caters for your dietary requirements. Thus, we have collated the below list of vegan-friendly restaurants in Kobe so you won’t need to rely on the onigiris from the convenience store while you experience Kobe’s many charms!
Kobe’s Vegan-Friendly Restaurants
- VEGAN CAFE Kiu (VEGAN CAFE 喜雨)
- Has dishes cooked without pungent ingredients.
- Can cater to a gluten-free diet.
- Offers nut-free dishes.
VEGAN CAFE Kiu (VEGAN CAFE 喜雨)
If you plan to visit Kitano Ijinkan-gai (北野異人館街) in Kobe, consider having lunch at VEGAN CAFE Kiu. It is one of the few traditional Japanese houses contrasting the retro Western-style neighborhood. The homey atmosphere created by wooden-based furniture and interior design makes dining at Kiu like visiting a friend’s house.
Kiu was renovated from the area’s landlord’s house. To retain this part of the history, signs that people had lived here were preserved during the renovation. This is why the wooden frames and frosted glass windows are all vintage. If you visit Kiu with young children, there is also a small kid’s corner at the far back.
The Food Served at VEGAN CAFE Kiu
All Kiu’s menu is vegan and is prepared using only pesticide-free and organically grown vegetables and seasonings that are gentle on the body.
The café’s owner, Ms. Hassaku (八朔さん), used to love dining out. After changing her diet to organic vegetables and additive-free foods, she felt her health improved. The more vegetables she eats, the more delicious she realizes vegetables are, leading to her opening a vegan café.
Besides a healthy and delicious lunch menu, Kiu also offers gluten-free homemade sweets made from rice flour! Vegan ice cream is also available!
The café offers two lunch set menus. The batter used for deep-fried savory dishes is made from rice powder, allowing those on a gluten-free diet to enjoy Japan’s famous tempura! While the two main dishes are updated only monthly, the 6 side dishes are changed every day. So even if you dine at Kiu a few days in a row, you won’t be bored by the food served here!
Kid’s menus are available, too.
You can refer to Kiu’s Menu before visiting.
Tip: Let the staff know if you don’t eat dishes cooked with pungent ingredients, such as garlic. If you have a nut allergy, they should be able to offer nut-free dishes as well.
VEGAN CAFE Kiu’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Kiu is open from 11 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
- The last order is at 4 pm.
- It is a 12 to 15-minute walk from JR, Hankyu, and Kobe Municipal Subway’s Sannomiya Station (三ノ宮駅).
Explore the Attractions in Kobe
The port city of Kobe has many popular attractions and hidden gems that are worthwhile to explore. For example, for those who love nature, the Nunobiki Falls, ranked the same as the Kegon Falls (華厳滝) in Nikkō National Park, is probably the next spot you will want to visit. The Kitano Ijinkan-gai up on the hill is another place in Kobe for some great Instagram photos!
To find out more about this amazing city, please refer to our article on Kobe (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.