Osaka/Umeda Station is one of Osaka’s biggest transportation hubs. So you might find yourself around these two stations frequently when you visit Osaka. If it is around lunch or dinner time and you are unsure where to dine, how about referring to the below list of vegan/vegetarian-friendly places?
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- Natural Kitchen Medaka No. 2 (natural kitchen めだか 2号店)
- Has gluten-free options.
- Has options without the use of pungent ingredients i.e., garlic and onions.
- Ganesh N (ガネーシュN)
- Recommended by the Michelin Guide.
- Optimus Cafe (オプティマスカフェ)
- Babel Cafe (バベルカフェ)
- Has gluten-free and nut-free options.
- Aju (大豆ミートのお店 あじゅ)
- Can cook the dishes without the use of pungent ingredients i.e., garlic and onions.
Natural Kitchen Medaka No. 2 (natural kitchen めだか 2号店)
Around Osaka Station, you can visit Natural Kitchen Medaka No. 2. Although it isn’t a vegetarian/vegan restaurant, it can replace meat and seafood with soybean meat, making it a great dining place if you travel with non-vegetarian families and friends. They even have a few gluten-free options!
While you might think the vegan food at Natural Kitchen Medaka No. 2 would be average because it isn’t a vegan specialist, that isn’t the case. In fact, the vegan dishes at the restaurant receive a lot of good ratings!
A special thing about Natural Kitchen Medaka No. 2 is the water it uses. The restaurant only uses 99.9% purified water. Some think that the resulting cooking tastes better.
You can refer to their English Menu HERE in advance. While not on the menu online, the Daily Special Lunch Set is the most popular.
☛ You can pay a little extra to make your food into an Oriental Vegetarian meal.
☛ Their black sesame latte is really nice. It is smooth and creamy.
Natural Kitchen Medaka No. 2’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Natural Kitchen Medaka No. 2 is open from 11 am to 9:30 pm.
- It is a 12-minute walk from Osaka Station (大阪駅) or Osaka-Umeda Station (大阪梅田駅).
- From Osaka Subway’s Higashi-Umeda Station (東梅田駅) and Ogimachi Station (扇町駅), it is a 7-minute walk.
Ganesh N (ガネーシュN)
Ganesh N is a Northern Indian restaurant recommended by the Michelin Guide, which is one of the reasons that there is usually a queue in front of the small restaurant. While Ganesh N’s owner is Japanese, she has more than 15 years of experience making Indian dishes, including when she was trained in India. So if you feel like eating curry when you are in Osaka, visit Ganesh N!
The menu of Ganesh N is simple, two daily special non-vegetarian curries and one vegetarian curry. You can choose between Indian rice or Japanese rice. Curry and rice portions can be upgraded too. And if you want something sweet, a cup of Lassi perfectly matches the curry!
Ganesh N’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Ganesh N is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 am to 3 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm or until sold out.
- It will open if Monday is a public holiday.
- It is a 7-minute walk from JR Ōsakatemmangū Station (大阪天満宮駅) or a 6-minute walk from Osaka Subway’s Minami-Morimachi Station (南森町駅).
Optimus Cafe (オプティマスカフェ)
Just a few stations away from Umeda, Optimus Cafe, close to Kitahama Station, is a vegan cafe offering delicious vegan dishes and snacks. Located along the Tosahori River (土佐堀川), it is a great spot for a break sitting on their terrace seats overlooking the river. A few sparrows might visit when you are there, looking for leftovers!
As Optimus Cafe has breakfast, lunch, and cafe menus, no matter when you visit it, you can surely find something you feel like eating. While soy-based meat is used for all their dishes, it doesn’t mean you won’t feel satisfied. In fact, it is the opposite! The cooking and seasoning are just right that it is almost like eating real meat!
The menus are tweaked slightly according to the season, allowing you to enjoy the seasonal vegetables and fruits. In addition, instead of wheat flour, rice flour or buckwheat flour is used!
You can refer to their menu HERE in advance.
Tip: Arrive early to avoid waiting in a long queue for lunch. The lunch menu is served between 11 am and 3 pm.
Optimus Cafe’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Optimus Cafe is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
- From Thursday to Saturday, the cafe opens from 6 pm to 9 pm as a night bar.
- It is a 3-minute walk from Osaka Subway’s Tenjimbashisuji 6-chome Station (天神橋筋六丁目駅) or a 5-minute walk from JR’s Temma Station (天満駅).
Babel Cafe (バベルカフェ)
Another vegan place a few stations away from Umeda is Babel Café. The café that doesn’t use eggs, dairy, animal products, white sugar, and chemical seasonings also aims to use organic ingredients as much as possible. It also has a few gluten-free and nut-free options, so if you are allergic to certain ingredients, Babel Café should be able to provide something delicious to fill you up.
Besides Today’s Babel Plate (vegan plate), they also have vegan sandwiches, meat pies and curry rice. While the menu is relatively simple, the nicely cooked food surely won’t make you regret your visit.
Babel Café also sells cakes and snacks made from 100% rice flour. While you might feel uncertain about the idea, it is tasty and loved by those who have tried it.
Babel Cafe’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Babel Café is open daily from 12 pm to 7 pm except for Mondays, Thursdays, Sundays, and public holidays.
- It is a 3-minute walk from Osaka Subway’s Kitahama Station (北浜駅) or a 5-minute walk from Keihan’s Naniwabashi Station (なにわ橋駅).
Aju (大豆ミートのお店 あじゅ)
While many vegan and vegetarian restaurant owners are vegan or vegetarian themselves, it isn’t the case for Aju. As a non-vegetarian owner runs the restaurant, they pride themselves on being a place that offers vegan dishes that can satisfy meat lovers.
The menus are centered around tofu and soy meat. Every week, Aju offers two different weekly special set menus. Each has a main dish and a couple of side dishes. The main dish includes a variety of cuisines, including stir-fried minced soybean and tofu mince cutlet set, minced soybean taco rice, and Aju curry.
Note while Aju used to have a variety of dishes on their dinner menu, it currently doesn’t open for dinner. Also, it will take time for your orders to be prepared as the restaurant doesn’t have any other staff except the owner.
Tip: Their Okonomiyaki and Yakitori skewers are must-tries.
Important: Aju has started to offer non-vegan dishes on its menu in 2020. Please check with the staff which dish is vegan before ordering.
Aju’s Business Hours and Access Information
- Aju’s current lunch hours are from 11:30 am to 2 pm.
- It is a 2-minute walk from Osaka Subway’s Nakazakichō Station (中崎町駅).
Discover Vegan/Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Other Parts of Osaka
Obviously, the Northern Osaka Prefecture won’t be the only part of Osaka you visit. So refer to our Top Vegan and Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Osaka for places to enjoy delicious vegan/vegetarian food!