Vegetarian Meals in Tokyo | The Highlights

It can be tough to be a vegetarian while visiting Japan. The cuisine there is known to be chock full of meat and fish, and in general the vegetarian lifestyle is not widely recognized. I’ve written about my experiences specifically at the Tokyo Disney Resort where there is 1 restaurant in each of the parks with exactly 1 dish that is vegetarian.

The rest of Japan is even harder to navigate when it comes to food. However, despite this, I was able to have quite a few meals this time around that were pretty delicious and all vegetarian. Here are some of my vegetarian meal highlights:

Lunch at the AKB48 Cafe
The AKB48 cafe is a must visit for fans of the J-Pop group AKB48. For those not in the know, AKB48 is a wildly popular group in Japan consisting of 48 girls. The cafe is something akin to dining in a movie theater as the group’s live performances and music videos play on the big screen while you eat.

AKB48 Cafe

Aside from the fun ambiance, I was able to find an equally fun vegetarian dish to try out (after a quick check with the waitress to make sure it didn’t contain any meat or fish).

AKB48 Cafe - Spicy Pasta

As the drawing on the mozzarella indicates, this pasta was SPICY! In fact, it was the most spicy thing I had eaten in recent memory and that’s saying a lot for me. The sauce was delicious and the cheese was a nice touch. As a pasta lover, I was happy to find something like this to eat for lunch.

Breakfast Buffets

During our stay in Tokyo, we had the opportunity to dine at two separate breakfast buffets. The first was located at the Keio Plaza Hotel where we were staying and took place at Jurin All Day Dining. The restaurant was upscale and the all you can eat breakfast buffet was much nicer than your typical American buffet experience.

One of the stars of the buffet was the scrambled eggs. I don’t know what it is about the scrambled eggs in Japan, but they are extremely creamy and have a much more orange color to them than American eggs. At this buffet, they were served alongside ratatouille (delicious!). I also was able to get a side salad, potatoes and much more.

Jurin All Day Dining - Breakfast Buffet

Of course, if you’re not a vegetarian, there are plenty of unique options – like this squid and shrimp marinade. D was a fan!

Jurin All Day Dining - D's Squid and Shrimp Dish

The second buffet was at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel where we spent one night while exploring the Tokyo Disney Resort. This breakfast buffet was even more varied and fancy than the first with many dessert options offered as well. I also partook in a danish and a serving of mango pudding, which were very nice to round out the meal.

Rice Omelettes
Rice omelettes are always a dish I’m relieved to see on a menu whenever we’re visiting cafes. This trip I had two such occasions: one at Eorza Cafe (a Final Fantasy XIV themed cafe) and the second at Maidreamin (a maid cafe). Of course, when visiting Maidreamin, the waitresses draw cute pictures on your omelette with ketchup:

Maidreamin Rice Omelette

But the one at Eorza Cafe was more standard:

Eorza Cafe Rice Omelette

Either way, this is a tasty dish and is at least somewhat Japanese.

Duo Fourchettes
Another great find was Duo Fourchettes which was billed as a French/Italian restaurant, though I found that most of the items were decidedly Italian. This was one of my favorite meals from the trip, and yes it is another pasta dish. It was filling and tasty.

Duo Fourchettes Pasta


It may seem like my highlights here are ignoring the traditional Japanese cuisine, and it is true that most of the meals I ate were not Japanese. This is because it’s very difficult to find any foods in that category (it is difficult while in Japan – vegetarian Japanese food in America is not that rare) that do not contain meat, fish or some kind of meat or fish stock. As this is my third trip to the country, I’ve learned to stick with what I know I can eat and on the rare occasion I do find a Japanese option with no meat, I will give it a try.

D, on the other hand, ate up a very wide variety of Japanese foods including ramen, sushi, curry, takoyaki (fried octopus dumplings) and various types of fish.


Coming soon… Stay tuned for my vegetarian meal FAILS while in the country! That’s a fun post 🙂


Have you ever traveled to Japan?

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How to Be a Vegetarian at Disney World

It’s no secret that eating while traveling can be difficult when you’re a vegetarian. Will there be food there for me to eat? Will I have to eat plain white rice while everyone else is having a ten course meal?

Mickey Waffle at Disney

Luckily, Disney World is one travel destination that makes it easy to eat vegetarian without much effort.

Avocado Maki at Disney

One of the first times D and I planned a trip to Disney World, we used a travel agent who helped us explore some new restaurants we otherwise wouldn’t have known about. When I informed her that I was a vegetarian and asked if specific locations would have options for me, she provided me with tons of information about the places that offer vegetarian options. She also let me know a very important fact: At Disney World, even if there’s nothing veggie on the menu, nearly every restaurant has a vegetarian option waiting in the wings if you just ask (side note: the same goes for other dietary concerns and allergies).

Mama Melrose - penne vodka

Let Your Server Know You’re a Vegetarian

During that trip in 2012, we booked a restaurant at her recommendation called ‘Ohana. This restaurant specializes in Hawaiian style foods that are brought around by the servers on giant meat skewers which they slice off for each person who wants that particular meat. In other words it is an almost exclusively meat-centric menu. When I informed them at the start that I was a vegetarian, I was given a special multi-course meal that was all vegetarian. It began with hummus and pita chips followed by tons of veggies, rice and tofu among other side dishes. It was so much food, I couldn’t come close to finishing it all – and that says a lot for me!

I have also been offered vegetarian entrees at several other restaurants on property when there were none listed on the menus. The Mexican restaurants especially come to mind, as they always have a veggie quesadilla, burrito or fajita dish to offer you.

Be Prepared to Eat Veggie Burgers

Of course, it’s not always that easy. For one thing, I’m not a huge fan of veggie burgers. I find them kind of boring and only eat them when they’re the only option. An unhappy trend that I’ve noticed at Disney lately is that they’ve been replacing several of their very tasty roasted veggie sandwiches at quick service locations with plain old veggie burgers. Not my favorite! But at least there’s still an option if you’re hungry.

Do Your Research

While I have definitely walked into many Disney restaurants without knowing what was on the menu without consequence because of the accommodating nature of their staff, it does help to come prepared with a list of restaurants you want to try. Disney provides the menus for all restaurants on their website. It’s a good idea to have a look whether you’re a vegetarian or not to make sure you’re getting to try everything you want!

The Festivals Can Be Challenging

When Disney does their Food and Wine Festival and Flower and Garden festival, they open up numerous booths around World Showcase which serve food and beverages from any number of different countries around the world. This is a fun event for everyone and brings in all kinds of unique foods. But I have to say, the vegetarian options are pretty limited. The menus do a good job of indicating which items are veggie friendly, but if you look closely, you’ll notice that most of them are dessert options. If you’re looking for savory foods, you’ll be looking for a while. Luckily, there are still the normal Epcot restaurants all around if you strike out at every festival booth.

Some Delicious Veggie Meals I’ve Eaten in the Past

As a vegetarian, I have still been able to eat many delicious, mouth-watering foods in Disney World. Here are a few!

White Lasagna:

White Lasagna at Disney

Mushroom Ravioli:

Mushroom Ravioli at Disney

Caprese Salad:

Mama Melrose - appetizer

Pistachio Creme Brulee:

Creme Brulee at Disney

Vegetable Cottage Pie:

Rose and Crown - Vegetable Cottage Pie

Pasta Primavera:

Tony's Town Square - Pasta Primavera

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Disney is really very accommodating to all kinds of diets, and in fact at most restaurants, they will begin by asking if you have any dietary concerns or allergies. Take advantage of this if you are a vegetarian and you won’t be disappointed.


Tell me about a delicious meal you’ve had while traveling!