Ramen has become a global craze in recent years and if you’re visiting Japan you might be glad to know that there are restaurants that accommodate any type of diet. Even though most ramen places are famous for being heavily meat-based, ramen is one food where uniqueness and innovation are especially appreciated. If you have a plant-based or vegan diet then the good news is you can still enjoy delicious ramen and stick to your dietary needs.
It might be hard to find vegan-friendly options where you’re from but with this list, we compiled the best vegan options, so you know exactly where to head the next time you’re in town.
Take a note that this article isn’t ordered by rank, we love each and every one of these restaurants equally.
T’s TanTan (Tokyo, Ueno, Narita Airport, Sendai)
Everyone and their mother has been writing about T’s Tantan, which is a local shop that specializes in making delicious vegan ramen. As you can guess from their name, they focus on tantanmen noodles, which is originally a spicy peanut-based dish from China. The Japanese chefs here have adapted the recipe for their own palette and have brought more focus to the rich nutty peanut flavor of the dish. This place is perfect if you’re on the go since they can easily be found in some of the many station terminals around Tokyo. The original owners sold the restaurant to a larger company that has control over the train stations in Tokyo, so they might expand into even more locations in the future.
If you’re interested, you can read the Japanoods exclusive story about the T’s Tantan experience here: https://japanoods.com/1017-2/
Shinjuku Gyoen Halal Ramen (Shinjuku)
You can choose a spicy or non-spicy version of the ramen when you make a reservation too. One thing that is good is that if you’re traveling with someone who eats meat, they can enjoy one of the highest quality ramen meals in Tokyo. They also serve a premium halal wagyu ramen dish for 10,400 yen. It might be a bit of a splurge for most people, but if you’re interested in the finest dining experience available in Japan, you shouldn’t miss out on this shop!
If you want to know that you are getting the best quality ramen in terms of ingredients, you should stop by this restaurant in Shinjuku. They serve Halal ramen and they have a vegan ramen bowl available for 4000 yen. The restaurant may get busy, but luckily you can beat the line by booking a reservation with the shop through their website here: http://halaltokyo-ouka.webstarterz.com/#bc1
Soranoiro is a fairly successful ramen restaurant that has six different locations all around Japan. You can check out their website to see the exact locations above. They have one location in the famed ramen street at Tokyo Station, which you should check out if you’re in the area.
However, if you have the time you should really try their location at Kojimachi. This location has been a part of the Michelin Guide for three years in a row! So, you can nom on your noodles in peace, knowing this is one of the best vegan ramen options in town. If you only have time to try one dish here, we recommend going with the Veggie Soba for 900 yen. The noodles are made with bell peppers giving it that shocking orange color. The dish is further elevated with the addition of a carrot and cabbage-based broth.
Afuri (Multiple Locations in Tokyo)
This is a famous shop in Tokyo that has been very successful lately. They have almost 20 different shops around the world. Afuri is known for their yuzu based broth, which is popular for its lighter flavor compared to other ramen restaurants. If you find yourself around any of their numerous locations, you should try their Rainbow Vegan Ramen. The noodles are made out of wheat and are blended with lotus root.
Noodle Stand Tokyo (Shibuya)
This super trendy shop serves a delicious coconut miso vegan ramen. One great thing about this restaurant is that they really care about the ethics behind food production and each ingredient is carefully sourced from a reliable vendor. They are also noteworthy for having appeared on a few television specials in Japan about their tonkotsu broth ramen. So, you can savor each bite here with the knowledge that you are supporting a business that cares about making the world a better place and has gotten recognition for it too.
Bonus Ramen Experience
If you enjoy any of the shops above and are curious about bringing some flavor of Japan back home, you should check out Bento-ya’s cooking lessons. They offer lessons on vegan cooking and you can learn how to make your own vegan ramen with one of their teachers.
I haven’t tried their ramen classes, but I learned how to make chicken karaage and a character bento with their teachers and it was a great experience. Learning how to cook vegan is one of the most important skills in sustaining this type of lifestyle and if you want to enjoy vegan ramen then what better place is there than your own home.
Follow the link below to book one of their classes, I really enjoyed my class with Ms. Akiko, Ms. Yoko, and Ms. Hiroko. If you have the time, I highly recommend stopping by one of their classes to learn how to make traditional Japanese vegan ramen.