Good Eats: Going “Green” in Tokyo

I’ve just bid farewell to the third set of guests in two months and I have to say … I have never eaten so much Japanese food!

Don’t get me wrong, I love love LOVE Japanese food. I love it so much that I cook it at home. Which means that when I go out, I normally look for something else, like Thai or Italian or French. Things I can’t – or don’t – replicate in my kitchen. But cuisines (and some aspects of Japanese cuisine) can get a bit heavy.

Call me crazy, but sometimes this girl just wants a juice.

Yes, I’m one of those silly people who actually craves vegetables. Luckily, Tokyo is more than happy to oblige with a growing number of vegetarian and even vegan eateries. Below are just a few of my favorites:

Mr Farmer (Omotesando)

I love this bright, spacious cafe with a strong focus on veggies, juice and healthy meals. Chow down on a miso sesame ginger or Genovese salad, or go for beet and beef or spinach and chicken soup. There are several wraps and sandwiches to choose from as well. Smoothies or a homemade ginger ale make the perfect accompaniment to the filling meals.

Mr Farmer (9)

Crayon House (Omotesando)

Crayon House is a bookstore, toy store and organic beauty shop all rolled into one. And in the basement, they offer visitors a daily organic lunch buffet (¥1500). Mondays are meatless, but the rest of the days may have some animal options. Dishes range from grilled tofu with a tomato sauce to various salads using local veggies. Brown rice, white rice, and miso soup are always available. Trips back up to the buffet are unlimited.

Crayon House (1)

Nagi Shokudo (Shibuya)

I would never have found this place if my daughter’s school weren’t located literally above it. Some reviews online said that portions were too small, but I felt the daily lunch special for around ¥1500 perfectly suited my appetite. I got to pick three main dishes to accompany rice, side salads and miso soup.

**Can’t believe I forgot to take a photo. I remember being really hungry that day. 😉 **

8ablish (Aoyama)

8ablish is one of Tokyo’s first vegan fine-dining restaurants. Located in Aoyama, not far from the UN University, this is a good place to come for a classier meal than the listings above. The pumpkin and carrot potage is a winner and the vegetable souvlaki is sublime. The faux meatballs and vegan ravioli were also a good choice.

8ablish (8)

Rainbow Raw Food (Ebisu)

This eatery, recently moved from its old location in West Ebisu to a new spot on the other side of the same station, focuses mostly on raw food. While you can occasionally find small offerings of cooked food (the menu mentioned a cooked curry dish), my plate of raw Pad Thai, dehydrated onion bread and vegetable maki rolls was good and surprisingly filling. It came with a small green smoothie and ran about ¥1300.

Rainbow Raw Food (5)

Though there are PLENTY of places to tempt your tastebuds in Tokyo, if your tummy needs a bit of a break, these places are all excellent for a lighter, “greener” meal.

**While I have linked all of the shop’s main webpages, the first few are very … non-user friendly. For more English info, simply google each restaurant or use the excellent Time Out Tokyo page as a guide.

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