My partner and I are early birds. We would get up at 5.30am on most days to enjoy the serenity and quietness of our neighborhood, holding a cup of coffee staring into nothingness on our front porch. Of course there are days we love to treat ourselves to hearty and healthy vegan breakfast outside. Having lived in Kyoto for a few years, we have scouted out the city for some of the best places for vegan breakfast in town! Here is the list.
Veg Out (100% vegan)
Located only a few minutes on foot from Shichijo station on the Keihan line, Veg Out is conveniently located and is overlooking Kamogawa or Kamo River. Veg Out serves enticing hand-drip coffee and latte made with soy milk, with a wide variety of delicious food on the menu that easily could classify it as a restaurant, on top of a café. We recommend Veg Panini, Buddha Bowl, Obanzai Assorted Plate, Balinese Fried Rice with Tempeh, Taco Rice.
The beverage menu consists of delicious drinks such as kombucha, chai, home-made ginger ale, rarely available on the menu of other places. Veg Out is owned by Tamisa Yoga Studio, with 2 locations in Kyoto: Sanjo studio and Nanajo studio, located right underneath Veg Out, so it is frequented by the yoga crowds.
Veg Out is eco-friendly and does not have single-use plastic. It also sells organic nuts and grains by weight.
Pro: Open early at 8am., large window offering a great view of the river, great coffee, extensive healthy drink menu and serves beer, sake, organic wine, raw cakes, muffins and cookies
Hours: Breakfast 8am – 11am, Lunch 12pm-3pm, Café menu 12pm – 5pm, Dinner 6pm – 8pm. Closed on Monday, but hours and closing day may differ on national holidays.
Whole Food Café Apprivoiser (meat options)
This organic whole food café opens at 7am which is a big plus for those who want to start their day early. Not many restaurant in Kyoto opens this early. Apprivoiser offers an organic home-made cuisine and if you order any drink with their breakfast items, you will get JPY200 off. The place is cozy and quiet. We highly recommend the Japanese breakfast set, which is vegan and is served with brown rice and assorted veggie. The menu is clearly marked vegan/vegetarian, so there is no confusion. Home-made granola bowl, scone and muffin and vegetable curry are also nice additions to the menu.
Pro: Opens really early at 7am, value for money,
Hours: 7am – 5pm. Closed on Monday. May close earlier than 5pm, when they are sold out for the day, so do go early.
Vermillion Café (meat options)
Vermillion Café’s name is inspired by the color of the Torii gates lined Fushimi Inari Shrine, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Kyoto. The café is located at the foot of Mount Inari, where the shrine is located, so it is a convenient stop for breakfast or lunch after the 233-meter hike. You have an option of sitting inside of the cozy café or at the outside deck surrounded by lots of trees, overlooking a small pond.
Limited vegan choices, but the menu offers clearly marked vegan dishes. We recommend cauliflower soup, falafel dish and beetroot, sweet potato and carrot baguette with vegan mayo.
All latte could be made with soya milk, with an additional fee. The Macha Latte is delicious!
Pro: Outdoor seating available in temperate seasons with the view of a pond with lots of greenery, all drinks can be made with soy milk, cozy vibe
Hours: Open daily from 9am – 5pm
Vegan Minshuku Sanbiki Neko (100% vegan)
Vegan Minshuku Sanbiki Neko is a Japanese-style guesthouse, owned by a lovely Australian couple, Helen and Craig. The place is not a restaurant, but they do offer breakfast to their guests who stay at the guesthouse and may occasionally cater to people who do not stay with them, with an advanced reservation, so do contact them to enquire and make a reservation.
Helen and Craig are both vegan and have great talent and creativity to prepare vegan meals inspired by many cultures such as Japanese, Thai, Arabic and western cuisine. Simply wonderful!
Pro: Personalized service by an attentive and friendly owning couple, menu is changed daily by the owner, cozy and modern facilities
The Brasserie at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto (meat options)
Though the vegan options are not as wide as those 100% vegan places, freshly squeezed juice, world-class Four Seasons service and a buffet-style breakfast are the main attractions of The Brasserie at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto. The buffet is filled with abundance of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, guacamole, hummus, tofu, home-made bread (not all are vegan) and fruit jams.
Due to the high price tag, compared to most places, and limited vegan options, The Brasserie at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is only suitable for special occasions and when you would like to spoil yourself to the elegance of the restaurant.
Spaces are limited during peak seasons, so do call to make a reservation in advance to avoid disappointment.
Pro: Buffet-style breakfast offers variety, outdoor seating available in temperate seasons with the view of 800-year-old pond, casual luxury feel, will personalize dishes to suit your dietary needs
Hours: 7am – 10:30am