Awaji Island, renowned for its natural beauty, rich culture, and anime attractions, is equally celebrated for its diverse cuisine. While local gourmet and unique dishes are staples, Awaji Island has also emerged as a destination for vegan cuisine. In recent years, as the island has prioritized wellness and community well-being, several highly-rated vegan restaurants have popped up. This article introduces some of the best places to savor top class animal-free foods.
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1) HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX: Unique Vegan Cuisine and Amazing Performances
HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX is the ideal spot for Hello Kitty fans to interact with the adorable character. While the building’s design and Hello Kitty performances are charming, one of the most attractive aspects of the restaurant is its vegan food.
You will be astonished to discover that all the dishes at HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX are crafted without any animal-based ingredients, delivering robust flavors that defy expectations for vegan cuisine. The restaurant sources all ingredients from local farms, striving for a healthy and environmentally conscious menu. The menu is the creation of Hal Yamashita, an award-winning, world-renowned chef. Yamashita’s unique fusion style brings together the finest ingredients with cutting edge technique of preparation and presentation.
As the food is Hello Kitty-themed, not only does it taste great, but it is also fun to look at. One of the vegan full-course lunches consists of salad, Awaji onion consommé soup, cheese rice gratin, and homemade apple pie. Click here to learn more about our experience by visiting HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX and trying the vegan full-course set.
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|HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX
|177-5 Nojimahirabayashi, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1724
|10 minutes by car from Awaji IC and 15 minutes from Hokudan Interchange on Kobe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway.
|Free parking available
|12:10-13:30(Open at 11:00, Last In at 12:00)
|Café and Greetings by HELLO KITTY
|14:00-17:00 Greeting at 14:30-/16:00- Café Show and Greetings by HELLO KITTY: 14:30~ / 16:00~
2) Haru San San: Vegan Dishes at a Farmer’s Farm-to-Table Restaurant
Haru San San is a farmhouse restaurant embracing the farm-to-table concept, providing a distinctive dining experience rooted in freshly harvested vegetables from its farm and carefully sourced ingredients from local producers. At the restaurant, guests enjoy the richness of Awaji Island’s locally cultivated, fresh vegetables. Nobuaki Fushiki, an expert in fermented cuisine, partners with Masayuki Okuda, recognized as one of the “World’s Top 1000 Chefs”, to craft dishes that showcase the excellence of freshly harvested vegetables from the surrounding farm.
While the restaurant does serve meat, vegan dishes are also available. Vegetables are always the focus of the cooking here, showcasing meticulous preparation and cooking techniques.
The salads are delightfully fresh, with dressings that complement rather than overpower the vegetables. The soups feature the fragrant and gentle flavors of a variety of vegetables. Among the main dishes, guests can try the Awaji vegetable pasta, prepared with freshly made pasta and seasonal vegetables, or opt for one of the seasonal vegetable specials.
The combination of excellent vegan cuisine, innovative technique, and distinctive restaurant design has made Haru San San’s a smash hit culinary destination across Japan.
|Farmer’s Restaurant – Haru San San
|1510-4 Nojima-tokiwa Aza Genpachi, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1726
3) Zenbo Seinei: Vegan Cuisine that Nourishes Body and Soul
Zenbo Seinei on Awaji Island offers a serene escape, providing visitors with Zen-related activities like ZEN meditation and calligraphy. A notable highlight is the Zenbo Cuisine, a fully vegan Shojin Ryori experience that allows guests to appreciate the flavors of Awaji Island’s natural ingredients while promoting well-being for the body and spirit.
The Yamano Megumi Chirashi-zushi, a beloved vegan dish, stands out for its vinegar rice and assorted mountain vegetables. Distinguished from traditional Chirashizushi, this unique version includes amazake, a sweet sake made from black rice, and red vinegar. The dish creatively combines rice with konjac, an underground plant commonly found in Asia, forming a delightful harmony of flavors.
Another popular dish is the Yamakake Konjac Soba, a unique fusion of textures and flavors created by grated yam crown noodles made from konjac. Porcini mushrooms, marinated in a broth infused with kombu, contribute to a broth that is both rich and savory, enhancing the overall taste experience. If you are keen on exploring vegan cuisine in Japan, this is a must-try experience.
|2594-5 Aza-Banaka, Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
Closed: Varies depending on a month. Please inquire.
4) VIE CHOCOLAT: Delicious Vegan Chocolate with an Adorable Design
Our final suggestion, is not a restaurant but a special chocolate shop unlike any other in Japan. VIE CHOCOLAT, on Ladybird Road, stands out for its exclusive, elegantly packaged vegan chocolates. The restaurant is named after the French words for life and vitality.
Using soy or almond milk for a lower calorie and sugar content, these vegan treats are designed to appeal to a diverse audience, including children and those with allergies. The unique, charming design of the chocolate shop itself evokes the feeling of stepping into a magical other world. The packaging is also exceptionally cute, featuring adorable characters. Click here to learn more about VIE CHOCOLAT.
Here are 4 of the top-rated vegan spots on Awaji Island, handpicked by our editors. While not all are strictly vegan restaurants, each adds a unique touch to enhance your overall experience. Delight in exceptional vegan cuisine amidst the backdrop of Awaji’s nature, culture, and distinctive offerings. If you are interested in vegan cuisine and wish to explore Awaji Island, it is a must-visit destination.