In the first part of this series, I introduced some fantastic vegan-friendly restaurants in Okinawa. This time we’re heading to Kyushu for the next stop on our plant-based tour of Japan: Fukuoka. Better known for its yatai (open-air food stands) than its vegan scene, Fukuoka’s veggie offerings might seem limited at first. However, if you look beneath the surface you might be pleasantly surprised by what’s available.
Here are four notable places to get you going.
1. Lily Valley
This delightful café is sure to capture your attention right from the start with its amazing display of cookies and muffins just inside the door. Before you get carried away with the sweets though, do check out their savory options as well, as they have a great selection of delicious lunch sets on offer. Its peaceful atmosphere and small size make Lily Valley a fabulous choice for a relaxing meal while you’re out and about in the hustle and bustle of Fukuoka. Alternatively, you can pop in to get some sweet treats to take away with you.
Although Lily is completely vegetarian, be aware that not all of the dishes are vegan. The menu is only available in Japanese, however the word “vegan” is written in English next to all the vegan-friendly items. This means you shouldn’t have any difficulty figuring out what you can eat, but if you do have any questions, the staff are always happy to help.
- Location: Near Akasaka Station
- Address: 1F Prima Akasaka, 1-18-25 Akasaka, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
- Tel: 092-791-1619
- Opening hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (6 p.m. on Saturdays); Lunch 11.30 a.m.-2 p.m. Closed on Sundays.
2. Rota Café
Rota Café is a macrobiotic café that focuses on providing seasonal food that is both healthy and delicious. In addition to being 100 percent vegan, the menu contains no white sugar, preservatives or additives.
They offer a mixture of Japanese and Western-style dishes, including doria (a rice dish with sauce and melted “cheese” on top), hayashi rice (served with mock beef in a thick, rich sauce), burgers and soup. Their most popular option is the “skin beauty plate,” full of ingredients which supposedly have beauty-enhancing properties! If you visit with a friend, try their special set menu for two to get a taste of several different courses.
Rota has a terrific range of desserts, too. The sweets set in particular is a great option, offering your choice of dessert plus a drink and mini ice cream for just ¥1,000. There’s also a small shop on the first floor selling a selection of packaged food and ready-to-eat take out options.
- Location: Near Tenjin station
- Address: 1&2F 1-12-2 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
- Tel: 092-738-1414
- Opening hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays). Closed on Wednesdays.
3. 106 South Indian
As the name suggests, 106 South Indian is an Indian restaurant specializing in South Indian and Pakistani dishes. Unlike the other restaurants highlighted here, 106 South Indian does serve meat as well as vegetarian and vegan options. However, the staff have a clear idea of what vegetarian and vegan mean, and they will happily advise you about items on the menu that are suitable for you. In addition, everything is cooked fresh — which means that dishes can be easily adjusted to make them veggie- or vegan-friendly.
If you’re in a group with both vegans/vegetarians and meat-eaters, 106 South Indian is a great venue as it offers something for everyone (as long as they like Indian food!). The dosas in particular are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a dish that’s both delicious and authentic.
- Location: Near Tenjin station
- Address: 1-17-14 Imaizumi, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
- Tel: 092-791-1065
- Opening hours: Lunch 11.30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
4. Macrobiotic Café Evah Dining
Another macrobiotic establishment, Evah is a little different from the other eateries on this list. It’s take-out only, providing a wide selection of bento boxes, wraps and baked goods that are all suitable for vegans. Its location inside Hakata station (with a sister store in the nearby shopping mall) makes it the perfect place to pick up a picnic lunch for a hike or snacks for a day out sightseeing.
Although the stand is only small, they have a surprisingly wide variety of food available. The exact selection on offer differs from day to day, but everything is made with seasonal ingredients and is very reasonably priced. Basically, Evah can’t be beaten for quality, price and convenience when it comes to finding vegan food on the go!
- Location: Inside JR Hakata station
- Address: JR Hakata Station, 1-1 Chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka
- Tel: 092-483-2262
- Opening hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
If you’re interested to try out some other veg-friendly dining spots in Kyushu’s largest city, here are a few that were on our list but we haven’t made it to — yet!
- Hiruneko Shokudo. A cat-themed vegan cafe (map).
- Veggie Shokudo Funadeya. A friendly vegan cafe serving Japanese-style meals (map).
- Natural Food Store Farm. Japanese restaurant above a health store, offers two vegan set lunches (map).
Enjoy eating your way around Japan!
Are there any other vegan-friendly spots in Fukuoka that you recommend? Let us know in the comments!