Hokkaido, regularly voted Japan’s most popular prefecture, has some great vegan options in its capital city of Sapporo. We’ve narrowed down our favorites to ensure that vegans can also enjoy Hokkaido’s food to the max.
The prefecture is famous for its delicious local fruits and vegetables, which makes it the perfect choice for vegans. From nutty sushi to vegan soup curry, each of the restaurants on this list excels at its chosen niche. Be that washoku or burgers, each restaurant is worth checking out for both vegans and non-vegans as well.
Located in Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade, Lohas sells raw and macrobiotic food. Everything is vegan except the buckwheat (although the soba can be made vegan upon request). It serves smoothies, natural wine, herb tea and beer. There is also a selection of natural foods and products from Japanese vendors, including Saitama-based Alishan.
Our dish of choice is the Lohas sushi plate, which uses nuts in place of rice and must be tried to be believed. We ordered a lunch set including soup and a mini smoothie. Lohas gets busy very quickly, so you may have to wait, but it’s worth it.
Holistic Bio Cafe Veggy Way
A completely vegan restaurant with a catchy name, Holistic Bio Cafe Veggy Way uses no refined sugar or pungent root veg (garlic, onion, etc.) in its products. From chocolate parfaits to maritozzo, each sweet dessert is flavourful.
Its savory offerings include a miso style ramen which makes the most of the Sapporo ramen legend and includes Japanese ginger and saffron in a broth filling. Variations include kimchi. Also on the menu is a popular chicken burger made of soy meat that uses a white tartar sauce, paying homage to chicken nanban.
Located in the bougie district of Maruyama, Itadakizen originally opened in London’s King Street, where it declared itself as Europe’s first organic vegan Japanese restaurant. It has since added a location in Sapporo and uses local Hokkaido ingredients for its dishes, except for the rice, which comes from Scotland.
After serving up its popular vegan osechi selection, it shuts down during the city’s coldest months. Visit from March and you’ll be greeted by wooden interiors with natural fabrics and a small range of vegetables for sale.
Dinner is by reservation only, although at lunchtime walk-ins are possible. Try its stone Korean rice bowl course, which starts with a glassy soup and ends with a deliciously creamy amazake pudding.
L’Esperance is a quiet restaurant that takes inspiration from traditional French food and turns it vegan, with added countries thrown in along the way. The restaurant shares a space with Sapporo’s veteran vegan restaurant Aoi Sora Nagarerukumo from Tuesdays to Saturdays.
L’Esperance does French with a Japanese twist. The chef uses ingredients such as kabocha, rice wafers and sake-kasu to create picture-perfect dishes. For lunchtime, the restaurant offers three options: one plate at ¥1,600, four courses at ¥2,200 and six courses for ¥2,600.
Dishes vary depending on the dietary requirements of each customer. Highlights include a bouillabaisse fish stew, which uses nori or amaranth-filled spring rolls instead of fish, as well as a rice wafer fish filled with potato puree. A dinner menu is also on offer from 6pm, with a selection of vegan-friendly natural beers and wine options. For non-drinkers, non-alcoholic cocktails using ingredients such as kombucha and lavender are on offer.
Michiru Kitchen, which opened in 2022, is one of the few restaurants in Japan that makes use of everyone’s favorite stinky fruit, the jackfruit. The restaurant opens most evenings and sometimes at lunchtime. It has become known for its vegetable burritos with dried jackfruit and its friendly owners.
Its popular dish is the vegan lasagna, which comes with a delicious vegetable filling and vegan Béchamel sauce. Wash it down with a glass of natural wine.
Soup Curry Beyond Age
Soup Curry Beyond Age is by far the best vegan curry soup we’ve tasted in Sapporo. It even has enough flavor to satisfy meat lovers. It has both vegan and non-vegan options, as well as the spiciest ‘Number Two’ level curry we’ve ever tried.