A couple of months ago I had a vegetarian friend visiting. It wasn't her first visit to Japan, but this time I was determined to find some ramen for her. Finding vegetarian food isn't that easy in Japan, and more than likely it will be vegan or else vegetarian but including fish broth.
However, without too much work I found two different places to get vegetarian and/or vegan ramen.
The first place we went was T's Tantan inside the ticket gates of Tokyo station. Everything in the restaurant is vegan which is particularly nice when a person is often having to select the only vegetarian option on a menu.
She had the seasonal autumn ramen and I had a tantan noodles and curry set. Both were good, though as a meat eater I definitely like regular tantan noodles more. My friend raved about hers - particularly the broth - and thought it was much better than any vegetarian ramen she'd had in the US. As a note, I got the set with curry because I wanted her to have a chance to try Japanese curry, but this was much more Thai in style - coconut milk based, which is not Japanese at all.
The second place we went was Afuri, which is a trendy ramen chain with multiple locations in Tokyo. If you watch the show Girls on HBO there is a scene of Shoshana eating there. Afuri is known for its yuzu flavored broths, and I just happened to notice that they have a vegan option on their menu. This is a great place to take a group, if not everyone is looking for vegan or vegetarian food. A bonus here is that if you're a vegetarian you can add a soft boiled egg to your ramen (my favorite part!) which you won't find at a vegan restaurant. As a note, the vegan ramen comes with noodles made out of vegetables because their regular noodles use egg, but you can pay to upgrade to regular noodles (which I highly recommend) if you're vegetarian and not vegan.
My friend enjoyed both, but said she's choose T's Tantan as her first choice because of the greater choice and the uniqueness of of the broth. But either way you can't go wrong.
|T's Tantan in Tokyo Station|
|Tantan noodles and curry set at T's Tantan|
|Seasonal Autumn Ramen at T's Tantan|
|Vegan Ramen at Afuri - So Gorgeous!|
Hours: 7:00-11:00 7 days a week
Location: JR Tokyo Station, on Keiyo Street
Locations Include: Roppongi, Ebisu, Azabu Juban, Naka Meguro, Harajuku, Sangenjaya, Shinjuku and Yokohama