Does a cup of hot miso soup with brown rice onigiri sound good? Stop by Nezu no Ya for a healthy, vegan-friendly lunch. Looking at it from the outside, you’d probably think to yourself, “oh, a cute, old-timey store,” before continuing with your day. You’re in Nezu. There’re plenty of famous spots to see like Yanaka Shrine, Yanaka Cemetery, and Yanaka Ginza with its famous cats.
The outside of Nezu no Ya, a vegan / vegetarian-friendly organic restaurant in Nezu.
But if you were to look a little closer, you’d see that they’re selling mostly vegan-friendly organic foods. You’d also see that written in small letters on a wooden sign bearing the store’s name, Nezu no Ya, are the words “organic restaurant.”
Exploring the selection of vegan and vegetarian foodstuffs.
The front part of Nezu no Ya is a general store catering to vegans and vegetarians. The narrow aisles are flanked by shelves crowded with foods that are still relatively uncommon in most Japanese supermarkets such as seitan and soy meat. This is great if you’re a vegan living in Tokyo who needs to stock up on supplies, but not exactly geared towards tourists.
The inside of the restaurant / cafe at Nezu no Ya.
But then you walk a little further back and head through a door that leads to the café / restaurant. It’s like stepping into an entirely different building. It’s bright, airy, and has plenty of seating. You’d never guess by looking at the street-side storefront that a place like this was tucked away in the back like a well-kept secret.
Today's daily lunch special was veggie and fu (wheat gluten) chop suey, daikon and quinoa salad, mustard spinach sushi rolls, brown rice, miso soup, and pickled veggies.
Nezu No Ya serves natural, Japanese-style vegan meals. Their menu consists of a daily lunch special, vegetable curry, and an onigiri lunch set. There’s also a daily cake set. We got to try the whole menu for this piece. The best way to describe the food at Nezu no Ya is unpretentiously delicious. It’s a good example of a vegan version of what an average Japanese person might eat on any given day. If you could, you’d probably want to eat at Nezu No Ya everyday even if you don’t normally eat vegan. As Nezu No Ya also uses no refined sugar or artificial seasonings in their cooking, it’d probably be good for your health if you could.
The vegetable curry comes with brown rice, a small side salad, and pickled vegetables.
When we were doing this piece, we had a diverse group with us including a vegetarian, meat-eaters, and me, who has had flings with veganism and tends to be vegetarian in my own cooking. We all got to try the food. Everyone loved it.
The brown rice onigiri lunch set at Nezu no Ya comes with a small side dish, miso soup, and pickled vegetables.
The prices at Nezu no Ya are also reasonable. Eating out every day while traveling can be a challenge to work into your budget. Things get even trickier if you’re trying to eat healthy or don’t eat animal products. You can expect to spend somewhere between 800 – 1,200 yen per person on lunch here.
Today's cake was green tea and walnut. Yum!
Nezu no Ya is located a few minutes’ walk from Nezu Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. This station has good access to many popular spots in the Yanasen area, making it a great place to stop for lunch after a morning of sightseeing.
Don't speak Japanese? Don't worry! Nezu no Ya has an English menu as well as an English web page.
InformationNezu no Ya | 根津の谷
Address: 1-1-14 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Mon – Sat
11:30am – 3:30pm (lunch)
11:30am – 5:00pm (café / L.O. 4:00pm)
Closed Sundays and Wednesdays
Access: approx. 1 min walk from Nezu Station (Metro Chiyoda Line)
Enjoying lunch at Nezu no Ya.
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 12 09,2015 Author：Rachael Ragalye