One day when I was walking through Kyoto, by chance I stumbled across a small restaurant looking very interesting from the outside.
It was closed, but I decided to check out the menu pinned at the wall. And I was really surprised as although they do serve meat dishes, they have a very large vegetarian menu with many vegan options on it as well! ♡
It is located near Kyoto University Hospital (about 5-10 min by foot). You can also get there from Ginkakuji, but it takes about 20-25 min by foot. From Demachiyanagi Station it takes about 20-25min as well.
My boyfriend and I decided to check it out and went a few days later. Monpan Shokudō is run by an eldary couple. The restaurant has a small but really cute outside space for guests to sit. If you go inside, they have a small counter on the right and a table on the left. They also have a space with tatami mats where you can sit on a pillow on the ground to sit and eat on a low table which I personally like a lot as it gives that traditional Japanese feeling. In winter the table turnes into a kotatsu which basically means that it is heated inside and has a blanket attached to it so that sitting there is very cozy and warm.
They have three menus: vegetarian, non-vegetarian and recommendations. On the recommendations menu vegan dishes are clearly marked. But the vegetarian menu has many vegan options as well. If you ask the staff, they can turn many dishes vegan for you!
The name "Monpan" comes from Mongolian Bread, which is their speciality. They offer many kinds of dishes with it: Monpan filled with veggies, veggies and cheese, pizza style or filled with sweet things and more. I definitely recommend trying one if them!
They also sell quite a few Korean dishes as well as Japanese dishes and pasta.
Their food is also cheap and as they serve meat dishes as well it is a perfect place when vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters want to eat together.
The dishes I tried (all vegan):
The regular monpan came filled with veggies, including pickles and cabbage as well as a delicious tomato sauce. It reminds me a bit on vegan kebab just without falafel. The bread is a it crispy and super delicious! All in all the portion is relatively big and filling.
This was the first time I saw vegetarian yakisoba. Yakisoba basically is buckwheat noodles fried with vegetables and usually meat. As it was marked as vegetarian, I specifically asked them to make it vegan just in case it wasn't. The fried noodles were crispy and had a sweet soy sauce taste. There also were bean sprouts, leek, cabbage and tofu inside. The tofu was well fried but quite soft as Japanese tofu usually is. The food was quite oily which I'm not used to but really super delicious! I definitely want to eat it again. Also it was very filling.
For this dish too I specified I want it vegan just to make sure. The rolled bread was thinner than the normal one and was rolled like a wrap filled with many different vegetables. In my opinion it's not as filling but tasted good!
Jijimi is a Korean savory pancake including many vegetables. It was crispy and very oily but very yummy! Not super filling so I recommend paring it with another dish.
Thursday - Sunday 10:00-20:00
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