Updated: Sep 5, 2020
Especially if you're vegan like me it is nearly impossible to find bread at supermarkets. Some bakeries do offer vegan breads but they too are usually sweet.
However, I recently discovered an amazing little bakery in Kyoto which not only offers delicious savory and sweet bread. Everything is vegan as well!
"Apelila" is a small vegan bakery near Demachiyanagi station, locaded next to a river with lots of sweet but also savory vegan baked goods.
When you come inside, you can find trays and little tongs with which you can pick all the goods you like. Which - trust me - is not easy at all because EVERYTHING just looks sooo good!
After you finished choosing (if you can) you can go to the counter and pay. There you can also choose if you want to eat your bread inside the bakery on one if their many tables or if you want to take them out. You can also eat some there and take the rest out. If you eat in, you are asked if there is any bread you want to be warmed up which I find very delicious.
They also sell some packaged buns, toasts, cookies etc. as well as a few organic vegetables.
The bakery also offers breakfast and lunch which seems quite good too but I personally haven't tried it yet. Apparently you can order drinks too, but I didn't notice that when I was there. They have water you can drink for free so you don't have to order something to drink.
The seating area inside the bakery is quite big and bright, with beautiful wooden furniture. The atmosphere is very calm and relaxing.
I chose to eat their onion bread, muffin with matcha cream, anpan (bread with sweet red bean paste) and chocolate bread.
What I love about the sweet breads is that the dough itself is not sweet, just like normal bread. The sweetness of the filling is enough to satisfy your sweet-tooth without giving you a sugar shock. It's just the right kind of sweetness in my opinion.
The chocolate bread is like a bun but cut open on the top and filed with delicious chocolate. I recommend you to let them warm it up because it makes the chocolate melt and therefore even more yummy!
The anpan is like a bun as well with sweet red bean paste filled into a slit on the top. Anpan is very popular in Japan and can be found at any supermarket or convenient store. However, it is absolutely rare to find a vegan version of it so I recommend trying it out at apelila!
The matcha muffin has a layer of sweet and super creamy matcha cream on top. I ate mine cold and it was amazing already, but I can imagine it would be even better warmed up. Matcha too is a very popular flavor in Japan so if you want to try very "Japanese" sweets be sure to get that one as well^^
The onion bread is like a large bun with freshly cut onion pieces inserted into the dough before baking and it tastes slightly sweet but savory at the same time. It is also a little bit moist on the inside. I ate it just the way it was but I guess it'd also be awesome for making sandwiches. The taste reminded me a little on the "pizza bread" (bread with onion, tomato and bell pepper mixed into) my mum used to make when I was a child.
I went to the apelila one more time to get anpan and melon-pan for my trip to Uji. Apelila is one of the very few places which sells vegan melon-pan and I love the bakery for that even more! Melon-pan again is very popular and can be found everywhere in Japan but usually contains milk and eggs.
It tasted sweet but not too sweet and a little fluffy. However, I recommend enjoying it on the day you bought it. I ate mine the next day and it was a little bit dry but still amazing.
I also bought the earl grey flavoured bread which again is not sweet itself but has a sweet and creamy filling made from vanilla pudding and earl grey. Perfect for tea time with friends or family, don't you think?
Something I noticed the second time I visited apelila is that they had different kinds of breads than before. Some very the same but a lot of them very new to me and looked oh so good! I guess they change them up regularly, so I recommend going there several times to try different baked goods. And believe me, you gotta come many times to try out everything!
The price depends on what kind of baked good you choose but I found it quite reasonable for Japanese conditions. The breads I bought were between 280 and 500 yen per piece.
The labels are written in Japanese only but the breads are quite self-explanory, so you can mostly see what kind of bread they are.
I can imagine it would be nice eating the baked goods at the river close to the bakery or maybe taking them to a hanami (cherry blossom viewing).
Close by you can also find Shimogamo Shrine, so why not combine visiting apelila and a little bit of sightseeing? There's a forest next to the shrine, so you could enjoy your bread there.
If I lived close to it I can see myself buying breads there every weekend for breakfast or for when friends come over to my home.
What I love
huge variety, both sweet and savory
you can eat in or take out
you can have your bread warmed up
WIFI (you just need to ask)
beautiful and convenient location
different breads depending on the day
not too expensive
What I don't love so much
take out bread will be individually packed in little plastic bags. But maybe if you ask they won't use it.
Wednesday - Saturday 10:00-16:00
closed on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays
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