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Foodspotting

Finding restaurants in Japan that cater well to both vegetarians and meat lovers can be a struggle, but these Kansai eateries are sure to hit the spot, no matter your preferences.

Runner’s Bar Correr

Nara
This family-run restaurant offers entirely gluten-free and organic food that is thoughtfully prepared and served by friendly, down-to-earth staff. The menu (English available) is Spanish-inspired and includes gluten-free bagels (a customer favorite), a rice-flour pizza set and a few different Japanese curry sets, including a chicken curry served with a tower of organic vegetables, as well as a small range of drinks, many of which are organic too. The vegan lunch set is an absolute winner, owing to the perfectly cooked and super fresh seasonal vegetables that are only minimally seasoned in order to let the produce speak for itself. It is only a small place so some waiting might be involved, but it is totally worth it as you’ll leave with your hunger abated and feeling satisfied that you’ve done your body some real good through healthy eating. Reservations are required for dinner and for Sundays.

• Address: 31-2 Fukutoshinin-cho Nara City
• Open: Mon–Wed, Fri–Sun 10am–10pm. • Last entry 9pm. LO 9:30pm.
• Closed: Thurs
• Price Range: ¥800–¥1,580
• Access: Kintetsu-Nara Stn, Exit 2 (17-min walk)
skunkroll.wixsite.com/runnersbarcorrer

Falafel Garden

Falafel Garden

Kyoto
Great falafels can be hard to come by in Japan, so this restaurant is a must for those in Kyoto craving some fried chickpea goodness. Naturally then, one of the star items on the menu is the falafel pita, which is packed full of flavor, crispy falafels, fresh vegetables and mouth-watering tahini sauce. If falafels aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other pita options including baba ghanoush (highly recommended as well), avocado and chicken. Can’t choose? The vegan plate set and sizeable dinner sets have a bit of everything that will be sure to satisfy any palate. The restaurant itself is large with a homey feel, the service is adequate and the staff can communicate in English. It is a bit out of the way, but easily accessible by train. And what’s a short train ride when there’s tasty Israeli fare at the end?
• Address: 15-2 Takanoha-cho Tanaka Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
• Open: Mon–Sun 11am–9.30pm
• Price Range: ¥450–¥3,500
• Access: Demachiyanagi Stn, Exit 7
falafelgarden.com/73070/?lang=en

Pizza Bar Fullhouse

Pizza Bar Fullhouse

Osaka
Pizza is a vegetarian go-to when eating out with meat-loving friends because you can bet there will at least be the classic Margherita on the menu. Not only does this small restaurant do a superb Margherita, they also make a tasty vegetable pizza (cheesy base topped with different vegetables), a decadent four-cheeses pizza drizzled with honey (the honey is optional), and a range of meat pizzas – all served, importantly, with superbly cooked pizza dough. Splash over some Tabasco sauce for an extra kick and choose from a range of sides if you’re extra peckish. There’s also a ¥1,600 all-you-can-drink menu that lasts 90 minutes and includes draft beer, sake, chuhai, and cocktails. The staff are attentive, friendly and speak enough English to get by. If you like your pizza with a side of karaoke, the staff also run pizza orders over to Moonshine Karaoke Bar across the road.
• Address: 2-13-1 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka
• Open: Mon–Thu 3pm–1am, Fri & Sat 3pm–2am, Sun 1pm–11pm
• Price Range: ¥700–¥1,100
• Access: Yotsubashi Stn Exit 5; Shinsaibashi Stn Exit 7
facebook.com/amemura.stand.rafu/?fref=ts

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