Vegetarianism is not common in Japanese culture. With the exception of shojin ryori, or traditional Buddhist cuisine, it can be tricky for travelers in Japan to find and request vegetarian meals. However, there are plenty of tasty options here in Phoenix if you know where to look! We’ve featured five of our favorite restaurants here:
This Tempe restaurant is the best choice on the list for vegetarians in the mood for sushi. The menu offers a separate section with eleven different veggie roll options. The sweet potato roll is especially delicious…and addictive! The rest of the menu is also expansive- we recommend the Spicy Garlic Edamame appetizer and the Tofu Steak entree.
Sushi 101 is conveniently located next to ASU and is a popular choice for Tempe locals. Despite its popularity, it’s rare to have to wait for a table. The service is almost always top-notch as well. We recommend visiting during happy hour (3-7pm and 9pm-close daily) for a significant discount on appetizer and sushi items.
920 E. University Drive, D-101 Tempe, AZ 85281
Hana Japanese Eatery
We’ve featured Hana on our webpage previously due to its delicious and authentic Japanese cuisine. We’re thrilled to report that the restaurant also has a variety of vegetarian dishes. The Yudofu Nabe is a personal favorite and consists of tofu and a green onion dipping sauce. (Be sure to specify the vegetarian option, as it otherwise comes with bonito flakes.) The menu also includes veggie gyoza, salad options, and multiple vegetarian dinner entrees. Be sure to save room for mochi ice cream for dessert!
No matter their dietary preferences, most Japanese food lovers in the valley consider Hana a favorite spot for dining. The quaint atmosphere and friendly services makes for a comfortable dining experience. The restaurant is also centrally located in uptown Phoenix.
5524 N. 7th St. Phoenix, AZ 85013
Hot Noodles Cold Sake
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Come in for dinner and you will be amazed too! #Repost from @katbonny with @regram.app ... Our last night in Scottsdale it was just me, the hubster and our crew. We wanted to eat something we don’t have easy access to in Wenatchee, so we chose the very high-rated, locally-owned ramen place down the street. Wow, uh-maze-ing. If you’re ever in Scottsdale and you’re craving something Asian and delicious, opt for Hot Noodles Cold Sake. 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼
Hot Noodles Cold Sake has a small menu but still makes sure to cater to its vegetarian patrons. Four of the six appetizer choices are vegetarian, and one of the five ramen options is vegan. All of the menu options are unique and delicious- it’s hard to go wrong! Be sure to come hungry and order the extra noodles.
The Chef describes the restaurant as “a small and simple ramen shop with traditional Japanese flavors.” It’s a great choice for a casual lunch or dinner in Scottsdale.
15689 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85260
This trendy noodle shop opened in Phoenix in 2016 and has been a popular choice with locals ever since. The fried cauliflower and shishito peppers make for excellent starters. The S.U.V. (standing for “so…you’re vegan”) is the obvious popular choice for vegetarian patrons. However, the “Mothra” is a tasty choice as well. Both are yakisoba dishes that include a variety of veggies.
Sosoba is located in the heart of downtown Phoenix. While the service has always been good for me, friends have reported it can be on the slow side depending on the day. Therefore we don’t recommend visiting if you’re in a hurry.
214 W. Roosevelt St. Phoenix, AZ 85003
Iron Chef, named of course for the popular TV show, has been recognized in various local blogs for its tasty vegetarian menu options. Because the restaurant features Asian fusion cuisine, vegetarian visitors can enjoy both Japanese sushi rolls as well as Chinese entrees.
10810 N. Tatum Blvd #106 Phoenix, AZ 85028
Note: unless the ingredients are explicitly stated in the menu, it’s never a bad idea to inform your server of your dietary restrictions. Happy dining!