Vege-Cafe Kanna is not so much a vegetarian restaurant as a restaurant that puts a big emphasis on vegetables and other healthy natural food. They do have vegetarian options though if you ask for them. I asked for the vegetarian version of the “Kanna Lunch Set”. It’s important that you specify that you are vegetarian so that they don’t use any dashi which contains fish stock.
For 950 yen you get a main dish (changes daily), organic genmai (wholegrain) rice, salad, miso soup, a drink (tea, coffee etc) and a selection of obanzai. Obanzai is a type of traditional Kyoto cuisine typified by small dishes of tofu or gluten and other rather mysterious looking concoctions. To be honest I’m not entirely sure what I was eating – but it certainly looked pretty.
For the meat-eaters there’s a pork cutlet curry available…
…but I think I chose the better option.
What I like most about this place though, is that it is a beautifully renovated machiya townhouse. I think regular readers will be aware of how much I like machiya. Take a look at the interior.
In recent years the old traditional machiya townhouses of Kyoto have become quite fashionable. People have realised that they are a marketable resource and that this is what visitors to Kyoto want to see. If we are to preserve these fine old wooden buildings, then new practical uses for them – such as this cafe – have to be found…
Vege-Cafe Kanna is on the south side of Takeyamachi Doori a short walk east of Horikawa and a stone’s throw away from Nijo Castle. So if you happen to be sight-seeing in the area it’s a handy place for some traditional/healthy food in a traditional Kyoto setting.
Here is a handy map.
Open: 11:30 – 20:00 (lunch is from 11:30 – 14:00)
Closed on Sundays.
Many thanks to Duncan Flett for introducing me to this place!