When you hear the word “vegetarian” the image that comes to mind is limited options and eating tons and tons of kale, but what if it didn’t have to be that way? Tucked away behind the facade of a fashionably vegetarian Omotesando street, Brown Rice by Neal’s Yard Remedies is an all-organic vegetarian restaurant that follows Japanese cuisine to the letter and makes dishes with depth of flavor and umami out of nothing but—yep, you guessed it—plants*. 

Mikael Pradnyasurya

The Atmosphere

The cafe/restaurant serves as a break from all the walking and shopping in Omotesando, Tokyo’s premier bougie district, and a spot to re-energize. Coming in from either entrance (the back serves as a shop for Neal’s Yard Remedies) is like stepping into a bubble of calming—just short of overpowering—aromas, most notably lemongrass. The tastefully rustic decor adds to the atmosphere and makes for Instagram-worthy snaps, and potentially a cute backdrop to a casual lunch date.

Mikael Pradnyasurya

The Food

Closing at 6pm, it is almost exclusively a lunch and afternoon tea spot with a lunch menu and desserts a la carte. The lunch menu is quite small and consists of curry rice, rice and steamed vegetables, and a seasonal special tofu main dish. The dishes are laid out in typical teishoku (set meal) fashion and draw elements from traditional Japanese cuisine, but the usual protein suspects are missing (fish, egg, poultry) and replaced with meatless alternatives, such as tofu, miso and every other incarnation of soy in existence.

Mikael Pradnyasurya

The amount of food on each tray could put your average college student into a small coma. However, the sheer calorie count doesn’t hit the same way a fancy prime rib would in the middle of the day. Instead, you find yourself hating yourself less than when you came in, internally cleansed with fresh, organic vegetables. The effect is much more pronounced after a night of clubbing and reveling in Tokyo’s nightlife, when you need to get rid of all the toxins that you know are coursing through your blood.

Mikael Pradnyasurya

The Pricing

Feeling great doesn’t come cheap and you should expect to spend at least 2000 yen (US$18) on a meal, but that should not come as a surprise when in Omotesando—the assumption being, of course, that if you can afford to be there you can afford to have a bougie luncheon.

The Gift Shop

Behind the restaurant is the inspiration behind the all-organic philosophy of Brown Rice, Neal's Yard Remedies. Here, you can find various herbal lotions and salves and an extensive variety of teas for an elevated level of relaxation.


Japanese food is diverse and isn't restricted to the typical mainstream options, such as sushi, ramen and gyudon. Vegetarian teishoku takes inspiration from early hunter-gatherers and brings it to present-day and is a great alternative to the generally heavy, deep-fried, meaty dishes that people recommend.

*We have reached out to Neal's Yard Remedies to confirm whether or not their offerings are vegan but have yet to receive a reply. Therefore, they may utilize certain animal products such as milk, eggs, etc.