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Vegetarian Menu at Coco Curry Ichibanya, Japan

Coco Curry Ichibanya

Vegetarian Curry at Coco Ichibanya

Coco Curry is a popular Japanese curry chain in Japan serving katsu curry. It’s a must-eat for me on every visit to Japan – especially as a late breakfast after a night of karaoke!

There are branches everywhere, it’s a delicious, satisfying meal and you get a large serving for a very reasonable price. But the best thing is how you can customise your curry and choose your spice level and toppings! And if you go for a spicy level, it’s actually spicy…

Coco Curry Vegetarian Menu

Vegetarian options can be difficult to find in Japan, so it’s fantastic that Coco Curry offers a completely vegetarian curry sauce.

There’s even a whole, separate vegetarian menu, with CHOICES (a novelty for vegetarians eating out, especially in Japan!).

You can add toppings and when you order, you can choose your spice level, just like with the regular menu.

The menu has several different languages including English, with photos of each dish so you know what you’re getting. If you don’t speak Japanese, you can point to order! To double-check you’re getting the veggie curry, you could say the Japanese work for vegetarian: “begetarian” – basically the same but with a b sound instead of v – easy! It’s not understood everywhere but at Coco Curry they’ll know what you’re talking about.

Coco Curry Veggie Menu

There’s a special menu just for vegetarians!

You can choose curry with:

  • Mixed vegetables
  • Vegetables and aubergine (eggplant)
  • Tomato and asparagus
  • Aubergine, spinach and tomato
  • Spinach
  • Mushroom, okra and yam
  • Aubergine, tomato and asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Plain (just sauce and rice)

They’re all under 1000 yen (£6.70, $8.79) and you get A LOT – I couldn’t manage all the rice, so it’s excellent value.

Be warned: there are several meals on the menu that look vegetarian, but they aren’t. The regular curry sauce contains meat stock or even chunks of hashed meat. To get the vegetarian sauce, you need to ask for vegetarian curry or order from the vegetarian menu.

Coco Ichibanya Vegetarian Menu

Special vegetarian menu (click to enlarge)

What’s it Like?

I’ve tried the mixed vegetable curry and the tomato and asparagus curry. Both were delicious – I probably preferred the mixed vegetables because of the potato. I’m curious to see if the aubergine curries really come out with the aubergine arranged so neatly in a row like on the picture menu!

I had cheese as a topping. It’s really stringy and makes it quite tricky to eat but adds to the texture. Phil’s not a fan but I like it!

The rice is really fluffy and delicious – it’s that magic Japanese style rice that sticks together without being sticky or the least bit stodgy – and you get a lot of it.

Vegetarian Curry at Coco Ichibanya

Vegetarian curry with tomato and asparagus – and cheese as a topping

The vegetarian sauce has a slightly different colour to the regular sauce:

Japanese katsu curry

Regular meat curry with pork katsu

Here’s what it was like in my video:

And here’s the first time I went to Coco Curry a few years ago – I messed up when ordering and ended up with just sauce and rice! This is the Akihabara Showa Dori branch:

Is Coco Curry Spicy?

I asked for “regular” spice level because I wasn’t bothered about it being spicy, and you could tell it had a little spicy kick, which was actually pretty satisfying.

Phil went for level 3 – he enjoys spicy food and doesn’t usually find spicy curry sauce in the UK particularly hot. He found it pretty spicy and said he probably wouldn’t go above level 3! My friend who won the chilli eating competition managed a level 5. To “unlock” the higher levels, you have to finish a level 5 first. I always wonder how they know – is there a special card or something??

Is it Vegan?

I checked the allergy information on Coco Curry’s website and it doesn’t contain dairy products or eggs! Although it’s produced in a place that also handles milk. I also read that it contains a small amount of honey, so whether it’s vegan it depends on your individual dietary preferences.

Coco Ichibanya Vegetarian Locations

The vegetarian menu’s only at select locations – around 10% of branches. There’s a list of them here, but it’s all in Japanese, and they’re also on the Coco Curry website.

To help you, here are the main locations that you’ll probably find useful on your trip:

Tokyo:

  • Akihabara Showa dori
  • North Akihabara: Tokyo Metro Suehirocho station Ekimae store
  • Odaiba area: Harumi Triton store
  • Shimbashi/Shiodome area: By Daimon Station
  • Akasaka
  • Tokyo Metro Roppongi Station front shop
  • Shinjuku Waseda Shop Shinjuku
  • Takadanobaba
  • Shinjuku Station West Exit
  • Shinjuku Kabuki-cho Store
  • Tobu Asakusa station square shop
  • JR Gotanda station east exit shop
  • Shimokitazawa Station South Exit Store
  • Ikebukuro Sunshine City Alpa store

Osaka:

  • JR Fukushima station front shop
  • Nishi-ku Kitahorie 1 chome shop
  • Naniwa-ku Nihonbashi 5 chome shop

Sometimes they have a green sign in the window saying they serve vegetarian curry, but that isn’t always the case, so don’t worry if you don’t see it. The special menu is sometimes on the tables, and sometimes you have to ask for it – just ask for “begetarian menyuu”.

If you go, let me know how you found it and which you tried! Send me a pic on Twitter or Facebook, or tag Cakes with Faces on Instagram – I always love hearing from you after you’ve been to Japan!

More Vegetarian Food in Japan

Being vegetarian in Japan as a tourist isn’t easy – but it is possible! There’s lots more in my videos on YouTube, and you might find these helpful:

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