Below is information about the availability of possibly vegan food/drinks at some the more common cafés in Japan. This information is based on a review of the allergen information provided on the cafés website. In Japan, restaurants and cafés are required to give information about the presence of the following allergens in their food products:
• eggs, milk, wheat, buckwheat, peanut, shrimp and crab.
It is recommended that they also give information about the following allergens:
• soy, beef, chicken, pork, abalone, squid, salmon roe, salmon, mackerel, orange, kiwifruit, peach, apple, pineapple, yam/sweet potato, walnuts, gelatine and banana.
This information can be useful for vegans. Of course it is not definitive, as other animal products may still be in the food – e.g. fish dashi. Fish dashi, skipjack tuna dashi in particular, is very commonly used in Japan in sauces, soups, and savory dishes. Other types of fish such as tuna or anchovies, seafood such as scallops, and also duck or honey can also be present in the food and not mentioned on allergen charts. Honey is commonly used at some cafés in Japan. So, allergen charts are merely a good starting point, allowing you to narrow your search and ask a few good questions.
Some foods contain flavouring and emulsifiers which may be animal-derived or sugar that may be bone-char processed. We have marked below wherever we have information on how these ingredients were made.
Note cafés often change their menus, so it is a good idea to check their websites before you visit. Of course it is always a good idea to check with staff that the dish you want to order is vegan (if possible).
Wherever possible, we have noted below where foods were cooked together with animal products or may have cross-contamination from being processed together with food containing animal products, but food may also have cross-contamination from wheat, soy, or other ingredients. Please check allergen charts before eating if you have food allergies or intolerances.
The drinks that appear possibly vegan from a review of the allergy chart are:
• Soy Latte (hot or iced, decaf or regular)
• Tea (hot or iced)
• Iced Coffee
• Doutor Blend Coffee
• American Coffee
• Espresso Coffee
• Decaf Coffee (hot or iced)
• Soymilk (hot or iced),
• Soymilk Tea (hot or iced),
• Orange Juice
• Apple Tea
• Peach Mixed Juice
• Apple and Shikuwasa Juice
• Aomori-Grown Apple Juice
Some of the fruit drinks seem to be seasonally available. None of the food at Doutor appears to be vegan. The “coffee fresh” creamer contains milk.
The Starbucks menu in Japan includes a soy latte, but you can also order other drinks with soymilk for an extra ¥50 (but check for other animal products such as honey and cream). The soymilk at Starbucks uses emulsifier made of plants, but the sugar they use was previously confirmed to be bone char processed. Note you can get a ¥20 discount when you use your own mug, tumbler or cup!
Current food/dessert items that appear to possibly be vegan from looking at the allergen chart are:
• Sea Salt Potato Chips
• Sugar and Cinnamon Spice Stick
• After-Coffee Mint (Apple Cinnamon Flavour)
However, the allergen chart does not confirm the presence or absence of honey, so please double check before eating.
The black pepper potato chips contain pork.
The information about Tully’s is based off a review of their allergen chart, published 3/8/2019.
You can order a soy latte, or another drink from the menu with soymilk for an extra ¥50 (but check for other animal products such as honey and cream). The only food that is vegan is the plant-based Dates & Cacao Brownie Bar/デーツ&カカオ 生ブラウニーバー, but it seems at least some branches have stopped carrying it. The Mixed Acai & Berry Sorbet/ミックスベリー＆アサイーソルベ contains gelatine.
There is currently a drink available for a limited time called the Milky Honey Soy Latte/ミルキーハニーソイラテ that is available hot or iced and has soy whipped cream on it. It has a real honey topping on it, but that can be omitted on request. It’s also topped with almonds and hazelnuts. The ingredients are processed on the same factory line as items containing dairy and cashew nuts, per the allergen chart (Japanese). Because it’s a menu option to change the soymilk to dairy milk, so it might be a good idea to confirm with the staff that you do want soymilk so they don’t make a mistake.
The following drinks have no dairy milk or soymilk. They appear potentially vegan from the allergen chart:
• Coffee of the Day/本日のコーヒー
• Cafe Americano/カフェアメリカーノ
• Iced Coffee アイスコーヒー
• Mango Tango Swirkle/マンゴータンゴスワークル
• &TEA Original Malawi & Darjeeling Tea/＆TEA オリジナル マラウイ＆ダージリン
• Cold-Brewed Iced Tea/水出しアイスティー
• Blood Orange Juice/ブラッドオレンジジュース
• 100% Fruit Juice/フルーツスクイーズ100％
The following drinks do not have dairy in them when ordered with soymilk. When ordered with soymilk, they appear potentially vegan from the allergen chart:
• Milky Honey Soy Latte/ミルキーハニーソイラテ (has honey that can be removed on request)
• Uji Matcha Latte/宇治抹茶ラテ
• Tapioca Uji Matcha Latte/タピオカ宇治抹茶ラテ
• Flat White/フラットホワイト
• Soy Latte/ソイラテ
• Espresso Macchiato エスプレッソマキアート
• Soymilk/豆乳 (ordered as-is)
The following drinks still have dairy in them even if ordered with soymilk, so are not vegan:
•Banana Caramel Crunch Latte/バナナキャラメルクランチラテ
•&TEA Peach Confiture Royal Milk Tea/＆TEA ピーチコンフィチュール
• Tapioca Royal Milk Tea/タピオカロイヤルミルクティー
• Cocoa Latte/ココアラテ
• Milky Flat White/ミルキーフラットホワイト
• &TEA Berry and Berry Chocola Royal Milk Tea/＆TEA ベリーベリーショコラロイヤルミルクティー
• &TEA Cambric Ginger Royal Milk Tea/&TEA キャンブリックジンジャーロイヤルミルクティ
• Cafe Mocha/カフェモカ
• Honey Milk Latte/ハニーミルクラテ
• Caramel Latte with Salted Caramel Sauce/キャラメルラテ with ソルティーキャラメルソース
• Royal Milk Tea/ロイヤルミルクティー
• Chai Milk Tea/チャイミルクティー
The following drink does not contain dairy when ordered with soymilk, but is made with royal milk tea, so presumably contains royal milk jelly from bees and would not be vegan:
• &TEA All Soymilk Tea with Soymilk Whipped Cream/＆TEA オールソイミルクティーwith 豆乳ホイップ
The following customizations appear potentially to be vegan from the allergen chart:
• Steamed Soymilk
• Flavoured Syrup (Hazelnut, Vanilla, or Caramel)/フレーバーシロップの追加（ヘーゼルナッツ/バニラ/キャラメル共通）
• Flavoured Syrup (Maple)/フレーバーシロップの追加（メープル）
• Espresso Shot/エスプレッソショット
• Chocolate Sauce/チョコソース
• Tapioca/タピオカ (contains soy)
• Cinnamon Powder/シナモンパウダー
• Gum Syrup (Simple Syrup)/ガムシロップ
• Non-Calorie Syrup/ノンカロリーシロップ
These customizations are not vegan:
• Whipped cream /ホイップクリーム (contains dairy)
• Salted Caramel Sauce/ソルティキャラメルソース (contains dairy)
• Chocolate Powder/チョコレートパウダー (contains dairy)
• Creamer (Coffee Fresh)/ポーション（コーヒーフレッシュ）(contains dairy)
• Tully’s Honey/タリーズハニー
The following drinks appear potentially to be vegan from the allergen chart:
•Chocolate Latte/チョコラテ (when ordered with soymilk)
•100% Fruit Juice/フルーツスクイーズ100％
•Barley Tea for Children/こどもむぎ茶
The Asa No Yoo/朝のYoo yogurt drink contains dairy, so is not vegan.