Deva Deva Cafe – Hearty Vegan burgers, pizza, cakes and more (Kichijoji)

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[Last visited] March, 2011
[Veg*n] Mostly vegan. Some vegetarian (use dairy) menus.

Deva Deva Cafe

One of the few vegan cafes that made it past the 5-year mark and still going strong, Deva Deva Cafe makes great vegan burgers and other “non-fast fast food” menus like pizzas and burritos.

Founder and owner, Meg, is a striking, energetic and hard-working Japanese woman who has her own style and knows what she wants. She loves vegan baking and comes up with new vegan cakes and other desserts. In addition to running Deva Deva cafe, she opened a vegan cafe in Amsterdam during the summer of 2011.

Deva Deva Cafe

I am a long-time fan of this cafe because their food opened my eyes to the potential of vegan food, back when I only knew about the Macrobiotic way. The cafe’s ever-evolving menu and the easy-access location near central shopping area keep me going back during my rare visits to Kichijoji.

[Opened] Oct, 2005
[Smoking] All seats non-smoking
[English] Meg speaks English and runs the store most of the days.

Chabuzen – Yakuzen herbal ramen discovers vegan niche (Shimokitazawa)

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This hole-in-the-wall Yakuzen (Chinese herbal) soup curry/ramen shop started off completely non-vegan. In fact, the owner was not aware of the concept until health-oriented customers started inquring about vegan options.

Realizing a niche market existed for vegan Yakuzen soup curry and ramen, he did his research and re-blended the spices to create a vegan soup as rich and flavorful as the meat stock. The ingredients for the vegan menu cost more than the non-vegan version, but he offers it at the same price out of respect for his vegan customers.

The vegan ramen was nice and spicy and filled me up, despite the seemingly small portion. (Usually ramen bowls are filled to the rim with soup, no?)

I’ve also tried the vegan oden offered during mid-winter season, as well as the vegan soup curry. I felt there’s room for improvement, especially the way he cooks his brown rice, but thumbs up for enthusiastically expanding the vegan menu.  I actually gave him some honest feedback, and he was a good sport, saying he will try harder.

The location (nearly 15 minutes from Shimokitazawa station), the hours (closed between lunch and dinner hours) and business-unsavvy demeanor of the owner made me worried that this little Yakuzen shack won’t last long in the tough battleground of Shimokitazawa where myriad cafes and stores come and go every year.

Against all odds, however, this little store seems to be doing well.  When I last took a peek at the store website, there was a substantial number of new vegan menus ranging from Thai curry to soy meat char siu ramen.  In fact, the owner now seems to market his store as mainly vegan:  ”For non-vegan avid fans of my soup, I have menu available that uses actual meat!” he cheerfully announces at the end of his website.

So the above photo of the menu taken Nov, 2011 is a bit old.  I have to go back and check out the new and improved Chabuzen!

Chabuzen | ちゃぶ膳
Some vegan options (ramen, soup curry)
Hours: Tue-Sun 12:00-15:30, 17:30-23:00
Closed: Mondays
Address: 6-16-20 Daita, Setagaya-ku
TEL: 080-6603-8587
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一部ヴィーガンメニューあり(ラーメン、スープカレー)
営業時間:火ー日、12:00-15:30、17:30-23:00
定休日:月曜日
住所:東京都世田谷区代田6-16-20
TEL:080-6603-8587
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&Vege – A tiny vegan cafe behind Starbucks (Shimokitazawa)

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As a Shimokitazawa local, I am super happy that a former window display designer, Megumi Matsuura, opened this cozy vegan cafe smack in the center of north Shimokitazawa.

After training for a year and half at another vegetarian cafe, she opened &Vege in January, 2012.

The cafe is hidden from the main street, but it’s prime location nonetheless, a few minutes walk from the station, right behind Starbucks.
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(From upper left, clockwise)
Go into the alley, right side of Starbucks.
End of alley, looking out into the main street.
Go through the door to the left.
Go out another door.
Another alley, leading to the cafe entrance.

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It’s tiny, even by Japanese standards, with only 10 seats.
But the cozy, non-smoking environment and the fulfilling vegan food, both hard to come by in Tokyo, have lured me back numerous times already.

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The falafel lunch plate comes with a satisfying mound of fresh salad, freshly fried chickpea nuggets, 2 half-pieces of pita bread and a bowl of soup.

The plate itself is a perfect lunch for me, and the creamy, flavorful soup is a bonus point. The corn soup and purple yam soup I’ve had were both so good that I wanted to ask for the recipe.

I’ve seen many non-Japanese customers in the cafe, and the menu is pretty straight-forward, so there should be no problem ordering in English.

I’d opt for this vegan cafe instead of Starbucks anytime!

&Vege|アンドベジ
All vegan cafe.
Hours: 11:30-22:00(LO 21:00)
Address: Kitazawa 2-30-6, Setagaya-ku
TEL: 080-4800-0831
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完全ヴィーガン。
営業時間: 11:30-22:00(LO 21:00)
住所: 東京都世田谷区北沢2-30-6 1F
電話: 080-4800-0831
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