Around ¥3000 per person for dinner w/ food & drinks
- 3 Chome-68-1, Koenji-Minami, Suginami City, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 2 minutes on foot from JR Koenji Station
- Vegan Curry Days Tue-Wed 12:00pm - 3:00pm & 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Vegan Dinner Days Fri-Sun 6:00pm - 11:00pm, Closed Mondays & Thursdays
- https://locakitchen.wixsite.com/locakitchen (external link)
- Japanese, Spanish & basic English possible. Japanese & English menu.
Vegan Paradise Under the Tracks
[updated May 2020]
It is common to see many small drinking establishments tucked in beneath the railway tracks adjacent to the stations, but there can’t be many in Tokyo where the proprietor is also a chef and qualified sommelier who serves you vegan food and drinks. This is that place!
Located in Koenji under the tracks to the west side of the station in the Koenji Street nightlife area, Loca Kitchen is small and cozy but not tiny, with around 15 seats including those at the counter and has many interesting decorative features.
Apparently over half of the customers are from overseas and are most welcome. The Japanese proprietor also speaks Spanish and English.
Bearing in mind their concept of ‘Pairing organic wine with vegan food’, there are several wines to choose from and all are bio / organic, the host can assist with choosing the most suitable to complement your choice of food. There are, of course, other alcoholic drinks also available, as well as coffee and tea (including healthy no-caffeine biwa tea).
The vegan dinner food menu (available on Friday to Sunday only) is all vegan and consists of various small dishes such as baked avocado, ratatouille, salads and raw avocado spring rolls (the berry sauce adds a nice, fruity touch). More substantial dishes include Pizza Margherita, Soy meat chunks in a delightful onion, lemon mustard sauce, bean stew and the awesome falafel pita sandwich which differs from the standard by the addition of a delicious squash curry sauce!
Cheese and Wine is something vegans (and dairy-intolerant) normally only dream of, so the platter of plant-based cheeses is a must. It’s an inventive arrangement of homemade smoked tofu, soy cream, blue style basil & garlic and mozzarella style cheeses.
Slices of baguette are on offer if you feel the need for more carbohydrates.
There is a choice of two desserts, both vegan and gluten-free: Berry Iced Soy Yogurt cake or a Chocolate platter with a variety of chocolate confections: tart with coconut cream, cookies, chocolate-coated banana chips and more – irresistible!
With the pervading atmosphere of the proprietor’s belief in organic, plant-based, fair-trade, you can easily forget you’re sitting under a busy railway in the bustling center of Koenji. You have to leave eventually, but those beautifully crafted made-from-scratch vegan delights will be tempting you back very soon.
NOTE that the Vegan Curry days (Tuesday and Wednesday, lunchtime and evening) are run by a different chef under the name of Cafe Rappa @ Loca Kitchen and offers mainly Vegan Indian curry with brown rice. Also worth a visit!