Leah Zoller (CIR Ishikawa-ken, Anamizu, 2009-11) is the editor of The Ishikawa JET Kitchen: Cooking in Japan Without a Fight. A writer and web administrator for The Art of Travel (formerly The Art of Japan: Kanazawa & Discover Kanazawa), she also writes I’ll Make It Myself!, a blog about food culture in Japan, and curates The Rice Cooker Chronicles, a series of essays by JETs and JET alumni on the theme of cooking/eating and being alone in Japan.
New Rice Cooker Chronicles submissions always welcome. Just e-mail it to Leah at jetwit [at] jetwit.com.
One thing I dislike about eating out in Japan is “secret meat.” For whatever reason, the Japanese concept of meat and the English one are quite different: if you chop up meat small enough, it’s no longer considered meat; fish/seafood aren’t meat; there’s fish-based dashi stock in miso soup; some shokupan (white bread) contains lard; and, even if you’re really good at Japanese, clearly labeled menus are a luxury. For example, if I order a pizza margherita, I expect it to be vegetarian, and yet some places will throw bacon on it. If I order a “vegetable soup,” there might be chicken in it that wasn’t listed on the menu.
Luckily for me, I’ve found a lot of great restaurants in Kanazawa that specialize in or offer vegetarian/vegan fare. In Kyoto and Tokyo, there are vegan and vegetarian guidebooks being published, but Kanazawa and Ishikawa don’t have their own yet. I can’t be the only one out there who hates secret meat, so I want to highlight my favorite veg* restaurants in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, and Japan here in addition to my other restaurant reviews. I’m including a quick overview to the restaurant (location, type, veg* type) before the longer review so you’ll know at a glance if this place is for you. If you have suggestions about the reviews or for more restaurants, please leave a comment!
I’d like to kick off this series with one of my favorite cafes in Kanazawa, Café Mojo.
Café Mojo (カフェモジョ)
Location: Kanazawa City, Ishikawa pref.
Type: Café, Lunch
Veg Status: Primarily vegetarian and vegan fare; meat options (bacon)
Languages: Japanese, English