Pizza isn’t as big in Japan as it is in the West. Although It’s available to buy in shops and there are well-known chains like Pizza Hut and Domino’s, none of them have vegan options. So, I was surprised to find one of the best vegan pizzas we had ever eaten here in Hiroshima.
Parco della Pace is a warm family-run pizza restaurant in the centre of Hiroshima with a number of tasty vegan options. With an extensive menu and a separate dessert menu, it’s more than enough choice for anyone no matter their dietary requirements and I bet it’ll keep any pizza connoisseur happy!
Coming to Japan, eating pizza probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list. But let me explain to you why I think this is a great option despite not being traditionally Japanese food.
How I found Parco della Pace
Earlier in the day we had been exploring Miyajima and had lunch at this charming and traditional Japanese restaurant. We returned to Hiroshima and planned to eat at an okonomiyaki restaurant.
However, after making our way to three different restaurants and getting rejected by them all as we hadn’t made a reservation, we decided that we weren’t meant to eat okonomiyaki that night. (If you want to eat okonomiyaki in Hiroshima, don’t be like me, make sure to book!)
I’m so glad for the internet because without it we may have had another Coco’s Curry or given up and grabbed a plain onigiri from the konbini. But after scouring the internet and seeing it was probably the closest place from where we stood as well as reading all the positive reviews on HappyCow, we decided on Parco della Pace.
Just 7 mins away from the Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Parco della Pace is in the ideal location for those who want to explore some of Hiroshima’s main attractions.
The husband and wife team have been running this restaurant for 10 years and are super friendly and welcoming which is exactly what you want when visiting somewhere unfamiliar. In between serving other customers and cooking up kick-ass vegan pizzas, they got chatting with us about where we were from and asked us to pinpoint it on a map which was filled with a collection of their customer’s home countries. A really cute idea I thought ^_^
For such a lovely restaurant, the outside of the building doesn’t do the restaurant much justice. The interior is cosy, warm and modern and the main showpiece in the restaurant is its very big, blue mosaic pizza oven.
I may or may not currently be searching for “pizza ovens to have at home” after this experience…
Luckily we arrived early enough so we were able to be seated, although if you’re a bigger group I would recommend making a reservation as there are a limited number of seats. Plus, there were a few tables with reserved signs on them so it pays to be prepared and avoid disappointment.
Vegan menu at Parco della Pace
At Parco della Pace, they have an extensive pizza menu with four vegan-friendly pizzas. The menu is clearly labelled and shows that no animal products are present by using cute little hand drawings and signage which is very helpful and avoids any confusion.
I don’t know about you, but I always breathe a sigh of relief when I’m 100% sure somewhere doesn’t use animal products. Perhaps the most well-known place that does this (to me at least), would be T’s Tantan in Tokyo Station. Good luck finding that one! 😉
One of the coolest things about Parco della Pace is that you can even custom-make your own pizza if you wanted to create something that’s not listed on the menu. They have a selection of additional toppings to choose from to make your ideal pizza and what’s even better is they have a dessert menu with vegan-friendly options – I was rather excited about this!
No need to run to the local Konbini and grab a Japanese vegan ice lolly! …On second thought, maybe I’ll grab one of those too! 😉
Vegan pizzas at Parco della Pace:
- Marinara, ¥990
- Marinara champignon, ¥1,320
- Marinara special, ¥1,375
- Quottro funghi, ¥1,265
What we ordered
This pizza was just pizza dough and tomato sauce. Simple but absolutely delicious!
Price: ¥990 (£5.40/ $6.86)
Topped with garlic, oregano, and button mushrooms.
Price: ¥1,320 (£7.19/ $9.14)
A pizza full of mushrooms: maitake, eringi, enoki, bunashimeji. Topped with garlic-flavoured olive oil.
Price: ¥1,265 (£6.89/ $8.75)
As you can see each pizza came without cheese but to tell you the truth, it wasn’t needed. They were so good that we didn’t feel like we were missing out by not having it.
They were all absolutely delicious and all of us said that this is one of the best pizzas we had ever eaten!
There’s a clear difference in taste and quality when pizzas are cooked in a pizza oven, and you could certainly tell with these. The pizza dough was well-flavoured and had a delicious crisp that you get when cooked in the pizza oven.
The tomato-based sauce was incredibly well-seasoned and the toppings were seriously fresh. As a big fan of mushrooms, I went for the Quattro Funghi pizza and made the most of the amazing selection of mushrooms Japan has to offer. The mushrooms mixed with the garlic-infused olive oil were absolutely gorgeous and just made the pizza even better.
Two out of four of the vegan-friendly pizzas have mushrooms on them and if, unlike me, you are not a fan of mushrooms and don’t want to go for the other two options, you could make your own. Perhaps go for the marinara pizza and add a few toppings of your choice!
When the pizza arrives, they give you spicy infused oil which was a great pairing with the pizza and you should try it if you like a little spice in your life! ^_^
Parco della Pace vegan dessert
- Rice flour cocoa pound cake, ¥550
- Seasonal Fruit, ¥330
Rice flour cocoa pound cake
When we were handed the dessert menu, I noticed this item said it was vegetarian so I checked with the owner if egg, butter or milk is used in the recipe which she said it was not.
She came back to our table a few moments later with a piece of paper that had every single ingredient in the cake written in English to make sure everything was suitable for us. I thought this was really nice and this attentiveness made us feel valued and cared for.
And the pound cake was flipping lovely! As it was made from rice flour it was airy and had a spongy and slightly gelatinous texture to it. The chocolate cake was light yet rich at the same time, paired perfectly with the sweet whip cream. I’m pretty sure that this was my first ever pound cake and the added fruit made you not feel so claggy and sickly after eating it!
Price: ¥550 (£3.00/ $3.81)
Vegan options close to Parco della Pace
V = Vegan, VE = Vegan Options
- Coco Ichibanya | VO | 10 min walk
- Vegan Fruits Cafe Tamaru | V | 11 min walk
- Croissant Marche | VO | 3 min walk
- SaiShokuKenBi | VO | 30 min bus, 48 min walk
- Kissa Saeki | VO | 13 min walk
Things that are close to Parco della Pace
- Atomic Bomb Dome | 7 min walk
- Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum | 7 min walk
- Peace Memorial Park – Hiroshima | 7 min walk
- Shukkein Garden | 30 min walk, 20 min tram
- Hiroshima Castle | 17 min bus, 23 min walk
If you get to visit Hiroshima, I would highly recommend doing all of the above. Here are some photos of these places.
Even if you don’t go into Hiroshima Castle, it’s nice to have a stroll around the grounds. This blog post might help you plan your trip to Hiroshima.
Shukkein Garden was just gorgeous! It’s ¥260 (£1.42/ $1.80) to get in and you get to explore the large grounds. There is a circular walk around the garden to ensure you get to see every little bit.
It has been cleverly designed so it looks absolutely beautiful no matter what angle you look at it. There’s also a large pond with many koi carp and turtles in it, and for ¥100 (if I remember correctly) you can buy fish food to feed them too which is rather fun!
How to get to Parco Della Pace
1-5 Dohashicho, Hiroshima, Japan, 730-0854
24 min via tram from Hiroshima Station
Tuesday – Sunday 14:00-16:00, 18:00-21:30
Although we had no intention of eating food we can normally get back home. I am so glad to have discovered this vegan-friendly restaurant in Hiroshima! The delicious food and the warm and relaxed atmosphere amplified the whole eating experience. We ended up having one of the best pizzas we have ever had!
After having a whole pizza to myself as well as a dessert, I practically had to be rolled out but it was 11/10 worth it and I’ll do it all over again! I can’t wait to come back to Hiroshima and delve further into exploring it!