hagi: the eating edition

We go to Hagi (Yamaguchi-ken)・萩 quite a lot. You might be considering going and are wondering what to eat, especially if you are vegetarian*. I’m here to impart my words of wisdom.

*When I say vegetarian, I mean no visible meat or fish – I don’t check whether fish stock etc is used because, well, it’s Japan.

Cafe Gallery 藍場川の家

A lovely little cafe near a little, lush waterway. Very peaceful and relaxing with a view out onto a Japanese garden. They also have a little area upstairs for displays and selling little crafty items.

They have two lunch sets – sandwiches or quiche. If you go in a pair, they will ask if you want to share (so you get both things, as shown above). The set also includes a mini dessert and a tea or coffee. The quiche, both times I have had it, has had meat – very tiny pieces which did make it quite hard to pick out! The sandwich is pumpkin and egg mayo – really nice. The set is around ¥950 (I know! I should know exactly, but I don’t, so deal with it!)


I love this place. They cater for veggies with a salad and soup plate and also the meaties with either fish of the day, hamburg or pork cutlet. They have a couple of other things as well, if none of that appeals. They can cater for vegans but you need to tell them in advance. They are really lovely and the garden view is amazing. The building is an old, typical Japanese building, so it makes for a really nice eating experience.

La Ceiba・ラセイバ

My go to for dinner as they do a great value set for ¥2,500 (they do others as well, but this is the one I tend to have as a veggie). You get, a salad, pasta course, vegetable main course or meat, mini dessert – the cheesecake is amazing and I don’t usually like cheesecake- and a tea or coffee. The owner uses organic produce and also sells it. He speaks English I think and is extremely accommodating for the different diets you might have. Recommended to book.

San Marco・サンマルコ

A blast from the past setting foot in here. A Japanese take on Italian food with a couple of options for the non-meat-eaters amongst us. They also have a range of desserts and if you like cream, you’re in for a treat. The pizza was pretty big and the pasta was huge. I did manage to eat both the pasta and half the pizza.


I daren’t take photos in here because the owner is let’s say, a little stern. She does seem like she would be very nice once you get to know her, though. A modern take on a traditional izakaya, popular with couples and women, with lots of veggie-centric dishes with clever little twists. I recommend the mochi-cheese potato and the thai curry with bread sticks. Also, the soft-drink ume juice – gorgeous! It’s all in Japanese and I don’t fancy your chances if you can’t read it, so be warned. Also, booking essential.


My husbands favourite place on earth I think. Dirt cheap and always full of locals and tourists alike. Sushi and sashimi from around ¥200. Get there for lunch opening at 11. If you fancy, you can go and do karaoke at night. When your eyes adjust to the dim lighting, the way the owners have styled the place out is something to behold. Japanese is the key here, so make sure you or someone in your group is proficient.

Some other places:
Mos burger – (soy patty (I ALWAYS get the soy teriyaki) but don’t get the Mos Burger version cause as far as I’m aware, they don’t use a soy ‘meat’ version for that – correct me if I’m wrong)
Namaste – I’ve been here about 6 times and I don’t think I’ve ever taken a picture. I like curry and the curry here is all right. If you live in a big city, it probably can’t really compare but it’s worth a shot if you’re at a loose end.

Quite a niche audience I’m sure, but any other places you recommend in Hagi? Any amazing hidey-holes I’ve missed?


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