It can be difficult finding vegetarian of vegan food in Osaka. My husband has been vegetarian for 30 years, and me on and off most of my life and consider myself “mostly vegan.” The health benefits just outweigh eating meat again, but sometimes we have been forced to or starve. My poor husband tried eating some meat, and the uric acid in meat made him hot and very sick. (Just think what it’s doing to YOU!)
Of course we eat at Indian restaurants a lot to solve the problem, which are ubiquitous and delicious in our neighborhood. I will be blogging about those! But what to do when you are hankering for something else besides Japanese or Chinese? Since moving to our neighborhood the last few weeks, we have been exploring and finding new places to eat.
Enter Saboten Mexican restaurant in Kitahorie, Nishi-ku. They were kind enough to be able to adapt their dishes to be vegetarian for us. He brought us a freebie appetizer, but took it away when he realized it had bacon in it and replaced it with some super fresh pico-de-gallo, chips and assortment of pickled veggies.
Having a minor in Spanish and living in Mexico and Buenos Aires before, I have been a bit rusty in the language that I love to speak so asked about the beans in the nachos, “sin manteca?” without lard ? And the waiter said, “Yes!”
Lots to order, including quesadillas and tacos and more. We had some Modelo beers with the vegetarian nachos, tomatoes sooooooo fresh and delicious and the chips too as if they were homemade. The presentation is also superb and matches the colorful decor in wood and tile that makes me miss living in Mexico City in the 1996s when I worked for newspapers there.
We feasted on enchiladas rojas y verdes, red and green enchiladas – cheese of course! I asked to make sure no pork in the green chili and the waiter said no. Again, lovely presentation in delicate, Mexican pastel colors on traditional Mexican plates that make me wonder if they have lead in their glaze as they do Mexico. And the staff is happy and lively in the open-air kitchen. I’ve been to other Mexican restaurants in Osaka and the staff did not seem that happy, so this is a nice ambiance and service! The tortillas again tasted-homemade – super fresh and very delicious. Lots of habañero sauces to select to spice it up. We chose smokey hot and it was superb!
Saboten is moderately to higher-priced for Osaka, spending about $60 for the nachos, two entrees and four beers. In Osaka you don’t tip. We will definitely be back for más comida Méxicana a Saboten! Gracias!
1-16-25 Kitahorie, Nishi-ku | Yss Bldg.1F, Osaka 550-0014, Osaka Prefecture