Los Barbados is a cozy place with a foreign ambience where you can enjoy delicious African food. 日本語はこちらから。
|Vegan||Vegetarian / vegan option|
|Type||Bar restaurant (eat-in)|
|Pricing||Lunch: 900 yen and up|
Dinner: around 3000 yen and up
|Eco-friendly||★★★ ★ ☆ Wet tissue served in plastic.|
|Favorite||★★★★☆ A rare find in Tokyo with great vibes where you can enjoy vegan African, Middle Eastern and Caribbean food.|
Taking a trip to an unknown country in Shibuya
Walking from the Shibuya station for about 10 minutes, you would go through a street full of bars and izakaya then find an old building where Los Barbados sits quietly with other restaurants.
When you enter Los Barbados, you hear the vibrant African music and feel immediately cozy as you find seating at the counter which fits maybe 8 people at maximum. It looks like a bar, but you’ll be surprised to find authentic and delicious African food served up from a small kitchen.
While the food being served is predominantly African, the place doesn’t have the somewhat wild African vibes that a lot of African cuisine restaurants have in Tokyo – rather, it feels bit like a bar or bistro in the corner of an immigrant neighborhood in Paris.
Los Barbados which opened its doors in 2010 is run by a couple: the husband is mostly quiet and gives this “boss-like” impression and the wife is warm and friendly. While the most of the customers are repeaters who come for the delicious food as well as for exchanges with the owner couple, you wouldn’t feel out of place even as a first timer because of the welcoming feel.
Vegetarian roots in African cuisine
When you hear African food, it’s probably not just me who thinks of something like a goat being grilled on open fire. It’s true that modern African cuisine contains a lot of meat, but traditionally, Western and Central African diets were predominately vegetarian with staples like millet, rice, beans, okra, hot peppers and yam.
↑Vegan recipe book recommended by the owners. It has African, Caribbean and Southern food recipes and introduces books and music to go with each recipe.
At Los Barbados, 60% of the dishes on the menu are vegan and 70% are vegetarian. In addition to African dishes using beans, there are traditional/typical dishes with a vegetarian twist using soy meat or tofu.
(From top left corner) Baobab juice; vegetarian matzah (carrot rape, red cabbage salad, hummus, couscous salad); pate with beans, tofu and fufu; vegetarian “meatloaf”; Zanzibar pizza with tofu cream; peanut stew with couscous; Moroccan fried puff pastry; vegan chocolate cake.
It looks like a lot of food, but actually the portion of each dish is small so it’s like a tapas style where you enjoy little bit of different things.
There is a great alcohol selection with organic wines, beers and rum, but there are also non-alcoholic drinks like baobab juice and other African fruit juices for people like me.
Lunch at Los Barbados is a bit different from the dinner. There are two regular vegetarian options – dal khoresh (Middle Eastern curry with lentils) and vegetarian matzah plate (assortment of Lebanese vegetarian dishes), and Today’s Stew Plate is also often vegan. They are reasonably priced at only 900 yen (950 yen for large size).
When I went to get lunch, a special holiday lunch was being served – a lunch box with 9 different dishes (plus soup) at 1100 yen. You can check their FB page for updates on specials.
It was such a satisfying lunch box with vibrant colored dishes. I also ordered a spring roll and falafel on the side, which were delicious.
At Los Barbados, you will not only find exotic vegan foods but also feel the warmth of the owner couple and ambiance like taking a trip to an unknown country.
41-26 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku Tokyo
Closed on Sundays