Check out a few of my favorite Kyoto veggie lunch options....there are some amazing ones despite the reputation of it being hard to find vegetarian food.
This restaurant serves incredible zen vegetarian cuisine, known as shojin ryori. Located inside of the Tenryu-ji temple complex, is this fabulous place to have to lunch while exploring the temple grounds and the famous bamboo groves. Shojin ryori is a cuisine that harmonizes with Buddhist ideals, creating satisfying, nourishing meals from fresh seasonal vegetables, herbs, and wild plants while respecting all animal life. Open from 11 am-2 pm, it is worth planning your day around this meal. While eating here you are seated in tatami-clad room overlooking the gardens. There are three menus to choose from Yuki (snow) for ¥3,000, Tsuki (moon) for ¥5,000, or Hana (flower) for¥7,000. Each ascending level comes with more dishes.
This is the closest thing to a health food restaurant I have been to in Japan, serving vegetable-based food on the second floor of a concept fashion store. Your meal comes with a welcome choice of rice brown or mixed grain with barley and buckwheat.
Sushi in Kyoto is a little different, traditionally it was difficult to get fresh fish in Kyoto, and as a result, Kyoto chefs incorporated more cured fish. At Izuju they only make Kyoto style sushi, famous for their inarizushi, sabazushi, sasamaki, hakozushi, mushizushi their sushi is the real deal! Aside from one addition their menu has been the same since they opened in 1892 and they have used the same rice, fish and kombu dealers for their entire history.