Te cor gentil, the Vegan Bakery in Azabu-Juban that’s Gentle on the Earth and the Body

Opened in Azabu-Juban in 2022, the vegan bakery ‘Te cor gentil’ forgoes the use of butter, eggs, and milk in its unique baking process. Yet, the bakery never compromises on taste, offering a constantly rotating selection of 20 to 25 different breads.

The bakery’s name, Te cor gentil, is a blend of the French words for ‘earth’ (terre), ‘body’ (corps), and ‘gentle’ (gentil’). By eschewing all animal-derived ingredients, the bakery minimizes its environmental impact in terms of global warming and water usage – living up to its name as an ‘earth and body-friendly’ ethical establishment.

When the bakery first opened, the menu was overseen by Chef Yoshinori Aoyagi, who had made history as the youngest-ever head chef of a 5-star hotel’s bakery division and won an Asian baking competition. The dough is made using the renowned ‘Yumechikara’ wheat flour from Hokkaido, known for its low pesticide content. The resulting breads are wonderfully fluffy and chewy, with an appetizing appearance. In addition to savory breads and pastries, the bakery offers a wide variety of loaf breads, making it hard to believe it is a vegan-only establishment.

Eager to try the bakery’s offerings, I decided to ask the store manager, Mr. Shinomiya, for his recommendations.

■Anko Butter
Since I was curious to taste the pure flavor of the vegan butter, I decided to first try this one, a classic in Japanese bakeries, made simply with solid butter and red bean past (anko). The vegan butter made from coconut oil and almonds has a smooth, rich yet light texture. With a mild sweetness, it strikes a perfect balance with the homemade red bean paste, which nicely showcases the beans’ natural flavor.

The first bite delivers that signature crisp, crunchy texture you expect from a freshly baked croissant. While the buttery aroma is replaced by a delicate nutty fragrance, the interior maintains a wonderfully soft and moist texture which is highly satisfying. This vegan croissant truly captures the essence of the classic French pastry.

■Baked Cheese Curry Bread
The bread is filled with an in-house made curry, then topped with vegan cheese and baked. While the vegan cheese doesn’t have the characteristic cheese aroma, it is less greasy than regular cheese and combines with the curry creating a pleasant and mild flavor.

■Cream Bun
The soft bread is filled with a light, plant-based cream, which lends a more subtle flavor. The delicate dough and creamy filling are beautifully integrated, resulting in a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture akin to an éclair.

focaccia-style sandwich loaves, pistachio croissants, and vegan menchi-katsu (fried “meat”) sandwiches.

Store manager Mr. Shinomiya explains, “Our aim is not just to be ethical, but to never compromise on deliciousness. We want Te cor gentil to compete on the same level as any regular bakery, not just as a vegan establishment.”

Indeed, the bakery’s visually appealing breads frequently generate buzz on social media – not because they are vegan, but simply because they are downright cute and appetizing, indistinguishable from non-vegan counterparts.

Beyond their mouthwatering qualities, these breads are also gentle on both the earth and the body. As such, Te cor gentil has transcended the status of a typical bakery, catering not only to vegans, but also to the friends, family members, and calorie-conscious consumers of vegans – allowing everyone to share in the deliciousness as an ethical and inclusive SDGs-focused establishment.

Te cor gentil
Location: 2-18-8 Azabu-Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Business Hours: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays


Orie Ishikawa

ZEROMILE lead editor. With a limitless curiosity about things such as history, literature, biology, culture, art, fashion, and more, Orie has spent most of her lifetime studying random knowledge. Her number one spot in Tokyo is the National Museum of Nature and Science.