Taiken Japan

Autumn Leaves 2016

Best Cafes in Okinawa’s Minatogawa Stateside Town

Best Cafes in Okinawa’s Minatogawa Stateside Town

Wendy Ng

Picture 1 Minatogawa Stateside Town

A hidden gastronomical gem, Minatogawa Stateside Town is a quiet neighborhood in Okinawa filled with peculiar-looking, old military housing. The residential area was given a new lease of life after the U.S. occupied land was returned to Okinawa. Emerged from the shadows of military rule, the area in Minatogawa has been revitalized and converted into an enclave of café, bakeries and vintage stores. Time seems to stand still as you stroll through the quaint neighborhood and its labyrinth of narrow streets that are named after 10 American states: Oregon, Arizona, Michigan, Kansas, Virginia, Nevada, Florida, Indiana, Texas and Georgia.

On a bright sunny day, it is relaxing to wander through the streets and explore a myriad of cafés and restaurants in the different “states”. On a rainy day, the cosy cafés and bakeries offer a nice haven where you can indulge in desserts and milk tea while you spend the day watching raindrops trickling down the windowpanes.

Picture 2 Spice Café Hochi Hochi

Spice Café Hochi Hochi (スパイスCafé ホチホチ)

Located in “Arizona”, Spice Café Hochi Hochi offers an intercultural culinary adventure. Using fresh herbs and spices, Spice Café Hochi Hochi serves an interesting fusion of Japanese-Thai cuisine. It offers 1000 yen lunch sets that include soup, salad, main course and drink. The 'Red & Green – Two Colors Curry’ set (レッド&グリーン2色カレーセット) is an all-time favorite. The two potent types of curry titillate the taste buds with an explosive burst of flavors. This set is not for the faint-hearted without a good tolerance for spicy curry. Another popular set is the “Gapao Rice” (ガパオライス). It is a soulful meal that consists of pork, vegetables and rice topped with a fried egg. The pork and vegetables are well seasoned and cooked to perfection. The small but impressive café has an enticing dinner menu that will satisfy any cravings for Thai food.

Picture 3 Hochi Hochi Thai Cuisine Top Red and Green 2 Curry Set Bottom Gapaoraisu

Spice Café Hochi Hochi (スパイスCafé ホチホチ)
Address: Okinawa, Naha, Urasoe, Minatogawa 2-12-3 #52 (沖縄県浦添市港川2-12-3 #52)
Telephone: 098-877-8986
Opening Hours: Lunch ~ 12.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. (Last order at 3.00 p.m.)
Dinner ~ 6.00 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. (Last order at 8.30 p.m.)
Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Website: http://hochi-hochi.com/

Picture 4 oHacorté

oHacorté (オハコオルテ)

Nestled in the state of "Florida" is the legendary oHacorté that specialises in fruit tarts. Stepping into the patisserie, one’s attention will be inevitably drawn to the mesmerizing display of dainty fruit tarts. Each fruit tart is topped with an abundance of seasonal fruits. A flawless harmony of light cream and assortment of fruits is perched on the crunchy tart that measures only 7 c.m. in diameter. It is almost impossible to resist repeated servings of the delectable fruit tarts. However, a note of caution, over-consumption of the fruit tarts is detrimental to the one’s wallet and waistline. Another oHacorté’s delight is the Hirami lemon cake. The fresh and zesty lemon cake will brighten any dark, rainy days. The moist cake melts in the mouth and leaves behind a lingering, tangy taste. oHacorté is such a delish place that it boasts three outlets in Naha and lures many victims with its sinful temptations.

Picture 5 Fruit Tarts and Hirami Lemon Cakes

oHacorté (オハコオルテ)

Minatogawa Branch
Address: Okinawa, Naha, Urasoe, Minatogawa 2-17-1 #18 (沖縄県浦添市港川2-17-1 #18)
Telephone: 098-875-2129
Opening Hours: 11.30 a.m. – 7.00 p.m. (Daily)
Website: http://www.ohacorte.com/

Oroku Branch
Address: Okinawa, Naha, Akamine 1-4-1 (沖縄県那覇市赤嶺1-4-1)
Telephone: 098-866-4454
Opening Hours: 11.30 a.m. – 8.00 p.m. (Daily)

Matsuo Branch
Address: Okinawa, Naha, Matsuo 1-9-47 (沖縄県那覇市松尾1-9-47)
Telephone: 098-866-4454
Opening Hours: 11.30 a.m. – 8.00 p.m. (Daily)

Picture 6 Ippe Coppe

Ippe Coppe

Nevada is a narrow street flanked by a wide range of eateries. Recommended by various guidebooks, Ippe Coppe is a modest-looking bakery that is famous for its healthy and delicious baked goods made from natural yeast. The main star in this place is the toast made using superior ingredients, like wheat from Hokkaido, spring water from Ogimi, salt from Kume Island, flour and natural yeast. After about 20 hours of fermentation, the freshly baked soft toast is covered with a layer of thin, crispy crust. The toast is so simple yet so satisfying. The bakery produces about 20 loaves of freshly baked toast each day. The heavenly toast is so popular that it is always sold out. Most people call in advance to make reservations to avoid disappointments. Another signature pastry is the triangular scone, which takes about 3 days to make painstakingly from scratch. The result of labour is a hearty scone bursting with rich flavors finely balanced by its consistent texture. Happy customers always exit the shop with big smiles on their faces while they hold their baked treats in the creative packaging. Ippe Coppe is a pastry sanctuary that devotes time and love to create simple, healthy yet fulfilling bread, which is difficult to find in the age of factory-produced bread.

Picture 7 Ippe Coppe Inside

Ippe Coppe
Address: Okinawa, Naha, Urasoe, Minatogawa 2-16-1 #26 (沖縄県浦添市港川2-16-1 #26)
Telephone: 098-877-6189 (Reservation hours: 10.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.)
Opening hours: 12.30 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. (or till sold out)
Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
(check website for irregular closing days)
Website: http://www.ippe-coppe.com/

Visit other cafés/restaurants in the area!

Cafébar Vambo - Luga

Address: Okinawa, Naha, Urasoe, Minatogawa 2-16-8 #21 (沖縄県浦添市港川2-16-8 #21)
Telephone: 098-878-0105
Opening hours: On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Tea ~ 3.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.
Dinner ~ 6.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m.
On weekdays ~ 12.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. (Lunch available)
Closed on Tuesdays

Okinawa Cerrado Coffee (沖縄セラードコーヒー)

Address: Okinawa, Naha, Urasoe, Minatogawa 2-15-6 #27/28 (沖縄県浦添市港川2-15-6 #27/28)
Telephone: 098-875-0123 (office), 0120-447-442 (Beans Store)
Opening hours: Factory and office ~ 8.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Beans Store ~ 12.00 p.m. – 6.30 p.m. (last order at 6.00 p.m.)
Closed on Tuesdays, Thursday and public holidays
Website: http://okinawaserado.ti-da.net/, http://beansstore.jp/aboutus.html

Café Restaurant La Vita

Address: Okinawa, Naha, Urasoe, Minatogawa 2-15-3 #30 (沖縄県浦添市港川2-15-3 #30)
Telephone: 098-878-9808
Opening hours: Lunch ~ 11.30 p.m. – 3.00 p.m.
Tea ~ 3.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.
Dinner ~ 6.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. (Last order at 9.00 p.m.)
Closed on Wednesdays

Night Café Rat & Sheep

Address: Okinawa, Naha, Urasoe, Minatogawa 2-13-9 #43 (沖縄県浦添市港川2-13-9 #43)
Telephone: 098-963-6488
Opening hours: 5.00 p.m. – 12.00 p.m. (Last order at 11.30 p.m.)
Closed on Wednesdays, Sundays and public holidays
Website: http://ratandsheep.ti-da.net/

Café & Dining Rich épi

Address: Okinawa, Naha, Urasoe, Minatogawa 2-12-7 #50 (沖縄県浦添市港川2-12-7 #50)
Telephone: 098-943-1713
Opening hours: Lunch ~ 12.00 p.m. – 3.00 p.m.
Dinner ~ 6.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m.
Dinner ~ 6.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. (Reservations required)
Closed on Mondays and 1st and 2nd Tuesdays of the month
Website: http://www.richepi.com/