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The Best Cafes in Awajishima

  • Awajishima has always been a destination for food. Records dating as far back as the 12th century list this small island off the coast of Kobe as an official food supplier to Japan’s Imperial Court. Today, it’s known for specialties like wagyu beef, dairy products, mandarin oranges, sake, and—perhaps its most famous offering—onions, of which Awajishima’s own local variety are said to be sweeter and softer than those found elsewhere in Japan. Check out our list of the island’s best cafes and plan your own trip to try its local treats.

  • Bicycle Cafe Circolo

    Bicycle Cafe Circolo

    Bicycle Cafe Circolo

    Our first stop is this cafe-cum-cycle shop, where you can grab not only a bite but a set of wheelsfor your time on the island (renting a small bike, tandem bike, and road bike costs 3,000, 5,000, and8,000 yen, respectively). Since many of its patrons are cyclists, Circolo’s lunches are fit for an athlete with protein-packed dishes like spiced curry with chickpeas and tomato, Awajishima-egg omu rice (both 1,000 yen), and the Awaichi burger and cola set (700 yen). Pair your meal with a vitamin-rich smoothie or, if you’re stopping by after a long day of pedaling, a cold beer—either will set you back only around 500 yen.

  • Elm Ice Cream and Café

    Elm Ice Cream and Café

    Elm Ice Cream and Café

    Milk and fruit from neighboring farms goes into this shop’s much-loved gelato, resulting in a dessert that’s remarkably fresh. Flavors range from tried-and-true classics like chocolate to more unconventional scoops of mikan, sweet potato, or garden tomato. If that sounds like an impossible choice, you’ll be pleased to read that a two-flavor double cone or cup costs a meager 340 yen. Lines have a tendency to wind out the door and popular flavors can sell out by early afternoon, so schedule a trip to Elm Ice Cream and Cafe early in your itinerary.

  • Fuku Café

    Fuku Café

    Fuku Café

    Opened in 2011, Fuku Cafe occupies a renovated 100-year-old home tucked cozily into the woods—so cozily, in fact, that it can be awfully hard to find. Fortunately, it’s worth it. Their Awaji Island curry contains an original blend of 16 spices, 9 kinds of fruit, and a thick paste of sweet local onions that delivers a three-tiered taste experience: fruity sweetness, rich umami, and warm spice. Come a little earlier in the day to catch their morning waffle service (from 10:00 to 11:00), which pairs fluffy homemade waffles with sweet or savory toppings. They’re the perfect partner to Fuku’s freshly roasted coffee made using Awajishima spring water and served hot or iced.

  • Cafe Marukou

    Cafe Marukou

    Cafe Marukou

    Coastal Cafe Marukou is a great place to catch the sunset thanks to its ocean-facing windows and nosh on rice bowls topped with fresh seafood like boiled or battered shrimp or heaps of shirasu with ponzu and fresh lemon (900 yen). They’ve also got a tasty morning set with bread, salad, and a boiled egg for 450 yen. But rain or shine, the real star here is the view.

  • Cafe Charlar

    Cafe Charlar

    Cafe Charlar

    Like many of Awajishima’s other cafes, Cafe Charlar could be mistaken for a quaint family home. If your Spanish is up to snuff, you’ll know its name nods to what goes on inside: long chats over delicious food. And the pig on its sign? That’s for the pork: thick and tangy spare ribs paired with creamy potage and sangria made from local island fruits (there’s that mikan again!).

  • Cafe E-I

    Cafe E-I

    Cafe E-I

    Unlike some of the other destinations on our list, the banana yellow beams of Cafe E-I make it easy to spot. This couple-run establishment boasts a spicy one-coin curry (a 500-yen coin, that is), but our money’s on their whole onion soup. As its name suggests, the star of the dish is a single onion, doused in a rich bath of soy sauce and savory broth. If you really want tosee why everyone talks about Awajishima’s onions, tuck into this.

    淡路島
    Address
    兵庫県淡路市
    Phone
    G. Elm
    Address
    Hyougo Pref. Minamiawajishi Fukura Kou 1530-2
    Phone
    0799502332
    Fuku Cafe
    Address
    Hyougo Pref. Minamiawajishi Shitorinagata 224
    Phone
    0799536170
  • cafe Marukou
    Address
    Hyougo Pref. Awajishi Gunge 1168-2
    Phone
    0799701671
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