In the previous issue of Fukuoka Now we introduced a wide variety of places in the Itoshima area. This month, as summer approaches, we switch our focus to the beaches, and more specifically, to Itoshima’s colorful beach cafes. Despite close proximity to Fukuoka City, Itoshima’s beaches with clear waters and brilliant white sands easily rival those of even Hawaii. It may come as a surprise to some but Fukuoka has a very active community of surfers, and Itoshima is one of their favorite spots. However the big waves roll in during winter, which means summer’s waters are calm and ideal for swimming. There’s nothing like a swim in the sea to whet the appetite, so with that in mind, Fukuoka Now has selected six of our favorite beach cafes in the area. Be sure to access our website for last month’s, this month’s and several more extra reports and maps for Itoshima gems.
An important request: Itoshima is beautiful – but it requires everyone’s help to keep it that way. If you go to the beach do the right thing – take back all of your garbage AND one more piece. Let’s all pitch in to keep this piece of paradise clean for our future enjoyment.
Located on the Nogita beach road, Ohana boasts a spacious garden area with a barbecue area and a skateboard ramp (handy for off-season surfing practice?) Pictured here is the Jidori Sumibiyaki Set (¥1,500) featuring grilled free range chicken, seasonal vegetable dishes, rice and miso soup. For an extra ¥500 upgrade to the Irori BBQ Deluxe Set including Itoshima Brand Beef. But the best deal is the BBQ Course: ¥3,000/person, minimum 4 persons and reservations required. Call for details! Friendly service, beautiful environment, and tasty food!
Jidori Sumibiyaki Set ¥1,500 (charbroiled Ito chicken, today’s 4 small dishes, plain steamed rice or seasoned rice, miso soup, japanese pickles)* with coffee during 12:00 ~ 15:00
Draft beer ¥550
Homemade Ginger Ale ¥400
Take Out: Deep fried chicken ¥650, Chicken Rice ¥300
Address: 2461-2 Shima Nogita, Itoshima
Open: 12:00 ~ 21:00 (L.O. 20:00)
Hola! is a beachfront cafe, located just west of Futamigaura Beach in one of the area’s better surfing spots. The quirky establishment aims to provide a “glocal” (i.e. global and local) space in which people from all walks of life can meet. Foreigners are especially welcome and the cafe frequently hosts events for exchange students. The daily lunch set features entrees such as pasta, doria, and omelette rice with a salad, drink and dessert. You can dine inside or outside, or order take-out. The tasty “natural and healthy” desserts are reason enough to drop by!
Set lunch ¥1,500 (Salad, today’s soup, choice of main, coffee or tea, today’s desert)
Draft beer ¥500
Cafe latte ¥450
Oil free tofu chocolate cake ¥320
Spinach chiffon cake made out of Ito eggs and canola oil ¥350
Address: 4407 Uotsu, Shima Sakurai, Itoshima
Open: 11:00 ~ until sunset
Web site: http://www.hola2009.com/
This ain’t your average taco stand – and these ain’t your average tacos! Hinode’s soft flour shell tacos are masterfully filled with seasonal and mostly locally sourced ingredients: lettuce, cabbage, tomato, coriander, crescent, chive, onion, mizuna, chili pepper, avocado – and then your choice of ground beef or fish and cheese. They’re so good, you might as well order two from the start! Hinode’s Taco Rice is a variation of the above but instead of a shell you get a bed of brown rice.
meat cheese taco ¥450
fish cheese taco ¥450
Draft beer ¥500
Special taco-rice ¥700
Address: Shima Nogita, Itoshima
inside the parking lot next to Nogita Beach Park
Open: 11:00 ~ until sunset
Closed: Tue., Bad Weather
Probably the best-known cafe in the area, and the host of the huge annual summer music festival “Sunset Live”. More than a few of the other cafe owners once worked here – it’s the original Itoshima beach cafe. As the name suggests it’s an ideal spot to watch the sun set into the sea, and with cocktails, gourmet coffee or tea, and scrumptious hand-made desserts – really, what more could you want? The food menu has evolved over the years and still sets the standard on Futamigaura Beach. The Locomoco (¥1,050) is particularly popular.
Caramel cheese cake ¥420
Sunset beach ¥630 (Alcohol free cocktail)
Today’s curry ¥950
Heineken draft ¥630
Address: 284 Nishinoura, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka
Open: 11:00 ~ 23:00
Closed: Thu. (Apr. ~ Oct. open every day)
Web site: http://www.beachcafesunset.com/sunset/
Owned and operated by local rock musician Bones Tatsuya, it’s no surprise that music is an important element here. The vibe is definitely relaxed, casual and friendly. Sip a drink on the porch or sample some of the cafe’s famous Napoli-style pizza baked in a wood-burning oven. The lunch set which includes a whole pizza and drink will set you back just ¥1,200. Morocco Sandwiches are also a hit with customers. Showers are free for patrons and an open WIFI network is also available.
Lunch pizza ¥1,200 (incl. 1 drink)
Morocco Sandwich ¥500 (spiced meat, smoked bacon, dry-cured ham)
Jamaican chicken with herbs ¥850
Coconut green curry of Thai ¥1,000
Address: 2457 Shima Nogita, Itoshima
Open: 12:00 ~ 21:00
Web site: http://www.cadillac.saloon.jp/cadillac/
Perched above the Nogita Beach and offering a commanding view of the bay, this Spanish-style building has a spacious terrace in the front and a wonderful bakery in the back. The sister establishment of Sunset Cafe, it boasts the same high-quality service and comfortable atmosphere, but Current is slightly more upscale. The real bargain here is breakfast which includes a basket of freshly baked breads, eggs, salad, soup, coffee – and that million dollar view!
Set current breakfast ¥770 (assorted fresh bakery, bacon and egg, soup, salad, coffee)
Today’s sandwich set (today’s sandwich, soup, coffee (free refill))
French toast set ¥550
Current plate lunch ¥1,450 (incl. soup, bread or rice, petite desert, coffee)
Cafe latte ¥500
Address: 2290 Mukaihata, Shima Nogita, Itoshima
Open: 08:00 ~ 22:00 (L.O. 21:00, 10:00 for breakfast, 17:00 for bakery)
Web site: http://www.beachcafesunset.com/current/
View Fukuoka Now – Itoshima Map in a larger map
Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn138, June, 2010)