Welcome to Fukuoka Now! Since 1998 our team of local experts have been introducing the best of Fukuoka to the world. Enjoy!
Minutes from Gokoku Jinja Shrine, a small sign on Keyaki-dori beckons you to a backstreet cafe with a unique tunnel-like entrance. Run by Sayaka Kitagawa and her parents, the interior motif is rural southern France, with interesting objets d’art in every nook. A glass wall lets in ample natural light, but the terrace seats are also comfy. Lunch is available until sold out. The Tonerico Lunch (¥1,420) includes one main, an assortment of six sides, salad, multigrain rice with beans, miso soup, dessert and a drink. Also, try the homemade cheesecake and original herbal tea blend.
Tonerico Lunch ¥1,420, marché lunch ¥980, onigiri lunch ¥850, Moroccan mint tea ¥600, chai with organic soy milk ¥550, mint soda ¥550, Tonerico homemade cheesecake ¥480, cake set ¥880
5 Cafe Chihaya
The staff at Masaya Bicycle Works are passionate about three things: high-end bicycles, specialty coffee and tasty cafe food. So it’s no surprise to find hip cafes right inside both Masaya stores. 5 Cafe, located next door to Chihaya Station, is a convenient pit stop on the way to Shikanoshima and the up-and-coming Island City neighborhood. The bagels, biscotti and muffins are handmade daily from select natural ingredients. For lunch, try the BLT (¥442) with thick-cut bacon. Or stop by for breakfast and a cappuccino, if your weekend plans are taking you eastward.
Latte ¥480, cold brew coffee ¥518, coffee jelly float ¥450 (summer only), bagel ¥183~, green curry ¥810, soft-serve ice cream ¥280
Located in the retro-chic Sankaku Ichiba near Yakuin Station, Warabe’s specialty is “yakisoba”. Owner Yuji Endo spent over 20 years honing his craft at his popular teppan izakaya in Hiroshima, but re-opened Warabe here in March 2015. Endo uses thin noodles and a slightly sweet sauce, and each serving uses approximately 220 g of veggies. One bite and you’ll see how the thin noodles pair perfectly with the finely chopped cabbage, crunchy bean sprouts and flavorful pork. The sauce, which does not overpower, ties it all together. For Endo, preparation and ingredients are key. He buys his noodles and sauce from Hiroshima and uses Yayoi-brand pork from Hisayama Town. “I don’t think my yakisoba is perfect yet, so I’ll keep trying to make it even better,” confides Endo. Yakisoba may be a simple dish, but doing it right requires dedication like Endo’s. It’s usually packed in the evenings, so go at lunchtime when only yakisoba is served and Warabe is at its best!
Address: 2-3-33 Watanabe-dori, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Open: Mon. ~ Fri.: 11:30~14:00 (L.O.: 13:30), 17:00~22:00; Fri., Sat. & day before Hol.: 17:00~23:00
Menu (Lunch rates):
Yakisoba (Sm.: 1/2) ¥500, (Reg.) ¥600, (Med.: 1.5x) ¥700, (Large: 2x) ¥800, Toppings: Ishimoto Farm-fresh egg ¥100, extra veggies ¥100
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn213, Sep. 2016)