Café time savoring Nara's locally harvested green tea
Mannendo uses only "Yamato-cha," green tea leaf grown in Nara for their menu items. For those who wish to sample the rich taste of green tea itself, try matcha powdered green tea (served with seasonal Japanese sweet, sweet red bean soup with rice cake). Diners can treat themselves to some of the Japanese fusion sweets with their rich aroma and flavor of green tea: ice cream, bavarois and gorgeous parfaits. For those who want more than a sweet, try Mannendo's special Indian curry & naan brought directly from a restaurant in Tokyo which serves the Indian Embassy.
Matcha with special sweets: 700 yen / Mahoroba parfait: 900 yen / Ice cream: 450 yen / Butter chicken or keema curry with naan, rice and salad: 750 yen / Yamato matcha: from 500 yen
Tel: 0742-24-7530 / A 3-min. walk from Kintetsu Nara Sta., on the west side of Konishi Sakura Street / Open: 11:00-20:00 / http://saryo-mannendo.jp
(Central Nara/Oriental medicinal café & Asian goods)
Peaceful café time amongst the bright and green garden light
As the name signifies, (Nonohana means field flowers), this café is filled with fresh vegetation and plants. Upon entering, diners will first glimpse goods and furniture from East Asia including fine quality Korean antiques. Further in, there is both an inside and outside café. The table in the garden is highly recommended as diners can immerse themselves in the deep green of natural plants. Their menu is unique & wholesome Asian Yakuzen using healthy Asian herbs including rice porridges, cakes and Asian herb teas. Recharge yourself with good energy from the natural decor and healthy herbal dishes.
Yakuzen rice porridge set: from 1,100 yen (+200 yen for dessert, +200 yen for drink) / Yakuzen cake and Asian herb tea set: 850 yen / Asian herb tea: 700 yen / Japanese green tea: 750 yen / Coffee: 500 yen
Tel: 0742-22-1139 / About 15-min. walk from Kintetsu Nara Sta., west of Gango-ji Temple / Open: 11:00-17:00 (L.O. 16:30) / Closed: Mon.
Art café Sankaku
(Central Nara/Café & gallery)
Discover new art from Nara
sankaku opened in 2010 as a unique venue: a café and a place offering an op- portunity for young artists to show their art. The owner is himself an art curator and producer and created this unique space along with artists infused with en- thusiasm for art and creation. Formerly a dance hall, the spacious room has a stage now used for a variety of art and music events. Sankaku's recommended menu item is their Sankaku curry. Tomato and coconut-base curry is perfectly complimented by Nara's ancient rice. Discover Nara's new art creations and nice food together.
Sankaku curry (with pickles and salad): 800 yen / Loco moco (with pickles): 800 yen / Rich pudding parfait: 600 yen / Waffle plate: 700 yen
Tel: 050-1488-0278 / About 15 min. walk from JR Nara Sta. (go along Sanjo St.), and enter Mochiidono Center Arcade. Walk about 300 meter and the café is on the 2nd floor on the left / Open: 12:00-22:00 (until 18:00 on the last day of special exhibition) / Closed: Thurs. (open on national holidays)
(Central Nara/Japanese sweets & cafe)
Have a break with Japanese sweets originating in the old village of Nara
Tenpyo-an specializes in traditional Japanese sweets using fine ingredients. A number of delicious and seasonal Japanese and other sweets are waiting for you in the shop on the 1st floor. Tenpyo-an's best recommendation is Yamato Sanzan, a very soft pancake with sweet red bean paste inside. There is a café on the 2nd floor where visitors can relax and enjoy a tea break with a tempting variety of sweets: a set of matcha green tea and beautiful sweet dumpling, matcha green tea parfait, etc.. It is also OK to buy sweets downstairs and bring them to the café (at least one drink order necessary).
Matcha green tea & fresh sweet dumpling: 800 yen / Matcha green tea parfait: 800 yen / Yamato Sanzan pancake with sweet red bean paste: 157 yen / Somen noodle lunch set: 1,000 yen
Across from Nara National Museum, a 15-min. walk from Kintetsu Nara Sta. (in the Yume-Kaze Plaza)
(Central Nara/Café in a traditional machiya house)
A variety of hearty and healthy dishes for your complete contentment
Kanakana is located in the nostalgic Naramachi town area and is very popular with locals and tourists. Dating from the 1920s, the building was renovated while keeping the original structures and now provides a relaxing atmosphere for diners taking their meals in the homey open space. Kanakana’s heartwarming dishes all use fresh ingredients and are carefully prepared. The most popular menu item, Kanakana Gohan, includes one main dish and a selection of four other dishes served in pretty small dishes and bowls, dessert and coffee/tea/herb tea.
Kanakana plate: 1,250 yen / Shrimp curry: 900 yen / Spinach curry: 850 yen
A 15-min. walk from Kintetsu Nara Sta., to the southeast of Gango-ji Temple
Open:11:00-20:00 / Closed:Monday
(Central Nara/Café, dining and bar)
A relaxing, spacious Bali style café & dining
mellow café’s interior furniture and decoration are all directly imported from Bali. There is also a bar counter and stone oven used for baking their most popular pizzas. Diners can enjoy their Italian dishes including 10-15 kinds of hot and freshly-baked pizza, fresh pasta, sweets and drink items. The unique Narazuke pizza using Narazuke pickles and sake lee sauce is outstanding. It has a strong smell and flavor but once you acquire the taste, you will never forget it! Visit mellow café whenever you are in the mood for lunch, café, dinner or drinks and enjoy a memorable dining experience.
Pizza (Narazuke pickles & sake lee sauce): 1,300 yen / Pizza lunch: 1100 yen / mellow lunch: 1200 yen / Beer: from 500 yen / Cake (Bambi roll): 480 yen
A 2-min. walk from Kintetsu Nara Sta., on the east side of Konishi Sakura Street
Open:11:00-23:30 (L.O.: 23:00)
English menu / Wifi available
Gallery & Café Takeno
(Central Nara/Gallery & Cafe)
Enjoy a pleasant meal, sweets, tea/coffee and art all together
Shizue, the mother, and her two daughters, Ai and Mai, opened this attractive gallery & café in September 2010. Half of the space is a gallery and the other is a café space where you can have a relaxing time viewing the art works. Their lunch set has three options: bagel, quiche or spicy chicken curry. Their homemade cakes include cheese cake, chocolate, tart of the day, tube cake and more. The coffee and tea menu is also worth a look as there are a variety of kinds to choose from. Enjoy a pleasant meal or sweets, a comfortable time and art all at the same time.
Lunch set (bagel, quiche or spicy chicken curry): from 700 yen (+300 yen with drink) / Cake set: 750 yen / Coffee: from 400 yen / Beer: 600 yen
A 10-min. walk from Kintetsu Nara Sta., southwest of Sarusawa Pond
Open:10:30-19:00 / Closed:Mon., 1st Tues. of the month
(Central Nara/Matcha green tea & tea ceremony experience)
Feel the Japanese spirit with a bowl of matcha green tea
A small but wonderful space that lets you experience the world of Japanese culture opened this summer in the nostalgic Naramachi area. You can experience the world of tea ceremony and the fine taste of matcha green tea. The owner, Mr. Hirano, is a tea ceremony master and he carefully prepares a bowl of matcha green tea for each customer in the manner of traditional tea ceremony. The first floor is all table-and-chair-style seats, so don’t worry about sitting on the floor for a long time! There is a real tea ceremony room on the second floor. You can watch the procedure of tea ceremony by Mr. Hirano or even can try it by yourself. The taste of fine and mild (not too bitter!) matcha perfectly compliments their home-made Japanese sweets.
Matcha green tea with ohagi dumpling: 753 yen / Tea ceremony experience (watch the ceremony): 1,000 yen / Tea ceremony experience (try yourself): with ohagi: 980 yen; with small sweet: 880 yen /
Tea bowls and other ceramics are also displayed and sold.
A 5-min. walk to the southeast from Gango-ji Temple
Open:10:00-18:00 / Closed:Wed.
(Central Nara / Japanese & Chinese tea café)
Comfort with excellent Japanese/Chinese tea in a classic machiya traditional house
Shinju-an specializes in Japanese and Chinese tea. The owner collects a number of unique and aromatic tea leaves from famous tea producing areas around Japan. There are always about 50 kinds of tea leaves for you to select from. The water temperature and time of steeping the leaf is essential to enjoy the best aroma and taste of the tea. Use a little set of provided tea utensils and try to make the best tasting tea for yourself!
Cake & tea set (Changed monthly): from 650 yen
Extra fine Yamato (Nara) tea: 650 yen
Ban-cha, Hoji-cha, black tea: from 500 yen
Lunch set (beef stew with rice, salad, dessert, tea): 850 yen
In Nara-machi area, across from the Naramachi Museum
Falafel is a traditional Israeli food. Using only vegetable (no meat, fish, milk, egg) and mostly organic ingredients, Falafel Garden offers delicious and healthy food for everyone, even vegans and people with food allergies. Falafel contains falafel balls (deep-fried chick pea balls flavored with various spices) and an abundance of fresh vegetables in thin pita bread. Other recommendations are humus (raw chick pea paste) and babaganush (paste of grilled eggplant and spices). This is the only place you can enjoy authentic and healthy Israel.
Falafel (M): 850 yen
Chicken kebab: 980 yen
Humus: 860 yen
Mix plate (falafel balls, pita bread, humus, babaganush, 2 kinds of salad): 1,980 yen
In the Higashimuki Shopping Arcade, on the east side (across from McDonalds)
Lunch and café time with the warm hospitality of the owner and staffs
Shima-Shima is a comfortable café located on the 2nd floor of the building across from Nara City Tourist Center that offers the warm hospitality of the owner, Ms. Shimase, and her staff. The bright interior utilizes natural sunlight and is decorated with Ms. Shimase’s hand-made natural ivy baskets and other hand-made crafts. The daily or weekly lunch set is highly recommended (800 yen) and includes a main dish, two side dishes, soup and rice. Here you can experience authentic and tasty home dishes cooked by a Japanese mother. Shima-Shima’s original home-made cakes and parfaits are also popular.
This week’s lunch set: 800 yen
Today’s lunch set: 800 yen
*Coffee, tea or yuzu (Japanese citrus) tea will be added for extra 100 yen.
Original parfaits: from 600 yen
On the south side of Sanjo, across from Nara City Tourist Center
Hearty & tasty original muffins by the gourmet owner
Going up a narrow, steep stairs to the 3rd floor of the building, there is a cozy café always filled with a scent of freshly baked muffins. At 3rd place café, all you will enjoy is owner’s home-made muffins, from basics (blueberry, raspberry, banana) to Nara’s unique using Nara’s green tea, and seasonal fruits (fig, mango, pear for summer). The owner herself is a gourmet who works as a food writer and coordinator as well. Take one or more muffins from 3rd place café with hearty taste and the owner’s affection to Nara, inside or outside of the café.
Muffins: from 250 yen
Muffin and drink set: 600-700 yen
3F of Fukuda Bldg., on the west side of Yasuragino-michi St., about 20 meters to the north from Nara City Tourist Center
Discover the warm hospitality and cooking excellence of the owner-chef
Monsieur Pepe’s owner and chef used to be a piano teacher. One day she decided to change her career and took a course at the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Kobe. The mainly southern French dishes are full of her wholesome cooking style. The best recommendation is the Special Soup Lunch set, which includes assorted hors d'oeuvre, stewed vegetable soup, dessert and a drink. Monsieur Pepe’s blueberry tart is also very popular (only 8 available a day!).
Special soup lunch set: 1,680 yen
Blueberry tart set: 1,200 yen
Duck pastrami pasta: 1,200 yen
Glass wine: 500 yen
Hot wine: 700 yen
Across from Nara National Museum
Open: 11:00-18:00 (reservations required for dinner time)
Delicious organic doughnuts created from specially selected ingredients
Floresta is a doughnut shop which started with the owners’ wish to “provide safe and delicious doughnuts for everyone.” They use specially selected ingredients only without food additives and chemicals. Their original doughnuts are always freshly cooked - the outside is crispy and the inside is very soft. Perfect for a tea break inside or takeout! Floresta’s doughnuts are full of the natural taste of fine ingredients and the sincere wishes of the staff to enjoy them.
Nature: 120 yen
Sugar: 120 yen
Chocolate: 140 yen
Drink set: 350 yen (with coffee/tea/milk)
On the north side of a narrow street connecting Higashimuki Shopping Arcade and Konishi Sakura St., 1-min. walk from Kintetsu Nara Sta
Open: 10:00-19:00 (closed when all doughnuts are sold out)
Space to enjoy a tea break and view fine Japanese ceramics
Tachibana’s original selection of ceramics includes classical forms as well as unique ceramic works by up-and-coming artists. During your Nara exploration, stop by Tachibana and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or fine Japanese green tea with sweets, while chatting with the owner. Exhibitions are occasionally held in the gallery upstairs.
Nara-machi blend coffee: 400 yen
Tea: from 550 yen (served in pot)
Sencha or maccha green tea: 550 yen
Sweets: from 330 yen
About 20 meters to the east of the street between Mochiidono and Shimomikado Shopping Center, on the right side
The entrance of apa apa café faces a very narrow street (look for a black motor bike!). You’ll find a cozy, relaxing space where you can feel comfortably at home. At lunch time, their large-portioned home-made bagel lunch set will satisfy you (with bagel of the day, salad, soup, fried potato, plus a drink). Check their wide ranging drink menu too!
Home-made bagle lunch set (12:00-15:00): 900 yen
Lunch of the day (12:00-15:00): 800 yen
Pizza, paste, rice dishes, etc.: from 700 yen
2F of Fujimoto Bldg., to the northwest of Tsubai Elementary School
Take a break in Wakakusa café during your visit to Nara
Wakakusa is a bright, fresh green color. As the name suggests, Café Wakakusa is filled with this color and also the owner’s favorite music. The owner and his wife welcome you with smiles. Their home-made crepe uses special butter, cheese and/or chocolate. Their original soft drinks using Japanese tea are definitely worth trying. Wakakusa is open until 22:00 and free Internet access is available (bring your laptop!).
Draft beer (Guinness & Yebisu): 400yen
Home-made crepes: from 350yen
1-min. walk from Kintetsu Nara Sta.; on the east side of Higashimuki Kita Shopping Street
Try the taste of the Nara period in a slow and comfortable atmosphere
Yumeichi Chaya is located right next to the Ishi-butai Ancient Tomb. Here you can try unique dishes made from a special rice called Kodai-mai, a type of ancient rice which is still grown in Asuka today. In the clear air of Asuka, the fresh seasonal vegetables used in the dishes taste even better. Kodai-mai Gozen sets (availability is limited) and Kuro-mai (black) rice and curry lunch sets are very popular and recommended. When the weather is nice, take a Shotoku bento lunch box or some Kodai-mai rice balls outside and have a picnic! Their café menu with desserts is also recommended for taking a short break in Asuka.
Kodai-mai Gozen Set: 1,050 yen
Curry and kuro-mai black rice: 840 yen
Shotoku bento lunch: 840 yen
Just west of the Ishibutai Park; 154-3 Shimasho, Asuka-mura, Takaichi-gun
Open: 11:00-16:00 (souvenir shop on the first floor is open from 10:00; open until 17:00 on Sat. & Sun.)
To get to Asuka, see the access information on pg 12.
Japanese Style Café Awogaki
(Central Nara/ Café)
Try Awogaki’s original sweets of Nara
Located in the Nara Nagomi-kan, a souvenir shop, you can enjoy original sweets by Awogaki’s experienced chef. One of the popular menus is Kaki (persimmon) cake using additive-free dried persimmons and persimmon liquor. Maccha rolled cake made from fine quality Nara maccha green tea and red beans are also recommended. Many other meal and drink menus are available as well.
Maccha (green tea) rolled cake: 320 yen
Kaki (persimmon) cake: 300 yen
Meals: from 1,300 yen
A 3-min. walk to the south of the Ichino Torii (first shrine gate) of the Kasuga Grand Shrine, on the left side
Open: 10:00-19:00 (Awogaki is open the same hours)