HALE NOA CAFÉ
Hale Noa Café is a cute little spot for breakfast and brunch and is one of the few places in Okinawa that actually opens at a decent breakfast hour (7:00 am). Most places in Okinawa seem to open at 9:00 am which is almost lunch time in my world. This small café has a Hawaiian theme and has a small outdoor seating area on a wooden deck. You can sit facing the street on one of the benches outside or at the small table for 4 also outside on the lanai (see how I snuck that Hawaiian word for balcony in there…) if your timing is right and you have a party of at least 3-4. This is perfect for those who enjoy bringing their dogs to breakfast. If you want to spoil your pup you can even order a side of scrambled eggs (300 yen) for Fido/Spot/Pickles (just tell them it’s for your dog so they put it in a plastic container). The inside of the restaurant is small but welcoming and there are maybe 6 wooden tables so the place fills up fast. It is a light filled space and the entire front wall of the restaurant is actually not a wall but is instead floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the front porch. The café boasts hardwood floors, a giant Hawaiian beach mural painted on one wall with the opposite wall a soothing butter yellow, hung with pictures with the same theme. Small crystal chandeliers hang throughout the dining room and on the wall behind the cash register is a chalk board listing smoothies (Ginger Ninja, Beet it, Berry Berry, Power Green, and Tropical Sunrise all priced from 500 – 650 yen), drinks to include Orion beer for 700 yen if that’s what you consider part of a healthy breakfast… or more morning friendly drinks like orange, mango, guava, or apple juice (all 400 yen), and the specials. The other drinks listed include Hawaiian blend coffee, coconut coffee (this one gets 2 thumbs up from me), café latte, cappuccino, and a variety of Hawaiian teas. There is usually a wait if you get there after 9:00 am, so just add your name to the waiting list on a clipboard outside and check out Maybe Bakery next door (it’s definitely a bakery, no maybes about it) if you need something to tide you over while you wait.
The menu has both breakfast items and lunch items depending on whether you want the breakfast part of brunch or the lunch part of brunch. There are pancakes from plain (400 yen) to macadamia (1100 yen) to granola (1200 yen). The last comes with granola, banana, chocolate sauce, and whip cream (not as healthy as it first sounded is it?). My favorite is the variety of French toast selections to include Elvis French toast for 1400 yen (which I have not yet tried but plan to on a morning when I’m feeling sassy and adventurous) which comes stuffed with peanut butter, has banana, bacon, and whip cream on it and is then artfully topped with a salt caramel sauce (just in case you weren’t in a diabetic coma yet). The Blue Berry Cream Cheese French Toast (1100 yen) is phenomenal and is stuffed with blueberry cream cheese, and is topped with banana and whip cream. Another favorite of mine is their signature French Toast – Hale Noa French Toast (1100 yen) with mixed berry sauce and crème brulee sauce drizzled generously over the top. If you prefer your French Toast without the bells and whistles (less noisy that way), plain old French Toast is only 500 yen.
A “Dirty Omelette” (I’m guessing it’s called this because of the variety of tasty things you can throw in – not because they drop it on the floor before it is given to you) with added ingredients costing from 50- 300 yen each. It comes with 2 eggs and cheese with has the normal add-ins available like mushroom, onion, tomato etc. but also the option of unique things like Kalua pork or smoked salmon (that’s the add-in for high rollers at 300 yen). For an extra 200 yen you get a “set” which means you also get pancakes or rice (because it’s Japan and that’s how they do it) with your omelette. It is extra for sides like toast, rice (yes I told you they love this stuff), country potatoes (OMG if you like breakfast potatoes these are sheer deliciousness and only 300 yen), bacon, sausage, or salad. One star of the menu is their eggs benedict (1200 yen). They have 4 varieties to choose from: bacon, Kalua pork, smoke salmon, or avocado and best of all you can mix and match (try 2 different ones or stay in your comfort zone and just have one kind). I highly recommend the Kalua pork – it was surprisingly good! I was expecting that I was going to take a bite and then leave the rest while inhaling the bacon eggs benedict but I was so very wrong and at the end of breakfast my plate was remarkably clean (yes I licked my plate when no one was looking).
“The Hawaiian Eat” part of the menu is lunch type items to include a Hawaiian bowl (1100 yen) with spice Ahi Poke, Lomi Lomi salmon and Kalua pork. The Poke bowl comes with your choice of spice or soy sauce and includes Ahi Poke, Onion, Seaweed, and Avocado and is 1300 yen. There is Kalua Cabbage Loco Moco with Kalua Pork, cabbage, scrambled eggs, cheese, and gravy sauce (1300 yen). Then there’s the Beef Loco Moco with premium island Wagyu beef burger, scrambled eggs, cheese, and gravy sauce for 1500 yen. Garlic shrimp served with rice and Lomi Lomi salmon is 1500 yen. Finally the grilled salmon consists of toast, salmon (really? That’s surprising), avocado, poached egg, hollandaise sauce and comes with a green salad for 1600 yen.
The English translation for Hale Noa, as best I can tell, is “sleeping house” in case you were wondering (I certainly was and it took a bit of searching to find the translation). But in this case it’s the house you come to after sleeping to fill your belly when all the rest of Japan is sleeping in. Hale Noa Café is in Chatan, near Araha beach. It’s across the street from Chocolate Jesus and has a few parking spots but the lot fills up fast since it is also parking for an apartment that is nearby. Do NOT park at Chocolate Jesus. I’m not sure what will happen to you and whether it involves torture or towing or perhaps a shame sign glued to the back windshield of your car. Quick aside… I had a “sign of shame” glued to my back windshield during the early years of my stay here in Okinawa when I parked near the sea wall in the wrong parking lot, and trust me it worked – I felt very ashamed. Plus it took a LOT of work to scrape it off my window. At any rate the restaurant has a sign warning you not to park there, so just don’t risk it.
Hale Noa Cafe
〒904-0116 Okinawa Prefecture, Nakagami District, 北谷町北谷２丁目１８−６
7AM–2PM and CLOSED on Wednesday
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