Café Seaside Hanon is one of my very favorite breakfast places in Okinawa and of course because it is on my list, you know that means it is dog friendly as well. If you have a big dog make sure you are capable of lifting him/her because in order to get to the dog friendly area you must carry your fuzzy friend through the restaurant. Also if your dog is a non-stop yapper that is a deal breaker (or a meal breaker…) and is about the last thing those who are drinking their first cappuccino of the day want to endure.
Stepping out onto their patio you are transported to Santorini, Greece. The balcony seating area is built with soothing gray flagstone floors and white stucco walls with benches seamlessly built in, gently sloping and impressively comfortable for concrete! It helps that the benches are stacked with vibrant azure blue pillows to lounge on and round silver gray cotton mats to keep a layer between you and the cold concrete (picture a large gray coaster that instead of setting under your glass you set under your… ahem).
White net curtains are pulled back making the place look tropical and inviting. The patio looks out over the tropical turquoise Okinawan sea (well technically it’s the East China Sea, but the part you can seen belongs to Okinawa…). Details are key, from a potted olive tree, ceiling fans, space heaters, designated dog bowls, to the baskets stacked with cozy blankets for those who get chilly (or need a nap after a big breakfast). The inside of the restaurant is just as beautiful but is dog free (except for the occasional dog being carried through on the way to or from the patio).
Word of warning – if you want the eggs Benedict pancakes they only sell 20 orders on weekends and 10 on weekdays so you’d better get here early because they are guaranteed to sell out! Got here one day at 1130 and I was totally out of luck ordering this. I came at 8:15 am this time and waited patiently until they opened at 9:00 am just so I could get the elusive and sought after eggs Benedict. Then I noticed that the limited time selection for the month of May was lemon curd pancakes and when asked which she would choose, the waitress said she’d just tried them and heartily recommended them, so of course I decided on the limited edition pancakes. I made the mistake passing on limited edition strawberry French toast at another restaurant once and have regretted it ever since – far be it from me to add any more regrets to my list. Oh and I’d been fantasizing about Seaside Café Hanon’s cheese French pancakes (they blend cream cheese into the batter then dip them and toast them on both sides like French toast) since last time I ate there and tried them but there were no substitutions for the regular Mihama pancakes (touted as being made with whole milk from Hokkaido) that come with the lemon curd pancake order. Of course as I’m an all or nothing kind of girl, I got it all. Yep I got an order of cheese French pancakes as a side on my pancake order. I love that the waitress didn’t bat an eye at my carbo-loading shenanigans. I also ordered iced café mocha because that’s just how I roll on Sunday mornings. The beautiful thing about getting there before the crowd is that if you are one of the first few in line they will take your order and have it ready for you shortly after you sit down. Well, I just realized that I’m shooting myself in the foot here by giving up this information and may have a larger crowd to contend with now… Maybe you should just go ahead and sleep in. You’ll get here when you get here – and I’ll be long gone, with my tummy full and happy on my way home for a nap.
Your morning meal starts with a happy little surprise or as the French call it, an amuse-bouche (mouth amuser) in the form of a small serving of crème brûlée that is sheer perfection (the only imperfection is that it is in a teeny tiny little bowl so leaves you craving more – but it’s free so really just stop your complaining already).
The lemon curd pancakes (920 yen or around $8.50 US at the current yen rate) were a thing of beauty and delectability (is that a word? It must be because my auto correct didn’t seem to take issue with it…). The curd is a decadent creamy lemon topping, sour, sweet, and indulgently rich generously poured over the pancakes. This deliciousness is then topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a thin lemon slice beret (well of course the well dressed pancake MUST have a hat – and what could be more sophisticated and suave than a lemon beret?). These fluffy lemon curd pancakes were as good as they sound (unless you didn’t like my description, in that case they were much better than they sound) and it was all I could do to leave half (since I was also devouring the cheese French pancakes and didn’t plan ahead by wearing stretch pants). Now onto the cheese French pancakes. These are on my list of reasons to get out of bed in the morning, reasons to come to Seaside Café Hanon, and reasons to live. Yes they are THAT good. Again, I left a half portion because of the pants to waist dilemma but the waitress was kind enough to wrap up the remaining halves for me in a to-go box (so I could have my pancake and eat it too). When I’m on my deathbed if you bring me some of these cheese French pancakes I’ll jump up and dance a jig, thank you profusely, then place an order for more to be delivered the next day. Plus I’ll add you to my will. Really. So why pray tell are they that good? I don’t know but I do know that I love cream cheese, I love pancakes, and I love French toast. Now mix all three together and you’ve got the winning trifecta. On a previous visit I had these cheese French pancakes topped with a mixed berry sauce (called “Berry berry cute pancake”), throwing the whole experience into overdrive and making my taste buds sing with glee. Ok weird imagery, I’ll try to dial it back a notch. Other options for pancakes include chocolate chip, the chocolate banana carnival pancake (it sounds quite festive), apple cinnamon pancake, salted caramel pancake, and purple yam millefeuille. If you needmore than “just” pancakes for breakfast they have the egg & meat pancake (served on the side and not IN the pancake), “chillibeans pancake” (chili cheese beans with extra large sausage with homemade pickles). My iced chocolate mocha tasted like decadent chocolate milk for adults and made me so very happy to be an adult (or at least to have people fooled into thinking I’m one). On other occasions I’ve tried their hot cafe mocha and caramel macchiato and both were the perfect blend of warm, rich, and sweet (like I like my men) and a beautiful way to start breakfast. They have a plethora of coffee drinks so if you want it, they’ll likely have it. Their other drinks include juices, soft drinks, Italian sodas, granite (sherbet-like icy drink with fresh juice), or if you have that “it’s 5:00 somewhere” mentality, then they have Orion and Corona beer or Awamori cocktails.
Another thing I appreciated was that ordering scrambled eggs for my dog didn’t even produce a raised eyebrow, in fact the waitress came back a moment later with two dog bowls and asked which one my dog would prefer the eggs in (the other was for water). I tell you I’m madly in love with this restaurant for these reasons alone. Oh but there is so much more to this restaurant than non-judgmental servers and dog friendly seating.
The restaurant fills up fast so be prepared to put your name on the list and wait patiently for something so good you’ll forget all about having had to wait. So if you like amazing pancakes, a stunning view of the sea while you dine, and dog friendly restaurants this is the place for you.
With 2 orders of pancakes, iced café mocha, and a side of scrambled eggs for my dog Pickles the total came to about 2400 yen or about $22 at today’s yen rate – a great deal for such an exquisite breakfast in such a stunning location!
Seaside Café Hanon is up Tuesday to Friday 11am – 7pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am-7pm, Japanese holiday 9am – 7pm and closed ever Monday or the day after Japanese National holiday. Last order for food is at 6pm and last drink order is at 6:30 pm.
9-39 Mihama Oak Fashion Building 2F, Chatan-cho, Nakagami-gun 904-0115 Okinawa Prefecture, Japan Phone: +81 98-989-0653
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