This was our first time in Okinawa and we loved the relaxed, easygoing, and anything-goes positive vibe. It's as if we’ve traveled back in time to when life was slower and less complicated. It’s a place so full of creativity, culture, and pride.
We especially love that at many of the spots we went, the only folks working there are the owners themselves – delivering a product they believe in to you, with heart and passion. We think this creates a connectedness and togetherness, a sense of neighborhood and uniqueness that can’t be easily replicated. In some places, we even saw the 2nd and 3rd generations working together on the floor. That just about made our trip.
And they’ve all figured out how to do this by having workable, sustainable hours such as 11 am – 7 pm or 10 am – 6 pm – so that they can take the rest of the day off. There was a restaurant we went to that’s only open in the morning for a few hours. What a concept.
Say hello to some of our favorites, enjoy!
On Off Yes No
The philosophy behind many juice spots, or any health food shops for that matter, is to preach what they consider as healthy living. The idea for On Off Yes No, and where the name comes from, is not wanting to force a certain way of living on anyone. You can come here to get energized or you can come here to unwind at the end of the day – anything goes, hence the name On Off Yes No. You are free to choose…..not to mention the first-class juices that you can get here. (Their Facebook link)
A really serious coffee shop given the very specific way in which the owners want to present the coffee – from the zen atmosphere and a light jazz music in the background, to the very detailed process in the making of the coffee that uses specific utensils for each of the different drinks, down to the specific cups used to serve each type of drink, even the shape of the ice cube is considered! You cannot leave here without trying the dessert. The panna cotta has a generous layer of coffee jelly at the bottom, which contrasts so nicely with the sweeter creamy layer at the top. Literally to die for. (Mahou Coffee’s web site: link)
This was probably one of our favorite meals in Okinawa. We walked in at around 5 pm and felt so lucky when we were told that everything on the menu was sold out but there were still 2 dishes available, and they had just enough ingredients to make 1 plate of each! The 2 dishes turned out to be a soba and a pork with ginger set, which were completely unbelievable. The vegatables were so fresh they must have just came out of the garden. The food is served in beautiful signature Okinawa-style pottery. There’s also local Okinawa jewelry and produce sold in the restaurant that’s worth checking out. Magical. (Their Facebook link)
We really enjoyed our meal at Mana, which is a vegan interpretation of Okinawan cuisine done in a very cute and relaxing environment. Everything on our table was jam-packed with flavor and so colorful it was like a work of art. It was hard to believe that the “chicken” we were eating was not chicken at all, and that the curry lunch set was made entirely from beans! Everything was hearty and yummy, the ultimate comfort food. (Their Facebook link)