Kintsubo Shokudo 金壺食堂 (Naha, Okinawa, Japan) – ★★

Quick Check:

  • Quality :  So-so – ★★
  • Location:   Near Tsuboya District, Makishi Station on the Okinawa Monorail (Naha, Okinawa, Japan)
  • Type:  All Vegetarian (very vegan-friendly)
  • Price: $ – Cheap! (¥600 all-you-can-eat)
  • Website: None ( HappyCow Page)
  • Phone Number: 81-988678607
  • Hours:  8:00 am – 3:00 pm (last order 2:30)
  • Language Barrier:  No menu (English or otherwise)

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About & Location:

Kintsubo Shokudo is a Taiwanese Buffet located near the Tsuboya Pottery District in Naha, Okinawa.  It’s about a 15-20 minute walk from Makishi Station on the Okinawa Monorail (Yuirail).

I have provided video directions below, but here are written directions: Find the intersection of Kokusai Dori and Sakurazaka Naka Dori.  If you are coming from Makishi Station, this means you will turn left off of Kokusai Dori onto Sakurazaka Naka Dori.  Walk for about 10-15 minutes.  Sakurazaka Dori will turn in a small road to your right, but keep walking straight on the main road.  From Kokusai Dori, you will pass 2 side streets on your right, but keep going.  When you reach the third side-street on your right, turn in. You will see the exit of Heiwa Dori in front of you.  There will be 3 alleys to your left – the middle one has Kintsubo Shokudo.  The name is NOT in Japanese!  Look for an orange overhang that says 金壺食堂. In this photos it’s the restaurant down the road on the left.

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Here’s video directions from the intersection of Kokusai Dori and Sakurazaka Naka Dori:

Food: 

Kintsubo Shokudo offers an interesting variety of vegetarian Taiwanese and Okinawan dishes, served in buffet-style. The Viking Lunch set (aka, buffet) is a mere 600, lasts from 8 am to 3:00 pm (last order at 2:30). Not all of the dishes are vegan, but most of them are. If you can speak a little Japanese, ask which dishes contain milk or egg, and they can quickly tell you. When I went, only two items in the buffet weren’t vegan.

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There was a wide variety of dishes, including noodle dishes, various stir-fries, seaweed dishes, and pickles. I personally found several of the dishes a little bit soggy (not surprising in a buffet, they’d probably bit in their juices too long) and a little bit too oily for my personal preferences. However, it’s all-you-can-eat for 600 yen. Even taking into account the quality issues, I definitely got my money’s worth, and I didn’t even eat that much!

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Goya, Tofu, and Carrot stir-fry

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Atmosphere & Service:

The atmosphere is very, very casual. You serve yourself, and the seating area itself is like a tiny cafeteria with a splash of Taiwanese Buddhist religious iconography. It’s probably the least glamorous of all restaurants I’ve visited, but in a way that added to its appeal. Because it didn’t have restaurant-atmosphere, I felt like I was serving myself lunch in someone’s home. It was refreshing.

The restaurant owners, presumably a Taiwanese husband and wife, were absolutely delightful.They chatted with me, asked where I lived, and explained some of the dishes to me. They were incredibly relaxed and friendly and it added to the restaurant’s homey-atmosphere.