By Elizabeth S
Are you craving diner food? Japan forgives you for forgoing washoku, Japanese cuisine, for a day as there are many places that serve dishes familiar to visitors from North America. Meet Up Under the Tree Cafe is one of a handful of places in Noda City that serve delicious home style hamburgers and fries, and other diner menu dishes. It’s conveniently located near Nankodai Station on the Tobu Urban Park Line. The cafe is a good spot to take a break between visits to Glicopia for the factory tour, or the Field Athletics course at Shimizu Park.
The cafe, a three-minute walk from Nanakodai Station, is a cozy cafe space with a retro style that might remind you of a Norman Rockwell illustration with cheery chalkboard signage and a lot of wooden and iron decor. It’s great for families as it has a children’s play area, and a library of Japanese and English books and magazines. Linger over hot coffee with refills, and catch up on your mobile device with the free wifi (ask your server how to connect).
On the menu are burgers, rice plates, and pizza. But most people come here for the burgers. The beef and cheddar cheese burger featured on their lunch menu comes with smoky barbecue sauce, a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, and a side of fries dusted with sesame flavored nori seaweed flakes. It’s satisfying. For those with bigger appetites, get the double and add a slice of avocado. Other options are roast beef or fish burgers.
Some days have special menus. Drop by on Mondays when the chef prepares proper eggs Benedict, or Saturdays for a quiche plate.
The takeout menu includes their burgers, fish and chips, and some deserts and drinks. Pack your picnic, pick up some drinks from the convenience store, and head to nearby Shimizu Park, or the Edo River bank for lunch In the fresh air.
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You will see many of my stories on Japan Travel are about places and events outside of big city centers and tourist destinations. While I highly recommend the big name sights and experiences, I encourage visitors to see and feel the atmosphere off the beaten path, too.