By JJ Walsh
The Japanese coffee house culture covers 2 types of place: shokudo (serve more substantial meals) and kissaten (which are closer to regular coffee shops). Offering many interesting dishes which are often a fusion of Western and Japanese tastes, these places are great fun to try out when traveling around Japan. Unfortunately, most are hard to find and menus in Japanese.
Cafe Cinnamon (Cinnamon Shokudo) therefore offers a wonderful experience that is accessible to both locals and non-Japanese speaking customers.
The international, young couple owners met and fell in love in Saijo, Higashi-Hiroshima, and decided to start their own shokudo here in the city. The chef has worked at many restaurants over the years and his experience and cooking skill is apparent in every bite.
The baker and main server is a young American co-owner who hails from Maryland, USA. She has worked and studied in Japan for many years and is fluent in Japanese too.
This place has a great balance of old kissaten (Japanese coffee shop) charm with satisfying food plates as well as some lovely American-style salads, soups and desserts.
On the daily menu you can enjoy the generous portions of delicious fried shrimp lunch plate, Japanese curry rice, hayashi rice, Tofu salad or omelette plate. Western favorites are also available, such as fried chicken in gravy, spare-rib curry and vegetarian (bean & vegetable curries, omelets) options too. If you have a sweet tooth, don't miss out on the fantastic honey toast ice-cream parfait which is their signature dish.
Cafe Cinnamon is one of few restaurants in the city which also serve the Japanese microbrew beer from Dogo-beer (a famous onsen, hot-spring town in Ehime on Shikoku island). They have this tasty beer in either dark stout, amber or pale ale.
This place also offers a variety of wonderful Japanese ciders from around the country (non-alcoholic, lightly flavored sparkling drinks), alongside regular drinks offerrings, all available at reasonable prices.
- Bilingual menu and staff
- Seating for 21
- Homemade party cakes available upon order
- Reservations accepted
- Non-smoking until 5pm
- Cash only, no credit cards
- Family-friendly and a comfortable place to go on your own, as a couple or with a small group too
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I've been living in Hiroshima since the mid 90's & still discovering new things to enjoy. I'm a big fan of both the old "wabi sabi" as well as modern and new designs, Japan offers both of these type of places to explore and enjoy. Even after many years here, I am still discovering surprising, fantastic and wacky things about this strange and wonderful land. I hope you enjoy your adventures around Japan- feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about traveling with kids, vegetarian dining or anything specific to Hiroshima.