Garden by Till

A cozy cafe in Noboribetsu Onsen

By Mandy Bartok   Jul 23, 2013

Noboribetsu Onsen is a "packaged" kind of place. Tour buses regularly rumble in and out, depositing tourists at the massive hot spring hotels where meal plans are part of the standard deal. Out in town, bars abound but decent lunch options seem few and far between. Garden by Till's recent opening earlier this year, however, nicely fills the void in the Noboribetsu Onsen cafe scene.

Chances are you'll walk by Garden by Till anyway. It's easy to spot on the main street, occupying a prime piece of real estate next to the tourist office and practically across the street from the ropeway station. If you come outside of lunch hours, avail yourself of their organic coffee or tea (with a few refreshing juice options occasionally thrown on the menu as well) and be sure to ask about their daily dessert specials. The counter inside the tiny cafe is the perfect place to relax with a "cuppa" and a pastry while watching the world pass by outside.

If you can, however, time your visit for the lunch hour, when the husband and wife team behind the counter serve up a trio of tasty meal options, Though the menu is limited, it does change a bit every day. There is usually a curry dish (it was butter chicken on the day I went, though green curry has also been offered), a pasta dish of some variation and a 100% all-beef hamburger that was probably one of the best I have eaten in quite a while. The seasoning was sublime and the toppings - cheese, lettuce, tomato and a homemade relish - added rather than detracted from the overall flavor. The dishes themselves cost between ¥700 and ¥850 and come with fries or rice, but you can add salads, drinks (other than water) and dessert for an extra ¥300 to ¥400.

Seating options in the cafe are limited to three large tables and the long counter and the place really does fill up for lunch. Meals are served from 11am until 2pm, though the cafe is open from 10am-6pm.

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