If you happen to find yourself passing through Ishinomaki, perhaps on your way to Sendai, Fukushima, or even for those lucky enough to go to Tashiro Island, stopping by at the iconic Coffekan is a must do. Despite being set on a single floor in a relatively industrialized city in Northern Japan, Coffeekan is a western-styled diner that has a decidedly New York feel.
Long wooden benches, large chesterfield couches, and a cafeteria style mode of service sets a very international tone for an eatery that is well frequented amongst the local population.
The family-run cafeteria specializes in coffee with no fewer than eight different bean types on the roast. The sole barista is an elderly gentleman who professes 20 years of grinding experience. The result? For all lovers of well-made coffee, the brew here is to die for. The menu also offers a comprehensive selection of international teas, milkshakes, and fresh juices. Expect to pay between ¥380–¥500 for most beverages.
For those who have visited Ishinomaki, a relative backwater pass-through town, many will be surprised.
The food menu is relatively limited and generally geared towards cafeteria-style snacks and various other small bites. There is a limited selection of desserts – cakes and ice creams and for those searching for something more wholesome, there are western-styled toasted sandwiches on offer. Expect to pay somewhere between ¥430–¥520 depending on your meal of choice.
A rehashed version of an old Whitney Houston song seemed to play on repeat for the entirety of my visit – you see this is a place that strives to be as American as possible and in many cases it succeeds in achieving this. The high ceilings and distinct mahogany walls set the scene, particularly in the front section where a few chesterfield sofas are seated to a large window overlooking the street below. These tables are particularly popular with lunching locals so consider advising the restaurant of your dining plans ahead of arrival.
There exist a few more tables to the back of the restaurant, however, without the large center piece windows that adorn the front section there also exists a large wooden bench for single diners.
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