By Cathy Cawood
While in Yamanashi to see the famed colored leaves at Shosenkyo, we searched for a place to get lunch in Kofu and came up with Naturalia. Only a few minutes' walk from Kofu station, this pretty little organic and macrobiotic shop has a deli counter with seating upstairs.
The front of the shop is adorned with a handsome sign, leafy plants and herbs, and cute vintage furniture next to a display of wine bottles alongside some cool photographs. Just inside, an assortment of organic vegetables cozies up to local prepared products like tofu and miso, along with some snacks like rice crackers and chips. On the opposite wall, there's a selection of grains, noodles, and tea.
In the middle of the shop is a deli case with a selection of salads and side dishes. The diner can choose to take out a lunchbox for 650 yen with the day's main dish, five grain or brown rice, a salad, and a few sides. You can also choose an eat-in plate lunch for 850 yen which includes all the above plus dessert. The fare is always rotating, but fresh baked bread and fruit tarts are usually available.
The café is organic but not vegetarian, but there are vegetarian and vegan choices on the menu. When we visited, we had a croquette plate (stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas) with simmered root vegetables, grilled mushrooms and zucchini, crisp green salad, a shredded carrot and radish slaw, some flavorful cherry tomatoes, and a serving of brown rice decorated with black sesame. Other choices might include grilled sanma (Pacific saury), quiche, or roasted chicken.
The upstairs dining area is bright and comfortable with sunlight streaming in the large plate glass window running the length of the room. Vintage sofas and wicker chairs are spread out under funky chandeliers. A DJ table in the corner hints at the events and wine tastings that are held here regularly. One corner has books, craft goods, and a few items of clothing for sale.
Their website as listed on their card seems to be on hiatus at the time of writing, but they are active on Facebook and regularly post their menus, special events, and party plans there. A note: there is no dedicated parking here, but there is a pay parking lot directly across the street if you're coming by car.
Naturalia brand organic popsicles are also sold in selected service areas on the expressway! Look for them in the summer months.
If you're looking for a cheerful, healthful, and tasty lunch while in Kofu, give Naturalia a look!
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