Kurumafu plate (Photo: Selena Hoy)

Café Sora in Ito City, Izu

Lovely vegan lunches

Kurumafu plate (Photo: Selena Hoy)
Selena Hoy   - 3 min read

Blue water glittered off the rocky coast to the east as we drove up the coast from Shimoda. About an hour after departing the white sands of Kisami, we pulled into Ito City. In the back seat the window was cracked and Chiro wagged her tail as she whiffed the salt air coming from the cliffs of Jogasaki.

Cafe Sora makes its home in a pretty yellow house with a strategically overgrown garden, herbs and flowers lining the path to the front door and branches and ivy twining the entrance gate.

As well mannered dogs are welcome, we trooped in together and Chi settled at my feet on the cool tile floor as I perused the menu and ordered the kuruma-fu (a kind of wheat gluten shaped like a wheel that's popular in Japanese cooking) plate lunch.

When I headed to the restroom to fill up her water bowl, I noticed some freshly baked chocolate cakes cooling on a rack and decided to add a slice to my lunch order along with some organic iced coffee for a few hundred yen extra (discounts are offered on drinks and desserts when ordered with a lunch plate).

The cutlets came dressed with a miso soy sauce and were accompanied by a crisp green salad, shredded pickled carrots, a lovely goya and grapefruit salad, a bit of hijiki salad, and some char-grilled lotus root. Brown rice decorated with gomashio and miso soup rounded out the meal, all for 950 yen. It was delectable.

The chocolate cake and cream was so tasty that I was prompted to ask the mistress of the house if the café was vegetarian or vegan. She assured me that everything was, in fact, vegan, and that the deceptive whipped cream served with the cake was made from soy.

Other menu offerings include a vegetable curry, a fried soy meat donburi​ (over rice), a Japanese-style mochi, azuki bean, and ice cream dessert called shiratama zenzai, and a long lists of drinks. The well-kept kitchen is visible from the dining area and everything is neat and tidy.

The main lunch hours are 12-2 p.m. and the menu is more limited outside those times, so plan to be there within that timeframe if you fancy a full lunch. Bring your dog if you like; they won't mind.

Selena Hoy

Selena Hoy @selena.hoy

Curious person loves coffee shops, walking, vegetarian food, thunderstorms, and puttering.