CONTRIBUTED BY ANNE PARADISE
One of the best things about working at a Japanese high school is going out to lunch with the teachers. Thanks to my wonderful local work friends, I have gotten to try some great Japanese speaking cafés and restaurants. Lollipop tops the list.
I went to Lollipop for lunch my first week in Okinawa and I have been back many times since. I remember thinking, “Wow, I officially feel like I’m in Japan. This is exactly what I would have imagined a random café in Tokyo to feel like.” The giant animated “DJ bunny rabbit” on the sign out front will direct you into a neon pink and green themed, loft-style interior, with re-mixed American Top40 music playing just loud enough you almost feel like this café could be a club. (Which apparently it is, some nights!)
The food is great and well-priced (about 800-1200 yen), but there is no English menu. I have navigated there a few times with non-Japanese speaking friends, and we chose broadly, based on the server trying her best, telling us, “Chicken, Pasta, Fish”. We have never been disappointed!
By chance, I’ve ordered Tonkatsu Curry, Chicken Karrage, Herb Chicken, and an Herb Pasta. Again, all very much worth ordering! The items are usually served with house soup, rice, a salad, a small side of pasta or potato salad, and a varying Japanese vegetable that’s always unique and well marinated. They will also ask you if you would like to do a set menu, which adds a drink. They have many juices and hot/cold teas and coffee.
The staff is friendly and will try their best to communicate, but if you prefer, bring your own dictionary or translation to help the server out.
Lollipop’s dining couches, low tables, semi-enclosed rooms, bright décor, good food and fun music, make it the perfect place for a girl’s afternoon lunch, or even a great café to start a ladies night out.
One side note, I have never seen children at Lollipop and there is a full bar menu, much like any trendy lounge café.
Hours: Open 11:30-24:00 Lunch 11:30-15:00 CLOSED MONDAY
Payment: Yen only
Directions: From the Awase area: Travel along Awase Bay Road, also named the 85 which travels along the Pacific coast between Kitanakagusuku Village and Jusco Gushikawa.
Driving South, when you get into Awase, it will be on your left about 2 kilometers in(about 2 stoplights). You will see a Jimmy’s on your Right, and it will be soon after on your left.
Driving North, when you see Jimmy’s on your left, make a U-Turn at the next stoplight and Lollipop will be on your left about 100 yards from the light.
Parking: Parking out front is limited, but make an immediate left on the corner after Lollipop, which takes your straight then veers you left. Then, immediately turn right and about 40 feet down on your right is the Lollipop parking lot. There should be a few low signs pointing you to the parking.