Leonardo's Rose Garden front

photo via Google Maps

One thing my husband and I missed when we were stationed in Europe was a big, greasy American-style breakfast (think IHOP). The best we could get at a European breakfast café was some coffee and toast. Oddly enough, now that we are here in Japan, we found just the type of breakfast we have been missing at an Italian restaurant.

The breakfast at the Rose Garden was recommended to me by a friend who left the island last year. My husband, kids and I went for a Saturday brunch this weekend and it was great!


My meal came with the French Toast, scrambled eggs, seasoned potatoes and bacon. It also came with iced tea or coffee to drink, along with water. My husband got the Eggs Benedict and my kids got the bacon/sausage with scramble eggs. Everyone liked their food and we would definitely go back there for breakfast again.


Menus were in English and is more extensive than the one menu in the picture. However, the prices were a little high which took me by surprise since it was a breakfast menu. Each menu item cost about 1000 to 1200 Yen. We ordered orange juice and apple juice which was 300 Yen each not realizing the meals came with free coffee or iced tea and water. Next time, I’d just drink the iced tea or coffee with my meal and skip the juice.

There was no kids menu but my kids could have easily shared off one plate and still not finished their food. The portions were huge! Neither my kids nor I could finish all of our food although I wanted to savor every bite. For my family of 4 we paid 5600 Yen. But this included my kids getting separate plates and all the juice orders. Next time, knowing what we know now, I think we could probably easily spend only 3500 Yen.

They bake their bread fresh every day and I did see some bakery items for sale by the register to take home and one American family sitting next to us looked liked they had ordered some kind of bakery item (a muffin? scone?) for their kids but I didn’t see anything like that on the menu. One cool thing –they serve breakfast from 8AM – 5PM! They also have a lunch and dinner menu but I can’t comment on that since we did not eat off that menu.

Leonardo’s Rose Garden

Payment: You can pay with Visa, Mastercard, US Dollars or Yen.

Breakfast: 0800-1700
Lunch: 1100-1700
Dinner: 1700-2400 (last order taken at 2300)

Phone: 098-932-2800

Address: 165 Yagibaru, Kitanakagusuku

Google Maps Coordinates: 26.311183, 127.788502

Directions: (taken from their website) From Kadena gate 2, go to 330 and turn right. Straight shot approximately 5 Km passing Awase Golf course on your left. Down the hill A&W on you left side The Rose Garden is just prior to crossing under the large Okinawa Expressway overpass. From Camp Foster exit out the Legion or PX gate turn left. Straight shot approximately 2 Km passing McDonald’s on the right then coming up to the large Okinawa Expressway, The Rose Garden is on the right side. You need to go to the first light and make a U turn then back to The Rose Garden on the left.



  1. Yes, like you say, the Rose Garden is popular. Sorry you had to wait in the middle of the afternoon. That is a very long walk to and from Family Mart for a 1.5 year old to get some drinks that you must pay for- when some beverages are free at the Rose Garden. The Rose Garden does not have any latrines, we do have some nice clean restrooms with fresh flowers. We do not have a childrens menu, our portions are large enough for you to share with you kiddo as you call your child. Our pancakes, our secret receipe, are prepared in small batches, perhaps we were temporarily out between batches. The Rose Garden serves more pancakes than any off base restaurant. Our French toast is a special baked bread, there is a waiting time of 15 minutes as we roast our French toast in the oven, not fried in oil as in some other restaurants. We too are not pleased with our Japanese bacon. Bacon is cut differently in Japan and they cook it almost raw. The same is all over Okinawa. You made a good comment. Our Italian sodas are made from traditional Italian recipes. The fresh whipped cream is on the top, next time please tell your husband, “Please stir!” Yes there are cheaper places to eat on base. you get what you pay for. They should be cheaper as they pay no rent, no utilities, no transportation, no warehousing and no taxes. We Japanese tax payers pay the salaries of the employees in on base rewstaurants. You are bewildered by the Rose Garden’s following and no doubt the Rose Garden following is bewildered by your comments..

    • Ray,

      Quite enjoy The Rose Garden, but damn, you need some PR training if you think your overly defensive posturing here is helping you out. It’s certainly giving me second thoughts about giving you future business.

  2. No doubt Climax Coffee thanks you for promoting their restaurant. Surprising as to what you have to say about our Thai curry. Our fresh Chicken Thai Curry and our Japanese Beef Curry are prepared to order. We are so fortunate- your complaint about our curry is the only one we have ever received. You say, you came home and threw up, “Could it be the dinner your prepared the night before?”

  3. You say the waiter brought you a menu and then you went scoping around for a highchair. Why is it that you did not simply ask the waiter for a highchair as the restaurant has three highchairs. Timing of food from the kitchen depends on what is ordered, for instance our French toast takes 15 minutes, as it is roasted in the oven, not fried in oil as some other restaurants. Our waitress, the old woman as you call her, recently lost her husband and no doubt your bad attitude did not help. We make our own fresh sausages from a southern receipe. We receive many compliments for our sausages. Do you know of any restaurant in Okinawa that makes their own sausages? Try our fresh made Italian sausage. Yes, our meals do come with complimentary coffee or iced tea and all the refills you want. Why is it that you simply did not ask for coffee. It is strange that you did not do so. $40.00 for two for breakfast. You no doubt had ordered additional items as the Rose Garden menu does not have any $20.00 breakfast. By the way, the cat is no longer pregnant, she now has five cute little kittens. With our compliments you may take two home.

  4. Had a lovely early evening dinner. It was not packed considering it was Monday. We ordered 2 steak dinners – they were juicy and tasty. We had so much food that we had to take some home. Service was excellent and could not complain. Some patrons may find their prices a bit high but we only go there on special occasion and it was a wonderful experience this evening.
    I can imagine if we went there and it was packed, we probably won’t enjoy it as much considering the tables are too close to each other and perhaps service may be a bit slower with so many patrons to serve. We will come back here again on special occasions and do it on weekdays, or be there right when it opens. Keep up the quality of food and service.

    • Thank you alex, the tax on beef runs about 50% with four levels of 8% value added tax. We do our best to serve you good fresh quality food at a reasonable price. Thank you again for dinning with us at the Rose Garden. Ray Payne, owner. We also make our own fresh sausages, bake fresh bread, pies and cakes.

  5. Today my friend and I went to Rose Garden for the first time. Overall, I enjoyed the experience and would go back.

    First: PARKING. I’ve lived in Okinawa for about 15 years so I am not fazed by small, inconvenient parking lots. However, I feel like a lot of Americans may get frustrated with Rose Garden’s small, puzzle-like parking lot since there is no explanation about it in the main article or in any of the comments. The parking lot is a typical, small parking lot, but I would really like to point out the 2 spaces that are intended for diners who are eating with friends but come in separate cars. The 2 spaces have dotted white lines extending past the solid white lines and can accommodate 4 cars, 2 per parking spot. There is even a sign behind these spots that says, “Please park in front of your friends”. It is designed so that multiple cars can fit in the space by parking one in front of the other with no issue because friends who dine together leave the restaurant at the same time. If you’re going to be dining here with friends and you’re all coming in different cars, I’d suggest parking in the “friend spots”, even if there are, by some miracle, other spots available. It’s convenient once you get used to it. I’d also suggest carpooling, coming during non-peak hours, and using the smaller car when carpooling.

    Second, SERVICE: As soon as my friend and I walked in we were greeted with the typical “Irashaimase~!” from the staff. Every table was occupied except for one table that was meant to seat 6 people. I don’t know whether my friend asked to be seated immediately or if they insisted we sit there but our server gave us that table. As we were seated we got menus and she asked for our drink orders. We needed time to look at the menu but after 5 minutes she did come back to our table to take our orders without being asked. Overall, I was happy with our server and the service. I can’t remember her name but she was a friendly, young woman who spoke English well. My friend and I were planning a trip to Kyoto and Osaka and had several brochures spread across the table. Our server noticed this and asked us if we were going to Kyoto and when we said “yes” she said she lived there for 4 or 5 years and it was a great place. I appreciated her friendliness.

    I’d also like to address what a lot of people have been saying about the service of “hovering” American servers and “inattentive” Okinawan servers. Firstly, cut your American servers some slack. I was a server on base and I can tell you at the restaurant I worked at you WILL get reprimanded if the manager does not think you’re paying enough attention to a customer, which meant not checking on a table every 5 minutes. My managers instituted the “Two bites, two minutes” rule, which means as soon as you drop off the food to a customer’s table you MUST return and ask them how they are doing in less than two minutes or as soon as they’ve taken 1-2 bites, that’s not an exaggeration. As a server, I can tell you that when forced to abide by that rule I could see my customers feeling annoyed or that I was “hovering” over them, but as a server we had to keep doing it. In addition to the “cheerleader on crack” comments, I believe there are a lot of servers who are too perky naturally, but many servers feel a lot of pressure from their managers to engage customers in peppy, social interaction. I’m a naturally shy person and even though I’m friendly I prefer to give customers their space. I smiled, asked how their food was, got them what they needed, checked on them every 5-10 minutes and refilled their drinks as needed, but for my managers it was not enough. You had to be peppy and engage in lengthy conversation with them. This can be nice if the customer WANTS a perky, talkative server, but it is my belief that most customers would just like to enjoy their food with the company their with. As far as Okinawan service goes, I like the “come when needed” service. I think Okinawans feel the same way about service that I do; it is best to pay attention to the customer but not to bother them unnecessarily. I don’t believe that’s an excuse for being ignored when you say “Sumimasen” or try to get a server’s attention, but I think Americans need to calm down with the “Ugh, I had to ask my server for a refill! Okinawan service is so rude!” I think the Okinawan reasoning is, “Perhaps the customer doesn’t want a refill now, and so to go over there would disturb them. I will wait until they call for me”. If there’s anything you take from this, just please understand you are in a totally different country than your own, with totally different customs than your own. I’ve definitely had some bad service on Okinawa, but it was genuinely bad service, not just “ugh, can’t believe I had to ask her for something”.

    Third, FOOD: My friend ordered three pancakes and the rib eye steak meal, medium rare, and that came with seasoned potatoes, scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee. I ordered three pancakes with iced tea and a separate side of country ham. I loved the pancakes, they were fluffy and delicious, and the ham was fried perfectly and came in four good-sized slices. My friend didn’t tell me about her meal but she ate her entire steak, and she’s very particular about her steak, the potatoes, once piece of toast, and half of her eggs. She didn’t finish her eggs and pancakes because she got full. The only thing I could find wrong with our meal was that the “toast” didn’t look very toasted. Not a huge issue though, as it still looked like very fresh, quality bread. I’ve seen a lot of flak over the high prices and at first I agreed. But then I found out their food is locally grown with fresh ingredients, so I don’t mind paying a little more than I normally would. I would definitely come back to try other items on the menu.

  6. While we were in Okinawa we were looking for a small hometown place where all the locals eat. It is the kind of place that serves such things as homemade apple pies. Back home we call this comfort food. My girlfriend and I were lucky to find one of the most well kept secrets in Okinawa. It is called the Rose Garden Restaurant. We have had breakfast, lunch and dinner there in the two weeks that we were on Okinawa. The coffee is great and the pancakes are out of this world. Our favorite is the BLT sandwich for lunch and the steaks for dinner. The pies are the best on the island and we always had it ala mode.
    We ate there almost every day we were in Okinawa and loved it every time. We would highly recommend the Rose Garden as one of the best restaurants on the island.


  7. My husband and I went here within our first week on the island, and the first time we went we were pleasantly surprised at the breakfast. The service was quick, and it was a good experience. It is very expensive for a breakfast meal though. We did agree we would be coming back in the future, HOWEVER, this second time we went left a very bad taste in my mouth, literally. I was perfectly fine with the 25 minute wait for a table, however, I was not perfectly fine with being seated and waiting 10 minutes for a menu. Others being sat way after us had been given their menus, AND had already placed their food orders. When we finally managed to flag someone down for our menus, it was another 10 minutes before someone even came to get our order. (All of this irritating, yet understandable as it was a bit busy) yet the people sat after us started having their food roll out.. My husband ordered a significantly larger breakfast meal than I did, and he got his food 35 minutes after he ordered, whereas I waited almost a FULL hour for my meal. I was honestly tempted to cancel my order since my husband was finished with his meal, but being hungry I waited it out. My husband gained attention of our server and informed her that my food still had not arrived, (and literally everyone sat after us were already finished and leaving.) she apologized and said they’d make a new plate and it would be about 10 minutes. Once my food had finally arrived, it was just not the same quality I had the last time, and it was very disappointing. The bacon was burnt, as in brown, certainly not the typical bacon being served here, it was crunchier than stale potato chips with the consistency of dry sand, and the pancakes were burnt and soggy all at the same time. It was just a completely unwelcoming experience, and I’ve never had to complain about a meal during check out but this was just really disappointing. After making a comment about how our experience was less than satisfactory, the cashier said that was just how I ordered it (the bacon being “crispy”, etc) when I not once specified anything other than wanting my eggs sunny side up, overall not one to argue, we left and we definitely won’t be coming back. Luckily we’ve found a new breakfast spot.

    • All though we try to be perfect, sometimes we do make mistakes, we are human. Like you say we were busy, perhaps that day we served 4 to 5 hundred customers with only 16 small tables, often only two customers to a table. At times our food can be slow out of the kitchen as we cook only to order. We also do not like our bacon, Japanese bacon is cut differently than American bacon. Japanese cook and eat bacon almost raw. We suggest to our customers to not order crispy bacon. Try our new thick bacon, we think you will like it. Also we suggest you try our home made sausages and our thick cuts of fresh local ham. By the way our fresh porkchops are never frozen. Our eggs are large gooden eggs from White Leghorn hens delivered fresh each morning. Our eggs cost three times more than what is served on military bases, but we do serve only the best and you will notice the difference. Have you noticed that our all fruit jams are imported from Denmark with no added sugar.

  8. My husband, my 5-yr-old daughter & I went for my birthday brunch here yesterday, we had to wait in line a while before we were seated since it was a Japanese holiday.
    The service was not bad at all so I was shocked about the bad reviews from others. I agree with the previous comment from Rita about not liking annoyingly over-cheerful waitress serving food & kept interrupting meal time as in the states, so I do not mind that you have to ask to get your coffee refilled, all you need to do is asking 🙂
    Just remember we are after all in Japan, sometimes it is just a cultural difference or language barrier, so please do be more patient & understanding, that way you will still be able to enjoy a wonderful dinning experience wherever you are 🙂
    I understand it might not look so clean in the dinning area, but I am pretty sure the kitchen would be very clean, judged by how clean the restroom is; my daughter & I were in love with the rose scent air refresher in there, I think it is the only public restroom she is pleased with.

    With the understanding of the price is higher here for breakfast beforehand, we spent around 4500 yen for all 3 of us, considering everything is purchased Directly from the local farmer & butcher and are made & baked fresh Daily, we think the price is well worth it!!
    My husband had their famous french toast with home fries, 2 eggs, spicy Italian sausage & ordered a side of bacon (for an extra fee, the bacon tastes Amazing!) and he probably refilled their free coffee like 5-6 times?! Lol
    I wasn’t too impressed with the coffee there, but compared to the ones (you can get free-fills) in the states, it’s not bad; my hubby thinks it is decent.
    I ordered their famous homemade special sausage (Amazingly flavorful, juicy & tasty!!), home fries, 2 eggs and paid 50 yen extra to upgrade the bread (that was included in my set) to their freshly-baked homemade English muffin with Imported Black Cherry jam (which I insisted on buying a jar to go after my first bite! The jam can be purchased for 300 and some yen); My daughter ordered their fluffy pancake plater, it comes with 3 big pancakes & even with us sharing couple bites, she was only able to finish about 1 & half. I also ordered a small cup of Clam chowder to share with my daughter, and she loved the soup!
    The food portion was generous (just right for my husband considering he usually has 3 small meals by noon), we even shared a (decent sized) strawberry trifle together after meals (well, we had to pack some of my daughter & my meals to go because we could not finish it all!)
    Everything on the menu looks so tempting we can not wait to go back again!!

  9. Not Italian at all…not even close. Horrible food but what do you expect. Sure there is food in it and some of it is ok but if you compare it to real Italian cuisine then you’ll be disappointing. The closes it comes to is a low budget Dennis.

  10. We went here yesterday for breakfast and it was just ‘okay.’ With an overpriced breakfast menu, we expected a “WOW!” A large glass of orange juice was 600 Yen. Large=medium here. Most likely won’t be going back here.

    • A large glass of orange juice is 480 yen at the Rose Garden. We price according to our cost. Don’t forget agricultural products in Japan are protected by the government. Some prices can be high compared to military clubs, that have free rent, free utilities, free shipping, free warehousing, no taxes to pay, free employees paid for by the Rose Garden and other Japanese tax payers.

    • They do it for the fat tip they hope to get. On military bases they are already paid well, better than off base, why tip? (TIP – To Insure Prompt Service!) Our off base chain of restaurants, we request, “No tipping please.” We are happy to serve you and we do appreciate your busines.

  11. My family and I have eaten here since we got here almost 3 years ago. Unfortunately, we will not be visiting anymore do the horrible service we received a few days ago. We got to the restaurant and it wasn’t very packed. We ordered our breakfast. My husband ordered steak and eggs and he got his food before me and my son got ours. By the time he got his food, the restaurant was pretty packed. Other people that had gotten there after us started getting their food. We were still waiting for my omelet and my kid’s pancakes. I asked the server where my food was and all she heard was the pancake part so my son got his and I asked for mine. They looked dumbfounded as to where our food went. Then they bring out my omelet finally and its missing the salsa. I asked for that and the waitress practically ignored me. I don’t know if they were having an off day but waiting almost an hour and a half for my food was ridiculous especially since other tables were getting their food when they had just gotten there. I hope they work out their kinks because overall the food has always been good but the service this time was absolutely a disaster.

    • I thank you for your comment. We try our best for good service but at times we do make mistakes. The Rose Garden is a small restaurant with only 16 tables, 25% sit two guest only. With these 16 tables, there are times- Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays we serve 500 customers a day.

    • Contrary to what you say, we receive good compliments on our pasta, even from Italians that have visited the Rose Garden. No doubt Marino’s thanks you for your promotion of the restaurant. For good pizza, go to the American Kitchen. Sorry no free pizza.

  12. My husband, newborn and I went to check this place out while we were running our errands this past weekend. We were immediately seated and the wait staff was very friendly. The menu has a very wide variety so its good for big groups with different tastes. The prices were a little on the high side but our portions were more than enough! My husband had an eggplant and meat sauce pasta and I had the chicken and eggplant curry. We both really liked the dressing on the salads and our only complaint is that we were too full to try the delicious looking baked goods. We’re definitely going back to try them though!

  13. My husband and I love the breakfast at the Rose Garden especially their omelets and spicy Italian sausage. We’ve eaten their about a dozen times since we’ve been here and our last visit (about 2 weeks ago) I began looking around while we waited for our food. That’s when I noticed how DISGUSTINGLY dirty this place is. There are spider webs on the display shelves, the vases and trinkets were covered in dust, there were ants crawling on the wall, and the straw that broke the camels back were the ceiling fans. The dust and mold on them were so thick I would bet a million dollars it was an inch thick. Seriously, disgusting. I can only imagine how sanitary the kitchen is!

  14. Just ate lunch there today with my sister and her toddler. It was around 1330 or 1400 (Saturday) by the time we got there, and we were directed to the one remaining parking spot by a traffic man.
    Once inside, we were given a corner table and quickly situated with a high chair (wooden, no straps nor attached table) for the little girl. The menu is in Japanese and English, though there aren’t detailed descriptions. I was tempted by the steak lunch special (came with steak, choice of side AND salad AND soup AND dessert) but thought 1800Y was a bit much for lunch. Also tempted by the beef stroganoff at 1300Y, but it looked like I would have to choose between soup or salad.. . so I ordered the Imperial chicken set at 1300Y, which was described as ‘chicken with white sauce’ when asked.
    My sister was a copy cat, but immediately regretted not ordering breakfast when the table next to us got their plates of french toast. .. I refused to feel bad but their platters did look good.
    We both had tea and water, and thankfully there was liquid sweetener in addition to regular sugar. They brought us the homemade soup first, which was a tomato based vegetable broth (it was good, but not wow). Then small salads (tasty, but not wow). Seconds before our main plates were presented, we got the appetizer I had taken a chance on: fried green tomatoes at 340Y. Four tomato slices breaded in cornmeal. Good texture, and hot, but no favoring besides the small cup of ketchup included (just tasted like cornmeal and tomato, and although the taste was improved with a little salt they weren’t good enough to stuff myself with).
    Our meals were given to us, and though generous and well prepared were bland: yellow rice with pine nuts, two pieces of asparagus, 3 baby carrots, and 3 chicken breast pieces with a white sauce. The baby didn’t like anything, which was odd. For dessert, we were given a modest slice of cheesecake topped with a thin layer of marmalade. It tasted just like cheesecake should, though the texture was more ‘gel’ than any other version we’ve ever eaten before.
    All in all, not bad, but not great. I think we will only try again for breakfast.

  15. I’ve eaten at the Rose Garden several times for breakfast. It was a nice experience as the food is good and the serving sizes are filling. Most of their baked goods are made from scratch and delicious. The atmosphere is nice with a small hometown feeling. If you haven’t been there, you should try it. I think you will enjoy it.

  16. JDS,
    The Japanese don’t like to bother patrons unnecessarily during meal times.
    Unlike American restaurants where the waiters hang about and serve you (mainly in hope of a good tip). We have come to expect them to serve us, treat us special, smile, warm up to us, and earn their $.
    In some restaurants on Okinawa, you may get a more ‘personal feel’ as they try to cater to American culture, but do try to remember this is a foreign country and their dining etiquette although vasty different from American dining etiquette, is unique and has its own intentions and benefits.
    A little cross cultural understanding, open mindedness and checking expectations at the door may enhance your experience of Okinawa.

    FYI: The website has expired.

  17. The problem I have w/this restraurant is how impersonal the waitstaff is. Especially, after they take your order, I felt that they were relieved like they don’t have to deal w/you anymore. No refills unless you take your glass/coffee cup up to the main barista station. Even more so w/dinner tonight, with a waitress named Tangy. Drinks were delivered, meal was served and that was it until we paid for our meal at which she was also our cashier. Very expressionless, very impersonal. Will not return for dinner, and may not not even return at all. Rose Garden left a very negative impression on me and I know it prides itself on good service along w/great food, but have not experienced this on last two occasions.
    If you are new to the island, definitely go elsewhere unless you’ve $40-50 to burn on a unpleasant experience.

    Very disappointed from JDS in Okinawa City

  18. We went there for dinner and it was the worse Italian food I ever had. No Italian flavor at all. And we all got sick after eating there. It might be good for breakfast but I would not go there for dinner. If you want a great Italian meal, with homemade pasta and sauces I would go to Italiono’s by Araha beach.

    • There are many that will disagree with what you are saying. We encourage diners to go to Italiono’s and judge for themselves. You say you all got sick after eating at the Rose Garden. Could it be the dinner you cooked the night before? Be careful of your lies or the devils is gonna get you.

    • Thank you Alicia, we make our own fresh sausage. Our jams are imported from Denmark, all fruit with no added sugar. Six delicious flavors to choose for your breakfast. For your enjoyment at home, we sell our jam at our cost price, no profit for us. 350 yen.

  19. Mmmm, my family and I LOVE Rose Garden.

    To add to this review, I usually get a lighter breakfast when I go: 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, the equivalent of Texas toast – huge pieces (or English muffin or scone for added fee), and home fries. If you can call that ‘light’. I order my kids a plate of just French toast, and we all share. My husband usually orders one of the HUGE omelets that even he has trouble finishing. The coffee is the Real Deal. I normally drink decaf at home, and after one cup here I get the jitters. They also provide real heavy cream to put in it.

    We tend to go for brunch, because that way it fulfills both our AM and noon meal requirements. As a warning, this place is almost always packed on weekends, so either get there early or be prepared for a wait. It’s not quite as busy on weekdays, though, if that’s an option for you.

    Also, there’s a limited amount of parking right out front of the restaurant, but if you drive to the intersection just past it, take a left and follow until you come up on a lot on your left with a sign for Rose Garden Parking. It’s about a quarter mile away from the restaurant, and a little bit of a hike up a small hill.