Spice Dog

Spice Dog Curry & Cafe in Shimoda

The sign outside reads “Spice Dog Curry and Cafe“, it sounds like a lot but it’s actually so much more. Nobu, the owner is an absolute legend. He’s been in business for more than 30 years. There’s curry of course, but there’s also pasta and other specials on the menu. Every time I come they have more and more vegetarian dishes on offer. Their wifi password is now “vegetarian” too! The cafe part is all the yummy cake; cheesecake, and pound cakes and more. Always incredibly reasonable and many available for take-out. Just check out the counter for some freshly baked goods to go. The very lovely Aki is probably there as well. Please say, “Hello!”.

There’s a big book shelf filled with all things surf and ’60s. Jerry Garcia adorns the wall and long-boards float along the ceiling. Boards I’ve seen Nobu on while riding cruisy waves in Tatado.

And there’s more, lots of local and natural products for sale from essential oils to soap to jewelry. And then, probably the biggest notice board in Izu promoting businesses and events throughout Japan.

Walk through the doorway that’s next to the notice board and you’ll enter the vintage clothing shop, filled with all shapes and colors of things, bell bottom jeans and the pointiest collared shirts I have ever seen. There are also some new but beautifully handcrafted bags and hats. And there’s yet another doorway. 

Through the second doorway without a door you’ll enter ん (pronounced “En”), where you’ll meet Hamachan, another local legend who’s been working alongside Nobu for all these years. He has a beautiful boutique selling handcrafted goods of all kinds. Some new, some antique, all or almost all from Thailand. He sells cotton and hemp  fabrics, pottery, hand-carved wooden furniture, bamboo woven hats and crab traps,  handmade paper, wooden chopsticks, as well as the metal water cups we use at our cafe. Soooo many people ask me where we get our cups, they’re light, unbreakable, and cold to the touch, perfect for ice water on hot summer days, and you too can buy them at ん.

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