Would you be surprised if I told you there was another healthy, whole foods focused restaurant hiding in plain sight here in Niigata? Because there is.
piatto giorni (yes, all lower case) is a deli-style restaurant located in the center of Pia Bandai (map below). In fall of 2010 they turned an old shipping container into this lovely little eatery.
Giant windows and lightly colored furniture make for a bright and casual place to enjoy a meal with family or friends.
Open from lunch through dinner everyday (but Tue.), their menu is focused on fresh, healthy, local ingredients of which Niigata has in abundance.
Lunch options consist of the 3 pastas (seafood, meat, vegetable, and a special option), a deli lunch set of various dishes in their deli case, or a mix set of the two.
They do have pasta options outside of their “of the day” menu.
As we wanted to try all of the things almost all of us got the giorni set that comes with a drink, salad, and a baguette like the other set options but includes BOTH your choice of 2 deli items and pasta of your choice for less than 1500 yen.
It was a lot of different kinds of food for a reasonable price. It was nice to be able to indulge like we did knowing that the food was made from fresh and wholesome ingredients.
The chef husband of the married duo that runs the shop originally hails from Okayama Prefecture. He found it an interesting culture shock coming from western Japan where the focus is simplicity and Niigata has a stronger local foods culture.
They wanted to have a restaurant with a focus on local organic produce and Niigata has been a great place for them since they can work with and directly buy from the local farmers.
During the weekends it surprisingly fills up. I guess not so surprising when you see how much they have going on (they even do breakfast on weekends!)
Naturally, as this is a cafe style restaurant, they had desserts. They typically have 2 dessert options that you can add to your meal or get with a drink as an afternoon set.
It is only 216 yen to add one of these desserts to your lunch set!
All in all, a lovely restaurant with lovely people who serve lovely food.
At a glance
Food: 7/10 Well rounded flavors. Lots of interesting, whole foods based things to try. Smaller portions so may be not enough for some.
Atmosphere: Bright and homey despite being inside of a refurbished shipping container
English Friendliness: 1/10 The menu is almost entirely in Japanese, with no pictures. The deli options are in a deli case so you can point?
Price Range: Lunch ￥900~
Weekdays: 11:00~19:00 (LO)
Weekends: 9:00~20:00 (LO)
Location: (Zoom out for English)