Nagoya

What to Eat in Nagoya: Breakfast to Late Night Munchies

what to eat in nagoya

This rustic city in the Kansai region may often be labeled as “the most boring city in Japan,” but the fantastic local cuisine is anything but. With so many mouth-watering dishes, Nagoya firmly belongs on your food bucket list. Here’s our tasty guide to what to eat in Nagoya that has some of the best stuff Nagoya has to offer for every meal of the day!

 

Breakfast and Brunch

1. Ogura Toast

Sweet red bean paste is a staple in Japanese desserts, but did you know it can also be enjoyed in a sandwich? Smeared with butter either between two slices of toast or piled up on one thick slice of toast, this popular snack can be found in coffee shops sprinkled throughout Nagoya. Order it alone or with a breakfast set meal, usually consisting of eggs and a salad.

Where to find it:

 

2. Miso nikomi

After a long night of drinking, miso nikomi is the perfect remedy. Made with a special red miso paste local to Nagoya and either “kishimen” flat noodles popular from the Edo period or chewy wheat noodles, and accompanied by vegetables, and egg and tofu, the dish is warm, comforting and delicious.

Where to find it:

  • Yamamotoya specializes in udon, which is great for customers who can choose from 4 different options of miso nikomi. With prices from 1,004 Yen there’s no reason not to try them all!

 

Lunch

1. Curry Udon Noodles

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Check this Nagoya local speciality off your list by hunkering down on a steaming bowl of golden udon noodles soaked in a curry roux made of chicken and Japanese soup broth. Enjoy the fragrant spices as you munch on fish cakes, fried tofu skins and vegetables that come with this delicious dish.

Where to find it:

  • Close to Sakaemachi Station, sample curry udon at Arudenteitakumi for 700 Yen
  • Mensemmontenajiyoshi near Kurokawa Station serves bowls at 750 Yen each
  • A few blocks from Sakae station, Ryuu offers large portions for under 1,999 Yen

 

Dinner and Late Night Munchies

1. Miso-Katsu

Considered as Nagoya’s #1 specialty, miso-katsu is no ordinary tonkatsu (deep fried breaded pork cutlets). Miso-katsu stands out with its rich, savory and slightly sweet miso sauce that is slathered onto the cutlets, a delicious winner that (in our opinion) leaves regular tonkatsu in the dust. Typically served with shredded cabbage, rice and miso soup on the side, this hearty dish will leave you nourished and satisfied.

Where to find it:

  • Misokatsu Yabaton is known for their local red soybean miso sauce that is simmered with pork to release layers of flavors. Try out their recommended Teppan Tonkatsu at 1,836 Yen per set or 1,404 Yen by itself.
  • Tonkatsu Ishihe is tucked away in the basement of a record shop and sells miso-katsu starting from 850 Yen. Experience the warm hospitality of the older ladies who run the restaurant.

 

2. Hitsumabushi

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If you’ve had unagi-don (grilled saltwater eel over rice) before, don’t turn your back on this dish because it looks similar – in fact, it’s completely different. This dish is served in a bowl, and the contents divided into 4 equal parts, each eaten in a different style.

Usually, you scoop the first quarter into the small bowl that’s provided and eat it as-is, then the second with toppings of your choice such as bonito flakes or wasabi, the third soaked with a broth or green tea, and finally the last portion any way you like it. Half the fun of this dish is figuring out how you’d like to eat it!

Where to find it:

  • Shirakawa Joshin Honten perfects the hitsumabushi dish and offers a variety of set meals. Priced from 1,730 Yen to 4,320 Yen based on rice and eel portion sizes, their most popular and recommended set meal is at 2,450 yen with a mushroom side dish and a tea bowl for the “third step” in eating hitsumabushi. If you don’t have time to dine-in, the restaurant takes advantage of its location near Nagoya Station, and offers to-go bento boxes with the same cuts of eel and portions of rice.
  • Hitsumabushi Nagoya Bincho Esuka-Ten is a more upscale grilled eel over rice restaurant which one can perceive from their attention to detail in not only the grilling techniques and types of eel, but also how they grill their rice. Cheapest bowl starts from 2,050 Yen.

 

3. Tebasaki

You’re probably familiar with chicken wings – but do you know chicken wing tips? Considered useless by most, the Nagoyans thought otherwise and turned this lean cut into a crispy drinking food. Spicy, double-fried and covered in sesame seeds, this is a must-try when hitting the Nagoya nightlife and izakaya scene.

Where to find it:

  • Furaibou is an izakaya restaurant chain spread across Japan with some international locations as well. But don’t underestimate its franchise status, dine here for their finger-licking good tebasaki and cold mugs of beer.
  • Another izakaya chain popular with locals is Yamachan, with an abundance of options like hot pot, shabu-shabu, mountains of tebasaki and all-you-can-drink menu options.
  • Gomitori Honten focuses on everything chicken, which lucky for you includes tebasaki. We recommend their chicken meatballs and yakitori too.

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