Nagoya Food Guide

Located along the fertile Nobi Plain, Nagoya has long been an agricultural and economic center, allowing it to develop a strong culinary tradition wholly distinct from its neighbors'. Unlike the delicate subtlety of Kyoto Cuisine or the lavish Osaka food culture, local Nagoya specialties follow their own unique style and have the familiar feeling of hearty comfort foods. A wide variety of restaurants can be found around the city, especially around Nagoya Station, Sakae and along the city's various shopping arcades.

Hitsumabushi
Nagoya is the country's largest producer of fresh water eel (unagi), which are typically grilled, slathered in a rich, dark sauce, and served over rice. Nagoya's take on the dish, known as hitsumabushi, is served in a traditional wooden bowl accompanied by a rice bowl, a plate of condiments and a pot of broth. One eats hitsumabushi by splitting the serving of eel into four portions. For the first portion, scoop the eel into the rice bowl and eat it straight in order to savor the flavor of the eel. The second portion, eat with condiments added. The third portion, season to taste as before, but this time, add broth to create a type of chazuke. The final portion can be eaten as you like. Starting around 2000-3000 yen per person, the dish is relatively expensive.

Tebasaki
Tebasaki are seasoned, deep fried chicken wings that are made without batter. Crispy, salty and spicy, they are a great accompaniment to an ice cold beer. Though they can be found at almost any izakaya or yakitori-ya in Japan, tebasaki are particularly famous in Nagoya where they are a little spicier and served covered in white sesame seeds. A few chain restaurants even specialize in this dish.

Misokatsu
Misokatsu starts off as your typical tonkatsu dish: deep fried pork cutlets served with shredded cabbage and rice. But instead of traditional tonkatsu sauce, a thick, miso sauce is poured on top. The resulting meal has a rich, earthy flavor and a touch of sweetness that compliments the flavor of the crispy, fried pork cutlet. Misokatsu is widely served at restaurants or sold as boxed meals (bento).

Misonikomi
Misonikomi is a hearty hotpot dish descended from Yamanashi Prefecture's hoto noodles. The dish's miso based broth contains extra thick noodles that have more in common with dumplings than udon, and is typically served in individual sized earthen pots. Popular ingredients include green onions, chicken, mushrooms, raw egg and rice cakes (mochi). Misonikomi can be found at specialty restaurants and other establishments.

Kishimen
Kishimen are broad, flat wheat noodles similar to udon. This inexpensive dish is served similar to udon and soba and can be ordered either hot in a fish-based soup or cold accompanied by a dipping sauce.

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Japan Guide Recommends:

Hotel Route Inn Nagoya Sakae

Reliable business hotel in the central Sakae district.

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Nagoya Marriott Associa

Excellent hotel in one of the two towers that rise above JR Nagoya Station.

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Nagoya Tokyu Hotel

Good value hotel in the central Sakae district.

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Tours and Experiences

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Page last updated: April 25, 2016