Where to eat Nagoya

Where to eat in Nagoya, Japan?

 

Welcome to Nagoya. A city of many faces. A city that requires some patience – and some inside knowledge – to get to know. Trust me when I say that this is not going to be a love at first sight experience. But should you visit, or even just pass through, I’ve got you covered food wise. Because if there’s one thing Nagoya knows best, it’s that. I tried the good, the bad and definitely the ugly. And these are my top 5 restaurant recommendations for Nagoya, Japan, in no particular order. 

Please note: memories (and judgement) may be clouded by copious amounts of alcohol. 

 

1. Shishimaru 

Where to find? 

On the ‘wrong’ side of Nagoya Station. Because, yes, there’s a wrong side. Every few minutes a train will rage right over your head. It’s quite something. 

What to eat? 

Ramen – the best in town. 

English? 

Their English menu is accessible via a QR code on their ordering system. You’ll manage. 

 

 

The best ramen in town? Yes, it’s a big claim to make. But this charming little ramen place lives up to the hype. And people know. So, make sure to head out somewhat early in the evening to prevent standing in line for half an hour. Service is quick and friendly, just like everywhere else. But these noodles, cooked to perfection… The broth is fluffy, yet smooth and just salty enough. The chicken (and pork – which I generously gifted my boyfriend) is tender and delicious. You will definitely be coming back for more.

 

Inside tip: go for the 1.5 portion of noodles, you won’t regret it. Oh, and a ‘small beer’ is really small. I suggest to go big, or go home. 

 

2. 7 Days Craft Kitchen 

Where to find? 

A 5 minute walk from Nagoya Station, the right side this time. 

What to eat? 

The burger and lasagna are both really nice, but let’s be honest here: you’re visiting this place for the wine. 

English? 

Yes. Fluently. The fact that one of the owners is from the U.S. of A. helps. 

 

 

After 2 and a half weeks of non-stop sushi (don’t worry, we’ll get to sushi in a minute) and ramen I needed something different. Contrary to popular believe, you can get sick of too much sushi. If this is the case for you as well, I suggest 7 Days Craft Kitchen. Their menu is small, but holds options for everyone (also vegan!). But as I mentioned before, this place is best known for its wine selection. One of the owners (correct me if I’m wrong) is an expert on the subject. Tell him what flavours you like, and he’ll serve you something to match that pallet. Expect glasses the size of your head. Unfortunately not filled to the brim. 

 

Inside tip: the American has been living in Nagoya for quite some years now and is also really into music. So, are you looking for somewhere to go after dinner? He’s your best bet. 

 

3. Shusikado

Where to find? 

Located at the entrance of Nagoya’s fish market (a 5 minute walk from the station) makes sure you can enjoy the freshest fish possible here. 

What to eat? 

Sushi! And lot’s of it. I suggest their tuna lunch set and the special shrimp tempura roll. 

English? 

The chef knows a few words in English, but luckily enough their menu has a lot of pictures. And pro tip: turn the menu around for the English version ;). 

 

 

Okay. There are probably a bunch of places in Nagoya – and Japan in general – to eat really good sushi. I mean, even their to-go sushi is better than most sushi at home. But if you’re looking for a cute place, not too long of a wait and a funny chef that loves to see tourists, this is the place to go. Even if you’re not a huge fan of raw fish (like me) you’ll like it here. Best visited during lunch hours! 

 

Inside tip: not really into spicy? Skip the wasabi. This place serves the real deal, not that neon looking paste you get in supermarkets in Europe. 

 

4. Sapucai 

Where to find? 

Get out at the Sakae Metro Station, walk a few blocks and enjoy. 

What to eat? 

This is a meat lover’s paradise. 

English? 

Not really. Just smile and wave, guys. Portuguese would be your best bet. 

 

 

Vegan? Skip this Brazilian place. The only thing you’ll find here is meat. And alcohol. Go for the all-you-can-eat menu (and all-you-can-drink menu) and watch huge skewers with various kinds of meat come right to your table. They’ll slice a piece of meat off and move on to the next table. Want to get some vitamins in? You’ll find a variety of vegetables on a table in the front. Save some room for desert though, because the flan is divine. The owners and most waitresses are first generation Brazilians that moved to japan years ago. And they brought their love of music with them. Prepare to dance, and brush up your Portuguese while you’re at it. Obrigada! 

 

Inside tip: planning to go out afterwards? Club Sonic is right around the corner, but skip the garlic meat. It’s intense. You won’t be kissing anyone after that.

 

5. Amiyakitei 

Where to find? 

Across the street from iD bar, but easy to miss. The entrance is on the side of the building. 

What to eat? 

Again: meat. 

English? 

Not too much. Just point to the picture that looks the most appetizing to you. Hai! 

 

 

Want to cook your own food? This is the spot. Be prepared to take of your shoes for the best seats in this Korean BBQ place. Don’t get too attached to the clothes you’re wearing because you’ll smell like bonfire night. Portion sizes are reasonable, especially for the prize. Keen to upgrade your gut health? Order a side of kimchi. You’ll probably regret it. 

 

Inside tip: order the hot sake and some soju. You’ll probably regret that too. Kanpai! 

 

Honourable mentions

 

Ichiran

A well known chain all across Japan. Best visited after a crazy night out. Could be seen as the Asian version of a kebab shop. No need to speak English. Or Japanese, for that matter. Since there’s really no need to communicate through speech at all. Just fill in your form, hand over the correct amount of coins and enjoy! 

Inside tip: you’ll miss Ichiran once you’re back home. To be sure to bring back one (or three) of their instant ramen packages. It’s not the same, but it’ll satisfy your cravings. 

 

Gaburi Chicken 

Another chain restaurant. But don’t you worry. The Japanese know their fried chicken. This place is best visited early in the evening to prevent disappointment. It fills up fast! The fact that it has room for only 3 to 4 tables doesn’t help. Go for the shake shake potato wedges for a salty and cheesy surprise in a bag. 

Inside tip: order the largest beer they have. You’ll be in for a treat. 

 

Final tip 

Let’s be real here. Nagoya probably has a million (not even exaggerated) more delicious and interesting restaurants that are worth mentioning. My final tip? Look up! There’s so much more to see than just ground floor.