May 16, 2017
The 10 Best Places to Eat in Naha, Okinawa
Okinawa has different food culture from the rest of Japan. There are many dishes you rarely see in other part of Japan. You should definitely try local unique food when you visit Okinawa. We picked up 10 Okinawa cuisine restaurants that locals also love to try in Naha city.
1. Shuri Soba
This is the place where you can try home-made Okinawa soba. Soba noodle which the chef prepares from 4am every morning matches perfectly transparent dashi soup simply flavoured with pork, bonito flakes and salt.
Toppings are pork ribs, white kamaboko (fish cake) and thinly sliced ginger which go very well with soba noodle and soup. You could also try Okinawa-style cooked rice “JUCY”.
SHURI SOBA is very famous and popular for locals too. The restaurant is open only for lunch time between 11:30 and 14:00 and closes as soon as the food for today is sold out. So you may need to queue even before it opens if you really don’t want to miss it out. It is worth queueing!
Name: Shuri Soba
Address: 1 Chome-7 Shuriakatachō, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken, Concert Gallery Shiroma 1st floor
Open hours: 11:30-14:00 or as soon as the food is sold out
Closed: Every Sunday and public holidays
Map: Map to Shuri Soba
2. Maguro Shokudo
The surrounding waters of Okinawa offer a large variety of seafood. Fresh local tuna is one of must-eat seafood. You can enjoy tuna in a Sushi restaurant or an Izakaya as well, but go to Maguro Shokudo for meals with really good tuna!
One of the recommended menu here is “Naka-Ochi Don.” Naka-Ochi is meat near the fish spine. You definitely enjoy rich flavour of fresh tuna. The restaurant is located on the 2nd floor of the ferry terminal. Why don’t you stop by before getting on the ferry to other islands?
Name: Maguro Shokudo
Address: 3 Chome-25-1 Maejima, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken, Tomarin 2nd floor
Map: Map to Maguro Shokudo
3. Ryukyu Sakaba Tebichiya Honpo
Tebichi is quite common food in Okinawa but you rarely see anywhere else in Japan. Actually many Japanese do not know Tebichi either. Tebichi is pork feet cooked for long hours. This restaurant has its own unique way of preparation of Tebichi. By this, unnecessary fats are removed and only good quality collagen is left. Recommended for women!
Secret red spice is the key of the flavour! There are also curry-flavoured and chilli-flavoured Tebichi. Tebichi can be prepared either boiled or grilled. Don’t get scared! Try Tebichi once!
Name: Ryukyu Sakaba Tebichi ya Honpo
Address: 1 Chome-13-1 Matsuyama, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken
Map: Map to Ryukyu Sakaba Tebichi ya Honpo
4. Hanagasa shokudo
Hanagasa shokudo started as a Tebichi restaurant but now has an extensive lunch menu. It’s busy with both locals and tourists, conveniently located nearby the Makishi public market. You can drop by while sightseeing or shopping. The recommended dishes are Today’s “Lunch Menu A” and “Lunch Menu B” which come in big portions.
Although they are called “Lunch Menu”, you can order them at any time. Many large portion meals are available on the menu. Be warned that you should come here with empty stomach! By the way, iced tea on tables is complementary!
Name: Hanagasa shokudo
Address: 3 Chome-2-48 Makishi, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken
Open hours: 11:00-21:00
Closed: Obon, New Year and Lunar (Chinese) New Year
Map: Map to Hanagasa shokudo
The fast food restaurant chain “A&W” has 30 restaurants in Okinawa. The first one opened in 1963 when Okinawa was still under the U.S. control.
If you are from the states, you may miss root beer! Root beer is a sweet soda drink flavoured with some herbs, tree bark or roots. You can drop by one of A&W when you are driving around Okinawa!
Address: 4 Chome-21-22 Omoromachi, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken
Open hours: 8:30-0:30
Map: Map to A&W
6. Jack’s Steak House
You can find many steak/yakiniku restaurants in Naha city. Okinawa locals often have their favourite steak restaurants. “Jack’s Steak House” is a popular steak restaurant founded more than 60 years ago. It’s known for tasty steaks with reasonable prices and busy even at midnight with people after drinking.
“Tender loin steak” cooked medium-rare is Not-To-Miss. It comes with salad, soup and rice/bread. You can flavour with the steak source, salt and pepper at your table.
Name: Jack’s Steak House
Address: 1 Chome-7-3 Nishi, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken
Open hours: 11:00-1:00
Closed: New Year and Oookui (Bon in Lunar Calendar)
Map: Map to Jack’s Steak House
7. Oshokuji dokoro Habu
You may notice that food in Okinawa is often served in a large portion compared to other part of Japan. Especially canteen-style restaurants near the fishing ports have large portion meals for workers. “Oshokujidokoro Habu” is one of them.
The choices on the menu are rather limited but all of them are large. You can try “Niku soba”, a mountain of fried vegetable and pork on top of Okinawa soba. You may laugh at its display. Ask for a doggy bag if you cannot finish all.
Name: Oshokuji dokoro Habu
Address: 4-22 Tondōchō, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken
Open hours: 11:00-17:30
Closed: Every Sunday and Monday, Public holidays, New Year’s Eve, New Year, Lunar (Chinese) New Year
Map: Map to Oshokuji dokoro Habu
8. Charlie Tacos
Charlie tacos at Kokusai dori in Naha Central is the second shop of Charlie Tacos which opened the first one in Okinawa city in 1956. For tacos, you have choices of chicken or tuna fillings, instead of beef.
Another recommended dish here is Taco-rice called “Charlie’s rice”. Well-flavoured taco meat and cheese are topped on rice together with lettuce and tomato. You can choose sauce from “spicy” “mixed” and “mild”. Choose a size, depending on how hungry you are. Mix rice, cheese and meat well with the special sauce before eating!
They have a good variety of food available on the menu such as pasta, sandwich and hotdog. This may be handy for a big group or a family. It is conveniently located on Kokusai dori near many accommodations and souvenir shops.
Name: Charlie Tacos
Address: 1 Chome-3-4 Matsuo, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken, Okinawaya Matsuo 2nd floor
Open hours: 11:00-21:00
Map: Map to Charlie Tacos
You will surely visit Makishi Public Market at least once during your stay at Naha. It’s quite fun just to stroll around and watch unique Okinawa food such as colourful fish. It’s not well-known that the canteen on the 2nd floor cooks fish you have bought in a shop on the 1st floor. Cooking fee will be charged separately. You may ask what they recommend today in the canteen before you order.
Kiraku Shokudo is one of the shops on the 2nd floor with a large selection of the menu with fresh seafood. You can find not only sashimi but also more unique Okinawa dishes, for example, fried Gurukun (typical Okinawa fish), crabs/prawns in chili sauce, Abasa jiru with Harisenbon (pufferfish). A good selection of noodle and rice dishes is available too. Find your favourite Okinawa seafood dish here!
Address: 2 Chome-10-1 Matsuo, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken, 2nd floor
Open hours: 10:00-20:00
Closed: Every 4th Sunday of the month, Closing dates of the market
Map: Map to Kiraku
10. Sui dunchi
Agoo pig is an indigenous pig in Okinawa. Agoo pork is a brand pork as the number of pigs is limited. If you want to try this Agoo pork, head to “Sui dunchi”. The restaurant has its own farm, raising a brand pig Omoro Agoo. It also produces most other ingredients used in the restaurant.
The restaurant is located nearby the start point of the famous ancient limestone path “Kinjo-cho Stone-paved Path”. It has a main building with a red tiled roof with around 1000 m2 garden. You can hire a separate cottage for a private function too. Awamori museum and Folk museum are located next to the restaurant. Visit them, if you have time.
Higly recommended dishes are Katsu or steak for lunch and shabu-shabu or sukiyaki for dinner. Enjoy agoo pork together with the nice view of the garden at this restaurant with the ambience.
Name: Sui dunchi
Address: 2 Chome-81 Shurikinjōchō, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken, 2nd floor
Open hours: 11:00-16:30 / 17:00-24:00
Enjoy gourmet dining in Naha!
Did you find anything you want to try? All above are locally popular restaurants. It’s probably hard to choose one from so many restaurants in Naha. Don’t give up even if there is a queue at the restaurant that you want to try! You will surely find your favourite Okinawa dish!