June 27, 2017
The 10 Best Unagi & Hitsumabushi Restaurants in Nagoya, Japan
Nagoya is known for quite distinctive flavored cuisine. Famous ones are miso cooked udon, miso katsu, and ankake spaghetti and chicken wings. “Hitsumabushi” is also a typical dish from Nagoya. Grilled eel on in a box is the typical way in Nagoya. Here are the list of restaurants you can enjoy good eel dishes.
1． Atsuta Houraiken Honten
If you want to have hitsumabushi in Nagoya, you can’t miss this restaurant. “Atsuta Houraiken Honten” is very popular among locals and tourists. It used to be located in Atsuta shrine previously but was relocated to another area.
The most popular menu “hitsumabushi” is JPY3600. Eel is grilled crispy outside and soft inside. The restaurant opened in 1875. Hitsumabushi is served with the secret sauce maintained for 140 years. “eel bone senbei” are served at each table. You can try it when you are waiting for your order.
Name: Atsuta Houraiken Honten
Address: Nagoya-shi, Atsuta-ku, Gōdochō 503
Open hours: 11:30-14:00 / 16:00-20:30
Closed: Wednesdays, The second and fourth Thursdays of the month
Access: 8min walk from Denmacho station
Map: Map to Atsuta Houraiken Honten
2． Maruya Honten Meieki-ten
“Maruya Honten Mei Eki ten” is located on the 9th floor in Meitetsu department store which is connected directly to Nagoya Station. It uses carefully selected eels and other ingredients. The most popular menu is “hitsumabushi”. There are three grades of “hitsumabushi”; “Special hitsumabushi” (JPY4500), “hitsumabushi” (JPY3065) and “Mini hitsumabushi” (JPY2035).
When you open a lit, you will see plenty of eel slices soaked in the dark colored sauce covering rice. You can’t leave Nagoya without trying hitsumabushi. Visit this restaurant, if you are around Nagoya station.
Name: Maruya Honten Meieki-ten
Address: Nagoya-shi, Nakamura-ku, Meieki 1-2-1, Meitesu Hyakkaten Honten 9th floor
Open hours: 11:00-23:00
Access: direct access from Nagoya station
Map: Map to Maruya Honten Meieki-ten
“Hitsumabushi” is rice with sliced eels served in a box with a lit. If it’s served in a bowl, it’s called “unagimabushi”. “Ichibiki” is a popular restaurant always with a queue even before opening, located in 15 min walk away from Nagoya station. The popular menu is “Unagimabushi”.
Unagimabushi is a big volume dish with thick slices of eels (unagi). There are also other eel dishes such as “unadon” and “Unaju”. They close the shop as soon as eels are finished for today. Better visit in early hours. It’s worth visiting this place!
Address: Nagoya-shi, Nakamura-ku, Meieki Minami 1-3-16
Open hours: 11:30-13:00 / 17:00-20:00
Access: 15min walk from Nagoya station
Map: Map to Ichibiki
“Miyakagi” is a restaurant specialized in chicken and eels. There are many different types of chicken and eel dishes on the menu. The most popular menu at “Miyakagi” is still “hitsumabushi”. “hitsumabushi” alone with spices is JPY3500, a set menu is JPY3980.
The sauce is rather light. It’s a bit different from normal hitsumabushi in Nagoya which usually served in a dark sauce. You feel elegance in this shop’s hitsumabushi. Visit this restaurant after sightseeing.
Address: Nagoya-shi, Nakamura-ku, Meieki Minami 1-2-13
Open hours: 11:30-14:00 / 17:00-21:00
Access: 7min walk from Fushimi station
Map: Map to Miyakagi
5． Bincho Esca-ten
Bincho is a chain which also has a shop in Tokyo. This restaurant carefully pick up good quality of eels and also grills in a special manner. Eels are grilled slowly with low heat of charcoal fire. Outside is crispy and inside is tender and juicy.
Unagi don is also a popular dish. This restaurant also closes as soon as today’s eels stock is finished. Visit in early hours. Enjoy this famous Nagoya taste!
Name: Bincho Esca-ten
Address: Nagoya-shi, Nakamura-ku, Tsubakicho 6-9, Esca Chikagai
Open hours: 11:30-15:30 / 17:00-22:00
Access: Short walk from Nagoya station
Map: Map to Bincho Esca-ten
When you approach this restaurant, you notice a blue shop curtain and people queueing in front of the shop. “Unafuji” is a restaurant specialized in eel dishes, always found on the top lists of gourmet websites. This restaurant serves also eels grilled crispy outside and tender inside. But you would probably notice its thick texture!
Popular dishes are “Unagidon” served with a soup made from eel organs and Nagoya’s speciality “hitsumabushi”. Unfortunately you cannot make a reservation although there is always a queue. But it’s worth queueing for this eel dishes!
Address: Nagoya-shi, Showa-ku, Shirakane 1-1-4
Open hours: 11:00-14:00 / 17:00-20:00
Closed: The 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, Wednesdays
Access: 10min walk from Tsurumai station
Map: Map to Unafuji
7． Unagi Kiya
This traditional eel restaurant “Unagi Kiya” was opened in the Edo period. It appears like a normal residential house from outside, but you can spot the large white sign “Unagi Kiya”. This restaurant focuses on freshness of eels. They keep eels bought from the market alive in pumped water.
Unagi don is served in a famous Imari ware. “Matsu” is JPY2000 and “Jo” is JPY2300. Eels are grilled on white charcoal and very tasty. Dinner time is booking only. You either go for lunch or make a booking for dinner.
Name: Unagi Kiya
Address: Nagoya-shi, Higashi-ku, Higashisotoborichō 11
Open hours: 11:00-13:30 / 17:30-18:30
Closed: Sundays and public holidays
Access: 3min walk from Higashioote station
Map: Map to Unagi Kiya
This restaurant “Sanpuku” offers “Kama mabushi” served in a kama (pot) instead of hitsumabushi. You spot a golden sign “Sanpuku” and the shop front with small decorative objects. You may get a nostalgic feeling from this restaurant.
You eat a last portion of kamamabushi by pouring Sencha tea on rice (chazuke). You can add some pickles to flavor chazuke as you wish. Try this known restaurant’s flavor!
Address: Nagoya-shi, Atsuta-ku, Kanayamachō 1-2-19
Access: 2min walk from Kanayama station
Map: Map to Sanpuku
9． Shirakawa Joshin-honten
You eat hitsumabushi as it is for the first portion. Then with spices or pickles. At last you finish the last portion as chazuke. Hitsumabushi is generally in a large portion and usually rather expensive. But “Shirakawa Joshin-honten” offers hitsumabushi at less than JPY3000.
Hitsumabushi with three bowls of rice is JPY2450. If you prefer a smaller serve, “Mini hitsumabushi” is only JPY1720. No need to worry about the taste even if this is much cheaper than other restaurants. This restaurant has high reviews in many media and you would be satisfied with the quality too. There is always a queue. So it is recommended to get there early.
Name: Shirakawa Joshin-honten
Address: Nagoya-shi, Nishi-ku, Jōsai 4-20-12
Open hours: 11:00-14:30 / 17:00-21: 00
Closed: New Years Eve, New Year
Access: 2min walk from Joshin station
Map: Map to Shirakawa Joshin-honten
You definitely want to try hitsumabushi once when you are visiting Nagoya. But maybe high prices and large portion of hitsumabushi may make you hesitant. Then go to “Omatsu” in Megatown.
You find “Oomatsu” in the back of lines of restaurants and shops. Usually “Jo mabushi” is JPY2000 and “Mini mabushi” is JPY1700. But you can have “Mini mabushi” only at JPY850 at lunch time! The flavor is also guaranteed. You cannot find histumabushi at this price anywhere else!
Address: Nagoya-shi, Naka-ku, Ōsu 3-30-93
Open hours: 11:00-20: 00
Access: 10min walk from Yabacho station
Map: Map to Omatsu
Enjoy Unagi and Hitsumabushi in Nagoya!
Did you find anything interesting for you? Nagoya cuisine such as hitsumabushi is a bit different from other Japanese cuisines but you would definitely find them tasty. We showed you only eel dishes here but there are many other tasty dishes in Nagoya. Nagoya is the third biggest city after Tokyo and Osaka. Please visit Nagoya and find your favorite Nagoya food! Have a nice trip to Nagoya!