April 1, 2017
The Best 10 Places to Eat in Otaru, Hokkaido
Located only 40 km from Sapporo, Otaru is a popular day trip destination for visitors. If you only have a day to spend, you don’t want to spend your time looking for a place to eat. Here are some places you will not regret going. They have been loved by locals and you will enjoy them, too!
1. Wakadori Jidai Naruto Honten
You cannot leave Otaru without eating Wakadori Hanmiage. It is a fried half chicken. The well marinated chicken is very crispy outside but so juicy inside. It’s not a bite size but you are more than welcome to bite in, just like a turkey leg!
The other popular food is called Zangi. It is a name for fried food in Hokkaido. Main ingredients for frying are seafood. The most popular one is chicken but also deep fried octopus is the one to try. All ingredients are marinated before fried so you don’t need any sauce or dip to eat with.
The best place to try those foods in Otaru is Naruto. Their menu includes lots of other sea food including sushi and sashimi. It is suitable for both lunch and dinner. You can enjoy simple but tasty food there. You will love it.
Name: Wakadori Jidai Naruto Honten
Address: 3-16-13 Inaho, Otaru, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 11:00 – 21:00
Map: Map to Wakadori Jidai Naruto Honten
Otaru offer brilliant sea food. It produces a lot of Kamaboko, fish paste moulded in spongy hardness. Kamaboko has been loved by Japanese for years and it comes in different shapes and taste. It is served as a side dish or a topping over food in bowls. Some used to be eated as a snack. Kamaei has been producing Kamaboko more than 100 years. They know how to make tasty Kamaboko.
Japanese selection of breads and pastries is amazing. Not only having some jams or cream in the middle, some can be a meal with lots of toppings on it. Panroll made by Kamaei is one of them. Is a deep fried bread roll with fish paste in it. The soft and crispy texture is so awesome!
There is a café attached to the shop where you can enjoy Panroll and other selection with a lovely cup of tea or coffee. A perfect place to have a break!
Address: 3-7 Sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 09:00 – 19:00
Closed: New Year’s Day
Map: Map to Kamaei
3. Aozora Zenibako Sanchome
Gyoza is a Chinese dumpling. It has been loved by Japanese so much that a lot of people think it’s Japanese. There are many restaurants that specialised only Gyoza. You can make many variations in filling, flavor and cooking.
Located in a suburb of Otaru, Aozora Zenibako Sanchome is an authentic quaint restaurant which has been popular for locals for many years. Their Gyoza is really a master level. They are so big! 10cm in length. They are all handmade every day. The skin is a mixture of flour and chicken stock kneed by hand. All ingredients are locally grown so it’s so fresh!
Not many on the menu but they are all tasty. Shumai is another dumpling you should try. Their desserts are brilliant as well. You can take away cooked Gyoza or row for you to cook at home. Just fantastic!
Name: Aozora Zenibako Sanchome
Address: 3-509-6 Zenibako, Otaru, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 11:00 – 22:00
※May be closed after Gyoza is sold out
Closed: Monday and some non-fixed days
Map: Map to Aozora Zenibako Sanchome
4. Shirokuma Shokudo
Shirokuma means a polar bear and yes there is one in the restaurant. It is a very popular place in Otaru for lunch. All dishes are made with very fresh local ingredients. Lots of sea food, raw and cooked. Burgers, Deep fried chicken: lots of popular dishes for lunch.
They also have something special called Gyutoro Yamawasabi Don – Premium shredded raw beef with Wasabi on rice. The beef is one of the top quality products in Japan from another city in Hokkaido called Tokachi. The caws there are so well looked after and free range. The meat is processed to be able to eat raw. It is so soft and freaky that really doesn’t taste like beef. The combination with Wasabi is amazing. Highly recommended!
Name: Shirokuma Shokudo
Address: 3-6-3 Ironai, Otaru, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 11:00–15:00 / 17:00-22:00
Closed: No fixed days
Map: Map to Shirokuma Shokudo
LeTAO has 10 shops in Otaru and some other parts in Hokkaido. It is well known for locals as the best sweets shops. Some specialise chocolate and some do cakes. They are all colourful and pretty!
One of the shops called PATHOS. There is a café upstairs and there are two things with high recommendation. One is Double Fromage. The best selling cake in POTHAS. It’s a rich baked cheese cake covered with a layer of mascarpone cheese moose. The other one is called Venetia Rendezvous, Crème brûlée made of Mascarpone and Hokkaido cream. They are both mouth watering and the most loved gifts in Otaru.
Name: LeTAO Pathos
Address: 5-22 sakaimachi, Otaru, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 9:00 – 18:00
Map: Map to LeTAO Pathos
6. Kita no Donburi-ya Takinami Shokudo
There is a sea food market called Otaru Sankau Ichiba. I love this kind of market. It looks random from outside and it’s full with the smell of fish, but don’t get hesitated. If you need fresh ingredients, this is the place to go.
There are 4 restaurants in there and one of them is called Takinami Shokudo. It is next to a sea food store called Takinami Shoten. Their motto is “Tasty, cheap and fresh”. There is no better place to have fresh sea food.
At the restaurant, you can choose fresh ingredients to go on your bowl of rice. How cool is that! Not only Sashimi. Ikura (Salmon roe), Uni (sea urchin), Shrimp, Scallops: So many to choose from!
Name: Maruki Takinami Shoten
Address: Otaru Sankaku Ichiba 3-10-16 Inaho, Otaru, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 8:00 – 17:00
Map: Map to Maruki Takinami Shoten
7. Ice Cream Parlor Misono
Ice Cream Parlor Misono was founded nearly a hundred years ago. The taste of their ice Cream is so authentic and takes me back to my childhood. All ingredients are fresh and very organic. Milk, eggs, honey: they are all Hokkaido does best.
I would recommend trying simple vanilla or Strawberry to begin with. But like any other Ice Cream shops, Misono offers nearly 30 different flavors. Ice Cream is served with other desserts like sundaes as well.
There are 3D menu at the front of the shops and lots of photos inside. The interior and furniture are very retroactive. This is the ice cream Japanese ancestors fell in love with.
Name: Ice Cream Parlor Misono
Address: 2-12-15 Inaho, Otaru, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 10:30 – 21:00
Map: Map to Ice Cream Parlor Misono
Wheat used to be more expensive and precious than rice. Wheat cake with fillings called Manjyu was imported from China around 13C. And then bread arrived in Japan in 16C. Kuwataya improvised Manjyu and made something similar called Banjyu.
Banjyu is different fillings wrapped with a really thin crispy skin made of bread. It was cheaper and became popular as a snack. There are eight main fillings: Mashed Sweet beans, Sweet Beans, Chocolatte, Custard, Sticky Sweet Beans, Caramel, Matcha flavor Sweet Beans, Camembert Cheese. They also produce seasonal flavors like Sakura Cherry flavor, Milk flavor, Pumpkin and White Chocolate.
The shop is located right next to Otaru Canal Terminal. Handy snack to take away to go for a walk along the canal!
Name: Kuwataya Honten
Address: 1F Otaru-Unga Terminal, 1-1-12 Ironai, Otaru, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 9:00 – 19:00
Map: Map to Kuwataya Honten
9. Ramen Shodai
Chinese egg noodles came to Japan in 19C and first served in Hokkaido. It was renamed to Ramen in Hokkaido as well. One of the popular thick pork stock soup is very similar to the one that indigenous peoples in Hokkaido.
Ramen shops are all over Japan now days and there are many in Otaru as well. Ramen Shodai is a little unique. First On top of popular ordinary Soya Sauce or Miso broths, they serve white Tamari Soya Sauce and White wine based broth with fresh toppings. They only serve 30 bowls each day.
There is another dish called Chamayo that I would like you to try. Chashu is cooked sliced pork which is a popular topping for Ramen. Chamayo is Chashu and rich wrapped with a sheet of crispy seaweed. You will be surprised how much you can eat!
Name: Ramen Shodai
Address: 14-8 Sumiyoshichoi, Otaru, Hokkaido
※Closed when soup is sold out
Map: Map to Ramen Shodai
10. Otaru Onkake-dororo Torori-an
Yakisoba is Japanese version of Chinese Chow Mein. There is something similar called Ankake Yakisoba, fried noodles topped with starchy sauce. Many Chinese Restaurant serve this dish. Somehow it is very popular in Otaru and locals have developed their own kind of flavors and the combination of ingredients.
Tororo-an is rather new but I have to mention it here because It’s just so tasty! The starchy sauce can be too thick sometimes but they got it right. The restaurant is managed by Noodle factory so the noodles are very fresh. Prawn and squid are the important ingredients for this dish and they come straight from the sea.
The doodles are very crunchy. They get soft with the starchy sauce. I always try to eat before the noodles get soggy. But at Tororo-an you can have Ramen with the starchy sauce as well. So many things to try that I have to go back there again again and again!!
Name: Otaru Ankakedokoro Tororian
Address: 5-7-23 Sakura, Otaru, Hokkaido
Closed: No fixed days
Map: Map to Otaru Ankakedokoro Tororian
Lets enjoy the flavor Otaru can offer!
So what do you think? Otaru has been developed as a port town for many years. So of course its sea food is fantastic. But you can see some creativity in Otaru’s food industry. You can see and feel the history of Hokkaido in it. Make sure you will have a plenty of time to enjoy the city if you have a chance to stop by!