April 26, 2019
Top 10 Must-Try Restaurants to Enjoy Local Dishes in Niigata
Many of you must think of rice when it comes to Niitaga prefecture. However, Niitaga has many more locally produced gourmets as well as rice. From fresh seafood from the Sea of Japan to the traditional dishes or even B-grade gourmets, you will definitely find your favourite!
Benkei is a revolving sushi restaurant which came from Sado, and while being directly managed by fish retailer, you can enjoy fresh seafood. Although some people find it hard to go into a luxury sushi restaurant, this place gives you an affordable choice of menus which makes you feel comfortable.
They have a variety of sushi menus such as rosy seabass, firely squid, and northern shrimps and it goes well with locally produced rice – Koshihikari. It is strongly recommended for families if you want to relax and chill out! Just visit here once you are in Niigata prefecture.
Name: Benkei Niigata Pia Bandai
Address: 2-4, Bandai Jima, Chuo Ku, Niigata City, Niigata
Access: Approx. 20 mins walk from Niigata Station
Map: map to Benkei Niigata Pia Bandai
Niigata prefecture has so many gourmets loved by locals. Among those gourmets, a unique Yakisoba – stir-fried noodles with meat sauce, powdered cheese, and white ginger is one of the best B-grade dishes. Well, they even call it “Italian”!
You might find it quite interesting and surprising when trying this food for the first time, but for locals, it’s something they have had since they were small. A combination of tomato and sauce is actually nice and it keeps getting its fans! Mikazuki has 20 shops in Niigata prefecture, so if you find a store while travelling, just try this unique gourmet.
Name: Mikazuki Bandai
Address: Bus Centre Building Level 2, 1-6-1, Bandai, Chuo Ku, Niigata City, Niigata City, Niigata
Access: 10 mins walk from Niigata Station
Map: map to Mikazuki Bandai
At the beginning of Showa era, the first owner who was running a Western food stall launched this unique restaurant which originated a B-grade gourmet – Tare Katsu Don. Tare Katsu Don is a bowl with slices of cutlet dipped in special sauce but with not eggs on top of rice.
Crispy cutlet and salty-sweet sauce are a good combination and less oil makes it taste even better. Tonkatsu Taro has been loved by locals as well as tourists and people usually make a line even during the weekdays. Of course, it goes well with beers too. Just try!
Name: Tonkatsu Taro
Address: 6-973, Furu Machi, Chuo Ku, Niigata City, Niigata
Time: 11:30am-14:30pm / 17:00pm-20:00pm
Close: Thu / Third Wed of the month
Access: Approx. 8 mins drive from Niigata Station
Map: map to Tonkatsu Taro
When it comes to the best of Niigata’s B-grade gourmets, “Hanshin-karaage” is the one. Hanshin-karaage is a unique fried chicken – frying half the body of chickens which makes you surprised how big it is! The standard flavour is curry, and it tastes amazing with the crispy skin and juicy meat.
Sekitori is where Hanshin-karaage was originated and there’re some other menus such as skewers and steamed chickens etc. This place has been loved by people for so long as it has a comfortable atmosphere. Freshly fried chickens are so nice to eat with hands. While being located a little far from the station, take a bus or just drive! It’s worth.
Address: 3-199, Kubota Town, Chuo Ku, Niigata City, Niigata
Access: 15 mins drive from Niigata Station
Map: map to Sekitori
The most popular gourmet in Murakami City of Niigata prefecture is Murakami beef which has won the first place twice in Japan. Also, salmon from Miomote river has been enjoyed for decades and now, both of them can be seen at Yururi!
One of the most recommended menus is “Murakami beef Aburi Don” – a slice of beef melts in your mouth. When you put it into your mouth and chew, soon you will realise there’s sweetness in juice coming out from the meat. Another recommended dish is a Salmon Oyako Don. Salmon roe and salmon got together on top of rice and it’s so nice that it makes you smile! Or otherwise, you can enjoy a bowl of hand-made Soba if you want to enjoy a refreshing smell.
Address: 4-5, Shio Town, Murakami City, Niigata
Time: 11:00am-14:30pm, 17:30pm-20:30pm
Access: Approx. 15 mins walk from Murakami Station
Map: map to Yururi
Restaurant Nihon Kai
Tai Chazuke is one of the well-known cuisine in Kashiwazaki City of Niigata since it won the grand prix in a local Don tournament. Kashiwazaki City has been popular for red snappers and its catch is one of the best in Japan as it is located along the sea. You can casually enjoy Tai Chazuke at Restaurant Nihon Kai which is situated just in front of Kashiwazaki Station.
Sanmi Ittai Madai Chazuke – pouring soup into a bowl with fried snappers and miso based tartar, grilled snappers, salmon roe, and edible clovers on top of rice with snappers is recommended the most here. You will definitely finish this up within a few minutes as its soup goes well with the taste of snappers. Let’s re-discover the attraction of snappers!
Name: Hotel Sunshine Restaurant Nihon Kai
Address: Hotel Sunshine Level 1, 1-2-10, Kashiwazaki Station Mae, Niigata
Access: 1 min walk from Kashiwazaki Station
Map: map to Hotel Sunshine Restaurant Nihon Kai
Speaking of a locally famous food in Tochio of Niigata prefecture, thin fried tofu – Abura Age is the one. This Abura Age is 3 times bigger than the ordinary ones with its length of 20cm and thickness of 3cm. When people try this for the first time, they would think this was a thick fried tofu. Frying the ingredients twice makes the inside like a sponge and that makes it bigger!
The surface of this Abura Age is crispy and the inside is soft, and once putting it into your mouth, you will realise it has a natural flavour of soy beans. Although you can take this home, freshly fried Agura Age is the best of course! Just visit here to try a unique local food.
Name: Tochiotou An
Address: 1631-1, Yoshimizu Nagaoka City, Niigata
Close: New Year’s Day
Access: Approx. 25 mins drive from Mitsuke Station
Map: map to Tochiotou An
Hegi Soba from Tooka Machi City is Soba noodles made of a glue plant called Funori in stead of wheat. Hegi is a wooden bowl and noodles are put into the bowl while being devided into a bite size. How you eat this is quite unique too – the spice for this dish would be mustard, but not wasabi. You might find it a bit unconfortable at first, however, it’s very nice with a smell of seaweed.
テキスト Kojima Ya has offered its Soba to the Imperial Household and a lot of people living outside of the prefecture visit this place and you sometimes end up waiting for 1 hour especially in summer! 100% locally produced Soba noodles are quite addictive once you know its taste and flovour.
Name: Kojima Ya
Address: 758-1, Nakayashiki, Tooka Machi City, Niigata
Access: Approx. 12 mins drive from Tooka Machi Station
Map: map to Kojima Ya
When it comes to a local food in Niigata City, Inaka Ya might be the best choice for you! Wappa Meshi, a wooden bowl called Wappa with steamed fish on top of rice cooked with the light soup. It is usually made with salmon and salmon roe, and since the flavour is quite light, you can enjoy the natural taste of the ingredients. Its gorgeous looking makes you hungry!
Also, a healthy soup cooked with taro called Noppe, vegetables and konjac is a locally popular dish that you must try here at Inaka Ya. Why not go for those cuisine with local sake?
Name: Inaka Ya
Address: 9-1457, Furumachi Doori, Chuo Ku, Niigata City, Niigata
Time: 11:30am-14:00pm / 17:00-22:30pm
Access: 11 mins drive from Niigata Station
Map: map to Inaka Ya
Probably not many people are aware of this fact, but Niigata is actually one of the prefectures which has many Ramen shops in Japan. The types of Ramen differs from soy sauce to miso, or pork fat. Among those popular restaurants, Ittou Ya that people always makes a line even on weekends is one of the best!
Here, Soy Chashu Ramen is the most recommended menu – this Ramen is beautifully made with a big slice of grilled pork on top, and the fish broth goes well with noodles. The broth is not as thick as you might imagine, so you are able to enjoy no matter how old you are! Also, Chashu Don and Tsuke Men is the popular menus here as well.
Name: Ittou Ya
Address: 3-5-23, Shichiku Yama, Chuo Ku, Niigata City, Niigata
Access: Approx. 18 mins walk from Niigata Station
Map: map to Ittou Ya
Enjoy Fabulous Foods in Niigata!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Have you found those gourmets interesting? Niigata of course is a famous place for rice and because of that, literally any restaurants in Niigata serve amazing rice and some of the restaurants even have local sake too. If you are keen on visiting any of these restaurants, just try!