10 Great Restaurants to Try in Nagoya
Nagoya is the home of one of the four major ports in Japan and the largest city in the Chubu region of Japan. This city is known for its distinctive local cuisine Nagoya-meshi that includes a cold or hot udon (flat Japanese noodles) called Kishimen, which comes with a dipping sauce. They offer specially marinated chicken wings barbecue called Tebasaki, and a rice dish with unagi (eel) served in a stone bowl with a wooden lid called Hitsumabushi.
The city offers an eclectic mix of modern and old-world restaurants that can take you to a great gastronomic journey. There are several wonderful restaurants in the area that serve traditional Nagoya-meshi and numerous others that offer various local Japanese culinary as well as a gamut of international cuisines. The city is also a home of many decades-old or even century-old restaurants that can give you a glimpse of bygone Japanese eras. Here are some of the best places for a great dining experience in Nagoya. Just to be clear, the order they appear in our list does not reflect ranking and should not be misconstrued as such.
1. Atsuta Horai-ken
Hitsumabushi is the restaurant’s signature dish and Atusta Horai-ken is one of the best places to enjoy this traditional grilled freshwater eel over rice dish that is popular in Nagoya. The restaurant also serves other popular eel preparations such as umaki (omelet wrapped eel) and kimoyaki (grilled eel liver) as well as other dishes made from different proteins.
They have several branches in the country and the one that is most accessible in Nagoya is the one in Matsuzakaya Mall. But if you want to take a trip back in history, you should visit their main restaurant in Atsuta Jingu Shrine, which was founded in 1873, where you can also do some sightseeing on the side.
Address: Matsuzakaya 460-0008 Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya, Naka Ward, Sakae, 3−30−8,
Telephone: +81 52-264-3825
This Japanese restaurant, which has several branches around the country, is famous for their fish bento boxes served with soup, steamed rice and other side dishes. Here, you can expect a good portion of well-seasoned cod, gindara, sea bass or other delicious fish grilled to perfection with a little crisp outside and juicy meat inside that diners rave about.
Suzunami also serves raw fish preparations such as sushi and sashimi and other great dishes of various meats and fresh ingredients that you will love.
Address: 3-7-23 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-0008 , Aichi Prefecture
Telephone: +81 52-261-1300
3. Wolfgang Puck Restaurant & Cafe
Where else can you enjoy a delectable salmon pizza? Owned by the world-renowned celebrity chef from whom it got its name, Wolfgang Puck Restaurant and Café is the best place to head to in Nagoya if you have a hankering for American food such as burgers, pizzas, chicken salad, and cheesecake.
Patterned after their highly successful restaurant in Las Vegas and infused with a little taste of Japan, you can expect not only to be served with great fusion cuisine, but you will also be treated with a great and relaxing ambience. Besides the main dining area, the restaurant has private rooms, a lounge bar, and an open terrace for a pleasant al fresco dining experience.
Address: 10th Floor Aichi Arts Center, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 461-0005, Japan
Telephone: +81 52-957-5755
4. The Kitchen - Salvatore Cuomo
Owned by one of the most famous celebrity chefs in the country Salvatore Cuomo, known in Japan as ‘The Pizza Man’, The Kitchen is the place for those looking for authentic Italian food in the city of Nagoya. The Italian-born chef fell in love with Japan and decided to establish his residence in the country and changed his citizenship, as well as his name, to Salvatore Shigeta.
You can expect to enjoy in any of his many restaurants his masterful and tasty signature creations of fresh Italian hand-rolled pastas and hand-tossed pizzas and other great dishes from his country of birth, some of which are given Asian twists.
Address: JR Central Towers Office, 1 Chome-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 450-0002, Japan
Telephone: +81 52-564-0065
If you are looking for a great place in Nagoya to eat Kishimen and other ramen, soba, and udon, then head on to Sagami. This international chain of restaurant is said to be the #1 Soba Noodles restaurant in the world. And remember that I mentioned earlier one of Nagoya’s most popular local dishes called Tebasaki? Well, Sagami has an award-winning recipe for this chicken wings dish that won them two golden prizes in Japan in 2014.
Sagami also has in their menu other standard Japanese fares such as tempura, donburi, bento box sets, and a lot more.
Address: 1 102 Shikenya, Moriyamaku, Nagoya 463-0034, Aichi Prefecture
Telephone: +81 52-774-6779
6. Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is said to be one of the best Taiwanese restaurants anywhere. In fact, its flagship store in Taiwan was once voted by The New York Times as one of the Top 10 Restaurants in the World.
In Nagoya you can enjoy their delicious dim sums and dumplings like their world famous ‘xiao long bao’ which is a soupy steamed meat and vegetable dumplings. Other popular dishes are here are stir-fried noodles, pork buns and bean paste buns, and fried salt-and-pepper pork chop over fried rice. They are open from 11am to 11pm.
Address: 12F JR Central Towers,1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-6012, Aichi Prefecture
Telephone: +81 52-533-6030
7. Brasserie Paul Bocuse La Maison
One of the world’s most respected chefs in France, Paul Bocuse, brought the authentic taste of classic French cuisine to Nagoya, Japan. Adhering to their time-tested concept that focused on ‘local production for local consumption’, Brasserie Paul Bocuse serves French dishes made from the freshest seasonal ingredients you can find in Nagoya.
Among their most popular specialties are Lyon-style light quenelle of sea bass with lobster Americaine sauce (shown in the picture). They also serve pan-fried scallops with champagne sauce and fines herbes and marinated fresh salmon with horseradish cream. And of course, your French meal would not be complete without indulging on their delectable desserts such as red berries with light vacherin and vanilla ice cream and chef Paul Bocuse’s special crème brulee. They have several lunch and dinner sets you can choose from, as well as an a la carte menu.
Address: 12F JR Central Towers,1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-6012, Aichi Prefecture
Telephone: +81 52-563-4456
8. Desperados Mexican Restaurant & Bar
Owned and operated by a Mexican guy and his Japanese wife, this small restaurant serves some of the best and most authentic Tex-Mex dishes and drink concoctions in Nagoya. They’re popular for their fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas, which can be made with your choice of ground meat such as chicken, beef, or pork, then complemented with other Mexican flavored fillings such as beans, salsa, guacamole, and cheese. You can also drizzle them with your choice of chili sauces for that added zing.
Desperados Mexican Restaurant & Bar also offers a wide selection of Mexican tequilas and cervezas that goes well with their food. They are also famous for their frozen margaritas and other bar mixtures.
Address: 2F Fujimatsu Bldg., 1-8-11 Shinsakae, Naka-ku Nagoya 463-0034, Aichi Prefecture
Telephone: +81 52-264-0663
9. Annam Blue Café
This is the home of authentic Vietnamese cuisine in Nagoya. You should not miss their Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup known for its fragrant flavors and wonderful balance of spice and acidity. You can choose from various proteins such as chicken, pork, beef, seafood, or a combination of two or more for your pho, along with other ingredients that give the soup its unique flavor such as lemon grass, lemon juice, chilis, bean sprouts, and other herbs and vegetables.
Annam Blue is also known for their fried and fresh spring rolls and other dishes that goes well with rice. Another must-try in the restaurant is their famous Vietnamese mocha drip coffee.
Address: 1-4-1 Kanayamacho, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 456-0002, Japan
Telephone: +81 52-671-2050
10. Sushiro Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurant
You can't leave Japan without eating various kinds of sushi, makizushi, and sashimi. Although you can get these food in most restaurants and even supermarkets in the country, you should still try Sushiro. This sushi restaurant chain with several branches across Japan is famous for its conveyor belt system that brings freshly prepared sushi and other fares around the dining area in continuous circulation. The diners can then just pick up what they want from the conveyor as it passes their seat. This is incredibly helpful when you are struggling with the language barrier.
Their best-selling sushi options are grilled tuna with ponzu sauce, salmon and cheese, salmon with basil, broiled salty lemon shrimp, shrimp and avocado, fried shrimp, and salted chuck rib. Each dish comes in color-coded plates with its corresponding prices so your bill will be computed according to your consumption. Their prices are very affordable, and you can get a sushi plate here for as low as 100 JPY.
Address: 6 Chome-51 Taikotori, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 453-0811, Japan
Telephone: +81 52-485-3520
Nagoya is a melting pot for the world’s diverse cuisines. There are other great restaurants in the city that we failed to mention here that serves an array of Mediterranean, Asian, European and North and South American gastronomy experience. We encourage you to discover them for yourself, but still, don't forget to try the restaurants that we featured in our list.
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