Restaurants in Otaru
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Housed in a crumbling brick warehouse laced with vines of ivy, this famous bar-restaurant across from the museum has been the setting for several novels of Japanese literary fame. The English menu helps with the ordering, though it's best to ask the waiter for their osusume (recommendation), as the catch of the day and some local sake is generally what you're after here.
For Japanese travellers, eating Otaru is all about sushi – local specialities include sake (salmon), ikura (salmon roe), uni and kani. Inside this grey-brick warehouse (look for the English sign) about 500m east of the canal along Ironai Ōdōri, there are just six seats at the counter, ensuring personalised attention from the supremely skilled sushi chef.
If you're the type of person who enjoys scouting out good eateries before sitting down at the table, check out the Denuki-kōji, located on the southern banks of Asakusa-bashi. This tourist-friendly complex contains a dozen or so restaurants spanning a variety of cuisines – most have plastic models out the front to…
Housed in a converted warehouse along the canal (look for the ice-cream banner), this legendary Otaru ice-cream parlour scoops up some seriously stomach-turning flavours. If you're up to the challenge, you can sample nattō (fermented soy beans), tofu, crab, sea urchin, beer and even a jet-black scoop of squid ink.