Best restaurants in Nara

  • Restaurants in Nara

    Hirasō

    A good place to sample local Nara specialities like kakinoha-zushi (pressed sushi wrapped in persimmon leaf – don't eat the leaf!) and chagayu (rice porridge made with roasted green tea). Look for the lattice-wood front.

  • Restaurants in Nara

    Kura

    This popular spot in Naramachi is styled like an old storehouse and has just 16 seats around a counter amid dark-wood panels and an old beer sign. Indulge in mini-katsu (mini pork cutlets), yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) and oden (fish cake and veggie hot pot). Reservations recommended; it's often full.

  • Restaurants in Nara

    Washokuya Happoh

    A reliable choice offering a variety of dishes, from sashimi to tempura to noodles to wagyū (Japanese beef). Try its speciality: dishes marinated in sake lees. The place is big enough for you to be able to get a table (and lunch is, generously, served until 4pm); ingredients are listed on the menu to help diners with allergies or dietary restrictions.

  • Restaurants in Nara

    Kameya

    With its red lanterns and plastic food models out the front, Kameya doesn't look like anything special, but the okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) at this casual restaurant – running since the 1960s – is actually pretty good. Try the house special 'inakappe', a pancake stuffed with udon noodles and prawns. Staff are friendly and speak English.

  • Restaurants in Nara

    Mellow Café

    Part of the somewhat Mediterranean-looking Axe Unit complex (towards the back), Mellow is indeed a relaxed space in which to eat pasta and brick-oven pizzas or sip coffee, cocktails or beer. Unlike many places, it serves food throughout the afternoon.

  • Restaurants in Nara

    Yumekaze Plaza

    Adjacent to Nara-kōen and across from the Nara National Museum, this convenient collection of a dozen restaurants and cafes offers a variety of dishes (mostly Japanese, but also sandwiches and sweets). Most places serve lunch and dinner.

  • Restaurants in Nara

    Sakura Burger

    This unexpectedly good (and popular!) burger joint serves juicy patties on toasted buns loaded with your choice of toppings. It also does hot dogs (from ¥540) and sandwiches (from ¥820). There are only a few tables, though, so the queue moves slowly.