Restaurants

Top Choice Food Hall in Hirosaki

Kadare Yokochō

In the evening, university students flock to this nondescript office building housing eight tiny restaurants, most doubling as bars. It's a lively local hang-out. Hinata-bokko (日向ぼっこ), with the orange noren curtains…
Top Choice Market in Aomori

Shinsen Ichiba

Cut out the middle man and head straight for the famed Aomori seafood market where piles of produce including scallops, codfish, apples, pickled vegetables and many other foods are laid out for restaurateurs to hand…
Top Choice Vegetarian in Sendai

Ohisamaya

The vegetable curries, macrobiotic tofu and fresh, colourful salads are the highlights of this stalwart of healthy dining, which rotates its menu regularly from a library of cookbooks on display. The occasional fish…
Soba in Kakunodate

Kosendō

The best noodles in town are found in this 250-year-old Edo-era wooden schoolhouse. The house speciality is buke-soba served with takenoko (bamboo) and tempura-fried ōba (large perilla leaf). Little has changed here…
Japanese in Aizu-Wakamatsu

Mitsutaya

The versatile soybean is pounded and skewered to perfection at this former bean-paste mill dating from 1834. The speciality here is dengaku, bamboo skewers of tofu, mochi (pounded rice cake) or vegetables basted in …
Soba in Morioka

Azumaya Honten

Customers line up and tour buses roll in for this hugely popular wanko-soba restaurant. A Morioka tradition, the waiter will refill your tiny bowl with soba (buckwheat noodles) as soon as you've put the last one dow…
Seafood in Aomori

Osanai

In a town that knows how to handle a bivalve, Osanai has the stellar reputation among locals for its simple and cheap hotate (scallop) recipes. Located at the beginning of busy Shinmachi-dōri, the menu here includes…
Japanese Curry in Morioka

Karē Kōbō Chalten

Serving the best curry we tried in the whole of northern Japan, this small, charming curry house makes nothing else but creamy plates of curry, and rice and salad. The wonderful vegetarian option uses eight differen…
Izakaya in Akita

Nagaya Sakaba

Highly regarded by locals, Nagaya Sakaba is easy to spot due to the massive red-faced Namahage demon overlooking the entrance. Sake flows freely once you've negotiated the Japanese-only menu. If in doubt, just shout…
Barbecue in Zaō Onsen

Robata

The best Mongolian barbecue or jingisukan restaurant in Zaō (there are many) is a sharp operation where diners do the grunt work on plates of raw lamb and veggies. It's good smoky fun, well supported by a drinks men…