Yamagata Prefecture restaurants

Barbecue in Zaō Onsen


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…
Soba in Yamagata

Sobadokoro Shōjiya

Delicious chewy udon and signature soba bowls (hot or cold) are served with simple elegance at this friendly spot. The accompanying tempura and miso are respectively light and tangy. It's a worthwhile 10-minute walk…
Seafood in Sakata

Sakata Kaisen Ichiba

A must-visit for seafood lovers. You can eat at a variety of places at this indoor seafood market or grab some mouth-watering sushi and picnic goodies.
Japanese in Sakata


To the east of the centre, in a residential neighbourhood, this popular ramen joint does a roaring trade in steaming bowls of homemade noodles in a rich, umami broth. Place your order via the machine in the entryway…
Izakaya in Yamagata


Come here to sample sake and local Yamagata specialities such as imo nabe (potato stew) and dongara (cod), as well as a variety of chargrilled seafood. The menu is on a wooden board and includes pictures. Take the f…
Izakaya in Sakata

Kumura no Sakaba

While many believe Sakata is an underrated town, Kumura no Sakaba is definitely a much underrated izakaya. The atmosphere is propelled by buoyant, local Japanese sharing simple seafood, chicken and vegetable dishes,…
Barbecue in Zaō Onsen


Lamb barbecued on a hotplate shaped like Genghis Khan's headgear, oden (various goodies stewed in a fish-and-vegetable broth) and soba (buckwheat noodles) all feature on the menu at this friendly restaurant, in a gr…
Tonkatsu in Yamagata


Part of an upmarket chain restaurant specialising in tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlets), this branch by the Metropolitan Hotel is highly recommended by locals for a quick feed in between train journeys.
Steak in Yonezawa


Hundred-year-old Tokiwa is the best known of the local Yonezawa-gyū (beef) joints. It's in the north of town, a 30-minute walk from the main train station – ask the tourist office for directions.
Ramen in Tsuruoka

Ramen Kyuchan

Ramen shops abound throughout Tsuruoka; this cheap and cheerful place is popular with locals for its flavoursome broth and late-night hours.