10 Best Restaurants in Fukuoka

Street food in Hakata Kyushu
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Bryce was born in California, and raised near Seattle, Washington! He’s been living in Japan for about 5 years now, the first 3 spent studying at Temple University Japan. His main passion in life is writing and producing music, more specifically EDM if anyone is curious! He is very fond of snowboarding, cooking, traveling, playing video games; all of which he’d ideally enjoy with the company of his great friends. 

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Welcome to Fukuoka, the culinary capital and the biggest city of the beautiful, nature filled, laid back Kyushu Island. Fukuoka is home to plenty of great activities and is a great place to start your Kyushu Adventure. Aside from the great food, Fukuoka offers plenty to do in each season, so be sure to check out all the fun you can have- as well as access all the other incredible places on the island. But for now, let’s talk about the grub! From mouth-watering Ramen to sizzling seafood, Fukuoka’s food scene is an explosion of flavors that is guaranteed to leave your taste buds tingling. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, here are the best restaurants in Fukuoka that you simply must try.

And don’t forget, Japan is chock-full of tasty spots, ideal for all you foodies!

1. Hakata Issou

If you’re a Ramen lover, you can’t visit Fukuoka without trying Hakata Issou. This is a popular spot for locals, and the queue outside the door is proof of their delicious broth. Their Tonkotsu Ramen is made with pork bones that are simmered for hours, creating a rich, creamy broth that is packed with umami flavors. In fact, the “Tonkotsu” variety of Ramen actually originated in Hakata, so be sure to get some even if it’s not at Hakata Issou! The noodles are thin and firm, which complements the broth perfectly. Make sure to add some garlic and spicy miso for an extra kick.

2. Hakata Mizutaki Toriden

For a taste of traditional Japanese hot pot, head to Hakata Mizutaki Toriden. Mizutaki is a type of hot pot that is made with chicken, vegetables, and a light broth. Toriden serves their Mizutaki with a creamy sesame sauce that adds an extra depth of flavor. The chicken is tender and juicy, and the vegetables are fresh and crunchy. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere that is sophisticated yet not too overwhelming; perfect for a warm meal on a chilly evening.

3. Hakata Motsunabe Ooyama

Motsunabe is a Fukuoka specialty, made with beef or pork offal, vegetables, and a spicy miso-based broth. Hakata Motsunabe Ooyama is the go-to spot for this dish. The broth is rich and flavorful, and the offal is cooked to perfection, making it soft and melt-in-your-mouth. The restaurant is always bustling with locals, which is a testament to the quality of their food. Though, some people may not be a big fan of offal, or a mix of organs and other things, so it’s important to consider your less-adventurous dining buddies!

4. Hakata Gion Tetsunabe

ktanakaCC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hakata Gion Tetsunabe specializes in iron pot dishes, which are cooked at your table on a portable stove. This style of dining is very common in Japan and is quite fun- it also gives a somewhat “eating at home” vibe to the experience. The menu includes a variety of dishes, but their beef tongue stew is a must-try. The beef tongue is slow-cooked in a savory broth, making it tender and juicy. The dish is served with a side of rice, which soaks up the flavors of the stew. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere, with traditional Japanese decor and  friendly staff. 

5. Shin Shin Hakata Ramen

Another popular Ramen spot in Fukuoka is Shin Shin Hakata Ramen. Their Tonkotsu Ramen is made with pork bones that are simmered for 12 hours, creating that thick and creamy broth Tonkotsu is famed for. Like Hakata Issou and most types of Hakata Ramen, the noodles are thin compared to other Ramens, but still nice and chewy. And the cha-shu (roast pork) is succulent and flavorful- a must for any Ramen. The restaurant has a modern vibe, with a large open kitchen and a bar area where you can watch the chefs in action. A personal recommendation for Ramen: order the noodles “kata-me” (meaning firm)- not only does the texture seem to be more distinguishable, it also mostly counteracts any sogginess that would occur from the noodles lingering in the broth too long!

6. Ganso Hakata Mentaiju

If you’re a fan of seafood, you have to try Ganso Hakata Mentaiju. Mentaiju is a type of Sushi that is made with spicy cod roe (very small fish eggs), and Ganso Hakata’s version is legendary. Apparently, this is the first restaurant in Japan to specialize in Mentaiko. The cod roe is creamy and flavorful, and the rice is perfectly seasoned. The restaurant also serves a variety of other seafood dishes, including sashimi and grilled fish.

7. Hakata Hanamidori

Hakata Hanamidori is another Mizutaki restaurant that specializes in free-range chicken. The chicken is juicy and flavorful, in fact the chickens are raised within the company so you’re sure to get some perfectly prepared chicken. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere, with a friendly staff and a variety of sake and Shochu (Japanese distilled spirits) to choose from. If Mizutaki is intriguing to you, you definitely need to try this amazing choice!

8. Fishing Restaurant Zauo Honten

Ready for a pretty bizarre experience? Well, you may have heard of this before, but at Zauo you catch the fish you want to eat. The restaurant has a large fish tank in the center of the dining area, where you can choose your fish and then hand it over to the chef. The fish is cooked in a variety of ways, including Sashimi, grilled, and deep-fried. It’s a fun and interactive dining experience that is perfect for families or groups. You can find stores in other locations in Japan like Tokyo, but this is the head store!

9. Nakasu River Yatai

Yatai are street food stalls that are a common sight in Fukuoka. Nakasu River Yatai is a row of yatai stalls that are located along the riverbank. The stalls serve a variety of dishes, including Ramen, Yakitori, and Oden (Japanese stew). It’s a great place to try a variety of Fukuoka specialties in one sitting. The atmosphere is lively and festive, and the views of the river at night are breathtaking; it’s definitely one of the highlights of going to Fukuoka!

10. Chikae Fukuoka

For a high-end dining experience, Chikae Fukuoka is the place to go. The restaurant serves a modern take on traditional Japanese cuisine, using locally sourced ingredients. If you liked the live fish aspect of Zauo, Chikae has a similar design and they display all their fish throughout the restaurant. The menu changes seasonally, but no matter what you’ll be able to get some incredibly fresh and expertly prepared seafood! If you like authentic Japanese vibes, you’ll appreciate the seating arrangements and Tatami mats.

Japan Wonder Travel Food Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are traveling in, our knowledgeable and friendly guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Fish Market Tour @Tsukiji – Enjoy Local Food and Drink
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo where you will have the chance to try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake along with your friendly English speaking guide! 

tsukiji tour

Shinjuku Bar Hopping Tour: Experience Tokyo’s Nightlife in Izakaya
Check out the best spots in Shinjuku while bar hopping through the lively and vibrant area. Try some delicious local food and drink as you explore the narrow yet photogenic alleys that the town has to offer. Experience Japanese izakaya culture and drink in Shinjuku like the locals!

shinjuku-drinking-tour

Kyoto Food and Drink Tour @Nishiki Street
If you’re looking to learn more about the culture and the local cuisine of Kyoto, this is the perfect tour for you! Take part in this Kyoto food and drink tour and explore the 400-year-old market and the surrounding areas.

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