Hokkaido Food Guide – 13 Must Eats and Drinks

Here are the top 13 food and drinks not to be missed in Hokkaido. Welcome to seafood heaven and the land of top-quality produce!

Welcome to Hokkaido, the island of winter sports, hanging cliffs, endless lavender fields and the best food adventure in Japan. Though they’re all good, few realize the extent of regional differences in the culinary landscape across Japan. Hokkaido will surprise you by introducing you to a brand new Japanese food experience. 

1. Hokkaido Seafood Bowl (海鮮丼 – Kaisen Don)

Seafood Bowl (海鮮丼 - Kaisen Don)

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

Kaisen don is a sushi rice bowl topped with a variety of seafood. Ask any Japanese person where the best place to have this amazing dish is, and the resounding answer will be Hokkaido. It’s topped with the freshest seafood like salmon roe, sea urchin, salmon, tuna, shrimp, squid and much more. Add a touch of soy sauce or not, make sure to chew slowly and enjoy every bite. You’re now on your way to becoming a seafood connoisseur.

Where to Eat Kaisen Don?

One of the most popular dishes in Hokkaido, Kaisen don is easily found in any restaurant here. Good and affordable restaurants are often located around seafood markets in Sapporo, Hakodate and Otaru. Have a delicious bowl of kaisen don for breakfast to start your day! 

Nijo Fish Market – Minami 3-jo ~ Higashi 1-chome, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Hakodate Asaichi Market – 9-19 Wakamatsu, Hakodate, Hokkaido

Sankaku Market – 3-10-16 InahoOtaru, Hokkaido

Nantaru Market – 12-1 Shintomicho, Otaru, Hokkaido

Rinyu Morning Market – 3-10-15 Ironai, Otaru, Hokkaido

2. Hokkaido Crab (かに – Kani)

Crab (かに - Kani)

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

With all the talk about seafood in Hokkaido, one has to talk about crabs. When walking through the fish markets, you’re sure to be excited by the huge king crabs or a little startled by the horsehair crabs. However, the most interesting part, of course, is eating them!

The most highly-rated crab restaurant in Hokkaido is Kani-Honke (かに本家). This chain restaurant first started in Hokkaido, but due to its rising popularity, it soon spread to the rest of Japan. They offer great hospitality and an excellent variety of crab dishes. Additionally, they also offer different courses for lunch and dinner. While lunch is cheaper, the quality is still the same.  

Check out the list of Kani-Honke restaurants here.

 3. Hokkaido Sushi

Sushi

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

Yes, you can find sushi everywhere in Japan, but real sushi experts head for Hokkaido. The quality and craftmanship of the sushi here is unlike any other place. Hokkaido is no different to the rest of Japan, you can find an array of sushi restaurants from kaitenzushi (conveyor belt) to luxury quite easily.

Recommended Restaurants

(Source: Tabelog.com – A popular restaurant ranking website in Japan)

Price: 2,000 – 6,000 yen

Sushiyakoudai – 3.64/5 

Address: 1-4-15 Inaho, Otaru, Hokkaido

Chiharuzushi – 3.62/5

Address: Minami 6 Jonishi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Nemurohanamaru – 3.69/5

Address: Kita 5 Jonishi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Price: ~7000 yen

Sushi Ikkou – 4.33/5

Address: Minami 2 Jonishi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaidō

Sushisai Wakichi – 4.13/5

Address: 25-1-22 Minami 2 Jonishi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Sushi Miyakawa – 4.13/5

Address: Minami 1 Jonishi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido

4. Hokkaido Jingisukan (ジンギスカン)

Jingisukan (ジンギスカン)

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

Jingisukan (or “Genghis Khan”) is also known as Hokkaido yakiniku or Hokkaido grilled mutton. It’s said that its name stems from pre-war Japan, where Mongolian soldiers would eat their favorite meat, lamb, by grilling it on their helmets; this explains the shape of the grill.

Recommended Restaurants

(Source: Tabelog.com – A popular restaurant ranking website in Japan)

Daikokuya – 4.11/5

Address: 7 -4 Jodori, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

Daruma – 3.71/5

Address: 4 Minami 5 Jonishi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Fukuroutei – 3.63/5

Address: 5 Minami 8 Jonishi Chuo-ku Sapporo Hokkaido

5. Hokkaido Ramen

Spicy Miso Ramen

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

There are six different types of ramen in the noodle world, and three of which originated in Hokkaido. Sapporo is famous for its miso ramen, Hakodate for its shio (salt) ramen and Hakata for its thin and firm noodles. Each is unique in its flavors and cutting of noodles, but they’re all flavorful and mouthwatering. Try the several different styles and flavors of ramen offered here in Hokkaido and discover your favorite.

Recommended Restaurants

(Source: Tabelog.com – A popular restaurant ranking website in Japan)

Menyasaimi – 4.07/5

Address: Misono 10 Jo Toyohira, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Menyananabee – 4.01/5

Address: Kawashimo Shiroishi, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Men-iji HIRAGISHI BASE – 3.98/5

Address: Hiragishi 2 Jo Toyohira, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Seiryuuken – 3.6/5

Address: 7-3 Wakamatsucho, Hakodate, Hokkaido

Hakodate Menyaichimonji – 3.53/5

Address: 2-1-3 Yunokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido

Jiyouken – 3.59/5

Address: 7-12 Matsukazecho, Hakodate, Hokkaido

6. Hokkaido Soup Curry

Chicken Soup Curry

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

When we think of curry, we think of a rich and thick sauce. Soup curry is simply a watered down version of this. Soup curry in Sapporo is incredibly popular due because it’s perfect for warming you up on a cold winter day. Additionally, it’s rich in nutrients.

Recommended Restaurants

(Source: Tabelog.com – A popular restaurant ranking website in Japan)

Okushibashouten – 3.57/5

Address: 14-2-2 Minami 8 Jonishi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Chaos Heaven – 3.56/5

Address: 2F, 2-12-3 Minami 5 Johigashi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Supukaresamurai – 3.55/5

Address: 5-5-1 Minami 4 Jonishi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido

7. Hokkaido Yakimen

Yakimen

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

This dish is only available at restaurants in the Biei area. Yakimen is made with udon noodles, vegetables and cheese. The yakimen meal pictured above only costs 980 yen. It comes with pumpkin soup, salad and milk jelly as dessert. Besides attractions such as the Blue Pond, this area is also famous for agriculture – promising quality produce.

8. Hokkaido Zangi (ざんぎ)

Zangi

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

Karaage is the most common name for fried chicken in Japan, but zangi is the special name for Hokkaido fried chicken. Zangi are pieces of juicy and succulent chicken covered in a crunchy coating. It’s also bigger than your average fried chicken, almost doubling in size.  It only costs about 600 yen for five pieces! 

9. Hokkaido Melon

Melon

Provided by Foursquare

Melon Soft Ice Cream

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

Without a doubt, the best melons in Japan are grown in Hokkaido. A visit to a melon farm in Hokkaido lets you pick your own melon, cut it and savor it. Also available are melon-shaped keychains which make good souvenirs for your family and friends. 

Recommended Melon Farms in Hokkaido

Satou Farm – Nakagoku, Furano

Takahashi Farm10-28 Nishikimachi, Furano

Yamazai Melon Farm – Aza yamabe higashi 17 sen 10 banchi, Furano

Yoshida Farm – Yamabe Higashi 13 sen 12 banchi, Furano

Check out Furano Tourism Association for more information.

10. Hokkaido Lavender Soft Ice Cream

Lavender Soft Ice Cream

Photo Credit: kslee via flickr cc

Japan is full of new and exciting experiences in the form in unique cultural practices and interesting food. Strange as it may seem, lavendar soft ice cream is rich, creamy and delectable. Unfortunately, it’s only available at Tomita Lavendar Farm (Google Map Link) in Furano, Hokkaido. Enjoy a lavendar soft ice cream as you stroll through the lavendar fields here at the peaceful Tomita Lavendar Farm.

11. Hokkaido Dairy Products

Hokkaido Milk

Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito via Flickr cc

Hokkaido Cheese

Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito via Flickr cc

References to “Hokkaido chizu” (Hokkaido cheese) can be heard in daily conversations throughout Japan. It’s no surprise since the cool climate permits milk and cheese to be produced at the highest quality. Visiting a cheese farm is highly recommended – allowing you try the freshest cheese and learn about the intricacies of cheese production.

Recommended Cheese Farms 

Kyodo Gakusha Shintoku Farm 9−1 Shintoku, Kamikawa, Hokkaido 

Furano Cheese Factory – Nakagoku, Furano, Hokkaido

12. Hokkaido Sweets

Hokkaido Sweets

Provided by Foursquare

Marusei

Marusei (butter cream) and shiroi koibito are the most popular sweets in Hokkaido.

You can find marusei in Rokkatei, a famous dessert place in Hokkaido that is incredibly popular amongst the Japanese.

Address: AEON 1F, 3-1-1-1 Higashinaebo 2 Jo, Higashi, Sapporo, Hokkaido 

Shiroi Koibito

Photo Credit: Toby OxBorrow via Flickr cc

Shiroi Koibito

Well-known amongst foreigners, shiroi koibito is a european-style chocolate cookie. Both marusei and shiroi koibito make great Hokkaido souvenirs. When visiting Shiroi Koibito Park, you get the chance to make your own shiroi koibito at the Cookiecraft Studio as well as the opportunity to stroll through their beautiful rose garden and try their many other sweets.

Address:  2 Chome-2-11-36 Miyanosawa 2 Jo, Nishi, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Photo Credit: Linh Tran via [Hokkaido Adventure]

Photo Credit: Linh Tran [Hokkaido Adventure]

If you’ve visited BAKE cheese tarts (Google Map Link) in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo, then you’ve definitely had their freshly baked cheese tarts. These cheese tarts originated in Kinotoya, an old western confectionery in Sapporo, Hokkaido. With branches now in Hong Kong, its popularity is soaring. Head to Hokkaido and try these cheese tarts in its original shop.

Check out the Kinotoya shop list here.

13. Hokkaido Beer

Hokkaido Beer

Provided by Foursquare

You may know from our article (What Is the Best Japanese Beer?) that Sapporo and Otaru are two of the best beer producing cities in Japan. Hokkaido offers the best brews, so head on over and try the many varieties offered here.

Recommended Beer Gardens

Sapporo Beer Garden – 9-9-2-10 Kita 7 Johigashi, Higashi, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Fukushi-kyosan Sapporo Odori Beer Garden – Odori Park, Sapporo, Hokkaido

(This annual event at Odori Park is one of the nation’s largest beer gardens)

Otaru Warehouse No.1 – 5−4 Minatomachi, Otaru, Hokkaido

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Linh Tran

Linh Tran

Hey guys, I'm Linh Tran. Welcome to Compathy Magazine. We promise to bring you the best travel informations, tips and interesting experiences.



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# Hokkaido Restaurants # What to Eat in Japan

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