The 12 Best Restaurants in Okinawa

With Japanese, native Okinawan and American influences, the food in Okinawa is divine. Come with us to discover the best of it with our guide to the top 12 restaurants in Okinawa.

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, is a top destination at any time of the year. Famed for its white sand beaches, unique culture and laid-back vibe, it feels a million miles (rather than just 400) from the flashing lights of Tokyo or the ice and snow of Hokkaido.

Pair all of this with some first-rate restaurants and you’ve got the island holiday of your dreams. Influenced by native Okinawan, mainland Japanese and American culinary traditions, the food on the island really is out of this world. To help you find the Okinawa restaurants for you, take a look at our rundown of the 12 best restaurants the Okinawan islands have to offer. 

1. Kajinhou Pizza Café

Photo Credit: Cookie M via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Cookie M via Flickr CC

Kajinhou Pizza Cafe, or “Pizza in the Sky”, as it is known to its American regulars, is where you’ll find Okinawa’s best pizza without a doubt. Crammed with locals and tourists alike every day of the week, the restaurant’s interior is decked out in traditional Okinawan style to create a unique and always buoyant atmosphere.  

Aside from the food, one of Kajinhou’s main draws is its location. Perched on the top of a clifftop (hence “Pizza in the Sky”) with ocean views, this has to be the most scenic pizza joint anywhere. All of this combined makes Kajinhou a popular spot, so get there early or be prepared for a bit of a wait.

­ 11:30 – 19:00 (last order 18:30)

 Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

098-047-5537

  ¥  600 – 3,200

1153-2 Yamazato, Motubu-Cho, Okinawa

­ Kahinhou Pizza Café (Japanese)

2. Café Kurukuma

Photo Credit: Rumpleteaser via Flickr CC

Photo Credit: Rumpleteaser via Flickr CC

Sitting on a hilltop, Café Kurukuma is another picturesque Okinawan restaurant boasting views out over the pristine Philippine Sea. Enjoy the view whilst tucking into some excellent Thai food, all of which is reasonably priced, authentically prepared and with over 30 options to choose from, there’s something for even the fussiest of eaters. Cafe Kurukuma’s popularity means you may be in for a wait, but with a herb garden and the ocean views to distract you, you won’t mind too much. 

­ 10:00 – 20:00

 closed on Tuesdays

098-949-1189

  ¥  1,230 – 2,750

1190 Aza-Chinen, Nanjo-shi, Okinawa

­ Café Kurukuma (Japanese)

3. Sam’s by the Sea

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

Lauded as one of Japan’s leading American-style restaurants, Sam’s by the Sea won’t disappoint those hankering for a taste of the U S of A. With a diverse and extensive menu, there’s something for all, though the steakhouse dishes come particularly highly recommended. No matter the occasion, Sam’s by the Sea has you covered.

­ 17:00 – 24:00

 Closed on Holidays

098-937-3421

  ¥  800 – 4,200

1-41-15 Awase, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa

­ Sam’s by the Sea

4. Charlie’s Tacos

Provided by Foursquare

Craving some tacos? Charlie’s Tacos, as the name might suggest, won’t disappoint. For more than four decades, this restaurant has been the go-to joint for any taco fiend who finds themselves in Okinawa. Although not Mexican in style like most, their Okinawan take on the classic is just as good. Choose from chicken, beef or tuna and a variety of toppings and get eating. 

­ 10:00 – 21:00

 closed on Thursdays

098-937-4627

  ¥  720 – 2,250

4-11-5 Chūō, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa

­ Charlie’s Tacos (Japanese)

5. Som Chai

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

Located in the popular Koza shopping district, Som Chai specialises in all kinds of authentic Thai food, which patrons will insist is the best on the islands. The friendly owners will make you feel right at home and the menu, including things like Thai salad and red curry, is delectable from top to bottom. 

­ 11:30 – 21:00

 Closed on Thursdays

098-937-2208

  ¥  540 – 1,560

1-17-14 Chuo, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa

­ Som Chai

6. Blue Seal

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Provided by Foursquare

An icy cold treat in the blazing Okinawan heat is always a godsend and there’s no better place to pick one up than Blue Seal. As the company proudly states, Blue Seal was “born in America but raised in Okinawa” and has now been enjoyed on the islands for over 60 years. With longevity like that, it must be good. And the ice cream, it must be said, really is. All kinds of flavours, options and extras, be sure to drop by when the heat gets the better of you.

­ 9:00 – 1:00

 no closing days

098-877-8258

  ¥  220 – 1,220

5-5-6 Urazoe-shi, Okinawa

­ Blue Seal

7. Hateruma Restaurant

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Provided by Foursquare

If you’re after something a little more adventurous than your standard restaurant, give Hateruma Restaurant a try. Although just off one of Naha’s main streets, the place is like another world. With a rock floor and individual ‘homes’ for diners to eat in, it’s closest to a traditional izakaya, but even that comparison doesn’t really do it justice. The menu, packed with all kinds of old school Japanese and uniquely Okinawan treats, is a great way to try something new, especially since it’s not in English. 

­ 11:00 – 24:00

 Closed on Holidays

098-863-8859

  ¥  840 – 2140

1-2-30, Makishi, Naha-shi, Okinawa

­ Hateruma

8. Ukishima Garden

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Provided by Foursquare

A haven for vegetarians and vegans, Ukishima Garden could be your saving grace. Vegetarian pizzas topped with tofu, vegan millet burgers, red rice paella and much more is what you’ve got to look forward to here. Pair your veggie feast with some organic wine and you’re in for a great night. Now in business for 55 years, you know they’re doing something right. 

­ 11:30 – 23:00

 Mon – Sun

098-943-2100

  ¥  900 – 4,800

2-12-3 Matsuo, Naha-shi, Okinawa

­ Ukishima Garden

9. Mafali Café

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Provided by Foursquare

Located just behind Makishi Station, Mafali Café is another great options for some relaxed dining. With outstanding service and a wide ranging menu, including their famous alligator steak, you won’t be disappointed. Plus, the great music and excellent drinks selection makes chilling out here after a long day a breeze. 

­ 10:00 – 23:00

 Closed on Wednesdays

098-894-4031

  ¥  2,500 – 4,000

2F 1–1–3 Asato, Naha-shi, Okinawa

­ Mafali Café

10. Dress Diner

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Provided by Foursquare

A classy glass-walled restaurant with a huge 252 seats, Dress Diner offers customers a breathtaking view of Comprehensive Park and the sea beyond which is especially breathtaking once the sun goes down. The bilingual staff make it extremely tourist-friendly and the buffet options allows diners a wide choice.

­ 6:00 – 22:00

 Mon – Sun

098-931-1500

  ¥  500 – 3,500

2-8-1 Yogi, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa

­ Dress Diner

11. Bamboo Cafe

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Provided by Foursquare

Bamboo Cafe is Okinawa’s premier Caribbean restaurant. Try the ever-popuar jerk chicken, or even the jerk salmon if you’re feeling adventurous, sit back, listen to the ubiquitious reggae and enjoy. Another top Okinawan restaurant that you can’t afford to miss. 

­ 11:30 – 22:00

 closed on Mondays and 4th Tuesdays

098-934-5471

  ¥  350 – 1,980

3-1-9 Chuo, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa

­ Bamboo Cafe

12. Sushi Zen

Provided by Foursquare

Provided by Foursquare

Authentic Japanese food is one of the countries biggest selling points and you don’t have to be on the mainland to enjoy it. Sushi Zen is one of Okinawa’s best sushi joints where you can enjoy all the classics plus some lesser know, but equally delicious, fishy treats. Just be sure to make a reservation as this place is always packed. 

­ 10:00 – 22:30

 Closed on Sundays

098-904-0114

  ¥  210 – 1,120

15-4 Minato Chatan, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa

­ Sushi Zen

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# Okinawa Restaurants # What to Eat in Japan

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