Nagoya is home to plenty of great food and interesting sights and we already wrote a dedicated article about it! There is a lot to taste and today we’re going to bring you with us on a trip to discover some of the tasty things to try in the city!
As usual, when we visit the city, we stay at the great Nikko Style Nagoya hotel. Situated in a perfect location, this hotel is close to the main train station but is also just a stone’s throw from one of our favorite markets and other foodie spots we recommend!
Yanagibashi Central Market
Yanagibashi Central Market is a lively and historic market that has been visited by locals for more than 100 years. Being an important center for food and fresh produce in the region for decades, you can find seasonal, fresh fish and seafood there, but also vegetables, fruits, meat and even some flowers. There are also a few eateries where you can taste local food and snacks.
This market is not as big as the huge markets such as Tsukiji, but it’s also not as crowded which makes it very pleasant for a morning stroll and meal. And I say morning because you will need to make sure to visit before 10 am for the best experience since everything will be closed after that time (Some stalls may close earlier or later and there is no market on Sundays and holidays.). This is not just a touristy spot but a great place to enjoy the city as a local, and to discover traditional Japanese food!
The Osu District of Nagoya, also known as “Osu Kannon” or “Osu Kannon-dori”, is a popular and vibrant neighborhood known for its shopping options, lively atmosphere, historic temples, markets and of course eateries!
If you are looking for something to bring back home, the Shōtengai (Shopping Street) is home to all kinds of stores where you can buy souvenirs, clothing, electronics, manga, antiques and much more. You will definitely find what you need.
Of course there are tons of eateries in the area and it can be hard to pick one! But no worries, we’ve got you! If you are looking for a nice lunch option or a sweet break, we recommend you to try out Cafe Buriko. In this vintage-style restaurant, you can not only enjoy traditional and seasonal meals but also beautiful and delicious matcha-based desserts! You can check out some photos of the food they offer on their official Instagram account but be careful, it can be torture if you are a bit hungry!
If you are just looking for a quick coffee break, make sure to stop by Kannon Coffee. In addition to coffee (well, of course…) they also serve tea, juices, and handmade sweets that change with the season. The ambience is chill and relaxed and the shop is spacious enough so you can still eat-in even if you are with your family or a group of friends. The staff is also super friendly and energetic, so add it to your list!
The shōtengai is also famous for the Maneki Neko (Beckoning Cat) statue that can be a very useful meeting point for locals! If you need a break, this is also a spot where you can sit for a little bit.
Osu Kannon is a well-known Buddhist temple in the district that is worth the visit if you are around. The focal point of this temple is a wooden statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, skillfully carved by Kobo Daishi, a crucial figure in Japanese Buddhism. There, you can also find a library of more than 15,000 classical Japanese and Chinese works. If you are into Goshuincho, make sure to not forget to bring your book!
The Osu district regularly hosts events and festivals, including the Osu Summer Festival and the Osu Kannon Antique Fair. Make sure to check the agenda when you are around because these are always a great way to experience the local culture.
Trunk Coffee and Craft Beer
Less than a 10 minute walk from the Osu district, you will find one of our favorite spots for coffee AND beer: Trunk Coffee and Craft Beer. If you are a coffee or a beer lover (or both like me!), make sure to pin that address to your travel map. The ambiance is very unique, the prices are reasonable and there is a great selection of craft beers. A standout beer option at Trunk is the “Blue” beer, which is described as light and pale with minimal traditional ale bitterness. It has a subtle sour and acidic note. However, they also serve darker, stronger, more bitter or hoppier beers, so no worries!
The coffee is also delicious and because we visited the area in Summer, we had a seasonal Espresso tonic which was tasty and very refreshing.
The shop has three floors, the first one is for you to order, the 2nd one has tables and seats and the last one offers a quieter and more secluded atmosphere. It has become a popular destination for locals but also recently for tourists. The staff are all friendly and knowledgeable and some of them can also speak English! You can also buy their original drip coffee and beans to bring back home so don’t miss it!
Marutani Sake Bar
What is better than a seasonal meal in a cozy atmosphere after a day of strolling? A seasonal meal with local Nihonshu (Japanese rice sake) of course! And we have the perfect place for you: Marutani sake bar.
This fantastic sake bar is off the beaten path and touristy area, featuring a very relaxing ambience, a friendly staff and delicious dishes. The course menu changes monthly and uses seasonal ingredients. The store is located in a renovated rice storehouse that is over 160 years old which makes the atmosphere very unique (perfect for a date night ;)).
We tried several dishes there including tebasaki, tempura, hitsumabushi (rice dish with grilled Unagi (eel) popular in Nagoya) and all of them were amazing!
Make sure to also pair several types of Nihonshu with your food, because they have a great selection! (and if you are staying at Nikko Style Nagoya it’s not so far, so you can walk safely to the hotel!). If you plan to go, reservations are recommended since they are very popular among the locals. Totally recommended!
Well, as you can see there are a lot of things to eat and do in Nagoya so make sure to add this destination to your next trip to Japan.