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Hokkaido is a treasure trove of cuisine, and has many restaurants where you can fully savor fresh seafood. Its port city of Otaru is an area lined with numerous dining establishments offering exquisite dishes using abundant local Hokkaido produce. Here are some restaurants in Otaru that offer delicious dishes. Make sure to check these eating havens - some of which may even be surprising finds to the locals - when traveling to this city.
1. Kita no Donburiya Takinami Shokudo
Conveniently located at the Otaru Sankaku Market, which is a 1-minute walk from Otaru Station, this restaurant has been gaining popularity for the exceptional dishes they prepare using the freshest seafood. Highly recommended is their [Wagamama-don], a hearty donburi (rice bowl dish) with 3 - 4 toppings you can choose from a selection of 10. It is also available in different serving sizes, so you are sure to be satisfied with their fresh seafood donburi meals.
Kita no Donburiya Takinami Shokudo
Open: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
*Open from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm on December 31
*Open from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm on January 2 and 3
*Except on New Year's Day
Average price: 1,500 JPY
Access: Near Otaru Station. Located within Triangle Market.
Address: Inside Triangle Market, 3-10-16, Inaho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido (Map)
2. Otaru Rakuten
When it comes to ingredients, Otaru Rakuten is committed to using only the best for their dishes. The restaurant has established close relationships with local suppliers and farmers, making it possible to get excellent in-season produce. Greatly recommended is their oden (ingredients boiled in a flavorful broth) selection that is exceptionally original and consists of unique ingredients that can only be found in the area. The rich lineup that includes [Nama Nori Oden], which has a refreshing sea aroma; well-seasoned [Whale Tongue Oden]; and [Tofu Oden], which is topped with abalone and octopus, is a real draw. Also popular is their [Yakitori] (grilled chicken skewers), made not only with meat, but also the unusual parts of the chicken. Examples of cuts served include [Chicken Thigh] and [Chicken Liver Seasoned with Japanese Spice].
Open: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY
Access: 4-minute walk from Otaru Station. Take National Route 5, then turn right at the Central Town Miyaki Street.
Address: 2-13-7, Inaho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
The highlight of this restaurant is its rich selection of over 100 types of sake (a type of Japanese alcohol). Of course, most of their dishes pair greatly with sake. A must-try is their [Shrimp and Clam Ajillo], an appetizer brimming with the rich flavor of fresh shrimp and clams. Other great dishes are their [Homemade Bread and Grilled Cheese Fondue], a serving of fluffy rolls with melty cheese on the center, and [Ume Shio Pasta] (pasta flavored with salt and plums), lightly flavored yet addictive. The pasta can be served hot or cold to suit the guest's liking.
Open: [Monday, Wednesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm, Dinner 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 1,980 JPY / [Lunch] 800 JPY
Access: A walk away from Otaru Station
Address: 2F, Nakayoshi Bldg., 2-4-6 , Inaho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
4. Izakaya Otarumura
This is the right place if you want to feast on the great flavors of Hokkaido's fresh seafood. Izakaya Otarumura features an open kitchen, which creates a welcoming feel and imbues a relaxing atmosphere even for first-time guests. A favorite among their menu is [Muramaki], a thick sushi roll with seven ingredients, including tuna, salmon, and shrimp. Even though it's full of tons of seafood, it's still quite reasonably priced. If you're craving sashimi, you need to have their luxurious [Osashimi Mura Mori] that abounds with fresh bluefin tuna and other seafood.
Open: [Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
[Weekdays, Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: 8-minute walk from Otaru Station. Located on the 2nd floor of the building opposite of Kitagawa Ophthalmology Clinic.
Address: 2F, Otaru Parking Bldg., 1-6-4, Inaho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
5. Japanese Dashi Ito En
As its name suggests, this place specializes in dashi (broth) and serves up dishes that highlight the savory Japanese stock. They use eight well-selected ingredients to create the perfect dashi, which is deeply rich and packed with umami (Japanese savory taste). Their expertise on serving authentic dashi has earned them a great reputation. They boast of their ochazuke (green tea or broth poured on top of rice) menu. Options include the [Salmon Ochazuke], lavishly topped with red salmon fillet, and [Tarako Ochazuke], served with pollack roe that was awarded for the Emperor's Cup during the 30th Festival of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.
Japanese Dashi Ito En
Open: [Tuesday, Thursday] Lunch 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
[Tuesday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Dinner 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Average price: [Dinner] 1,500 JPY / [Lunch] 600 JPY
Access: Inside Otaru Sun Mall Ichibangai
Address: 1-3-9, Inaho, Otaru-shi, Hokkaido (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
6. Ikoi no Bar Toyosho
The owner, who runs a fruit and vegetable shop during the day, knows exactly what in-season produce to use to whip up great-tasting complimentary appetizers at the bar. Their fruit drinks also vary according to what's in season, so guests get to taste something different every time they visit. Their seasonal menu can be enjoyed with their wide offering of wines and other alcoholic beverages, making it a perfect place to have a relaxing time. As it is located just a short walk from Otaru Station, a visit to the bar after sightseeing around the city would be ideal.
Ikoi no Bar Toyosho
7. Nidaime Kyojiro
Nidaime Kyojiro is known for providing a leisurely dining experience in the relaxing interiors of their restaurant. Oblivious of the time, you can find yourself immersed in a nostalgic feel with its old cafe atmosphere. Their [Napolitan] with its simple flavor is a best seller, as well as their [Shrimp Chili Spaghetti], which is infused with Chinese ingredients. The taste of their spaghetti leaves an impression and keeps their customers coming back. The generous serving sizes will surely leave you satisfied. Why not have a try of their signature spaghetti dishes on a laid-back day off?
8. Sankaku Market Manpukutei
Sankaku Market Manpukutei is a popular dining spot where you can delight in Hokkaido's seafood to your heart's content. It is situated inside the Sankaku Market, which is in front of Otaru Station. Here, they offer plenty of dishes that abound with the freshest seafood. Especially recommended are their rice bowls that you can top with whatever seafood you like, such as [Ikura-don] (salmon roe over rice) and [Uni-don] (raw sea urchin over rice). A lunch favorite is their [Grilled Fish Set Meal]. You can choose between saba (mackerel) or hokke (Okhotsk atka mackerel) when you order this meal.
Sankaku Market Manpukutei
9. EKIMO LeTAO
EKIMO LeTAO stands in a convenient location, just a 1 minute walk from Otaru Station. In this shop, you can find fancy and beautiful desserts that show off the effort and dedication they have put into their products. Not to be missed is their [Ogura Pie], which is available only at this branch. The crispy pie is lusciously filled with special sweet red bean cream and the store's original fresh cream, then topped with caramelized kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) and sesame. Another famous item is their divinely white [Double Fromage] cheesecake.
10. Ajidokoro Takeda
Located within the Otaru Sankaku Market, this restaurant is run by a seafood shop. It is extremely popular as a seafood paradise where you can thoroughly enjoy fresh seafood cuisine. They serve donburi like [Uni Tabekurabe-don] and [Ikura-don], seafood platters, sashimi, and grilled seafood. They also have set meals, including [Shimahokke Set Meal] (atka mackerel set meal) and [Gindara Set Meal] (Japanese bluefish set meal). Furthermore, they serve [Live Red King Crab] and [Live Kegani (Hair Crab)], in which you can choose the cooking method. If you visit Otaru, have a try of their menu that's just overloaded with fresh seafood delights.