12 Recommended Spots in Hakata to Enjoy Kyushu Cuisine

Publish-date: Oct 20 2018 Update-date: Nov 21 2018
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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12 Recommended Spots in Hakata to Enjoy Kyushu Cuisine

Hakata is home to the Fukuoka Tower, with its beautiful nighttime views, and Kushida Shrine, which is host to magnificent festivals, including the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival. There is also a large collection of restaurants where you can taste the flavors of Kyushu, featuring items such as Fukuoka's representative dishes, motsunabe (offal hot pot) and gomasaba (blue mackerel). In fact, there are so many places that you may struggle to settle on somewhere to eat! That's where this guide to 12 restaurants and their unmissable dishes comes in. So, without further ado, here is Hakata's "ridiculously tasty" gourmet cuisine!

1. Gyutonbakei Hakata Main Branch

1. Gyutonbakei Hakata Main Branch

Gyutonbakei Hakata Main Branch uses only the freshest ingredients, with beef and pork front and center amongst their offerings. The A4-ranked [Wagyu Galbi] (high-quality beef rib meat) and the sweet, melt-in-your-mouth [Tontoro] (fatty pork) are must-try items. Rarer cuts like [Kainomi] (flap meat) and [Marbled Galbi] are also available here. The top-class menu features the recommended [Yoisho Galbi], notable for being well-marbled, soft, and easy to chew. [Harami] (skirt steak) has a bold flavor and is another highly popular dish. You can also order things from the horumon (offal) menu, such as [Shimacho] (large intestine) or [Akasenmai] (abomasum). The [Gyuchan], consisting of small intestines seasoned with miso, is so good that you are guaranteed to be hooked after one bite.

Gyutonbakei Hakata Main Branch

Open: [Dinner] 5:00 pm - 1:00 am (L.O. 12:00 am)
[Weekdays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm)
Closed: None
*Will be closed for staff training on February 4 and 5
Average price: 3,500 JPY
Access: 5-minute walk from Nakasu-Kawabata Station. Follow Reisen Park Street towards Gofukumachi Station. It will be on the right side.
Address: 1F, Sakata Bldg., 3-23, Tenya-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
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2. Minato Ichiya Hakata Chikushiguchi Eki-mae Branch

2. Minato Ichiya Hakata Chikushiguchi Eki-mae Branch

[Minato Ichiha] has a substantial menu, featuring everything from appetizers until the shime (last dish of the meal). Seared dishes are abundant, such as the luxuriously fatty [Seared Mackerel with Onion Miso] and the [Specially Selected Beef Shoulder Steak] that grows more delicious the longer you chew. The alcohol selection offers a variety of choices, focusing mainly on sake and shochu (both different types of alcohol), but there's beer, sours, wine, and cocktails as well. When it's time to finish the night, why not end on a high note with makizushi (rolled sushi) overflowing with seafood such as the [Sea Urchin, Salmon Roe, and Crab Sushi] or the [Negitoro, Salmon Roe, and Crab Sushi]?

Minato Ichiya Hakata Chikushiguchi Eki-mae Branch

Open: 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm
*Banquets before normal opening time also possible! Discounts for early or late booking available.
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY
Access: 1 minute walk from Hakata Station
Address: 6-3, Chuogai, Hakata-eki, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

3. Yusuke Hakata Main Branch

3. Yusuke Hakata Main Branch

Yusuke is an izakaya (Japanese pub) with exclusively Japanese-style private rooms. The restaurant has a calm atmosphere, perfect for enjoying the [Special Selection Horse Sashimi]. This meat, delivered directly to the restaurant, will melt on your tongue and is one of many famous items from Kyushu available here. Another crowd favorite is the [Hakata Mizutaki] (chicken and vegetables boiled in chicken stock), which also contains large amounts of collagen - good for beautifying your skin. The [Charcoal-cooked Chicken] is another unbeatable dish. It retains all of its juices, and the flavor continues to expand as you chew. The [Fresh Squid Ikizukuri] (sashimi arranged in the original shape of the fish) is a must-try that is only filleted once ordered but is not available every day. Mentaiko (seasoned cod roe), a famous item from Fukuoka, can be enjoyed raw, seared, or as tempura, and even on potato salad here.

Yusuke Hakata Main Branch

Open: Dinner 3:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:00 pm)
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY
Access: 5-minute walk from the Chikushi Gate of Hakata Station
Address: 1F, Kawabe Bldg., 2-10-16, Hakata-eki Higashi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

4. Rakuzo Chikushiguchi Eki-mae Branch

4. Rakuzo Chikushiguchi Eki-mae Branch

The colorful Rakuzo consists exclusively of various types of private rooms, such as those with glass walls and ones with cute-colored horigotatsu (sunken kotatsu table). The diverse menu offers dishes like kushiyaki (skewers) made with domestically-produced chicken and iwashi (sardines) from Chiba Prefecture that are dried whole and seared. These dishes pair well with the carefully selected shochu for a fully satisfying dining experience. The [Shiromotsu Nabe] (offal hot pot) has soft motsu (offal), dashi (broth) made with a miso base, and large amounts of garlic that will revive you with a stamina boost. Finally, you can choose from udon (thick noodles), zosui (seasoned rice gruel), or ramen to add to the remaining broth at the end of the meal. Other choice items are the [Specially Selected Beef Shoulder Steak], cooked rare, and the juicy [Chicken Tatsuta-age] (fried chicken flavored with soy sauce and coated with starch).

Rakuzo Chikushiguchi Eki-mae Branch

Open: 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm
*Banquets before normal opening time also possible! Discounts for early or late booking available.
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY
Access: Around a 1 minute walk from Hakata Station
Address: 2F - 3F, Hakata Chuogai Bldg., 6-3, Chuogai, Hakata-eki, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

5. Jin Din Ro KITTE Hakata Branch

5. Jin Din Ro KITTE Hakata Branch

Explore the flavors of Taiwan at Jin Din Ro. The recommended item here is the xiao long bao (soup dumplings) made by the Taiwanese chef. The handmade skins are so thin that you can see the fillings inside, and piping hot soup bursts forth when you bite into these must-try dumplings. In addition to the regular menu, there are also top-shelf xiaolongbao garnished with shark fin, as well as novel dumplings stuffed with black tea leaves. For main dishes, the sesame-scented [Tantanmen] (spicy ground beef and noodles) is sure to make your taste buds water with anticipation. The intertwined harmony of the rayu (chili oil) and rich sesame is so delicious that you will want to drink every last drop of the soup.

Jin Din Ro KITTE Hakata Branch

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, Sunday] 11:00 am - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
Closed: None
*Follows KITTE Hakata Branch's closing times.
*Opening hours for the beginning and end of the year: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm on December 31, closed on January 1, and normal opening times from January 2.
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,000 JPY
Access: 1 minute walk from Hakata Station
Address: 9-1, Chuogai, Hakata-eki, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

6. Kawano Hakata Branch

6. Kawano Hakata Branch

Kawano was founded in 1953. Try motsu dishes like the [Motsunabe], whose flavor has been preserved since the restaurant's inception, as well as the unique [Motsudoji], featuring offal cooked together with nira (Japanese chives) and eggs. You can also relax in the knowledge that the ingredients use absolutely no color additives or artificial flavors. The standout [Motsuyaki] (grilled offal) is best paired with beer, and has a sweet-and-spicy flavor and wonderful aroma. In addition to offal, the rich and fatty [Basashi] (horse sashimi), straight from Kumamoto, and the herb-seasoned fried chicken wings are also great appetizers. After eating to your heart's content, why not finish off your meal with the flavorful [Mentai Chazuke] (seasoned cod roe and tea over rice)?

Kawano Hakata Branch

Open: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 2,500 JPY
Access: 7-minute walk from Gion Station
Address: 6-34, Gion-cho, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

7. Hakata Hibachi Gion Main Branch

7. Hakata Hibachi Gion Main Branch

This popular izakaya has even been covered by the media! The counter seating lends a sense of intimacy to your dining, and there are tucked-away rooms with horigotatsu where you can stretch out your legs while enjoying a meal. The [Tororo Nabe] (grated yam hot pot) is stewed with Hakata miso and includes Itoshima pork, as well as a generous helping of tororo atop the dish. The soft, sweet, and fatty Itoshima pork pairs with the fluffy tororo to make a dish that will surely be a new favorite. The heaping [Kaihoyaki], featuring salmon roe and crab served in the shell along with sea urchin, is another very popular dish. There is a limited amount available, though, so it is recommended that you order it quickly.

Hakata Hibachi Gion Main Branch

Open: [Monday - Thursday] Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm (L.O. 11:00 pm) *If a festival day falls on Monday, it will be open on Sunday instead.
[Friday, Saturday, Day before National Holidays] Dinner 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Closed: Sunday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY
Access: 8-minute walk from Hakata Station. Go west along Hakata Eki-mae Street, and it will be on your left after the intersection by the entrance of the Hakata Police Station.
Address: 3F, Okamoto Gion Bldg., 8-23, Gion-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

8. Nakasu Takasho

8. Nakasu Takasho

Sample Japanese cuisine in Nakasu Takasho's comfy private rooms made from simple, unadorned wood. While the [Karaage] (deep-fried chicken), [Handmade Thick Fried Tofu], and [Kani Nabe] (crab hot pot) are all good, you have to try the [Gomasaba] if you want to experience famous Fukuoka cuisine. The freshly caught mackerel, drizzled with Kyushu soy sauce and ground sesame seeds, pairs well with alcohol. Another beloved dish is the [Karashi Mentai Tamagoyaki], featuring spicy mentaiko, made with a dashi of kombu (kelp) and katsuo (bonito). The course options include fugu (puffer fish), torafugu (tiger blowfish), and kue (grouper), as well as the [Kyushu Course] that is full of flavors representative of Kyushu.

Nakasu Takasho

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, Day before National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Closed: Sunday, National Holidays
Average price: [Dinner] 6,500 JPY
Access: 3-minute walk from Nakasu-Kawabata Station
Address: 2F, 8-11, Kami Kawabata, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

9. Ariran-Touge Hakata-eki Minami

9. Ariran-Touge Hakata-eki Minami

Ariran-Touge treats you to yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) marinated in richly flavored tare (sauce). You can order various cuts of fresh beef, such as [Top-grade Harami], [Bone-in Galbi], [Uemino] (meaty part of the rumen), and [Tecchan] (large intestine), all carefully selected by the restaurant's chef. The skirt steak, heart, and fatty pork are very good salted, and one high-quality item that is especially recommended is the [Thick-cut Tongue Steak]. The longer you chew this thick and juicy meat, the more you will unlock the umami (Japanese savory taste) sealed inside. The [Banquet Course] is the best choice for diners who really want to get their fill of yakiniku. This satisfying option has no time limit, making it the perfect way to enjoy lots of yakiniku and drinks.

Ariran-Touge Hakata-eki Minami

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Dinner 6:00 pm - 12:00 am
[Sunday] Lunch 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Dinner 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY
Access: 13-minute walk from Higashi-Hie Station
15-minute walk from Hakata Station
Address: 3-5-11, Hakata-eki Minami, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

10. WHOLE SQUARE FUKUOKA

10. WHOLE SQUARE FUKUOKA

This restaurant that serves foods using ingredients from Kumamoto is directly connected a market where you can buy ingredients from Kyushu. WHOLE SQUARE FUKUOKA is an unusual restaurant where you can both eat and shop for local products from Kyushu. Here, you can sample the [Kumamoto Beef Grill Plate], carefully grilled until it becomes melt-in-the-mouth smooth, as well as [Dry-aged Beef], cultivated to maximize its umami (Japanese savory taste). You can also try the sophisticated [Charcuterie] with 5 varieties of ham and cheese, made at the restaurant's own production facilities. When eating, don't forget to pay attention to the silverware that has been carefully selected by the restaurant.

WHOLE SQUARE FUKUOKA

Open: [Weekdays] Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm)
[Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (L.O. 3:00 pm)
[Weekdays, Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] Dinner 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm) *Last entry at 9:30 pm
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,200 JPY
Access: Located on B1F of the Canal City Hakata Grand Bldg.
Address: B1F, Canal City Hakata Grand Bldg., 1-2-82, Sumiyoshi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

11. Zenya Nakasu Branch

11. Zenya Nakasu Branch

Zenya Nakasu Branch is a great choice for those who want to feel a Japanese atmosphere while enjoying a reasonably-priced meal. A sampler of 5 varieties of fresh fish sashimi and chicken nanban (sweet-and-sour sauce), made with chicken from Miyazaki, costs only 880 JPY, and the restaurant's specialty - Japanese-style hamburger steak - is only 980 JPY. Zenya's choice [Beef Motsunabe] uses domestic beef and has a generous helping of broth. If you like motsu, you'll love chewing on this item to release its umami that, when combined with the rich soup, makes for a truly irresistible dish. You can also partake in a lunch-only courses with motsunabe, as well as a banquet plan that offers items like nitsuke (fish boiled in soy sauce) and chicken steak.

Zenya Nakasu Branch

Open: [Weekdays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm), Dinner 4:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 3,480 JPY / [Lunch] 3,480 JPY
Access: 1 minute walk from Nakasu-Kawabata Station
Address: 3F, J Park Nakasu Bldg., 5-2-1, Nakasu, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

12. Gyobosantoku

12. Gyobosantoku

The warmth of the wooden pillars and flooring at Gyobosantoku make for a calming atmosphere the moment you step inside. The menu features freshly caught [Spear Squid Ikizukuri] from Yobuko and [Beef Tataki] (briefly seared meat). A highlight is the delicious [Seared Beef Nigiri Sushi Topped with Sea Urchin] - a sublime combination. This restaurant boasts a sake selection curated from regional brands across Japan that pairs outstandingly well with the food. A rich variety of nabe (hot pot) items is also available, and mushroom lovers will certainly enjoy the [Kinoko Tantan Nabe] (spicy mushroom hot pot).

Gyobosantoku

Open: 5:00 pm - 1:00 am
Closed: Sunday
*If Monday falls on a national holiday, it will be open on Sunday and closed on Monday instead.
Average price: 3,800 JPY
Access: 2-minute walk from Exit 5 of Gion Station. Turn right at the City 17 Bldg. and bear right along Gion Street. It will be on 1F of the building facing the Hakata Police Station.
Address: 1F, Hirata Bldg., 4-6, Gion-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)

Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.
Publish-date: Oct 20 2018 Update-date: Nov 21 2018
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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