The 10 unmissable restaurants in Okinawa and Southeast Islands, May 2019

Publish-date: May 14 2019 Update-date: May 16 2019
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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The 10 unmissable restaurants in Okinawa and Southeast Islands, May 2019

Planning a trip to Okinawa and Southeast Islands and looking for something specific to eat? There are plenty of restaurants to suit every tastes. Discover the best places to eat here, from traditional meal and quintessentially comfort food to western-style dishes and varied ethnic cuisine.

1. Yakiniku-no-Ganaha New Building 

Yakiniku-no-Ganaha New Building  cuisine
Yakiniku-no-Ganaha New Building  floor
[Yakiniku-no-Ganaha] has been loved for many years in Nago city. Its spacious [new building], capable of as many as 150 seats, has a good access from the Nago Bypass Road. A stockbreeding/meat wholesale company directly operates this restaurant, that they can serve a wide variety of high-quality Okinawan meats, such as Agu Pork, at reasonable prices. On top of that, they stock the very rare brand meat as a whole head, such as Yamashiro Beef. That is why you can enjoy [Assorted Yamashiro Beef Order Cuts], a dreamy menu where you can order various rare cuts of your choice, from one cut each. They offer not only a-la-carte dishes with brand beef but also buffet plans to reasonably enjoy yakiniku (Japanese BBQ). In a spacious restaurant, there are table seats, counter seats, private rooms, semi-private rooms, and a VIP room. Please visit for various occasions, to fully enjoy savory meat to your heart's content.

Yakiniku-no-Ganaha New Building 

Open: [Monday, Tuesday, Thursday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm / Dinner 3:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 10:30 pm)
Closed: Wednesday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: Go north along National Route 58 (Nago Bypass), turn right at the first intersection after passing the shop [Megane Ichiban], go 50 meters, then on the left
Address: 7-23-21 Miyazato, Nago city, Okinawa (Map)
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2. Kawagoe

Kawagoe cuisine
Kawagoe floor
Kawagoe is located on the second floor of a building that is slightly removed from the busy commercial area. The restaurant opened in November 2018 and serves authentic Edo-style (traditional Tokyo-style) sushi prepared by the owner, who trained at the famous sushi restaurant Sushiko in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo. Take one step inside and you will feel as if you have been transported to Tokyo. The interior is full of natural wood, with a counter made of solid Hinoki Cypress wood setting a dignified tone. Reservations are required to dine here, and the only item on their menu is the 2-hour chef's choice. The fish is all brought in from the main islands of Japan and made into outstanding morsels of sushi through careful craftsmanship. There are three types of sushi rice prepared and used for different types of toppings, an example of the attention to detail and commitment to quality. There is a wide selection of quality sake (Japanese alcohol) and wines so that the customer can be mesmerized by a luxurious world of gastronomy.

Kawagoe

Open: [First seating] (1): 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm / (2) 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm *2 hours time limit   [Second seating]  (1) 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm /  (2) 8:30 pm - 10:30 pm * 2 hours time limit
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 21,600 JPY
Access: 4-minute walk from [Asahibashi Station] on Nishi-shobosho Street
Address: 2F, Maruho Mansion, 1-16-5, Kume, Naha city, Okinawa (Map)
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3. Ukishima Bettei

Ukishima Bettei cuisine
The 10 unmissable restaurants in Okinawa and Southeast Islands, May 2019
At Ukishima Bettei, the BBQ restaurant in the heart of Naha, enjoy the charm of dining in an urban-casual decor. The casual atmosphere will make you feel as if you just stepped into a beach party. In addition to ladies nights and dates, its location is perfect for entertaining guests from abroad. Enjoy delicious food and drinks in a relaxing atmosphere, featuring locally sourced Okinawan ingredients. The menu is in no way set in stone, and any meal can be made-to-order according to your wishes and budget. "We would like a traditional Japanese meal, with Chinese style appetizers," "Please make our dishes using local Okinawan ingredients," "We would like to try different types of Okinawan alcohol," "Please include some dishes that kids would enjoy," and more, This is a restaurant that happily takes requests.

Ukishima Bettei

Open: [Wednesday-Sunday] Lunch 11:00 am - 2:00 pm [Thursday-Saturday] Dinner 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Closed: Monday, Tuesday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: From the [Makishi station], head West on the Kokusai-dori street, and at Mutsumi Bashi, turn toward South and continue on the Shijo Hondori Shotengai arcade Turn left at Ukishima Dori and continue for 10m.
Address: 3F, Makishi Share Office, 3-3-21 Makishi, Naha City, Okinawa (Map)
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4. Ganaha Pork Maejima Main branch

Ganaha Pork Maejima Main branch cuisine
Ganaha Pork Maejima Main branch floor
Fully enjoy Okinawan brand pork at [Ganaha Pork Maejima Main branch], such as [Yambaru Island Agu Pork, Yambaru Agu, and Yambaru Pork] directly sent from [Ganaha Chikusan], as well as Ishigaki Beef. High-quality Okinawan pork, raised with affection, has simple and mild sweet taste and rich flavor. The recommendation is [Various Shabu-Shabu (sliced meat parboiled with vegetables) Hot Pots] to enjoy the original tastes of the ingredients. They taste even better with the two different savory soups, and original dipping sauce. You can enjoy Okinawan pork even during lunch, with very satisfying and voluminous thickly-cut [Loin Cutlet Set Meal], including side dishes. Inside the restaurant has a warm and relaxing atmosphere. This restaurant, close to Miebashi Station, is ideal for farewell parties, drinking with friends, and girl's parties.  

Ganaha Pork Maejima Main branch

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm) / Dinner 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm)
Closed: Sunday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: From Yui Rail [Miebashi Station], cross a bridge, then on the right 
Address: 1F, Ishimine Bldg., 1-1-1 Maejima, Naha city, Okinawa (Map)
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5. Hayatemaru Yomitan branch

Hayatemaru Yomitan branch cuisine
Hayatemaru Yomitan branch floor
Located in Synergy Square in Okinawa`s Nakagami District, Hayatemaru Yomitan is a restaurant where the flavor of Hokkaido ramen can be enjoyed. The owner is fully versed in the characteristic culture and cuisine of Hokkaido, and came up with the restaurant concept. The noodles and sauces used here are shipped in directly from Hokkaido, offering an opportunity to enjoy genuine Hokkaido taste without having to leave Okinawa. The flavorful soup is a culinary masterpiece, made by boiling pork and chicken bones along with potherbs for upwards of 10 hours in order to fully extract the flavors. The sauce varieties include miso, salt, and soy sauce; with each bringing out different aspects of the flavor profile. Each ramen dish is carefully constructed using ingredients that best suit that particular dish. The restaurant`s nostalgia inducing retro interior is also worth noting.

Hayatemaru Yomitan branch

Open: 11:00 am - 00:00 am
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 700 JPY
Access: Head North for 300-400 m from the Owan intersection on Route 58. The restaurant is located inside Synergy Square, which is on the right side of the street
Address: 359-1 Aza Owan, Yomitan-son, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa (Map)
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6. Penguin Dining Bar Okinawa

Penguin Dining Bar Okinawa cuisine
Penguin Dining Bar Okinawa floor
Gaze at adorable African Penguins while you eat at the Penguin Dining Bar Okinawa. There are also opportunities to feed the penguins up close if they are in good condition that day. The emphasis is placed on local ingredients, with almost everything on the menu originating in Okinawa. Penguin themed food items can also be found here, and finding the ''hidden penguins'' is another fun activity. A popular tourist spot for guests visiting from overseas, English service is also available here to offer a better experience for those who do not speak Japanese. There are a number of different courses available, making it perfect for smaller parties or a girls night out. Unlimited drink options are also available, which would be suitable for hosting an afterparty for a wedding reception or similar celebrations.

Penguin Dining Bar Okinawa

Open: 7:00 pm - 4:00 am
Closed: None
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY
Access: 7 minutes walk from the [Miebashi station], the Okinawa city monorail line
Address: 1F, 2-6-16 Matsuyama, Naha City, Okinawa (Map)
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7. Okinawan cuisine Tosuba Shimajikan

Okinawan cuisine  Tosuba  Shimajikan cuisine
Okinawan cuisine  Tosuba  Shimajikan floor
At Okinawan Cuisine Tosuba, the focus is given to local ingredients, making it a location where you can fully experience Okinawa cuisine. It offers an incredibly wide variety of Okinawan dishes. Choose from Kinjo Aguu, a pure strain of black pig native to Okinawa, local Shimabuta pork, local goat, island vegetables from the village of Onna, and freshly caught seafood from the neighboring waters. The recommendation is the Shimabuta Torotoro Rafute, a dish that practically melts in your mouth. The rich flavor and succulent texture of the Shimabuta pork will captivate anyone who takes a bite. Awamori is the perfect adult beverage to pair with the Okinawan cuisine offered here, and this restaurant has a complete selection comprised of offerings from breweries throughout the prefecture. A longstanding favorite among locals, this restaurant has also attracted attention from domestic and international tourists. The retro interior is modeled after a traditional Ryukyu household, creating the perfect atmosphere to kick back, relax, and enjoy life on island time.

Okinawan cuisine Tosuba Shimajikan

Open: [Monday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm / Dinner 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
Closed: Thursday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,000 JPY
Access: 5 minutes drive from the Yaka Interchange, the Okinawa expressway. The restaurant is along Route 58 
Address: 7335-4 Onna, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa (Map)
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8. Yama-chan's Room, Kokusai-dori branch

8. Yama-chan's Room, Kokusai-dori branch
The 10 unmissable restaurants in Okinawa and Southeast Islands, May 2019
Get your fill of high-quality Ishigaki beef at [Yama-chan's Room] on Kokusai Dori. In addition to the select cuts of Ishigaki beef, and Japanese Black beef from cattle that are fattened in house, fresh fish caught from all over Japan can also be enjoyed here. The Select Ishigaki Beef Set contains a delicious combination of Ishigaki beef and seafood. This restaurant is ideal for dining with the whole family. The horumon-yaki made by the owner, who hails from Osaka, is one of the restaurant`s highlights. The restaurant purchases whole cattle to offer its menu items at reasonable prices. The carefully concocted sauces come in two flavors, miso, and sweet soy sauce. Both go extremely well with the meat and have an underground following of loyal customers. The restaurant`s retro interior has a mid-20th century feel, resulting in a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. It is open until 2 AM, allowing for a casual dining experience late into the night.

Yama-chan's Room, Kokusai-dori branch

Open: Dinner 5:00 pm - 2:00 am
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY
Access: 5 minutes walk from Exit 1 of the [Makishi Station] Head West on Kokusai-dori street, turn right at the first corner after passing a FamilyMart. The restaurant is on your left
Address: 1F,  Itokazu Building, 2-3-17 Makishi, Naha City, Okinawa (Map)
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9. Pengin Shokudo

9. Pengin Shokudo
The 10 unmissable restaurants in Okinawa and Southeast Islands, May 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Pengin developed the renowned [Pengin Shokudo's Ishigaki-jima Chili Oil] that triggered the boom of [chili oil to eat]. This [Pengin Shokudo] first opened as a tasting place to spread [how to enjoy the Ishigaki-jima Chili Oil]. With the concept of [dishes serving to own sons or to the guests who are visiting Pengin family], they serve carefully-selected vegetables and fruits grown at home. The menu has been developed with the concept of [Nuchi-sugui (the medicine of life)], using chemical-free, seasonal, and natural ingredients. Feel the affection through their dishes with a warm taste which is good for your body and mind. The dishes express their thoughts that cannot be put into words. Please visit to encounter the [Pengin's home cuisine].    

Pengin Shokudo

Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, or until the supplies run out [Tuesday - Saturday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Dinner from 7:00 pm (reservations are always required)
Closed:
Average price: [Dinner] 12,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,300 JPY
Access: 30 minutes by car from Ishigaki Airport
Address: 199-1 Okawa, Ishigaki city, Okinawa (Map)
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10. Mori no Kenja

10. Mori no Kenja
The 10 unmissable restaurants in Okinawa and Southeast Islands, May 2019
This insider spot, 5 minutes by car from Ishigaki Harbor Terminal, is perfect for experiencing food created from the bountiful ingredients and seasonings of Yaeyama. There are many original creations on offer here, such as an Italian ratatouille arranged with nabera (luffa). They also use many herbs from Yaeyama, such as chomeiso (Okinawan parsley), to create food that is both tasty and healthy. The restaurant's wood interior evokes Yaeyama's nature, creating a relaxing atmosphere, and there is both a semicircular counter as well as table seating that can accomodate single diners, families, and even parties of up to 20! The original fermented creations, such as black vinegar and tomato soy sauce, that they sell here are popular souvenirs among visitors to Ishigaki.

Mori no Kenja

Open: 6:00 pm - 12:00 am
Closed: Irregular
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY
Access: 5 minutes by car from Ishigaki Terminal
Address: 49-2, Arakawa, Ishigaki-shi, Okinawa (Map)
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Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.
Publish-date: May 14 2019 Update-date: May 16 2019
Author: SAVOR JAPAN

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