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The 27 Essential Nagoya Restaurants

Where to find misonikomi, sublime sushi, and masterful French pastries

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Japan’s fourth most populous city, Nagoya, is in many ways analogous to Chicago, both in location and temperament. Smack-dab in the middle of Japan, the city is known as an industrial hub, where hard-working locals fuel up on hearty Nagoya-meshi cuisine that is generally saltier, fattier, and richer than dishes from Kyoto or Tokyo. Iconic rib-sticking foods like hitsumabushi (charred eel slathered in sweet-salty sauce), tebasaki (twice-fried chicken wings rubbed in white pepper), and kishimen (flat noodles in fragrant broth) don’t just sustain the everyman’s city. They also make Nagoya a prime destination for hungry travelers.

During the Tokugawa shogunate, the city served as a historical seat of power, and Nagoyans have long prided themselves on legacies of monozukuri, or manufacturing. Toyota has a significant, tangible presence in the city, which boasts wide streets to accommodate the many locals who prefer to drive rather than walk. There’s even a saying among restaurateurs: To succeed in Nagoya, a restaurant needs a good parking lot.

There’s no better embodiment of the city’s gustatory ethos than hatcho miso. Fermented longer than the average red miso, Nagoya’s favorite condiment sports a rusty color and heavy, luscious flavor. Miso gravy-smothered pork katsu comforts locals at night, but in the morning it’s all about coffee, enjoyed at traditional kissaten coffeehouses with complimentary milk-bread toast. You’ll now find the Komeda Coffee chain, which started in Nagoya, all across Japan, but seek out the original location to mingle with coffee-loving Nagoyans over breakfast. Then rent a car to explore the city’s other essential restaurants, from a famous grilled-eel destination, to a local chain known for earthy noodle stews in clay pots, to a cozy jazz cafe.

Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = Less than 1,000 yen (Less than $9 USD)
$$ = 1,000 - 2,000 yen ($9 - $18 USD)
$$$ = 2,000 - 3,000 yen ($18 - $28 USD)
$$$$ = 3,000 yen and up ($28 USD and up)

Nina Li Coomes is a Japanese and American hafu writer, originally from Nagoya, currently living in Chicago. Read more of her work here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kato

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3 Chome-26 Taikotori, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya
Aichi 453-0811, Japan

Among the first establishments in Nagoya to earn a Michelin star, Kato specializes in gleaming-white, hand-cut udon. Start with the seasonal tempura, which emerges piping-hot with a quick sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Then inquire about the restaurant’s selection of local and regional sake. Order a chilled bottle and drink it over ice for a nice contrast to the steamy fried food. Finish with a bowl of udon, either barely submerged in subtly briny dashi or crowned with niku miso, a paste of wagyu beef and the region’s famed red miso. [$$]

From above, a light wood table top with a white bowl of light udon noodles in broth, a spoon resting in a stand beside it, and a bowl of greens for garnish
Kato’s udon
Kato [Official Photo]

2. Kishimen Sumiyoshi

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1 Chome-1 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya
Aichi 450-0002, Japan

It’s your last day in Nagoya and you haven’t had a chance to eat kishimen, the flat tagliatelle-like noodles the city is famous for. Don’t sweat it. Before jumping on a train to Kyoto, Osaka, or Tokyo, stop by Kishimen Sumiyoshi, conveniently located on platforms 3 and 4 of Nagoya Station, for a quick pre-departure meal. The restaurant’s plain kishimen in broth is a crowd favorite, as is the kakiage kishimen topped with a nest of vegetable and shrimp tempura. Buy a ticket at the vending machine for your preferred style, enter the tiny booth and hand your ticket to the clerk, and find a spot at the communal counter. There are no seats, so stand shoulder-to-shoulder while slurping. [$]

3. Breakfast Buffet at the Nagoya Crown Hotel

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1-chōme-8-33 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan

Those visiting Nagoya for a single day likely can’t eat every dish the city is famous for. But they can attend the breakfast buffet at the Nagoya Crown Hotel, where 1080 yen ($10) buys small bites of Nagoya-meshi, from miso katsu to kishimen to hitsumabushi. The hotel won the Rakuten Travel Award for Best Breakfast (Aichi Region) in 2017 and 2018, and the buffet’s truly extensive selection is a great way to sample much of Nagoya in a single meal. [$$]

4. Asadaya

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1-chōme-9-13 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan
052-221-1718

Asadaya has been hand-cutting noodles since before World War II. An office-worker favorite, the restaurant serves simple dishes like tamago toji udon (udon noodles in egg-drop broth) and wakame kishimen koro (cold kishimen noodles topped with seaweed) that highlight the perfectly chewy noodles. For more assertive flavors, try the rich beef curry on udon, kishimen, or ramen. In any other Japanese city, this type of broth would come delicately flavored with curry, but in Nagoya, curry noodles are essentially submerged in curry gravy. [$]

5. Cafe Molly

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Japan, 〒460-0011 Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku
Ōsu, 2-chōme−11−18 ユーアイビル2F

Decorated like a chic apartment, Cafe Molly hides on the second floor of an otherwise nondescript building, making it the perfect place to escape the frenetic chaos of the Osu Kannon shopping arcade outside. Settle into one of the many low-slung couches and choose from one of their two rotating seasonal specials for lunch. If you’re craving something sweet, ask for the apple mille-feuille, which comes with a hot drink of your choice. You can also stop by in the evening when the cafe serves alcohol. [$$]

6. Sushi Kenzan

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1-chōme-1-1 Kanayamachō, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0023, Japan

This high-end restaurant has been in operation for 60 years, serving excellent sushi along with amazing views from the 29th floor of the Hotel Grand Court Nagoya. You could try to order a la carte to save money, but if you’re here, you might as well go all-out. At Kenzan, fish is as fresh as possible. A recent visit included a squiggling leg of octopus, which had arrived from the coast where it was caught earlier that morning. Multicourse prix fixe menus start at 8,000 yen ($73) for eight courses without drinks, but some tasting menus go as high as 13,000 yen ($120) for 10-plus courses. [$$$$]

An empty L-shaped sushi counter surrounded by simple chairs in a dim, paneled room, with a screen door against one wall
The sushi counter at Kenzan
Sushi Kenzan [Official Photo]

7. Gateaux de la Mere Souriante

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1-chōme-4-12 Tachibana, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0016, Japan

This cozy, unassuming cake shop is headed by patissier Yoshio Kurimoto, who placed fourth in the 2005 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, or World Pastry Cup. The afternoon cake set is 1060 yen ($10) for a hot or cold coffee or tea, a “glass dessert” (compote or gelee served in a tiny glass container), and a piece of cake from the case. Choose your favorite flavor or pick at random. You really can’t go wrong. [$$]

Up-close shot of glossy strawberries sitting on top of a small cake topped with whipped cream and a sprig of herb
Strawberry cake
Gateaux de la Mere Souriante [Official Photo]

8. Tokugawa Hormone Center

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Japan, 〒460-0011 Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku
Ōsu, 2-chōme−31−15 イイダビル 1F

Each location of this local chain of butcher shops hosts an attached yakiniku (barbecue) restaurant, serving fresh, high-grade beef to customers who eat in. Cutting out a step in the supply chain, the restaurants can offer cheaper beef than the competition, but that deal comes with some restrictions. There’s a 1000 yen ($9) cover for men, or 700 yen ($6.50) for women, a time limit (90 minutes for diners who don’t order alcohol, 120 minutes for diners who do), and surcharges for any wasted rice, meat, or soup, so order wisely. While these rules might seem draconian, your concerns will quickly melt away when you receive the restaurant’s famed rounds of blushing beef tongue or plates of glistening, fatty long intestine. Fire up the grill on your table and cook your meat to your heart’s content. [$$]

Six to seven slices of raw meat sit on a metal serving dish with other dishes of meat blurred in the background
Slices of premium meat
Tokugawa Hormone Center [Official Photo]

9. Solo Pizza Napoletana

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3-chōme-36-44 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0011, Japan

It may be hard to believe you can find quality pizza in Nagoya, but one visit to Solo Pizza Napoletana will convince you. The restaurant is the work of Adolfo Marletta, a 69-year-old native of Napoli, and Mayo Ota, a young Japanese woman. Ota won the 2014 Caputo Cup, a competition that tests classic pizza-making, but the duo have since secured many more awards for their collaboration at Solo Pizza. Order their most popular pie, the Margherita Extra, which comes topped with buffalo mozzarella imported from Italy. [$]

A cook fishes pizza out of a large pizza oven with flames visible within, while a server looks on with a prep station and pizza boxes stacked on a shelf in between
The oven at the heart of Pizza Napoletana
Solo Pizza Napoletana / Facebook

10. Akbar

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Japan, 〒460-0008 Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku, Sakae
3-chōme−1, 栄3丁目1ー1 広小路第一生命ビルB1F

It’s impossible to beat the lunch menu at this Indian restaurant, located in the basement of an office building. Though the subterranean dining room can feel a little dark, the vibrantly painted walls offset any gloom, especially combined with the bustling traffic of workers from nearby offices. Lunch sets make for fragrant, hearty meals, with a special curry that changes daily and freshly baked, all-you-can-eat naan, all for 850 - 1000 yen ($8-10). Without set menus, dinner is slightly pricier but still entirely worth it. Akbar is also an excellent option for vegetarian visitors. [$$]

11. Osso Brasil

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3-chōme-41-13 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0011, Japan
052-238-5151

Casual Brazilian rotisserie restaurant Osso Brazil is a rare place to find whole roasted chickens in Japan. You can order perfectly good sandwiches or individually portioned plates, but your best bet is to gather a few friends or family, claim a table in the dining room on the second floor, and fill it with a whole chicken plus a few sides to share. [$$]

12. Yamamotoya

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3-chōme-12-19 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan

When you say misonikomi, the first thing people from Nagoya say is Yamamotoya. The restaurant has become iconic for its clay pot full of noodles in earthy, flavorful stew. Most visitors and Nagoya natives like the Sakae location of this chain for its modern-meets-traditional atmosphere. The restaurant’s long shared tables often get packed during the lunch rush, but it’s worth finding a spot to enjoy your noodles in the perfect environment. [$$]

13. Konparu

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3-chōme-20-19 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0011, Japan

With nine locations throughout the city, Konparu is a Nagoya mainstay famous for sandwiches and coffee. Visit the main location in bustling Osu, where the atmosphere, including the impossibly narrow tables and burgundy velour seating, hasn’t changed a bit since opening in 1947. On weekdays, join the locals for the morning set meal, when you’ll receive ham and egg on toast alongside a cup of hot coffee; pay the extra 130 yen ($1.20) to upgrade from the watered-down drip to a robust pour-over. For lunch (or a more substantial breakfast), get their signature ebifurai sando, featuring three breaded, deep-fried shrimp sandwiched between golden-brown shoku-pan (fluffy slabs of milk bread). [$]

A sandwich, cut into thirds, lies with its stuffing face up on a plate, with visible pieces of deep-fried shrimp surrounded by lettuce and sauces
Deep-fried prawn sandwich
Konparu [Official Photo]

14. Misokatsu Yabaton

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3-chōme-6-18 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0011, Japan

Residents of other Japanese cities tend to poke fun at Nagoyans’ (admittedly heavy) use of miso, but with 40 years of experience and 18 locations, Yabaton is a perfect example of how to best serve the beloved condiment. Order their miso katsu don, fatty pork breaded and fried until golden, nestled on white rice, and covered in molasses-like miso sauce. Other favorites include their hire-kushi katsu, skewers of pork breaded, fried, and sauced just right. [$$]

A large slab of deep fried pork topped with sauce sits upright on top of rice hidden behind with several other small dishes blurred in the background
Jumbo miso katsu
Misokatsu Yabaton [Official Photo]

15. Spaghetti Como

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3-chōme-4-5 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan
052-264-6116

Nagoya is famous for a type of wafu (Japanese-style) spaghetti known as ankake, which features pasta drenched in spicy-sour sauce inspired by Chinese cuisine. Though Spaghetti Yokoi is better known thanks to their ready-made ankake sauce sold in supermarkets nationwide, Spaghetti Como, located at the top of the Esca department store, is a local favorite. Sit at the U-shaped counter among the regulars where you’ll receive chopsticks instead of a fork to slurp a colossal portion of spaghetti. Favorites include the marengo (ankake sauce, sausage, and vegetables) and the egg-spa (ankake sauce, sausage, vegetables, and omelet.) [$]

16. Atsuta Horaiken

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503 Gōdochō, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 456-0043, Japan

Sure, Atsuta Horaiken is far from the city center, the wait almost always tops 30 minutes, and it’s expensive, but there’s a reason people have flocked to the hitsumabushi specialist since 1873. The kitchen barbecues eel in a sticky, sweet soy sauce, dices it, and serves it over white rice with the traditional array of garnishes, such as grated wasabi, julienned scallions, and paper-thin nori. Despite the drawbacks, you need to taste this classic Nagoya dish in a classic Nagoya institution. [$$$]

17. Jazz & Coffee Yuri

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1-chōme-10-40 Higashisakura, Higashi-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 461-0005, Japan
052-951-7800

Beloved by Nagoyans since 1968, Yuri is a jazz cafe and bar that attracts a diverse crowd. Though it would be perfectly acceptable to sit quietly listening to the vinyl playlist with just a coffee or glass of scotch, the food at Yuri is an unexpected star. Favorites include the buttery, ketchup-doused chicken rice, the tomato pasta with asari (littleneck clams), and, for those with a sweet tooth, the custardy banana cake and bitter chocolate brownie. [$$]

18. Kadomaru

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1-chōme-18-33 Izumi, Higashi-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 461-0001, Japan

A Nagoya specialty, misonikomi consists of a clay pot full of piping-hot al dente udon girded with the city’s characteristic funky, earthy red miso. Local haunt Kadomaru serves a version known as misonikomi ume (with egg and chicken thigh), which has earned the affection of many nearby office workers. The restaurant is a bit cramped, so expect to wait during the lunch rush, especially when the weather turns cold. [$ - $$]

Chopsticks lift noodles from clay pot full of broth, meat, tofu, and vegetables
Misonikomi
Kadomaru / Facebook

19. Sekai no Yamachan

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4-chōme-9-6 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan

One of four Nagoya-meshi chains to garner national acclaim, Yamachan is a multi-floor izakaya famous for tebasaki. Yamachan fries the wings directly without any batter or cornstarch to such a severe crisp that even the cartilage shatters into delicious fragments. Cooks finish the wings off by showering them in a spice rub redolent with white pepper. Side dishes range from fine to average, so the pro move is to order a pint of ice-cold beer and a mountain of tebasaki, and call it a night. [$$$]

20. Garden Restaurant Tokugawaen

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1001 Tokugawachō, Higashi-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 461-0023, Japan

This upscale French-Japanese restaurant sits in an old Tokugawa residence, overlooking manicured gardens. The lunch menu changes based on seasonally available ingredients and starts at 2,500 yen ($23), including a post-meal coffee. Dinner is a more glamorous affair, with many guests dressed up to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. A recent evening menu included shiso-and-char siu-stuffed guinea fowl, as well as phyllo-wrapped conger eel. Make sure to reserve a table ahead of time, especially for dinner. [$$$$]

The courtyard of a Tokugawa residence, with shallow pools topped with plants and lanterns, tall plants to one side and large trees in the background ahead, a covered walkway between two structures
Tokugawaen gardens
Garden Restaurant Tokugawaen [Official Photo]

21. Ramen Kanade

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1-chōme-9-1 Ayuchitōri, Shōwa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 466-0027, Japan

After glowing write-ups in numerous publications, Ramen Kanade usually commands a wait. While other patrons finish their bowls of fragrant noodles, stand outside the tiny restaurant considering your options: shio (salt), shoyu (soy), or niboshi (sardine) ramen. Once it’s your turn, restaurant staff will usher you inside, where you’ll purchase your ramen from a ticket machine, paying extra for larger sizes or toppings like extra chashu (roast pork). Ramen Kanade has perfected all three of its signature styles, but if you’re feeling adventurous, go for the niboshi soba, which layers noodles with a punch of bitter, oceanic brine. [$]

22. Boulangerie Bré-Vant

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1-chōme-7-6 Tōseichō, Shōwa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 466-0026, Japan

This small, stylish, almost woodsy bakery is home to a chipper team and a famous cream-pan (roll stuffed with yolky, rich custard). Try loaves of shoku-pan caramelized on top, seasonal fruit tarts (lucky visitors in autumn can try chestnut-flavored treats), and a wiener roll — a Japanese bakery classic — featuring snappy pork sausage cradled inside soft brioche. The bakery is slightly out of the way, located in a residential neighborhood, so pick up a few loaves to go for your hotel, or take your prizes to one of the few tables scattered around the eat-in area. [$$]

Shelves of pastries and bread loaves in front of a window
Pastries and breads
Boulangerie Bré-Vant [Official Photo]

23. Misen

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1-chōme-12-10 Imaike, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 464-0850, Japan

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a dish called “Taiwan Ramen” would come from Taiwan, but it was actually popularized in Nagoya by the Taiwanese owners of this establishment. Ground pork tops a bowl full of noodles in a crimson broth roiling with garlic and bird’s eye chiles. Though there are multiple locations (Nagoya station, Yabacho, even one in Tokyo), rumor has it that each location prepares the signature dish its own way. Head to the Imaike location to slurp the original version, and order a side of asari itame (littleneck clams sauteed with chiles). [$]

24. Shirakawa

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1-chōme-8-8 Imaike, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 464-0850, Japan

Tucked away in the basement of an office building, Shirakawa offers a cheap, casual way to enjoy hitsumabushi. The serene, well-lit location is also a lot more convenient than the more famous Horaiken. At first glance, the hitsumabushi does not appear so different from other versions around town, but Shirakawa’s charred eel is saltier, more savory, and less caramelized than competitors. You can certainly go for dinner but most locals opt for lunch, when prices are slightly cheaper and the wait is shorter. They also serve a mini hitsumabushi for those who want something lighter. [$$]

25. Komeda Coffee

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Japan, 〒467-0022 Aichi, Nagoya, Mizuho-ku
Kamiyamachō, 3-chōme−3−13

Arguably the most famous of Nagoya restaurants to become a national chain, Komeda Coffee has been in operation since 1968 and now boasts more than 800 locations across the country. The chain is particularly ubiquitous here, ideal for meeting a friend, killing half an hour between appointments, reconnecting with a long-lost relative, or pretty much any other down moment. Pay homage to the coffee empire at the original location in Irinaka, which retains its smoky, lodge-like charm. The bitter dark roast comes in an 8-ounce regular and a “big size” closer to the 16 ounces Americans are accustomed to. If you’re craving something sweeter, order the neon-green cream soda, capped with a mound of vanilla ice cream in a boot-shaped glass. Komeda is also famous for shiro-noir, allegedly a brand invention, which consists of a hot danish piled with soft serve. [$]

A customer sits at a small table with a cup of coffee in hand (in a branded coffee mug) with a large pastry topped with a swirl of soft serve ice cream
Coffee and shiro-noir
Komeda Coffee / Facebook

26. Ma Maison

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1-15 Hoshigaoka Motomachi, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 464-0804, Japan

Ma Maison lives up to its name (“my house”) with homey details and a warm lamplit atmosphere. Kitschy decor and knickknacks are displayed pell-mell, giving the space the feeling of a cosmopolitan traveler’s living room. The cozy restaurant specializes in youshoku, Japanese takes on Western-style cuisine. Though they’re locally famous for their substantial Hamburg steaks and omurice (sauteed rice covered with a fluffy omelet), seek out hidden gems on the menu like the garlicky, toothsome escargot, indulgent cream and crab croquettes, and cheesy prawn gratin. [$$]

A hamburg steak patty covered in multiple sauces which pool around it on a white plate with a few cuts of cooked vegetables on the side in the background
Hamburg steak
Ma Maison / Facebook

27. Amato Yokota

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Japan, 〒465-0032 Aichi, Nagoya, Meitō-ku, Fujigaoka
東名 ビル 1 階, 144-3

Sweets shop Amato Yokota specializes in kakigori, or shaved ice, in the style of Gifu Akawani, a regional shop famous for its generous use of seasonal fruit and finely shaved, almost fluffy ice. You’ll likely see local customers ordering the popular coconut milk special (a mountain of shaved ice topped with coconut milk and seasonal fruit), as well as the tiramisu-like cafe mocha kakigori, ice crowned by clouds of whipped cream and dustings of cocoa. [$]

1. Kato

3 Chome-26 Taikotori, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 453-0811, Japan
From above, a light wood table top with a white bowl of light udon noodles in broth, a spoon resting in a stand beside it, and a bowl of greens for garnish
Kato’s udon
Kato [Official Photo]

Among the first establishments in Nagoya to earn a Michelin star, Kato specializes in gleaming-white, hand-cut udon. Start with the seasonal tempura, which emerges piping-hot with a quick sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Then inquire about the restaurant’s selection of local and regional sake. Order a chilled bottle and drink it over ice for a nice contrast to the steamy fried food. Finish with a bowl of udon, either barely submerged in subtly briny dashi or crowned with niku miso, a paste of wagyu beef and the region’s famed red miso. [$$]

3 Chome-26 Taikotori, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya
Aichi 453-0811, Japan

2. Kishimen Sumiyoshi

1 Chome-1 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002, Japan

It’s your last day in Nagoya and you haven’t had a chance to eat kishimen, the flat tagliatelle-like noodles the city is famous for. Don’t sweat it. Before jumping on a train to Kyoto, Osaka, or Tokyo, stop by Kishimen Sumiyoshi, conveniently located on platforms 3 and 4 of Nagoya Station, for a quick pre-departure meal. The restaurant’s plain kishimen in broth is a crowd favorite, as is the kakiage kishimen topped with a nest of vegetable and shrimp tempura. Buy a ticket at the vending machine for your preferred style, enter the tiny booth and hand your ticket to the clerk, and find a spot at the communal counter. There are no seats, so stand shoulder-to-shoulder while slurping. [$]

1 Chome-1 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya
Aichi 450-0002, Japan

3. Breakfast Buffet at the Nagoya Crown Hotel

1-chōme-8-33 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008, Japan

Those visiting Nagoya for a single day likely can’t eat every dish the city is famous for. But they can attend the breakfast buffet at the Nagoya Crown Hotel, where 1080 yen ($10) buys small bites of Nagoya-meshi, from miso katsu to kishimen to hitsumabushi. The hotel won the Rakuten Travel Award for Best Breakfast (Aichi Region) in 2017 and 2018, and the buffet’s truly extensive selection is a great way to sample much of Nagoya in a single meal. [$$]

1-chōme-8-33 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan

4. Asadaya

1-chōme-9-13 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008, Japan

Asadaya has been hand-cutting noodles since before World War II. An office-worker favorite, the restaurant serves simple dishes like tamago toji udon (udon noodles in egg-drop broth) and wakame kishimen koro (cold kishimen noodles topped with seaweed) that highlight the perfectly chewy noodles. For more assertive flavors, try the rich beef curry on udon, kishimen, or ramen. In any other Japanese city, this type of broth would come delicately flavored with curry, but in Nagoya, curry noodles are essentially submerged in curry gravy. [$]

1-chōme-9-13 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan

5. Cafe Molly

Japan, 〒460-0011 Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku, Ōsu, 2-chōme−11−18 ユーアイビル2F

Decorated like a chic apartment, Cafe Molly hides on the second floor of an otherwise nondescript building, making it the perfect place to escape the frenetic chaos of the Osu Kannon shopping arcade outside. Settle into one of the many low-slung couches and choose from one of their two rotating seasonal specials for lunch. If you’re craving something sweet, ask for the apple mille-feuille, which comes with a hot drink of your choice. You can also stop by in the evening when the cafe serves alcohol. [$$]

Japan, 〒460-0011 Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku
Ōsu, 2-chōme−11−18 ユーアイビル2F

6. Sushi Kenzan

1-chōme-1-1 Kanayamachō, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0023, Japan
An empty L-shaped sushi counter surrounded by simple chairs in a dim, paneled room, with a screen door against one wall
The sushi counter at Kenzan
Sushi Kenzan [Official Photo]

This high-end restaurant has been in operation for 60 years, serving excellent sushi along with amazing views from the 29th floor of the Hotel Grand Court Nagoya. You could try to order a la carte to save money, but if you’re here, you might as well go all-out. At Kenzan, fish is as fresh as possible. A recent visit included a squiggling leg of octopus, which had arrived from the coast where it was caught earlier that morning. Multicourse prix fixe menus start at 8,000 yen ($73) for eight courses without drinks, but some tasting menus go as high as 13,000 yen ($120) for 10-plus courses. [$$$$]

1-chōme-1-1 Kanayamachō, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0023, Japan

7. Gateaux de la Mere Souriante

1-chōme-4-12 Tachibana, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0016, Japan
Up-close shot of glossy strawberries sitting on top of a small cake topped with whipped cream and a sprig of herb
Strawberry cake
Gateaux de la Mere Souriante [Official Photo]

This cozy, unassuming cake shop is headed by patissier Yoshio Kurimoto, who placed fourth in the 2005 Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, or World Pastry Cup. The afternoon cake set is 1060 yen ($10) for a hot or cold coffee or tea, a “glass dessert” (compote or gelee served in a tiny glass container), and a piece of cake from the case. Choose your favorite flavor or pick at random. You really can’t go wrong. [$$]

1-chōme-4-12 Tachibana, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0016, Japan

8. Tokugawa Hormone Center

Japan, 〒460-0011 Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku, Ōsu, 2-chōme−31−15 イイダビル 1F
Six to seven slices of raw meat sit on a metal serving dish with other dishes of meat blurred in the background
Slices of premium meat
Tokugawa Hormone Center [Official Photo]

Each location of this local chain of butcher shops hosts an attached yakiniku (barbecue) restaurant, serving fresh, high-grade beef to customers who eat in. Cutting out a step in the supply chain, the restaurants can offer cheaper beef than the competition, but that deal comes with some restrictions. There’s a 1000 yen ($9) cover for men, or 700 yen ($6.50) for women, a time limit (90 minutes for diners who don’t order alcohol, 120 minutes for diners who do), and surcharges for any wasted rice, meat, or soup, so order wisely. While these rules might seem draconian, your concerns will quickly melt away when you receive the restaurant’s famed rounds of blushing beef tongue or plates of glistening, fatty long intestine. Fire up the grill on your table and cook your meat to your heart’s content. [$$]

Japan, 〒460-0011 Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku
Ōsu, 2-chōme−31−15 イイダビル 1F

9. Solo Pizza Napoletana

3-chōme-36-44 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011, Japan
A cook fishes pizza out of a large pizza oven with flames visible within, while a server looks on with a prep station and pizza boxes stacked on a shelf in between
The oven at the heart of Pizza Napoletana
Solo Pizza Napoletana / Facebook

It may be hard to believe you can find quality pizza in Nagoya, but one visit to Solo Pizza Napoletana will convince you. The restaurant is the work of Adolfo Marletta, a 69-year-old native of Napoli, and Mayo Ota, a young Japanese woman. Ota won the 2014 Caputo Cup, a competition that tests classic pizza-making, but the duo have since secured many more awards for their collaboration at Solo Pizza. Order their most popular pie, the Margherita Extra, which comes topped with buffalo mozzarella imported from Italy. [$]

3-chōme-36-44 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0011, Japan

10. Akbar

Japan, 〒460-0008 Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku, Sakae, 3-chōme−1, 栄3丁目1ー1 広小路第一生命ビルB1F

It’s impossible to beat the lunch menu at this Indian restaurant, located in the basement of an office building. Though the subterranean dining room can feel a little dark, the vibrantly painted walls offset any gloom, especially combined with the bustling traffic of workers from nearby offices. Lunch sets make for fragrant, hearty meals, with a special curry that changes daily and freshly baked, all-you-can-eat naan, all for 850 - 1000 yen ($8-10). Without set menus, dinner is slightly pricier but still entirely worth it. Akbar is also an excellent option for vegetarian visitors. [$$]

Japan, 〒460-0008 Aichi, Nagoya, Naka-ku, Sakae
3-chōme−1, 栄3丁目1ー1 広小路第一生命ビルB1F

11. Osso Brasil

3-chōme-41-13 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011, Japan

Casual Brazilian rotisserie restaurant Osso Brazil is a rare place to find whole roasted chickens in Japan. You can order perfectly good sandwiches or individually portioned plates, but your best bet is to gather a few friends or family, claim a table in the dining room on the second floor, and fill it with a whole chicken plus a few sides to share. [$$]

3-chōme-41-13 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0011, Japan

12. Yamamotoya

3-chōme-12-19 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008, Japan

When you say misonikomi, the first thing people from Nagoya say is Yamamotoya. The restaurant has become iconic for its clay pot full of noodles in earthy, flavorful stew. Most visitors and Nagoya natives like the Sakae location of this chain for its modern-meets-traditional atmosphere. The restaurant’s long shared tables often get packed during the lunch rush, but it’s worth finding a spot to enjoy your noodles in the perfect environment. [$$]

3-chōme-12-19 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan

13. Konparu

3-chōme-20-19 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011, Japan
A sandwich, cut into thirds, lies with its stuffing face up on a plate, with visible pieces of deep-fried shrimp surrounded by lettuce and sauces
Deep-fried prawn sandwich
Konparu [Official Photo]

With nine locations throughout the city, Konparu is a Nagoya mainstay famous for sandwiches and coffee. Visit the main location in bustling Osu, where the atmosphere, including the impossibly narrow tables and burgundy velour seating, hasn’t changed a bit since opening in 1947. On weekdays, join the locals for the morning set meal, when you’ll receive ham and egg on toast alongside a cup of hot coffee; pay the extra 130 yen ($1.20) to upgrade from the watered-down drip to a robust pour-over. For lunch (or a more substantial breakfast), get their signature ebifurai sando, featuring three breaded, deep-fried shrimp sandwiched between golden-brown shoku-pan (fluffy slabs of milk bread). [$]

3-chōme-20-19 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0011, Japan

14. Misokatsu Yabaton

3-chōme-6-18 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011, Japan
A large slab of deep fried pork topped with sauce sits upright on top of rice hidden behind with several other small dishes blurred in the background
Jumbo miso katsu
Misokatsu Yabaton [Official Photo]

Residents of other Japanese cities tend to poke fun at Nagoyans’ (admittedly heavy) use of miso, but with 40 years of experience and 18 locations, Yabaton is a perfect example of how to best serve the beloved condiment. Order their miso katsu don, fatty pork breaded and fried until golden, nestled on white rice, and covered in molasses-like miso sauce. Other favorites include their hire-kushi katsu, skewers of pork breaded, fried, and sauced just right. [$$]

3-chōme-6-18 Ōsu, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0011, Japan

15. Spaghetti Como

3-chōme-4-5 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008, Japan

Nagoya is famous for a type of wafu (Japanese-style) spaghetti known as ankake, which features pasta drenched in spicy-sour sauce inspired by Chinese cuisine. Though Spaghetti Yokoi is better known thanks to their ready-made ankake sauce sold in supermarkets nationwide, Spaghetti Como, located at the top of the Esca department store, is a local favorite. Sit at the U-shaped counter among the regulars where you’ll receive chopsticks instead of a fork to slurp a colossal portion of spaghetti. Favorites include the marengo (ankake sauce, sausage, and vegetables) and the egg-spa (ankake sauce, sausage, vegetables, and omelet.) [$]

3-chōme-4-5 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan

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16. Atsuta Horaiken

503 Gōdochō, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 456-0043, Japan

Sure, Atsuta Horaiken is far from the city center, the wait almost always tops 30 minutes, and it’s expensive, but there’s a reason people have flocked to the hitsumabushi specialist since 1873. The kitchen barbecues eel in a sticky, sweet soy sauce, dices it, and serves it over white rice with the traditional array of garnishes, such as grated wasabi, julienned scallions, and paper-thin nori. Despite the drawbacks, you need to taste this classic Nagoya dish in a classic Nagoya institution. [$$$]

503 Gōdochō, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 456-0043, Japan

17. Jazz & Coffee Yuri

1-chōme-10-40 Higashisakura, Higashi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0005, Japan

Beloved by Nagoyans since 1968, Yuri is a jazz cafe and bar that attracts a diverse crowd. Though it would be perfectly acceptable to sit quietly listening to the vinyl playlist with just a coffee or glass of scotch, the food at Yuri is an unexpected star. Favorites include the buttery, ketchup-doused chicken rice, the tomato pasta with asari (littleneck clams), and, for those with a sweet tooth, the custardy banana cake and bitter chocolate brownie. [$$]

1-chōme-10-40 Higashisakura, Higashi-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 461-0005, Japan

18. Kadomaru

1-chōme-18-33 Izumi, Higashi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0001, Japan
Chopsticks lift noodles from clay pot full of broth, meat, tofu, and vegetables
Misonikomi
Kadomaru / Facebook

A Nagoya specialty, misonikomi consists of a clay pot full of piping-hot al dente udon girded with the city’s characteristic funky, earthy red miso. Local haunt Kadomaru serves a version known as misonikomi ume (with egg and chicken thigh), which has earned the affection of many nearby office workers. The restaurant is a bit cramped, so expect to wait during the lunch rush, especially when the weather turns cold. [$ - $$]

1-chōme-18-33 Izumi, Higashi-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 461-0001, Japan

19. Sekai no Yamachan

4-chōme-9-6 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008, Japan

One of four Nagoya-meshi chains to garner national acclaim, Yamachan is a multi-floor izakaya famous for tebasaki. Yamachan fries the wings directly without any batter or cornstarch to such a severe crisp that even the cartilage shatters into delicious fragments. Cooks finish the wings off by showering them in a spice rub redolent with white pepper. Side dishes range from fine to average, so the pro move is to order a pint of ice-cold beer and a mountain of tebasaki, and call it a night. [$$$]

4-chōme-9-6 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 460-0008, Japan

20. Garden Restaurant Tokugawaen

1001 Tokugawachō, Higashi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0023, Japan
The courtyard of a Tokugawa residence, with shallow pools topped with plants and lanterns, tall plants to one side and large trees in the background ahead, a covered walkway between two structures
Tokugawaen gardens
Garden Restaurant Tokugawaen [Official Photo]

This upscale French-Japanese restaurant sits in an old Tokugawa residence, overlooking manicured gardens. The lunch menu changes based on seasonally available ingredients and starts at 2,500 yen ($23), including a post-meal coffee. Dinner is a more glamorous affair, with many guests dressed up to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. A recent evening menu included shiso-and-char siu-stuffed guinea fowl, as well as phyllo-wrapped conger eel. Make sure to reserve a table ahead of time, especially for dinner. [$$$$]

1001 Tokugawachō, Higashi-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 461-0023, Japan

21. Ramen Kanade

1-chōme-9-1 Ayuchitōri, Shōwa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 466-0027, Japan

After glowing write-ups in numerous publications, Ramen Kanade usually commands a wait. While other patrons finish their bowls of fragrant noodles, stand outside the tiny restaurant considering your options: shio (salt), shoyu (soy), or niboshi (sardine) ramen. Once it’s your turn, restaurant staff will usher you inside, where you’ll purchase your ramen from a ticket machine, paying extra for larger sizes or toppings like extra chashu (roast pork). Ramen Kanade has perfected all three of its signature styles, but if you’re feeling adventurous, go for the niboshi soba, which layers noodles with a punch of bitter, oceanic brine. [$]

1-chōme-9-1 Ayuchitōri, Shōwa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 466-0027, Japan

22. Boulangerie Bré-Vant

1-chōme-7-6 Tōseichō, Shōwa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 466-0026, Japan
Shelves of pastries and bread loaves in front of a window
Pastries and breads
Boulangerie Bré-Vant [Official Photo]

This small, stylish, almost woodsy bakery is home to a chipper team and a famous cream-pan (roll stuffed with yolky, rich custard). Try loaves of shoku-pan caramelized on top, seasonal fruit tarts (lucky visitors in autumn can try chestnut-flavored treats), and a wiener roll — a Japanese bakery classic — featuring snappy pork sausage cradled inside soft brioche. The bakery is slightly out of the way, located in a residential neighborhood, so pick up a few loaves to go for your hotel, or take your prizes to one of the few tables scattered around the eat-in area. [$$]

1-chōme-7-6 Tōseichō, Shōwa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 466-0026, Japan

23. Misen

1-chōme-12-10 Imaike, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0850, Japan

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a dish called “Taiwan Ramen” would come from Taiwan, but it was actually popularized in Nagoya by the Taiwanese owners of this establishment. Ground pork tops a bowl full of noodles in a crimson broth roiling with garlic and bird’s eye chiles. Though there are multiple locations (Nagoya station, Yabacho, even one in Tokyo), rumor has it that each location prepares the signature dish its own way. Head to the Imaike location to slurp the original version, and order a side of asari itame (littleneck clams sauteed with chiles). [$]

1-chōme-12-10 Imaike, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 464-0850, Japan

24. Shirakawa

1-chōme-8-8 Imaike, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0850, Japan

Tucked away in the basement of an office building, Shirakawa offers a cheap, casual way to enjoy hitsumabushi. The serene, well-lit location is also a lot more convenient than the more famous Horaiken. At first glance, the hitsumabushi does not appear so different from other versions around town, but Shirakawa’s charred eel is saltier, more savory, and less caramelized than competitors. You can certainly go for dinner but most locals opt for lunch, when prices are slightly cheaper and the wait is shorter. They also serve a mini hitsumabushi for those who want something lighter. [$$]

1-chōme-8-8 Imaike, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 464-0850, Japan

25. Komeda Coffee

Japan, 〒467-0022 Aichi, Nagoya, Mizuho-ku, Kamiyamachō, 3-chōme−3−13
A customer sits at a small table with a cup of coffee in hand (in a branded coffee mug) with a large pastry topped with a swirl of soft serve ice cream
Coffee and shiro-noir
Komeda Coffee / Facebook

Arguably the most famous of Nagoya restaurants to become a national chain, Komeda Coffee has been in operation since 1968 and now boasts more than 800 locations across the country. The chain is particularly ubiquitous here, ideal for meeting a friend, killing half an hour between appointments, reconnecting with a long-lost relative, or pretty much any other down moment. Pay homage to the coffee empire at the original location in Irinaka, which retains its smoky, lodge-like charm. The bitter dark roast comes in an 8-ounce regular and a “big size” closer to the 16 ounces Americans are accustomed to. If you’re craving something sweeter, order the neon-green cream soda, capped with a mound of vanilla ice cream in a boot-shaped glass. Komeda is also famous for shiro-noir, allegedly a brand invention, which consists of a hot danish piled with soft serve. [$]

Japan, 〒467-0022 Aichi, Nagoya, Mizuho-ku
Kamiyamachō, 3-chōme−3−13

26. Ma Maison

1-15 Hoshigaoka Motomachi, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0804, Japan
A hamburg steak patty covered in multiple sauces which pool around it on a white plate with a few cuts of cooked vegetables on the side in the background
Hamburg steak
Ma Maison / Facebook

Ma Maison lives up to its name (“my house”) with homey details and a warm lamplit atmosphere. Kitschy decor and knickknacks are displayed pell-mell, giving the space the feeling of a cosmopolitan traveler’s living room. The cozy restaurant specializes in youshoku, Japanese takes on Western-style cuisine. Though they’re locally famous for their substantial Hamburg steaks and omurice (sauteed rice covered with a fluffy omelet), seek out hidden gems on the menu like the garlicky, toothsome escargot, indulgent cream and crab croquettes, and cheesy prawn gratin. [$$]

1-15 Hoshigaoka Motomachi, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 464-0804, Japan

27. Amato Yokota

Japan, 〒465-0032 Aichi, Nagoya, Meitō-ku, Fujigaoka, 東名 ビル 1 階, 144-3

Sweets shop Amato Yokota specializes in kakigori, or shaved ice, in the style of Gifu Akawani, a regional shop famous for its generous use of seasonal fruit and finely shaved, almost fluffy ice. You’ll likely see local customers ordering the popular coconut milk special (a mountain of shaved ice topped with coconut milk and seasonal fruit), as well as the tiramisu-like cafe mocha kakigori, ice crowned by clouds of whipped cream and dustings of cocoa. [$]

Japan, 〒465-0032 Aichi, Nagoya, Meitō-ku, Fujigaoka
東名 ビル 1 階, 144-3

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