Gourmet / Alcohol Spots in Niigata Area

  • Shinbashi
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Yuzawa 488-1
    Shinbashi located near Sanroku Station on the Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway in Oazayuzawa, Yuzawa Town, Minamiuonuma County is a soba noodle restaurant. It offers handmade soba noodles using handmade buckwheat soba flour and water from Uonuma. It also has a range of dishes using seasonal local ingredients such as kagura nanban, a local vegetable, and local sake in Uonuma.
  • Horinouchi Yanaba
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Negoya 726-1
    Located just a one-minute drive from the Horinouchi Interchange in the city of Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture, Horinouchi Yanaba is a restaurant that specializes in serving river fish. Featured in TV programs such as NHK Good Morning Japan and Hatsumimigaku, this restaurant has been patronized by many famous people. From April to November, it serves char-broiled sweetfish with salt. In the morning, customers can watch weir-based fishing, as the fish are trapped in slatted boards laid across the river and picked up by hand. From September to November, customers can enjoy sweetfish with roe and Ayu Sake (warmed sake poured into broiled sweetfish). The March and April menus feature Kajika Sake (sake with a preserved river sculpin in the bottle) and seasonal freshwater masu salmon. The restaurant also features mixed rice with sweetfish, Koi no Arai (raw carp meat that has been washed and chilled),
  • Seaside Isogai
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Itoigawashi Touzaki 1-1
    Located along National Route 8 in the city of Itoigawa in Niigata Prefecture, Seaside Isogai is a seafood restaurant owned and operated by Isogai Seafood Shop. Its specials, which make use of fresh seafood caught in the nearby Japan Sea, change daily and are available only in limited quantities. Diners can enjoy fried seafood dinners or sashimi dinners featuring seasonal local fish, such as fire-tail devil and spiny red gurnard. Rice dishes with generous helpings of red snow crab from just down the coast at Nou and a three-colored rice dish with sea urchin are also available. In addition, group use such as banquets and memorial services is also accepted.
  • Ajinoya Uonogawa
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Uonuma-shi Shimojima 70-1
    A Japanese restaurant located 10 minutes from the Echigo-Kawaguchi Interchange. The restaurant’s expansive menu includes ramen and soba noodles, teishoku combo meals, pizza, and more. The restaurant’s popular pizzas, baked in an authentic brick pizza oven, have a crust that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The restaurant offers a wide variety of pizzas, from the standard margherita to seafood to pizza made with Koshihikari rice flour, and all are available for takeout. The restaurant also has a traditional sunken hearth and can accommodate large group charcoal grilling hearth parties.
  • Takeya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Sado-shi Aikawa 1-5-3
    A long-standing restaurant located on the Tenryo Street Shopping Arcade in Aikawa Itchome. In the nostalgic atmosphere pervading the shop you can enjoy the flavors of Sado. A popular menu item is the Takeya specialty Squid Goro-Yaki. This fisherman's dish fries fresh squid and vegetables in a sauce made from miso and Goro (salted squid viscera). The squid, coated with the mellow flavor of the miso, pairs perfectly with local Sado-grown white rice steamed in a classic cauldron. It also pairs well with sake so many customers order it as a snack with a drink. The Sado raised black pork stewed in a tomato base is also popular.
  • Kinpuku
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Sado-shi Aikawa 2-9
    A well-known kushiyaki grilled bamboo skewer restaurant which serves food so tasty, people are willing to cross an ocean to enjoy it. In this bar-like establishment, lit by indirect lighting, you can eat authentic charcoal fire-grilled kushiyaki skewers. Only counter seating is available and no reservations are accepted whatsoever. Aikawa’s most popular dining establishment, it is always filled with customers despite the fact you won’t know whether you’ll be able to get in that day until you go. In addition to standards such as regular meat cuts, gizzards, and cartilage, many locals come here to enjoy the novel special daily skewers. Also great is the restaurant’s large selection of beers and Sado sakes, as well as wines, which go surprisingly well with kushiyaki.
  • Gin-zushi
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Sado-shi
    A sushi restaurant in the Hata Shopping District located in the Aikawa region by the Aikawa Gold and Silver Mine. At the shop's counter seating, made from one giant plank, you can taste authentic Sado sushi. Recommended is the Sado sushi which is made solely from fish caught in the nearby coastal waters. It's entirely local caught fish and pairs perfectly with their high-quality sushi rice. Enjoy eight exceptional pieces of sushi that change from day to day. You can also taste a la carte dishes that can't be had anywhere else but Sado including squid cooked in miso and fried whitebait.
  • SADO Futatsugame View Hotel Restaurant Sunset
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Sado-shi Washizaki 1116-2
    A restaurant adjoining the Sado Futatsugame View Hotel, a resorthotel standing on the northernmost tip of Sado. Identifiable by its red, triangular roof, inside customers can enjoy fresh seafood just brought in at Washizaki Fishing Port. Customers rave that here, you can enjoy all the delights that the delicacy treasure trove of Sado has to offer, including Koshihikari rice certified to have been grown without harming the Japanese crested ibises which make their habitat in the area, plump seafood, local shiokara fermented squid paste, and Sado wakame seaweed. The restaurant’s large windows command a view of Sado’s picturesque Futatsukame, and many customers who come here try to get a window seat.
  • Miyoya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Santo-gun Izumozaki Machi Hagurocho 101-1
    A Japanese kappo cuisine restaurant and inn operating out of a two-story building adorned with two plaster angels and characters spelling the establishment’s name. Here you can stay in a room commanding a view of the Sea of Japan just outside. The establishment is also renowned as one of the leading restaurants in the prefecture, and customers rave about the outstanding seafood, bought fresh from Izumozaki Fishing Port just a stone’s throw away. The restaurant serves food from the Sea of Japan prepared with as little manipulation as possible in order to draw out the innate flavors of the high quality, fresh ingredients. The establishment’s eastern facade, facing the Hokkoku Highway, is 37 square meters in area and is a registered Tangible Cultural Property. The establishment two-story structure is capped by a tiled, gabled roof and is acclaimed as an excellent example of Western-style architecture prevalent between the late Meiji period and the Taisho period.
  • Restaurant Jinya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Santo-gun Izumozaki Machi Amaze 6-57
    A restaurant adjoining Roadside Station Echigo-Izumozaki Tenryo-no-Sato. Located on the second floor of the Izumozaki Tourism & Local Products Information Center, here you can enjoy seafood delicacies of unparalleled freshness. Particularly recommended is the Jinya Gozen meal; limited to just a few customers each day, it comes with takikomi gohan rice made with Izumozaki’s famed turban shell, sashimi, and mozukusu seaweed in vinegar. The chewy turban shells pairs perfectly with the seafood flavor of the rice. Other popular choices include the shogayaki meal made with an abundance of tender, juicy Nagaoka pork sauteed with ginger; and the seasonal seafood rice bowl.
  • Suzukaya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Ojiya Kowada 1721-1
    A soba noodle shop that resembles a stately classical house. They offer handmade soba noodles served in a relaxed setting. They offer the Tokamachi specialty Hegi-Soba, which is soba noodles made with kaiso seaweed and funori marine algae. It's a bit more firm compared to standard soba noodles and gets its name from how it's served in bite sized bundles called Hegi. The noodles have an enjoyable smooth mouthfeel and the scent of the funori will softly tickle your nose. There's a well known saying, 'If you say Ojiya Soba you think Suzukaya', and people come day after day from all around the country.
  • Kanazawa Sohonpo Inada Main Store
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Joetsu-shi Inada 4-11-5
    A long-standing Japanese confectionary shop in business since 1896. The shop makes and sells the Shutsujin-mochi, a confection inspired by the mighty Echigo-born military commander Uesugi Kenshin; as well as a variety of other superb Echigo confections. The Shutsujin-mochi was inspired by the legend of Uesugi Kenshin giving his troops mochi rice cakes before a decisive battle to give them strength and improve morale. The confection’s mugwort rice cake, brown sugar syrup, and toasted soybean flour combine to create an exquisitely delicious treat. The confection is also “Made in Joetsu”-certified, a qualification given to outstanding local specialty products by the Joetsu City government.
  • Trattoria La Pentolaccia
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Joetsu-shi Shimomonzen 2292
    An Italian restaurant in Joetsu built around the concept of 'Recreating the Italian Restaurant you visited on a Journey'. From the moment you open the door you'll feel as if you've just stepped into an actual trattoria while on a trip to Italy. The pizza oven, made to resemble an ancient Roman helmet, was ordered directly from Naples, Italy. Their dough is made solely from Italian wheat flour, water, sea salt, and yeast, allowing you to truly experience the taste, flavor, and spring mouthfeel of the wheat flour. Their drink menu is complete with a variety of wine and Italian cocktail options.
  • Ryori-ya Kurofune
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Joetsu-shi Koyasu 1195
    An authentic Japanese restaurant in a residential area off the Joshin Bypass. Guests dine on contemporary kaiseki banquet cuisine among chic, dark toned decor. Their creative dishes add Western and Chinese-style arrangements to Japanese fare featuring regional, seasonal ingredients. Their ample lunch menu includes Shinshu soba noodles, sashimi sets, tempura sets, stone cooked wagyu beef sets, etc. Everything they serve is made with great care and is a feast for the eyes. The restaurant is decorated with a Taisho period pendulum clock, pottery, antiques, and more. Lots of people drop by for drinks at night.
  • Sennari
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Joetsu-shi Koyasu 1363
    This Japanese restaurant is so popular with locals, ask about where to get good kamameshi rice dishes in Echigo and its name is sure to come up. Situated on a corner of the Koyasu apartment complex intersection close to Niigata Prefectural Central Hospital, here customers can enjoy piping hot kamameshi. The restaurant notably uses salts as the base flavor for its kamameshi instead of soy sauce. The resulting kamameshi is simple and thus conversely allows the innate flavors of the ingredients used to make it shine through. The restaurant makes its kamameshi to order, and on weekends it fills up with customers practically instantaneously. In addition to kamameshi, the restaurant also serves eel and chicken dishes as well as tempura and donburi rice bowls.
  • Umi no Sachi Ajidokoro Gunchan Naoetsu Restaurant
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Joetsu-shi Nishihoncho 1-14-2
    A casual izakaya pub just a five-minute walk from Naoetsu Station. Enjoy the flavors of Niigata in a lively atmosphere reminiscent of a sushi restaurant. Enjoy the seasonal local seafood flavors caught from the Sea of Japan right nearby. Come taste the changing seasonal seafood cuisine that varies as they deal only in whatever they can source from what's caught. Their menu includes a wide variety of dishes including assorted sashimi, grilled fish, poached fish, and fried fish and no matter how many times you visit there will always be something new to try. They also offer rice bowls and local sake made with their own home-grown rice.
  • Patisserie FrancaiseLait Deux
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Joetsu-shi Touncho 2-3-53
    A French bakery in Naoetsu whose name means Second Milk in French. The hope embodied in the name is that the treats from the bakery will only come second in sweetness and deliciousness to a mother's milk. A specialty of the shop is a bite sized cheesecake made with three types of French cheese and topped with the name of the shop. Despite its small size it has a reputation of satisfaction, filling your mouth with rich flavor. Along with their fresh sweets they also offer a wide selection of carefully made baked sweets and confiture.
  • Takahashi Magozaemon Shoten
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Joetsu-shi Minamihoncho 3-7-2
    This long-standing shop, established in 1624, has been making Japanese ame hard candies continuously since the Edo period. Standing along the old Hokkoku Highway, the shop sports a history-laden facade. Inside, the shop continues to make and sell awa-ame syrup, okina-ame and sasa-ame candies, and other Japanese confections. Okina-ame, made by hardening mizu-ame syrup with kanten algae gelatin, was once carried by the lords of Takada Castle when they made their biannual trip to Edo to give as gifts. Their chewy texture and light flavor makes it hard to stop eating them once you start. Sasa-ame, sold since the Bunka period, consist of thoroughly kneaded awa-ame syrup wrapped in a kuma bamboo grass leaf. The vaunted delights even make an appearance in Natsume Soseki’s celebrated novel, “Botchan.”
  • Maruichi Ryokan
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Niigata-shi Nishikan-ku Maze 7374-1
    This hot spring hotel stands near the water line at Taura beach. All rooms have an ocean view, allowing guests to luxuriate in the soothing sea breezes. Since the building looks directly over the water, it feels like you're standing on top of the sea itself, which is a huge draw for guests. Their claim to fame is their menu of seafood dishes made with fish and more delivered right to their door by local fishermen, for freshness that simply can't be beat. On lucky days, they even get rarities that never make it to the market. This large public bath uses hot spring water from Mazetanoura Onsen, and offers a gorgeous view of the sun setting over Sado Island.
  • Kotobuki-zushi Uchino Restaurant
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Niigata-shi Nishi-ku Makio 22-1
    This conveyor belt sushi chain which refuses to be “just” a conveyor belt sushi restaurant takes great pride in the freshness of its sushi. Seeking to deliver to its customers the freshest seafood possible, the chain is headquartered in the Niigata Central Wholesale Market. Here in the Uchino branch, you can enjoy seafood purchased that very day at the auctions held at 5 a. m. in front of the chain’s headquarters. The restaurant’s spectacular tuna butchering shows, held every Saturday evening, entrance children and adults alike. Also great is that you can eat kamatoro, fatty tuna from around the collar bone which can only be gathered in very small amounts from any one fish, at reasonable prices.

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Found along the northwestern coast of Japan, Niigata prefecture is celebrated for its high-quality rice and breathtaking nature, most notably its spectacular mountains, whose white peaks draw in snow sports lovers from far and wide over the winter months. Hit the slopes at Yuzawa, pick out your favourite modern artist at Echigo Tsumari, or take a ferry over to Sado Island for an extra adventure.

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