Japanese Food Spots in Niigata Area

  • Sushi-Benkei (Niigata Pier Bandai Store)
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Bandaijima In 2-4 peers bandai
    This popular kaiten-zushi restaurant sources all of its fish and rice from Sado. It is located in Pier Bandai, in Chuo Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture. The restaurant expertly selects fish freshly caught in the morning off the coast of Sado, and uses them that very same day. The many different types of sushi prepared by the chefs in front of their customers are a harmony of fresh fish and plump, glossy rice. For customers interested in the individual dishes, the salt-grilled blackthroat perch and assorted sashimi set are popular. There are both table seating and counter seats available, and the restaurant is very convenient for families and group.
  • Tonjiru Tachibana
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Kurihara 2-3-10
    Tonjiru Tachibana located on National Route 292 at 2 Chome, Kurihara, Myoko City is a specialty tonjiru (pork soup) restaurant. Its simple tonjiru made from pork, onions, tofu and white miso (soybean paste) features a mild sweetness while having a stew-like richness. It offers noodles such as tonjiru ramen noodles and tonjiru soba noodles as well as a tonjiru set meal served with Koshihikari rice produced in Yashiro.
  • Tonkatsu Taro
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Nigatashi Chuou-ku Furumachidori 6-973
    This restaurant located in Chuo Ward, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture, specializing in tonkatsu (breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet) was founded in the early Showa period and is famous for being the birthplace of the Niigata specialty tarekatsu-don. They continued to open many more branches and franchises while safeguarding the unique taste created on the food stall where it all began. The tarekatsu-don with five thinly cut, tender pork cutlets dipped in a sweet soy-sauce based tare, or sauce, and combined with a piping hot bowl of rice, is a unique Niigata taste popular with many people outside of the prefecture. Upstairs you’ll find seating at tables while downstairs it’s all at the counter, making it an easy place to grab some food even when you’re by yourself.
  • 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.
  • Shunno Sankai Ryori Yururi
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Murakamishi Shiomachi 4-5
    Shunno Sankai Ryori Yururi on Prefectural Route 3 in Shiomachi Town, Murakami City is a Japanese cuisine restaurant. It is under the direct management of Nagatoku which processes and sells salmon products such as salted salmon, and situated next to the shop area of the head office. It offers soba noodles, salmon dishes such as a special harakodon as well as rice bowls and set meals using local seafood and Murakami beef. It also offers full-course meals in the evening.
  • Iwafune Port Direct Sales Shop Ryoshi Shokudo
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Murakami-shi Iwafuneminatomachi 3144-21
    This diner is attached to the Iwafune Port Direct Sales Shop, which offers local fish and seasonal seafood brought directly from Iwafune port. This shop offers you a chance to enjoy the freshest possible seafood to your heart's content. Their most popular meal is their Ryoshi Set, a meal set with premium Iwafune-grown Koshihikari rice. It's a delightful dish, with a ship-shaped platter heaped with fresh-caught seafood showing up at the table. Their Ryoshi Don rice bowl, topped with pickled fish, is also popular. In season, they selliwagaki oysters, which you can buy and eat on the spot.
  • Kamadaki-meshiya Kometaro
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Kamihitoichi 323-5
    Located in Minamiuonuma City, Niigata Prefecture, this Japanese food restaurant has a large iron pot for cooking rice as its landmark and is in an old house said to be over 200 years old. The floor hearths and large cooking stove give it a distinctive atmosphere. Its rice is made by boiling Minamiuonuma-produced Koshihikari rice provided directly by contracted farmers. Homegrown vegetables, char, summer sweetfish, and other seasonal ingredients are also used. The kamameshi hot pot with local chicken, crab, matsutake mushrooms, and more is especially popular.
  • Horinouchi Yanaba
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Negoya 726-1
    This restaurant, located a one-minute drive from the Horinouchi Interchange in Uonuma City, Niigata Prefecture, primarily serves river fish. Featured in various television programs in Japan, it is visited by many famous people. From April to December when it is open, customers can enjoy ayu set meals. The restaurant has private rooms as well as table and chair seating. The restaurant's entranceway is level with the ground, making it easy for senior citizens to enter. In addition to ayu broiled with salt, other recommendations include the springtime Japanese salmon; the always-available rainbow trout, char, and carp sashimi; and the tender kanroni sweet glazed fish. Note that the restaurant is not open in the evening.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nabe-zhaya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Niigata-shi Chuo-ku Higashi-bori Dori 8-1420
    This venerable restaurant carries on its tradition from its founding in 1846, at the end of the Edo period. This shop, popular along with Furumachikagai with a number of cultural figures, is perfect to sit back and enjoy a meal and some sake while you savor the deeply historic atmosphere. Kagai is as well-known as Kyoto's Gion district, and it maintains its past glories with seven buildings that are Registered Tangible Cultural Properties. The early-modern Japanese style building is outfitted in western interior decoration, and you can read its history on the walls. They can change the rooms, dishware, and food to match a variety of events, including wedding receptions and engagement parties, banquets, and so on, so please ask in advance.
  • Tempura Hasegawa
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Niigata-shi Chuo-ku Bandai 5-3-22
    This restaurant, marked by its elegant exterior, is about ten minutes' walk from Niigata station. The cozy interior only has counter seating, and they offer piping-hot tempura. Their lunch menu only has two dishes: Tendon tempura rice bowl, and a Tempura Set. They carefully fry each piece of tempura in sesame oil to create crispy, flavorful dishes that are pure luxury. Each lightly battered piece gives off the rich aroma of sesame for an elegant treat. There is no designated parking lot, so those coming by car will need to use a nearby paid parking area.
  • Kappo Hokushinkan
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Shibata-shi Suwacho 1-13-15
    This venerable shop, in business for 160 years, offers traditional Japanese cuisine. They carry on a tradition of cooking stretching back to the Kaei era of the Edo. They offer kaiseki cuisine to match your budget and requests, so they're perfect for celebrations, memorial meals, and get-togethers. This place served as the first step in the career of Rikitaro Shibuya, called the master of modern Japanese cuisine and former chef to the imperial household. They also offer delivery of seasonal event-essential lunch boxes and hors d'oeuvre.
  • Sasakawa Nagare Jizakana Dokoro Tenpiya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Niigata Murakami-shi Kuwagawa 975-44
    A restaurant adjoining the waiting room for the Sasagawa Nagare Steamship. Here customers can enjoy choice dishes made with fresh seafood from the local Kuwakawa Fishing Port and produce from local farms. The popular and hearty Sasagawa Nagare Onigiri Set comes with onigiri rice balls made with Niigata-grown Koshihikari rice and salt from the Sasagawa Nagare coast, sun dried local fish, and seasonal sides. Diners are recommended to eat on the second floor where they can enjoy their meal along with a view of fish being dried in the area. The establishment also serves rich, cream Iwagaki oysters and plump broiled squid.

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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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