5 of the Best Local Foods in Hokkaido!
by HTIT team
Experience the best Hokkaido food and be in awe by the savory flavors, freshness and variety of the local cuisine. Aside from Hokkaido’s breathtaking landscapes, outdoor activities, hot springs, powder snow and friendly people, the local cuisine and hole-in-the-wall restaurants truly make this treasure island a special place. The local cuisine is so special that many people travel to Hokkaido just for the food! Let’s have a look at 5 highly recommended Hokkaido foods that are guaranteed to enhance your travels. Enjoy!
①Jingiskan! (Lamb BBQ – Hokkaido’s grilled mutton dish)
“Jingiskan” is a classic Hokkaido food with an energetic restaurant atmosphere where you get to grill the meat yourself! Even though this local cuisine is now available nationwide, it’s always a special treat to enjoy the experience in its home of Hokkaido. Have fun grilling your meat and vegetables to perfection on a special convex iron skillet. The meat is usually eaten with a side of rice and served with savory dipping sauces that are unique to each restaurant. Take note that Genghis Khan goes amazingly well with Sapporo Beer!
Jingiskan can be eaten not only indoors but also outdoors. You can also eat on the mountain near the volcano, on the ice of the frozen lake or on the ice on the frozen sea called “Ryu-Hyo(drift ice)”. That is exactly the best experience.
Please don’t hesitate to ask our Treasure Island staff about the Genghis Khan restaurants we recommend most depending on your area of travel. Have fun!
Sushi is without a doubt one of the local foods that travelers look forward to most when visiting Japan. Hokkaido is known as a paradise when it comes to seafood as the island is surrounded by ocean naturally providing an abundance of the freshest variety of sushi. You’ll be amazed by the vivid colors, textures and taste! From modern perfection to classic hidden gems, there’s a wide variety of restaurants and seafood markets all with their own unique atmosphere. “Michelin Star” sushi restaurants, scattered around Sapporo will definitely give you an experience of a lifetime as they offer the highest quality local cuisine when it comes to sushi. These Micheline Star restaurants literally offer the best sushi in the world as they use the finest ingredients and prepare the sushi in spectacular detail, which accents the aesthetics and flavor of each piece. Another interesting characteristic about Michelin star restaurants is the “Omakase” way of ordering. This means you leave it up to the chef to prepare the best combination of the freshest fish in stock. At Treasure Island, we also offer a fun sushi making activity where you can enjoy learning about the culture of the local cuisine at a fancy izakaya restaurant. This is a hands-on activity where you get to learn about the cutting process of the fish and techniques for sculpting your own rice balls for your sushi! Make sure to visit a “Kaiten-zushi” restaurant! (Conveyor belt sushi) Many of these restaurants have touchscreen panels with an English option, which will enable those of you who don’t speak Japanese to order like a champ! Try something new!
Other sushi restaurants are a little more personable with counter seating where you can order directly from the sushi chefs. This restaurant style is fun too as you can enjoy engaging in small talk with the friendly sushi chefs. Try something new!
This is a classic local Hokkaido food known as “Hokkaido’s Fisherman’s Hot Pot.” Although this dish was generally made as a home cooked meal, there are some “at-home” restaurants that serve it to perfection. It’s made of salmon, cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, onion and a pinch of a few spices. The sweet and savory miso paste and grated ginger are what give this local cuisine its signature flavor that will most likely have you thinking about it days later. Don’t forget to ask about Chan-chan Yaki when you get here and enjoy the local experience!
*It is “Miso soup of salmon” and “Ikura Don” that are reflected in front of the picture. It is a full course menu of salmon.Recommended full course menu in Hokkaido!!
Have you ever had soup curry? This is definitely a Must-Have and a classic signature Hokkaido food! The soup is beyond flavorful and loaded with seasonal vegetables and tender meat! It originated in Sapporo, now with many one-of-a-kind local establishments scattered throughout the city and all over Hokkaido. Even though soup curry restaurants are starting to pop up nationwide, Hokkaido will always be the best place to savor this local cuisine due to its rich source of fresh vegetables and ingredients! Ask us about the restaurants we recommend most! The process behind making this delicious local cuisine is actually quite intricate, which is reflected in the deep savory flavors of the soup. When ordering soup curry, you can choose your spiciness level from mild to hot. The soup is served with a side of rice to be scooped up with a spoon and dipped into the soup. Enjoy the aroma and unique flavors that each restaurant has to offer!
Get ready for an ultimate Hokkaido food experience! Hokkaido is especially famous for its Ramen with each region having its own unique taste. From miso Ramen in Sapporo to soy sauce-flavored variations in Asahikawa, you’ll be in awe by the flavors and presentation. You can also choose toppings to compliment your fine bowl of Ramen including sweetcorn, bean sprouts, sliced pork, garlic and sometimes butter or seafood, which is unique to Hokkaido! Don’t forget to ask about Curry Ramen from the Muroran region! When visiting Hokkaido, you’ll most likely pass through Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, which means you’ll have an opportunity to visit “Ramen Yokocho” (Ramen Alley) located in the Susukino district. Here you’ll find a vintage looking alley of countless small Ramen shops, with most only able to seat 5~10 people. Enjoy the local cuisine in a vintage style atmosphere with the locals! You can even have Ramen up until your last hours in Hokkaido at Chitose Airport before heading back to your country! The place is called, “Hokkaido Ramen Dojo” which houses 10 of the best ramen establishments from all over Hokkaido, each with their own signature style.
We look forward to helping you with any questions you may have and hope to see you soon on this beautiful Treasure Island!