by Abigail Javellana
Come and discover Hakodate in Hokkaido. Known as the "City of Gourmet Food," it is overflowing with mouthwatering eats--from freshly caught seafood and excellent sashimi, to Japanese pub fare, shio ramen, and various specialty desserts.
Their fatty salmon and tuna, sweet hairy and king crab, and amazing squid sashimi are among what tourists from Japan and overseas always rave about while here. You'll surely be impressed by the taste and freshness of their seafood!
Check out our guide on what to eat and drink when you’re in Hakodate, Hokkaido...
With a nickname like "Squid City," it's only natural that Hakodate's specialty would be the squid. In fact, half of the squid caught in Hokkaido is from this area.
Notice the translucent squid sashimi meat glistening and taste the irresistible bouncy texture and flavor that goes very well with the ginger soy sauce.
If there's one thing you can't miss when visiting Hokkaido, it's their seafood!
Crab (King, Snow, and Hairy), squid, mackerel, herrings, flatfish, blue fin tuna, surf clam, salmon roe, sea urchin (uni), shrimps and prawn, sea squirt, sea cucumber, and abalone are among the popular, sought-after seafood in the Hakodate Market.
What makes Hokkaido seafood so delicious? The cold sea surrounding Hokkaido is rich in plankton, which helps produce high-quality delectable seafood, while the cool temperatures also help with building layers of fat for the fish.
Would you like to try a variety of Hokkaido seafood all at once? Then the kaisen-don will be a treat--a bowl of rice with several kinds of sashimi.
Have a great time eating excellent sashimi with a glass of Sapporo Classic Beer at a Japanese style pub or "izakaya."
Chat with the locals while being served delicious seasonal produce and local fare. Cheers!
3. Lucky Pierrot
Bite into Japan's best local burger! Hakodate may be famed for their fresh seafood and rich salt-ramen, but it's their unique burger joint serving this juicy and addictive Chinese Chicken Burger that locals and tourists rave about.
Lucky Pierrot currently has 17 branches found all over the city. Each restaurant has a unique theme that sets it apart from all the other fast food stores. Did I mention it's only found in Hakodate?
Chinese Chicken Burger (650 yen + fries and drinks). Lucky Pierrot Best Seller! Addictively juicy fried chicken drizzled with sweet-and-spicy sauce with a slight hint of ginger that matches perfectly with the crunchy lettuce. A must-try!
One of the reasons the food here tastes so great is that it's prepared upon order using fresh ingredients. Pair your chicken with their gravy fries that come in a white mug.
Hakodate-shi Goryokaku-cho 30-14 (Hakodate)
Gakkoukoukyo 30-14 Goryokoro Tower
Opening hours: 10am to 12:30am (1:30 am Sat only)
Read more: LUCKY PIERROT: HAKODATE'S NO.1 BURGER CHAIN!
4. Shio Ramen
If you are looking for a ramen restaurant in Hakodate, you should go to Ajisai!
Hakodate's specialty is the Shio (salt) Ramen. Very light and simple with a rich flavorful clear salt broth. (750 yen)
What makes the soup special is that all the ingredients used in the soup are produced in Hokkaido, even the kelp that adds that extra umami flavor.
Don't forget to order their yummy gyoza!
5. Hokkaido Milk Soft Cream
Hokkaido is the largest producer of milk in Japan, so it only fits to have soft-serve ice cream shops all over the city.
Hokkaido is well-known for its delicious and high-quality dairy products. It's the cool climate and fresh air, with freshly grown plants and vegetables that make the cow grow healthily and naturally.
It is characterized by the creamy and strong milk taste.
6. Hokkaido Yubari King Melon
Besides the seafood, Hokkaido is also known for their sweet melons. Dubbed as one of the most expensive fruits in the world, we couldn't miss the chance to try one.
A slice is about 300 yen, and a few chunks in a plastic container is 800 yen.
It doesn't have a sugary taste but a mild fruity sweetness that’s very satisfying. The most delicious melon I've ever tasted.
7. Okuda Spirits
Mr. Okuda is a famous chef from the Yamamoto prefecture. His restaurants are known for using local vegetables and produce grown in a particular region.
The Hakodate branch features their most sought out ingredients such as sea urchins, Hakodate beef, cod roe, and Hokkaido milk, just to name a few.
You can find the resto at the Road Station Misoginosato Kikonai, near the Trappistine Convent.
8. Sapporo Classic Beer
And a glass of Classic Sapporo Beer only available in Hokkaido and nowhere else in Japan! The beer is quite sweet and tastes a bit like juice but with some hoppy bitterness.
I love Sapporo Classic--another must-try for those visiting Hokkaido!
Live an Awesome Life,
Abi of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Our experience was a project organized by the Hokkaido District Transport Bureau. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. What's your favorite food in Hakodate?