Nagoya is famous for its rich and flavorful food and many well-known dishes have originated in this city. Whether it is deep fried chicken wings, Taiwan-style noodles, or even simple shrimp sandwiches Nagoya puts an original twist on every kind of popular cuisine. Fortunately you don’t have to go far to try these famous Nagoya specialties, as there are a lot of great eateries both inside and around Nagoya Station. Below we list the ten best foods that you should sample in the Nagoya Station area.
Tebasaki Chicken Wings at Furaibo
One of Nagoya’s most famous specialty foods is tebasaki: deep fried chicken wings seasoned in a peppery soy-based sauce and coated with sesame seeds. One of the best places to try these wings is Furaibo: a popular Nagoya-based chain of izakaya-style restaurants specializing in tebasaki and other chicken dishes. Furaibo tebasaki are lightly coated in flour before being deep-fried till their skin is extremely crispy. Their secret seasoning gives the juicy meat of the wings a light sweet and spicy flavor that you will never forget. You can complement your wings with draught beer, sake, Japanese spirits, or soft drinks. Also on the menu are sashimi, tempura, nabe hot pots, salads, and a variety of rice dishes.
Open: 11.00 – 22.00
Location: Furaibo have branches all over Nagoya and at several locations around Nagoya Station, but the easiest location to find is in the Esca underground shopping center. You can access Esca from outside the Taiko-Dori Exit on the west side of the station building. Here is a map showing Esca’s location, and here is a PDF floor map of Esca’s interior.
Kishimen Noodles at Yoshida Kishimen
Kishimen are the Nagoya variant on standard udon wheat flour noodles. Like udon noodles kishimen noodles are long, and thick, but unlike udon they are broader and flatter which reduces the time needed to boil them. Kishimen noodles are soft but have a firm texture and are quite chewy. Yoshida Kishimen is a long-established company that prides itself on making kishimen with only water, wheat flour and salt and no other additives. The noodles can be enjoyed cold in the summer, or hot in the winter and come with a variety of broth and topping options. Recommended are the “Goma-su” – cold noodles with vegetable toppings, in a special sesame and vinegar sauce; the “Miso-kishi” – hot noodles in a rich miso broth topped with egg, mushrooms, and a slice of kamaboko (processed fish cake); and “Ebi-oroshi” – hot or cold noodles with grated radish and shrimp tempura.
Open: 11.00 – 21.30 (Last orders: 21.00)
Location: You can find Yoshida Kishimen in the Esca underground shopping center on the west side of the Nagoya Station building.
Shiro-Noir Danish Pastries and Ogura Toast at Komeda’s Coffee
Komeda is a Nagoya-based chain of coffee shops that is well known for its cheap menu of coffee, sandwiches, desserts, and other snacks. Two sweet dishes in particular that are seen as Nagoya specialties are Ogura Toast and Shiro-Noir pastries. Ogura Toast is thick slices of hot buttered toast covered in a paste of sweet red adzuki beans. Shiro-Noir is a hot and fluffy Danish pastry topped with a whirl of soft ice cream and syrup. Komeda are also known for having a cheap breakfast option called the “Morning Service”. Basically from opening time until 11.00 am if you order anything from the Komeda drink menu you can get a free serving of toast and a boiled egg!
Open: 7.00 to 22.00 (Last orders: 21.30)
Location: Komeda’s Coffee have a branch in the Esca underground shopping center on the west side of the Nagoya Station building.
Misokatsu Pork Cutlets at Misokatsu Yabaton
Misokatsu is the Nagoya variant of tonkatsu pork cutlets. As with regular tonkatsu, the pork cutlets are breaded, deep fried, and served with shredded cabbage, rice, and soup. What makes misokatsu different is that the cutlets are served with a rich, dark, savory, miso-based sauce. Although many restaurants serve misokatsu in Nagoya, the Misokatsu Yabaton chain of restaurants is the most famous and is renowned for its juicy cutlets and flavorsome sauce. However, if you are not keen on pork, the menu has a variety deep-fried seafood and deep-fried vegetable options that can also be enjoyed with the miso sauce.
Open: 11.00 – 22.00 (Last orders: 21.30)
Location: Misokatsu Yabaton has branches all over Nagoya and several in the Nagoya Station area, but the easiest to find is in the Esca underground shopping center on the west side of Nagoya Station.
Taiwan Ramen Noodles at Misen
Taiwan ramen is a variety of Chinese-style ramen noodles that actually originated in Nagoya. It is called “Taiwan ramen” because it was invented by the Taiwanese manager of the Chinese restaurant Misen back in the 1970s. The broth is boiled from chicken stock and bones, and the noodles are topped with ground pork, garlic chives and bean sprouts. Most importantly, the ramen is flavored with lots of red hot chilli peppers, so this is definitely a dish for people who like spicy food. There are lots of other items on the Misen menu, but Taiwan ramen has become the restaurant’s signature dish, and is a popular choice for both locals and visitors.
Open: 11.00 to 23.00 (Last orders: 22.00)
Location: Misen is located in the Umaimon Dori gourmet street which is inside the Nagoya Station building. You can find the entrance to Umaimon Dori on the south west side of the station next to the entrance to the Aonami Line.
Doteni Stew at Choinomi Sakaba Sente
Doteni is a stew of beef tendons and tripe simmered in a thick broth of red miso. Choinomi Sakaba Sente is a small, casual pub-like restaurant serving this Nagoya specialty, along with a varied menu of chargrilled beef and yakitori grilled chicken. Particularly recommended here is the dotegushi: chargrilled skewers of beef tendon smothered in a doteni-style thick red miso sauce.
Monday – Friday:
Lunch: 11.00 – 14.00
Dinner: 15.00 – 24.00 (Last orders: 23.30)
Saturday, Sunday, & holidays: 12.00 – 24.00 (Last orders: 23.30)
Location: Choinomi Sakaba Sente is five minute walk south of the Taiko-Dori exit of Nagoya Station. Here is a map of the location.
Tenmusu Rice Balls at Senju
Senju is the company that originated Nagoya’s famous tenmusu rice balls. These rice balls contain battered shrimp tempura and are wrapped in dried sheets of nori seaweed. You can actually see the shrimp fritter poking out the top of the rice ball. It’s a simple but tasty food that you can buy to enjoy on the train, for a lunchtime picnic, or take them home as a souvenir.
Open: 10.00 – 20.30
Location: Near Nagoya Station you can find Senju stalls selling tenmusu rice balls in the Esca underground shopping center, beside the Kintetsu Nagoya Station ticket gates, and in the B1 basement level of the Kintetsu Pass’e department store.
Hitsumabushi Grilled Eel at Maruya Honten
Maruya Honten’s signature dish is hitsumabushi: eel chargrilled on oak wood, coated with a soy-based sauce, and served on a bowl of rice. The eel can be eaten with a variety of seasonings such as nori seaweed, wasabi horseradish, and green onions. The staff here are very friendly and there are printed English instructions that show you the recommended procedure to eat your meal. This restaurant is very popular and people often line-up to eat here, so we recommend going early to avoid the lunchtime rush. If you are in a hurry, there is also a stall outside the entrance where you can buy bento lunch-boxes of hitsumabushi to take away.
Open: 11.00 – 23.00 (Last orders: 22.00)
Location: Maruya Honten is located in the Umaimon Dori gourmet street which is inside the Nagoya Station building. You can find the entrance to Umaimon Dori on the south west side of the station.
Fried Shrimp Sandwiches at Konparu
Konparu is a coffee shop chain founded in Nagoya in 1949 and well known for their blended coffee and varied sandwich menu. Their most famous item is the “Ebi Furai Sando” which is a deep fried breaded shrimp sandwich. As well as thick and juicy shrimp this toasted sandwich also contains shredded cabbage, scrambled egg, and both tartar and brown sauce. You can either eat in or buy some sandwiches to take away.
Open: 8.00 – 21.00 (Last orders: 20.45)
Location: There are several branches of Konparu in Nagoya, but the most convenient one for Nagoya Station is in the Meichika underground shopping complex on the east side of the station building. This coffee shop is very close to Nagoya Subway Station’s ticket gates. Here is a map of the location.
All-day Morning Service at Lyon
“Morning Service” is a special deal at some coffee shops in Nagoya that basically means you get some form of breakfast food for free if you order a drink during morning hours. Lyon is an old-fashioned coffee shop near Nagoya Station that extends this morning service all day. Order any drink here at any time of day and you are entitled to one free option from their morning service menu, which mostly consists of hot pressed sandwiches. This is a great deal as you can get a simple meal for the price of a 400 yen cup of coffee. The most popular morning service item is the toasted “Ogura” pressed sandwiches which are filled with sweet adzuki bean paste. However, you can also choose sandwiches filled with potato salad, fruit, vegetable salad, or peanuts cream. If you don’t fancy a sandwich there is also a simple toast, egg, and castella cake option.
Open: 8.00 – 18.00
Location: Lyon is located in the B1 basement level of the Mitsui Building which is a 7 minute walk south from the Sakura-Dori Exit of Nagoya Station. Here is a map of the location.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.