Fukuoka Food Trip: 11 Restaurants to Try

where to eat in fukuoka
Many consider Osaka as the food capital of Japan, but further down south is a lesser-known destination that boasts of a rich food history. Fukuoka gave rise to the tonkotsu—or Hakata-styleramen, a style wildly loved all over the world. It’s the probably the only place in Japan that has legit street food carts—called yatai—found in sidewalks at night and disappearing in the daytime. And while it may not offer the same vibrant energy and countless activity options in Osaka, Fukuoka can definitely compete when it comes to food and food culture.

where to eat in fukuoka
When people talk about visiting Japan, the mega cities Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto are destinations that typically make the list. Recent years, however, have allowed travellers to explore new destinations: one of which is the quiet Fukuoka luring foodies (and, surprisingly, shopaholics) with its delicious offerings. As much as I love buying shoes, I am more obsessed with food, so below, I have compiled my top 11 places to eat in Fukuoka as well as some of the neighboring prefectures.

1 | La Maison de la Nature Goh

where to eat in fukuoka

Holder of 1 Michelin star and ranked as number 24 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2019, La Maison de la Nature Goh is a French-Japanese omakase-style restaurant. Chef Takeshi Fukuyama and his team flawlessly dishes out French-inspired plates that utilizes and highlights the best ingredients from Kyushu island (Fukuoka, Oita, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, et cetera). Diners can choose between a 6-course and a 7-course chef’s choice menu, and can upgrade their dining experience with wine pairing. Expect small bites that surprise and delight, as well as a lineup of desserts that simply impresses.

La Maison de la Nature Goh
2-26 Nishinakasu, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Japan
Mon - Sat, 6:00PM - 12:00AM
Reservations: +81-92-724-0955/pr@gohfukuoka.com
Budget: ¥6,000 up

2 | Kurumiya

where to eat in fukuoka
While ramen is undeniably delicious, it’s not something I could eat everyday as I usually prefer lighter, “cleaner” broths. One such dish I could see myself wolfing down anytime is the dango-jiru, an Oita  Prefecture specialty. This dish has thick, flat noodles made from wheat flour, along with mushrooms, carrots, onions, and pumpkin—all in a delicious miso broth. I got to try it at Kurumiya in Yufuin, Oita, where a whole pot of it was served to me, along with fried chicken, steamed rice, pickles, and cabbage salad with a delicious yuzu soy sauce dressing. It was one of my best meals in Japan.

1556-1 Yufuincho Kawakami, Yufu, Oita, Japan
11:00AM - 3:30PM
Budget: ¥1,000 up

3 | Ichiran

where to eat in fukuoka
I never tried Ichiran in Osaka because of the insanely long lines, but since it actually originated in Fukuoka, I figured that I had to try it there. As it turns out, getting a seat in this side of Japan is easy as fuck—there’s an Ichiran branch every three blocks, LOL. The ramen chain became famous for its Hakata-style broth (tonkotsu/pork bone); signature spice powder; unique focus booth concept; and ordering system that allows guests to customize their ramen. All these contribute to creating a lovely experience for everyone. I like my ramen medium-rich, slightly spicy, and garlicky, with chashu, lots of green onions, and firm noodles. It’s precisely how I ordered it at Ichiran—and precisely how I got it.

Check out the branch locations here.
Budget: ¥1,000 up

4 | Highball Stand Gyoza

where to eat in fukuoka
Ask anyone who has been to Fukuoka and he would probably advise you to always order gyoza with ramen. Hakata-style gyozas are smaller than usual and can be eaten in one bite. This is why when I stumbled upon a highball bar that offers unlimited gyoza for 680 yen, I planted myself on a seat with no hesitation, LOL. I had misgivings at first (it’s unlimited, so the gyozas are probably not that tasty, right?), but as it turns out, I ate 16 pieces—and this was right after dinner, hahaha! Make sure to order some highballs because they make theirs more potent than others I’ve tried around the city. Oh, and the lemon liqueur is deadly (and delicious).

Highball Stand Gyoza
1F second Tamon Building, 3-3-10, Nakasu, Fukuoka, Japan
3:00PM - 5:00AM
Budget: around ¥1,200 for unlimited gyoza and 1 drink

5 | Izakaya Menchanko

where to eat in fukuoka
In one of my drunken nights, I met a local and a Korean guy at a craft beer bar and we ended up eating and drinking some more at Izakaya Menchanko. Here, I got my first taste of oden, which is a traditional Japanese hot pot laden with fish cakes, eggs, tofu, and a variety of meats (and innards) in a dashi-soy broth. It’s a popular winter dish and perfect after drinking booze as well. The izakaya also serves snacks like chicken karaage and mentaiko tamagoyaki (egg roll with cod roe), as well as very cheap—albeit watered down—highballs.

Izakaya Menchanko
2-chome 3-10-1F(A), Tenjin, Fukuoka, Japan
10:30AM - 5:30AM
Budget: around ¥1,000

6 | Shin Shin

where to eat in fukuoka
Locals find it extremely challenging when I ask them what their favorite ramen is place, but Shin Shin almost always makes it to the conversation. It specializes in Hakata-style ramen as well, but here, you can find a milder version of the usually very rich and creamy pork-based broth. The real surprise? I like it. I like that I can slurp down the whole bowl without feeling overwhelmed with all the milkiness and thickness. The champon was quite unremarkable, but the grilled meats on skewers, like the bacon-wrapped shiso leaves, are very tasty—order some with their yuzu highball. 

Shin Shin
3 Chome-2-19 Tenjin, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Japan
11:00AM - 2:30AM

5 Chome−5−15 Sumiyoshi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, Japan
11:00AM - 10:30PM

Budget: around ¥1,000

7 | Ganso Nakasu Ramen Ichiban Ichiryu

where to eat in fukuoka
For the ultimate ramen set (ramen, gyoza, and fried rice), head over to Ichiban Ichiryu, which offers a variety of ramen and set meals. I really enjoyed my Manpuku Set which consisted of tonkotsu ramen, half serving of chahan, and 4 pieces of gyoza. The fried rice was incredibly good. The ramen broth was unexpectedly but pleasantly light, enhanced by sesame seeds (optional, provided in the tables) and togarashi. There was so much food in one set but it wasn’t a struggle to eat everything.

Ganso Nakasu Ramen Ichiban Ichiryu
10-252 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, Japan
11:00AM - 3:00AM
Budget: around ¥1,000

8 | Sunset Café

where to eat in fukuoka

If you find yourself in Itoshima to visit the famous couple rocks at Futamigaura, make your way down the shore and try to locate Sunset Café, a Hawaiian-inspired restaurant serving delicious curries and rice meals, gourmet coffee, and lavish desserts. The curry of the day and the signature Loco Moco are both generous and tasty, but my personal favorite was the Seafood Doria laden with calamari, shrimps, mussels, clams, mushrooms, and lots of cheese. The Honey Toast is insane, featuring bread that’s extremely chewy yet crusty underneath, topped with mind-blowing vanilla and strawberry ice cream, dried and fresh fruits, and chopped nuts. FUCK IT JAPAN, HOW DO YOU DO THIS?

Sunset Cafe
284 Nishinoura, Nishi Ward, Fukuoka, Japan
11:00AM - 9:00PM
Budget: ¥1,800 up

9 | Uobei by Genki Sushi

where to eat in fukuoka
After having tried otoro sushi in Kyoto, you would think that I would never step foot in a 100-yen sushi place, but this is precisely what I did after an exhausting day of sightseeing and shopping around Fukuoka. Uobei Sushi, which is under the Genki company, has almost the same menu as that of Genki Sushi in Manila—except that most of the items are at 110 yen per plate! Therefore, I had tuna, shrimp, seared salmon with cheese and pepper, seared tuna with leeks and sesame, Hokkaido scallops, and premium scallops—and they were all really good. Lesson: don’t judge a sushi place by its price tag. After all, this is still Japan.

Uobei (Yodobashi Hakata)
6-12 Hakataekichuogai, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, Japan
11:00AM - 11:00PM
+81 92-477-3151
Budget: ¥700 up

10 | Tagsta

where to eat in fukuoka

Great coffee, beautiful industrial-style interiors, and amazing desserts all make Tagsta a must-visit when in Fukuoka. We went here with no expectations (we only knew that it was always in the “must-try” lists of cafes in the city) and so we were astounded to find exquisite espresso drinks, luscious gâteau cakes, and the most addicting ginger tea latte ever. The owner himself makes the pastries and runs the place. The cafe also doubles as an art gallery, and at night, the place turns into a bar—curious to check it out the next time I visit Fukuoka!

where to eat in fukuoka

1 Chome−7−11, Haruyoshi, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Japan
7:00 AM - 8:00PM
+81 92-724-7721
Budget: ¥500 up

11 | Fukuoka Craft Brewery

where to eat in fukuoka
For lovers of craft beer, a visit to Fukuoka Craft Brewery is a must. The bar serves a variety of styles from different breweries in Japan and in the USA, but I highly recommend trying their home brews. The Keyagu Tepache is a pineapple saison laced with habanero, punctuating each sip with a nice touch of heat, while the Hazy IPA is hoppy but also refreshing. They also serve a special stout using Manu Coffee, a popular specialty coffee brand in Fukuoka!

Fukuoka Craft Brewery
1 Chome-11-4 Daimyo, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, Japan
5:00PM - 2:00AM
Budget: around ¥500 for a drink

Have you been to Fukuoka? What other places do you suggest to add in the list?

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