The 7 Best Food Experiences in Nagoya

Are you a foodie who wants to experience Japanese cuisine in Nagoya? In our opinion, food isn’t only something to be enjoyed in restaurants. You need to go out there, be adventurous, and say yes! to everything if you want to really get to know the local Nagoya cuisine.

The food experiences in Nagoya will lead you to morning markets, factories, the best street food places, and other secret locations in the city. You just have to be open to the possibilities, and you will find that Nagoya is not boring when it comes to culinary adventures.

Would You Start the Morning With Fresh Oysters at Yanagibashi Central Market?

Yanagibashi Fish Market Nagoya
Yanagibashi central market in Nagoya

Yanagibashi Central Market is not only frequented by restaurant owners buying their fish for the day but also by the general public.

We recommend you arrive at around 9:00 when the business owners are done with their shopping and you won’t be in the way of their business. We want to be respectful, right?

Yanagibashi is not really a tourist destination, and only very few visitors find their way there. Which, in our opinion, is great! For this reason, it offers a much more authentic experience than markets in Tokyo or Kyoto. And stall owners are as interested in you as you are in them.

In the market, you can try some of the freshest seafood possible. How about some raw oysters caught in the morning? It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but its an option at Yanagibashi Market.

You can visit Yanagibashi Market on your own or you can book our Fully Customizable Private Tour of Nagoya here and leave all the planning to us.

Yanagibashi Central Market (柳橋中央市場)
Entry Fee: free
Opening Hours: 4:00 – 10:00; closed Wednesdays and Sundays
Address: 4-11-3 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002
Google Maps

Explore the Osu Shopping Streets and Try the Best Street Food in Nagoya

Mitarashi Dango in Osu, Nagoya

The Osu Shopping District is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nagoya. It offers specialized stores for all kinds of Japan-related interests: from shops selling second-hand kimonos to the newest electronics, all the way through figurines that will excite every Anime and Manga fan out there.

Moreover, there is also a wide variety of finger-licking good street food to be found in Osu. If you asked us, Japanese street food is simply to die for. If you are into the classics such as Takoyaki, Yakisoba, Okonomiyaki, and Karaage you can find them in Osu in every shape and form.

But also some Nagoya local specialties such as Miso Kushi Katsu, Doteni Donburi, and Uiro are sold here.

Overwhelmed by the sheer amount of street food? Join us on our Street Food Walking Tour of Osu where you will get to try a selection of the best street foods in the area and also learn a lot about Osu, from past to present.

Street Food Walking Tour of Osu tour banner

Osu Shopping District(大須商店街)
Entry Fee: free
Address: 3 Chome Osu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Would You Rather Learn About Beer or Drink It? Why Not Both at one of the Beer Factories in Nagoya?

Kirin beer factory in Nagoya

If there is one thing the Japanese people like to do in their free time it’s drinking beer. For this reason, you can get a variety of beers at every restaurant, bar, Izakaya, supermarket, and convenience store. But for a truly unique beer experience, you should check out one of the beer factories in Nagoya.

Kirin, one of the biggest beer producers in Japan, has a factory in Nagoya that offers guided tours. During these tours, you can experience the taste and texture of raw materials such as malt and hops. You will learn about the beer production process while touring the factory and you will end the tour with a beer tasting. Which, to be honest, is the main reason to join a factory tour in the first place, isn’t it?

The tours are only held in Japanese and require a reservation, but you can easily book online. However, please note that slots are limited and get booked quickly.

If you would prefer a visit together with a guide or interpreter you can book our Fully Customizable Private Tour of Nagoya here and we will happily arrange the visit for you.

Kirin Brewery Nagoya Factory(キリンビール 名古屋工場)
Entry Fee: 500 yen
Reservation: Required – Book here
Address: Hanagasa 100 Terano, Kiyosu, Aichi 452-8562
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Not into beer? How about joining our All-you-can-drink Sake Tour then? Check it out here!

Nagoya Sake Tasting Night Tour banner

The Japanese Call It Depachika, We Call It Foodie Heaven: The Food Levels at a Department Store

The gourmet level at a Department Store

Imagine a whole floor dedicated to Japanese food. Mountains of prepared dishes made from fish, meat, rice, and vegetables. Hundreds of mouthwatering cakes in display cases next to irresistible cookies and Japanese confectioneries. This is the reality at the underground levels of every department store in the country.

Department Stores can be found in all major cities in Japan. Nagoya has Takashimaya and Meitetsu right inside Nagoya Station, as well as Matsuzakaya and Mitsukoshi in Sakae.

Take your time and browse. At some of the stalls, you might get food samples. Don’t hesitate and try them (say ‘Arigato’ to show your appreciation afterward), and if you like what you just tasted don’t forget to give a smile and say ‘Oishii’ to let them know it was delicious. Don’t feel obligated to buy anything at the shop just because you took a sample. No pressure!

If you want to buy dinner, such as a sushi box, at a department store, we have a secret tip for you (but don’t tell anyone okay): arrive around one hour before closing, and many of the dishes still left will be on sale. Of course, you will have less variety to choose from, but you can save a pretty penny.

Join a Specialties of Nagoya Food Tour and try some local snacks at the oldest department store in Japan. The tour also visits 4 restaurants where you get to sample authentic Nagoya cuisines such as Hitsumabushi, Miso Nikomi Udon, Tebasaki, and Tenmusu. If you don’t know what any of that means. No problem, you will learn it during the tour!

Specialties of Nagoya food tour banner

Indulge in the Local Nagoya Cuisine

Hitsumabushi set at Hitsumabushi Ino in Nagoya

Wherever you go in Japan, trying the local cuisine is always a good idea. That’s what the Japanese do when they travel. And let me tell you, they are on to something.

There are delicious local specialties in every corner of Japan. Osaka has its Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki, Fukuoka its Hakata Ramen. Nagoya is no exception in that respect. That said, you can’t leave Nagoya without tasting Hitsumabushi, a local delicacy made from Japanese freshwater eel.

Other highlights include any dish made with red Miso paste such as Miso Nikomi Udon (Udon noodles stewed in a Miso broth) and Miso Katsu (deep-fried pork cutlets with a red Miso based sauce).

One place where you can find a selection of the best restaurants serving Nagoya cuisine is the so-called Kinshachi Yokocho, a food street right next to the main gate of Nagoya Castle. Here, you will find local favorite stores such as Yamamotoya, selling Miso Nikomi Udon, and Yabaton, specializing in Miso Katsu. I’m not saying you should, but you could go from restaurant to restaurant, tasting your way around Nagoya’s cuisine in one place.

For more details on Nagoya food read this post.

Alternatively, you could join a Specialties of Nagoya Food Tour where you will try at least 5 local dishes and snacks such as Hitsumabushi, Miso Nikomi Udon, Tenmusu, Tebasaki, and Ebi Senbei.

Specialties of Nagoya food tour banner

Kinshachi Yokocho(金シャチ横丁)
Opening Hours: 10:30 – 17:30
Address: 1 Chome-2 Sannomaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0001
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

From the Plant Directly in Your Mouth? Only Possible If You Go Fruit Picking

Strawberries ready for picking in Nagoya

When it comes to food experiences, picking and then eating seasonal fruit is one of the most popular ones, especially if you have children. The most popular form of fruit picking is probably strawberry picking but you can also find other seasonal fruits such as grapes, blueberries, persimmons, pears, and oranges.

For a fun day learning about fruit visit Togokusan Fruit Park in Nagoya with its greenhouses filled with exotic fruit and fruit fields just waiting to be picked bare by you.

Togokusan Fruit Park (東谷山フルーツパーク)
Entry Fee: Free; Some events may require an additional fee.
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 16:30; closed Mondays
Address: Togoku-2110 Kamishidami, Moriyama Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 463-0001
Website | Google Maps

Food Experiences Around Nagoya: Options Worth the Train Ride

Although technically not in Nagoya, we have collected an extensive list of food experiences that are well worth the train ride. Here’s a compilation of all of them together to make it easier for you to choose from:

This post was last updated in January 2024
Although we strive to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, please note that changes may occur nonetheless. We recommend you confirm any relevant information such as event cancelations or changes, opening hours, or possible restrictions using a direct source. Please keep in mind that these sources might be in Japanese only.

So, that’s it. A list of fun food experiences in Nagoya. Did you love these ideas as much as we do? Then plan your trip to Nagoya today or book one of the experiences with us because Nagoya is not boring!

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For more things to do in Nagoya click here or check out all of our blog posts about Nagoya here.

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About the author

In love with Japan and its amazing food, Lena wants to share her passion with the world. Her goal is to make everyone interested in Nagoya, her adoptive home, online through her writing and offline through unique food tours.
2 Responses
  1. Alyss Stout

    Hi Lena,
    I very much enjoyed this article but I’m wondering if you can tell me the name of a restaurant that is underneath Takashimaya. The soup they served there was out of this world and I visited the restaurant several times over the years while in Nagoya. The soup seemed to be kind of a red/amber color and again, the best I’ve had in my lifetime.
    Thank you for your time,

    1. Lena Yamaguchi

      Hi Alyss,
      I’m assuming you are talking about red Miso soup, but I really can’t be sure what shop you mean.
      There are so many restaurants in the underground levels around Nagoya Station and Takashimaya.
      But you will be able to find really great Miso soup everywhere around Nagoya.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

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