Nagoya Food Guide! What to eat in Nagoya, Japan

Embark on a culinary adventure in Nagoya, Japan, with our comprehensive Nagoya Food Guide. Explore the city’s unique flavors, from the renowned Hitsumabushi to the flavorful Tebasaki. Dive into Nagoya’s rich gastronomic scene, discovering the must-try dishes that make this city a delightful destination for food enthusiasts.

1. Hitsumabushi

Hitsumabushi, a Nagoya specialty, offers a unique twist to grilled eel enjoyment. The dish involves savoring grilled eel over rice in three distinct ways. First, enjoy it as is; second, mix eel and rice with condiments; and finally, relish the eel and rice in a flavorful broth. This culinary journey allows diners to appreciate the eel’s diverse textures and flavors, creating a delightful and interactive dining experience that showcases the artistry of Nagoya’s culinary traditions.

2. Miso Katsu

Miso Katsu, a delectable Japanese dish, features a succulent pork cutlet coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs and enriched with a flavorful miso glaze. This culinary creation hails from Nagoya, adding a local twist to the beloved Tonkatsu. The marriage of the tender pork, crunchy exterior, and the umami-packed miso sauce results in a satisfying harmony of textures and tastes. Miso Katsu exemplifies the innovation within Japanese cuisine, blending traditional elements with a modern and savory flair, making it a must-try for culinary enthusiasts.

3. Miso Nikomi Udon

Miso Nikomi Udon is a heartwarming Japanese noodle dish that originated in Nagoya. It involves thick, chewy udon noodles simmered in a savory miso-based broth, typically enriched with ingredients like chicken, vegetables, and sometimes tofu. The broth’s depth and richness are derived from the fermented soybean paste, miso, creating a comforting and flavorful bowl. This Nagoya specialty not only satisfies the palate but also exemplifies the region’s culinary prowess, showcasing a perfect blend of umami, texture, and warmth in every spoonful.

4. Tebasaki

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Tebasaki refers to Nagoya-style chicken wings, renowned for their crispy texture and bold flavors. These wings are seasoned, deep-fried to perfection, and then coated in a savory glaze, often featuring a combination of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other spices. The result is a delightful balance of crunchy skin and succulent meat with a flavorful umami kick. Tebasaki is a popular izakaya (Japanese pub) dish, showcasing Nagoya’s culinary expertise and its ability to elevate simple ingredients into a memorable and delicious gastronomic experience.

5. Kishimen

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Kishimen is a type of udon noodle dish hailing from Nagoya, Japan. Unlike traditional udon noodles, kishimen features flat, wide noodles resembling fettuccine. These broad noodles are typically served in a soy-based broth, along with a variety of toppings such as green onions, tempura, and kamaboko (fish cake). Kishimen is appreciated for its satisfying chewiness and the versatility of accompaniments, making it a comforting and customizable dish that reflects Nagoya’s culinary diversity and commitment to delicious simplicity.

6. Tenmusu

Tenmusu is a delightful Japanese dish that combines tempura and onigiri (rice ball). Originating in Nagoya, this specialty features a shrimp tempura placed inside a rice ball and wrapped with a sheet of nori (seaweed). The marriage of the crispy tempura and the seasoned rice creates a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. Tenmusu is often served with a dipping sauce or enjoyed on its own, making it a popular and convenient snack that showcases Nagoya’s ingenuity in combining traditional elements into a delicious and portable treat.

7. Nagoya-style Breakfast

Nagoya-style breakfast reflects the region’s unique culinary identity, often featuring a blend of traditional Japanese breakfast elements with local specialties. A typical Nagoya breakfast might include hitsumabushi-style grilled eel served over rice in three different ways, showcasing the city’s iconic dish. Miso-based soups, such as red miso soup with vegetables or kishimen noodles, might also be part of the morning spread. Accompanying side dishes could range from tebasaki chicken wings to pickled vegetables, providing a diverse and flavorful start to the day that embodies Nagoya’s rich food culture.

8. Ogura Toast

Ogura Toast is a popular breakfast dish originating from Nagoya, Japan. It consists of a thick slice of toast generously spread with sweet red bean paste known as “ogura-an.” The paste is made from adzuki beans, sugar, and sometimes a touch of butter for added richness. The combination of the warm, crispy toast and the sweet, velvety red bean paste creates a comforting and indulgent flavor. Ogura Toast is a beloved morning treat, showcasing Nagoya’s ability to blend traditional Japanese ingredients into a delightful and accessible breakfast option.

9. Miso Oden

Miso Oden is a variation of the classic Japanese hot pot dish, oden, with a distinct twist. Originating from Nagoya, this regional specialty features a savory broth made with miso paste, giving it a rich and umami depth. The hot pot typically contains various ingredients like fish cakes, daikon radish, konjac, tofu, and boiled eggs, all simmered in the flavorful miso broth. Miso Oden offers a warm and hearty experience, combining the comforting elements of oden with the robust flavor profile of miso, showcasing Nagoya’s unique culinary flair.

10. Dote-ni and Dote-meshi

Dote-ni and Dote-meshi are emblematic dishes originating from Nagoya, Japan, showcasing the region’s culinary innovation with the local specialty, “Dote” or tripe. In Dote-ni, the tripe is simmered to tenderness in a broth infused with soy sauce, sake, and other seasonings, creating a savory delight. Building upon this, Dote-meshi takes the rich flavors of Dote-ni and incorporates them into rice, resulting in a one-pot meal that blends the essence of the tripe with the hearty satisfaction of rice. Together, these dishes exemplify Nagoya’s culinary prowess, seamlessly combining local ingredients to produce a unique and flavorful dining experience.

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