General Restaurant Guide

Despite Fukui’s reputation for being a countryside/ farming type of prefecture, its cities, towns, and roadside stops host a stunning variety of restaurants. Of course there are the typical Japanese family restaurants, sushi shops, and noodle stands, but you may be surprised to also find ethnic fare from the furthest reaches of the globe, from Russian to Thai to Brazilian! Many times foreign food is somewhat muted in taste to appeal to the more “subtle” Japanese palate, but just as often you can find dishes that are prepared by world travelers in exactly the same way as the originals.

Don’t be afraid to explore! That little beaten-up looking building with the handwritten sign just down the street could be your new favorite if you just walk through the door. You’ll find that even after living in Fukui for years, there are still surprises around hidden corners, just waiting to be discovered.

This guide attempts to acquaint you with the broad variety of options available, but there are undoubtedly many fantastic places yet to be added to the guide. If you find a nice place to eat that’s not written about here, why don’t you add it to our list?

*Updated as of 2009.


Foreign Fare

American
It’ll be hard to find a nice sit down place for breakfast, if you want “real” hamburgers, the closest would be McD’s, “real” fried chicken…KFC, “real” steak?…Outback Steakhouse in Osaka. For Tex/Mex you’ll have to settle for what the Japanese think it is. To get something close to the real deal you’ll have to leave the prefecture or learn how to make them from scratch.

Cafes
There are two Starbucks (at LPA on Route Eight and in Takefu on the expressway), one Seattle’s Best (near Ekimae) and one Tully’s Coffee in the ken but there is plenty of other chain cafes available to choose from. Plus, the Japanese love small, cute cafes. You can get your coffee and enjoy some music while having a light snack to go with it.

French
There are a surprising number of French restaurants in Fukui. It’s hard to say about the authenticity so we will leave that to you French cuisine connoisseurs out there.

Italian
Many restaurants around that serve a variety of spaghetti but good luck trying to find lasagna. Pizzas have unusual toppings but the regular toppings can be asked for as well.


Japanese

Izakaya
Meat on a stick, chicken on a stick, veggies on a stick. Food that all goes well with a few good drinks.

Okonomiyaki
A kind of Japanese pizza/omelet of sorts, made with an egg, flour, water, and cabbage batter, which is fried on a hot plate with a variety of toppings. Question: Osaka or Hiroshima okonomiyaki?

* Go to FUGETSUTE in Harue (see Harue area guide for directions) – commonly thought to be the best place for okonomiyaki in Fukui.

Omurice
An omelet with rice stuffed inside it. It’s a strange thought but it’s quite yummy!

Sauce Katsu-don
A pork cutlet on rice with the katsu sauce already soaked into the cutlet. It sometimes has a fried egg on it as well. Fukui’s sauce-katsu-don is world recognized as being the finest katsu-don in Western Honshu.

Soba
Fukui prefecture is famous for its soba (buckwheat noodles), specifically a variety of cold soba with grated daikon radish and dried bonito on top, called Oroshi Soba. Try it and get one step closer to becoming a master of Fukui things.

A great soba restaurant in Omiyatei in Maruoka – it’s a nice setting, and pretty reasonable prices.

Sushi
Sushi bars come in a variety of types. 100 yen sushi bars with revolving belts inhabit the cheap end of the spectrum while nice sit-down places with chef service occupy the high end.

Asian/Southeast:

Chinese
Gyoza and ramen restaurants run amuck here but there is plenty of “authentic” Chinese food around. Szechuan and Taiwanese too!

Curry
Japanese curry, sometimes sweet but not usually spicy. You can find Indian and Thai curry as well. Try Ganga on Route 8 for 980yen all you can eat and 210yen for all you can drink! (soft drinks)

Thai, Filipino, Vietnamese and Malaysian restaurants are around and have a real authentic feel because the chefs are not Japanese but don’t be surprised if there is an option to adjust the flavors to appeal to the Japanese palette.

Mona Lisa in Fukui City is a must see, if only for the decorations. And the green curry.Korean BBQ

Korean BBQ
Get together a group, order and cook up some beef at your table. Throw in an order of some veggies and you are set. But don’t expect to get as many side dishes to go along with your meal.


Vegetarian

Sometimes tough to find good solid places but there are more places popping up to serve you.