12 Delicious Gourmet You Should Try in Okinawa
Located in the subtropical area with the unique history, Okinawa has a different food culture from what you would expect within the mainland of Japan. From the royal court originated cuisine to the B-class gourmet, here are a list of delicious local delights well worth trying.
Nov 09 2015
Champuru means “mixed (up)” in Okinawan dialect. As the name shows, the dish consists of stir-fried ingredients such as tofu and vegetables. Goya champuru is the most popular kind nation-wide, in which goya, bitter melon, tofu, egg, and spam are stir-fried together. Urizun close to the Monorail Asato station offers nice Okinawan cuisine including champuru for reasonable price.
HP: urizun.okinawa (Japanese Only)
Address: 388-5 Asato, Naha, Okinawa (Google Map)
2. Okinawa Soba
Okinawa Soba is different from soba noodles you expect in Japan. It's made of wheat instead of buckwheat flour, while the soup made in combination of kelp, bonito, or pork tastes similar to udon. Sobe serves Okinawa soba with/without slice of stewed pork and other Okinawa foods at reasonable price. It’s a cozy restaurant well worth visiting, but a bit hard to find.
Address: 2-37-40 Sobe, Naha, Okinawa (Google Map)
3. Bone Soup
There are wide varieties of soup in Okinawa and honejiru, bone soup, is one of them. They stew vegetables and pork bones which is used to get broth. They are normally served in a big portion and at cheap price. Meat on bones and rich soup will fill you up. Marunaga is one of the local’s favorite and it’s better to go there during the morning before it’s sold out.
Address: 13-10 Kaiho-cho, Okinawa-shi, Okinawa (Google Map)
Rafute was originally one of the royal court cuisine of Ryukyu kingdom. A block of pork belly is boiled and simmered for hours in the bonito broth seasoned with soy sauce and sake or awamori liquor. The restaurants specialized in royal court cuisine such as Mie is recommended to taste the authentic rich and savory rafute, though you can find common version of it at cheaper price.
HP: ryukyu-mie.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1-8-8 Kumoji, Naha, Okinawa (Google Map)
5. Taco Rice
Taco rice is a popular fast food in Okinawa. It uses rice instead of tortillas, which is common in Mexican food. This unique combination is a result of American military presence in Okinawa. King Tacos, a chain restaurants specialized in taco rice, is one of locals' favorite.
HP: www.facebook.com/kingtacos?sk=wall (Japanese Only)
Address: 4244-4 Kin, Kincho, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa (Google Map)
6. Umi Budo
Umibudo literally means “sea grapes” in Japanese. This is an Okinawa’s specialty seaweeds which is normally served with a simple preparation such as sashimi, and dipped in soy sauce or vinegar. It goes well with seafood. Ganso Umibudo, located close to its harvest area, is a good place to taste this refreshing food.
Address: 6091 Onna, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa (Google Map)
7. Yagi Sashi
Yagi sashi is row goat meat eaten in a similar way as seafood sashimi. Sakae is one of the best place to try goat dishes which is often avoided because of the strong scent. Located nearby Kokusai-dori Yataimura, this very friendly restaurant specialized with goat meat dishes serves other Okinawa food as well.
Address: 3-12-20 Makishi, Naha, Okinawa (Google Map)
8. Asian Dining with a View [Café Kurukuma]Takeshi Kiriya/FlickrDickson/Flickr
You can enjoy Okinawa without eating Okinawan cuisine. Kurukuma is a café & restaurant featuring Thai cuisine. Located on the hillside close to the coast, the relaxing terrace area offers a great view of the blue sea. Their dishes aren’t so spicy and easy to try. Why don’t you enjoy a beautiful day in Okinawa, one of the greatest Asian resort?
HP: www.nakazen.co.jp/cafe/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1190 Chinen, Chinen, Nanjo, Okinawa (Google Map)
9. Steak [Jack's Steak House]Reico/Flickr
Jack’s Steak House’s lean beef steak has been loved for over 60 years by locals and American residents in the U.S. military base. All their dishes are quite substantial, but not heavy. What’s more, they are priced low! You can choose one to suit your taste from the lining bottles of sauce on the tables.
HP: www.steak.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1-7-3 Nishi-machi Naha-City Okinawa (Google Map)
10. Pizza with a view [Kajinhou]
Kajinho is a café and pizza restaurant located atop the hill. You can relax at an inside of the old Okinawan-style house, or sit at an outside table looking over a magnificent view. They serve delicious pizza and coffee made with spring water.
Address: 1153-2 Yamazato, Motobucho, Okinawa (Google Map)
11. Santa Anadagi
Sata andagi is a deep fried donut unique in Okinawa. Sata means “sugar” and andagi means “deep fried” in Okinawan dialect. This crispy on the outside and soft on the inside handy cake is popular among locals and tourists. You can find them easily anywhere in Okinawa while Amuro is recommended by locals for its healthy yet yummy taste.
Address: 1-20 Shuri Kubakawacho, Naha, Okinawa (Google Map)
12. Blue Seal Ice Cream
Blue Seal Ice Cream is a must-try if you come to Okinawa. This ice cream company is born to provide American military service members stationed in Okinawa after the World War 2. Since then, their wide varieties of delicious ice cream with over 30 flavors has been loved by many. You can buy it at their shops dotted around in Okinawa prefecture.
HP: cn.blueseal.co.jp (中文)
Address: 5-5-6 Makiminato , Urasoe, Okinawa (Google Map)
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.