Top 20 Picks for Gourmet Dining in Mie Prefecture, a Food Lover's Paradise!
There are so many delicious things to eat in Mie Prefecture, which is why it's such a hotspot for food lovers. This article will introduce 20 of the very best places to eat in the Mie area, including classic local eats, stylish new cafes, and budget picks. Use this article as a guide and take a trip off the beaten track to Mie Prefecture, a heaven for foodies!
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Top 10 Gourmet Mie Classics
Unafuji is one of the most famous eel restaurants in Tsu City. It often attracts lines of customers even before the restaurant opens for the day, so if you want a chance to try the eel here, it's best to arrive early. Unafuji is also known for its reasonable prices, especially considering the high quality of eel, so you're sure to leave very satisfied!
It's not unusual for customers to line up for an hour or two for a seat at this popular restaurant. They also typically don't take reservations, so make sure you factor a little extra time into your travel plans for the wait. In Japan, eel is known is known for being a good food to eat if you're feeling tired or a little run down, so if you need a pick me up during your trip, recover some of your energy with Unafuji's famous eel rice bowls!
Hinode is a traditional Japanese restaurant located in Kuwana City, which is famous for its hamaguri clams. So, if you're looking for a luxurious seafood meal in Mie, this is the destination for you! Recommended by TV personality Ken Watabe and featured in the popular food comic, Oishinbo, this restaurant is very well known and well-loved since it opened all the way back in 1923.
There is a wide variety of of hamaguri clam dishes available to choose from here, including hotpots, tempura, grilled calm, and rice gruel. It's notoriously difficult to get a reservation here, so do your best to arrange it as early in advance as you can. If you can get in, you'll enjoy some luxurious hamaguri clam dishes you won't find anywhere but Kuwana.
Itaro is a ramen restaurant famous locally for its delicious soy-sauce based ramen. The soup is so fresh and light, you won't want to leave a drop behind in your bowl. There is also a variety of other dishes to choose from at Itaro, including chilled Chinese noodles and cold dipping noodles.
Itaro's most popular dish has to be the Tsu Gyoza (dumplings). Famous for their huge size, these fried gyoza have a crisp exterior and are generously filled with prawns. They make a perfect beer snack and are available as a set with the restaurant's popular ramen, so don't miss a chance to try them both!
4. Kanaya - Main Branch
If you're looking to enjoy delicious sukiyaki (beef hot pot) in Japan, look no further than Kaneya. Mie is known for its Matsusaka beef, but this restaurant is famous for their Iga beef. This delicious beef is seasoned to capitalize on the natural sweetness of the meat, and unlike other sukiyaki restaurants where you cook yourself, the meat is cooked for you so you can relax while you dine.
If it's your first time at Kaneya, we recommend the sukiyaki, but if you have a chance, the butter-grilled beef is also well worth trying. You'll find that it has a completely different flavor to regular sukiyaki. With meals ranging around just under 10,000 yen, it's a little expensive, but even so, you're sure to be satisfied. This is perfect for a special meal during your time in Japan.
Tekone sushi is a local Mie Prefecture style of sushi that those in the know are quick to recommend and has even been featured on the TV program Kenmin Show. One of the most famous places to eat tekone sushi is at Sushikyu, a popular restaurant located in the sightseeing area of Okage Yokocho that has enjoyed media coverage in magazines.
This spacious restaurant has over 200 seats and serves not just tekone sushi but a richly varied menu that includes hitsumabushi (grilled eel on rice) and tororo (grated yam) soup. With a kids menu and pets allowed on the terrace, this is a restaurant the whole family can enjoy together. Enjoy the delicious flavors of local Iseshima cuisine at this long-running restaurant.
6. Matsumoto no Rairaiken
Yokkaichi City is famous for its tonteki (pork loin steak), so there are plenty of places to enjoy the dish in the area. Matsumoto no Rairaiken, located near Ise-Matsumoto Station, is one of the most famous. The restaurant is easy to spot thanks to its distinctive pig sign. Since it's famous for its tonteki, that is the first dish you should try here!
Its relaxed vibe makes it a very welcoming restaurant, and the dishes themselves are generously portioned. The tonteki sauce definitely whets the appetite. This restaurant is quite famous, so it's often a little crowded, and is known to even draw lines out the door.
Sushi lovers in Japan will all have heard of Komada, a famous Ise sushi restaurant. It's particularly well known thanks to the fact it has been awarded 3 Michelin stars. Its sophisticated atmosphere feels like a retreat from the world, and with limited seats, this by-reservation-only restaurant has a calm and quiet atmosphere.
All the sushi served here is delicious, and the hosts here are also charming and welcoming. Komada is well-reviewed not just for its food, but also for its uniquely Japanese-style attention to the spirit of hospitality. If you want to try this delicious sushi during your time in Japan, be sure to make a reservation early.
If you're in the mood for udon noodles while in Ise City, make sure to stop by Tsutaya to experience an old-school Japanese udon restaurant. This shop has become even more popular thanks to the fact that the popular comedian Yuki Himura ate here on a TV program.
The most popular item is said to be the Grilled Pork Ise Udon (750 yen). This Ise style of udon is known for its soft noodles and richly flavored soup. Tsutaya doesn't just serve Ise-style udon but other popular items like pork cutlet curry, omlette on rice, and Chinese-style soba noodles, so you might find yourself a little conflicted over what to choose! This restaurant has a very friendly atmosphere, so it's also a welcoming place to stop if you're travelling alone.
Dangorochaya is a restaurant in Okage Yokocho that has been featured on the popular Japanese TV show, Hirunan Desu. You can definitely feel the love and care that has been put into making the ingredients like soba noodles and rice served here. Relax on the tatami mats and have a wonderful time enjoying delicious soba noodles at Dangorojaya.
The summer-only dish, Akafuku Shaved Ice, is also a big hit on Instagram. Some customers come every year just to eat it! This shaved ice has sticky rice cakes and red bean paste inside, and is topped with a rich, green tea flavored syrup. If you're in Ise for the summer, don't miss your chance to try it!
10. Ise Purin no Tetsujin
A new staple in Mie Prefecutre is Ise Purin (to Shokupan) no Tetsujin, or "Pudding and Bread Master". This quirkily named cafe is known for its delicious pudding toast. This is more of a place to come in for a light snack, but it's still so popular that it often attracts lines.
Affordably priced at 500 yen, this pudding toast has earned a reputation for its high quality. The Okage Yokocho area has a lot of great options when it comes to food, but this shop is definitely a new staple for the area. Other interesting things to try here are pudding soft-serve ice cream and Ise pudding. Even if there's a line, you can take the chance to snap a picture of its cute shopfront as you wait!
5 Stylish Gourmet Dining Picks in Mie
1. Takatora Dog
Takatora Dog is a lunchtime staple in Mie that often attracts lines out the door. This cafe serves a unique menu of hot dogs crossed with sandwiches. Hotdogs might not seem like the healthiest option, but there are items on the menu with plenty of vegetables, too.
There are so many great options here that making your pick could be a really tough task! In fact, there are over 50 options to choose from. Takeaway is also available, so if the weather is good, why not take your picks out to the park for lunch?
2. rush cafe
Rush cafe, located in Tsu City, is popular for its stylish open sandwiches. Recently, they've been getting a lot of attention amongst the youth in Mie for their drinks served in Tinkerbell Bottles thanks to their cute, Instagram-worthy design.
There are plenty of places to get a great photo for social media in the cafe, including snapping a shot of your drink in front of the wing-shaped neon light. With many open sandwiches to choose from, so you could even come here every day. Of course, they also have some tapioca drinks that are booming in Japan right now, too.
3. FLAP COFFEE
FLAP COFFEE is a popular place to enjoy Ise's famous Nakamura Coffee, and it's also known for its wide range of doughnuts. Limited edition flavors are available, which you can check on their social media account before you visit.
These doughnuts aren't just cute! Their fluffy texture and perfectly balanced sweetness is the key to their popularity. This cafe has also earned great reviews for its friendly staff. You might find yourself lingering a little longer than you intended in their stylish cafe, but take-out is also available.
Recently opened in March, 2019, 101010TEN・TO (pronounced "ten-to") serves delicious hamburgers and fruit sandwiches. These burgers get full points for their generous portions, but it's not a matter of quantity over quality: this cafe takes the quality of its buns and patties very seriously!
The cafe is located right near the sea, and take-out is available, so you can grab a burger and enjoy it by the water. Because the fruit sandwiches served here often sell out quite quickly, be sure to get here early if you want to try them. The light blue Mini Cooper outside the cafe makes a real impression, and it may feel like you've wandered into a hamburger joint in a completely different country at 101010TEN・TO!
Tayu-tau is a cafe known for its delicious food tucked away in a compact, charming store. Their hamburger steaks are well reviewed, as are the wide range of vegetables served here. Desserts including parfaits and ice cream is also available, so you can relax and take your time after your meal.
You can visit tayu-tau without a reservation, but it's quite popular, with wait times stretching as long as two hours. It's best if you make a reservation, but they don't accept cancellations, so make sure you have your dates and times settled with your group before you book.
5 Budget Gourmet Picks in Mie
Mori is well known locally as a place to enjoy Japanese soul food at reasonable prices. The Neapolitan spaghetti called Mori-Supa is by far the most popular dish to get here, and if you eat it once, you're sure to be hooked. What's more, it's only 700 yen! This is the kind of cafe that's always full of regulars.
The affordable, delicious, and comfortingly old-school food served here makes this a popular store among customers of all ages, and you'll often find it completely full. The look of the cafe may seem a little old-fashioned, but once you try the food here, you'll hope they stay as they are, keeping the flavors of the good old days alive!
Bikkuriya is a yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) restaurant that has been featured on TV. Located around a 5-minute drive from Meihan SEKI Drive-In (rest area), Bikkuriya also has plenty of parking, which is great if you're coming by car. You're sure to be satisfied by the amount of grilled meat you can enjoy here at Bikkuriya's affordable prices. In fact, the prices are so good, you might need to make sure you don't accidentally eat too much!
Their horumon (offals) is very famous, but their beef tongue and ribs are also delicious. After appearing on TV, many people were charmed by the eccentric personalities of the brothers who manage the restaurant, and it seems today that there are many people who go to the restaurant just to meet them.
3. Manpuku Shokudo
Located in Uji Yamada Shopping Center, Manpuku Shokudo is known for its karaage-don (fried chicken rice bowl). Topped with an egg, this rice bowl is extremely filling and a great value for money. The rich flavor also goes perfectly with rice.
The restaurant is decorated with the signatures of the many famous people who have eaten here. Another great option is the Shinfuku Set Meal that comes with a mini karaage-don and Ise udon for only 750 yen. The karaage-don itself is only 630 yen, so the regular menu is surprisingly affordable too!
If you're looking for a nutrition-balanced meal at a great price in Ise City, HITOSARA is for you! You can't go wrong no matter what you choose from the delicious menu. With a wealth of healthy options to choose from, this restaurant enjoys a lot of regularly frequenting customers.
Their cute interior has a relaxed atmosphere that makes this a comfortable place to enjoy a meal if you're traveling solo. It's very popular, so there are times when it fills up. Be sure to try the set meals that have been crafted with love while you're in Mie.
5. Kitchen Cook
Kitchen Cook's Dry Katsu Curry is often called the soul food of Ise City. This generously portioned curry is sure to fill you up, and the other set menu dishes are well reviewed by the regulars here, too.
If you're in the mood for a big meal, you'll be satisfied by what's on offer at Kitchen Cook. Many customers here order the extra-large servings, too! The owner of this tasteful Western-style restaurant creates a great atmosphere. It's not a large restaurant, but it's the sort of place that locals come to for a quick meal, so the turnover is quite quick. Kitchen Cook is often called one of the big-three gourmet destinations in Ise, so don't miss it when you're in the area!
There Are So Many Delicious Places to Eat in Mie!
From gourmet dining and cheap local dishes, to cool, Instagram-worthy cafes, there are so many delicious places to eat in Mie. It's also a great place to visit during your trip to Japan thanks to its wide variety of things to do including the Ise Jingu Shrine, atmospheric Okage Yokocho area, and Nagashima Spa Land. Please use this article as a guide as you eat your way through this beautiful part of Japan!
Translated and republished with permission from: SPIRA (formerly known as Relux Magazine)
By the way, you can book a hotel through Relux (run by SPIRA) by clicking here!
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.