【Fukuoka】Affordable and Delicious! Top 5 Locally Loved Lunch Sets
This article introduces five carefully chosen, famous set meals in Fukuoka that you can eat for lunch, including sets containing deep-fried tempura, Fukuoka’s famous specialty of mizutaki (ingredients are boiled in water and then eaten with a dipping sauce), and delicious fish from the canteen at the neighboring Nagahama Fish Market. You won’t be able to stop asking for rice with these hearty and affordable meals!
Tempura Hirao Honten
A restaurant dedicated to tempura that originates from Fukuoka, Tempura Hirao Honten is a specialty restaurant that has positioned tempura as a more casual everyday meal, elevating its presence as the soul food of the people of Fukuoka.
Its reasonable prices and orthodox style of service – the chef fries the toppings right in front of you, and then serves the tempura one piece at a time according to your eating pace – are gaining popularity, so all its franchises are always crowded with customers. In particular, the honten (main shop) at Higashi-Hirao in Fukuoka City is close to Fukuoka Airport, so it is visited by lots of sightseers and foreign tourists.
Here, the menu is centered on teishoku (set meals) that have an assortment of tempura as the main dish, but you can also order tempura in a la carte style from the menu, which has approximately 20 kinds of tempura. The Ajiwai Teishoku (Sampler Set) (770 JPY), which is the most famous set in this restaurant, comes with ebi (prawn), chicken thigh, white meat, squid, and three kinds of vegetables. Enjoy tempura with your preferred flavor – they have tempura dipping sauce, curry salt, matcha (green tea) salt, and sesame salt.
When people talk about this shop, the one thing that is always mentioned is the ika shiokara (paste from salted and fermented squid) on the table. Many people come to this restaurant to try this original squid paste that has a rich taste of yuzu (citrus). You will often see people shoveling squid paste into their white rice before the tempura is served. You can also buy shiokara or wasabi miso as souvenirs!
Tempura Hirao has six restaurants, comprising of the main shop and its branches in Sawara, Hisayama, Kaizuka, Harada, and Daimyo. Check them out for affordable, delicious, and freshly made tempura!
[Tempura Hirao Honten]
2-4-1 Higashi-Hirao, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka / 092-611-1666 / 10:30 am – 9:30 pm (last order at 9:00 pm) / Closed over the New Year holidays
Shimmiura Tenjin Shop
This is the second shop in the Shimmiura chain, which specializes in mizudaki (note that it’s not “mizutaki”). Shimmiura Tenjin Shop has been in business for 57 years, ever since it opened inside Tenjin Building. It continues to serve the flavors of Hakata to local residents and tourists.
This restaurant’s mizutaki is deliberately called “mizudaki” to highlight its rich and creamy soup. The white soup is made by boiling chicken bones for more than 10 hours, giving the soup its characteristic thick and simple flavor that has condensed umami (savory flavor) and richness.
You can enjoy their mizudaki through the Mizudaki Kobachi Teishoku (set of mizudaki and a small bowl) (1,950 JPY) or their course sets that you can order for one person or more (from lunch onwards). The first thing you have to do is enjoy the simple and tasty soup that contains Hakata Kamogashira spring onions and salt. Next, taste the tender chicken meat, which is easy to detach from the bones, with the homemade ponzu sauce, and then finish the meal by pouring the soup on zosui (rice gruel with vegetables and meat) or rice.
During lunch, the lightly seasoned Oyako-don (chicken and egg on rice) (870 JPY) that uses chicken bone soup is popular. It is a refined dish in which the soup broth is infused in the chicken meat, spring onions, and rice, and then the bowl is topped with fluffy eggs. Virtually all of their dishes come with their cloudy white soup!
Enjoy the real and delicious taste of chicken to your heart’s content.
[Shimmiura Tenjin Shop]
Tenjin Bldg. B1, 2-12-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka / 092-721-3272 / 11:15 am – 3:00 pm (last order at 2:30 pm), 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm (last order at 8:15 pm) / Closed on irregular days
Okiyo Shokudo is located in the market hall that is adjacent to the fresh fish market in Nagahama in Fukuoka City. Founded in 1947, many people related to the market frequent this spot, and even professionals attest to the deliciousness of its fish. It is constantly packed with customers seeking extremely fresh “ichiba meshi” (market food), such as local residents, sightseers, and foreigners.
This restaurant offers a wide variety of set meals, including Kaisen-don (rice bowl topped with sashimi) (1,750 JPY), goma buri (Japanese amber-jack coated in sesame seeds), shio saba (salted mackerel), and kujira teki (whale steak). Of all the dishes in the menu, the Aradaki Teishoku (simmered fish set) (800 JPY, but 850 JPY during dinner) and Aji Sashimi Teishoku (1,000 JPY, but 1,100 JPY during dinner) that both come with sashimi made from a whole aji (horse mackerel) are extremely affordable and have splendid appearances that will put a smile on your face.
Another must-try at this shop that is also known for its delicious goma saba (blue mackerel covered in sesame seeds) – the specialty of Hakata – is the Goma Saba Teishoku (700 JPY, but 850 JPY during dinner). It is an exquisite dish that combines masaba (chub mackerel) loaded with fat with the sweetness of Kyushu soy sauce and the aroma of sesame seeds. You can eat goma saba over rice or as ochazuke (rice with tea poured in). All the set meals at this restaurant come with unlimited servings of rice.
This restaurant is open from 7:00 am, so you can come in from morning until night. It is a common spot frequented by locals every day, but it is also considered a prized spot for entertaining people visiting Fukuoka.
3-11-3 Nagahama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka / 092-711-6303 / 7:00 am – 2:00 pm, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm (last order at 9:30 pm) / Closed on the 1st and 3rd Sundays
Ichizenmeshi Aokido is a well-established shop along Konyamachi street in Daimyo, where fancy cafes, restaurants, secondhand clothing shops, and other stores stand side by side. It has long been loved as the “taste of Fukuoka City’s purveyors”. It has been treating customers to simple and affordable dishes since the day it opened in 1957.
Along with their set courses, there are 60 - 70 kinds of Japanese, Western, and Chinese dishes at this restaurant, including omurice (omelet rice) and fried rice. Its signature set, the Buta no Miso Itame Teishoku (pork sautéed in miso set meal) (680 JPY), will whet your appetite with its pork that is sautéed in sweet miso.
The Medama-nose Yasai Itame Teishoku (sautéed vegetables with fried egg set meal) (680 JPY) that will get you hooked on the syrupy consistency of the eggs and crispy vegetables is definitely a must-try. Another secret to this restaurant’s popularity is its old-fashioned style that will let you choose from the 40 – 50 kinds of Higawari no Okazu (daily main dish) (prices start from 120 JPY per plate) that are always displayed on their display racks, including tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and salad.
The inside is a retro space reminiscent of the Showa era, with numerous manga (Japanese comics) that you can read for free, and nostalgic figurines and posters on display.
This restaurant is so popular that more than 200 customers visit in one day! Enjoy classic tastes in a nostalgic atmosphere.
1-11-28 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka / 092-751-0144 / 8:30 am – 8:30 pm / Closed on Sundays
Wappa Teishokudo Kego Shop
Affiliated with the Tanakada Group that operates under the concept of being a “teishoku department store”, Wappa Teishokudo Kego Shop is said to have “led the teishoku boom in Fukuoka”. On top of the richness in its dishes that will surely get you stuffed, its vibe that makes it easy for even a solo female diner to enter has been boosting its popularity with a wide range of people.
There are around 30 set courses in store for you here, including their classic Wappa Teishoku (1,580 JPY), the Yakizakana Teishoku (grilled fish set meal) (990 JPY), and the Ebi Fry & Chicken Namban Teishoku (set meal of fried prawns and chicken in sweet and peppery sauce) (1,130 JPY).
The Nikusui Teishoku (980 JPY) has Nikusui (generous amounts of pork back ribs in soup stock that’s made from bonito and iriko (small dried sardines)) as a main dish. The flavors of the ingredients ooze into the soup broth, making it perfect as a side dish to rice.
With their unlimited servings of rice, you can pour the soup broth left in the nikusui into the rice, or make a tamago kake gohan (raw egg mixed with rice and seasonings) – whichever way you choose, they’re sure to be delicious! There are many ways to enjoy this dish.
This restaurant has an extensive lineup of dishes, so you will definitely find a set meal that matches your mood for the day. If you are craving for a lot of rice, then make your way to this restaurant!
[Wappa Teishokudo Kego Shop]
2-10-12 Kego, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka / 092-781-3708 / 11:30 am – 10:30 pm (last order at 10:00 pm) / Closed on Tuesdays
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 11.16.2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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