Kanazawa has been a city of local specialties since ancient times. Here are 5 restaurants where you can enjoy those traditional flavors.
Kanazawa is called the region with the best oden in Japan, called "Kanazawa oden." Oden is a dish made of different ingredients like eggs, daikon radish, fried tofu, etc. stewed in a soy sauce-based broth. You can try Kanazawa oden at Kuroyuri, not far from JR Kanazawa Station. It's been in business for 50 years, and their best-known dish is the oden stewed in a salt-based broth. Their most popular ingredients are those unique to Kanazawa oden, like kuruma-bu (wheel-shaped seitan) (150 JPY) and whelk (380 JPY). The Hakusan Katatofu (420 JPY) is a traditional type of tofu that has been made in Ishikawa since ancient times. Even though it's tofu, it has texture to it and you can eat it like sashimi. This restaurant also has a wide variety of liquors, focusing on sake, so this is a perfect place to have a drink with some oden if you have some time when you arrive or are leaving Kanazawa.
This Japanese restaurant has been in business for more than 100 years. You can enjoy Kanazawa local cuisine surrounded by the retro interior. If you go here, you must try the jibuni (840 JPY). It's one of Kanazawa's representative meals, and it's made from stewing duck, seitan, vegetables, and other ingredients in soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings. The richness of the duck and the sweetness of the vegetables match well with the thick Japanese-style broth. There's also the jibunabe (2,604 JPY), which is an original menu that makes a stew out of jibuni. This is definitely a luxurious menu that lets you indulge in jibuni. There's also the fried white shrimp (735 JPY), a type of shrimp that's called the jewel of the sea thanks to its transparency, as well as the grilled rosy seabass (price depends on season), which is fatty and delicious. You can try all sorts of Kanazawa regional cuisine here!
3. Cho-Hachi Kanazawa Ekimae Branch
This izakaya (drinking establishment) serves regional cuisine, focusing mostly on seafood and sushi. Sushi is often made in Kanazawa homes for events like festivals, and oshisushi (pressed sushi) and bousushi (pressed, round sushi) are popular. The broiled rosy seabass bousushi (1,680 JPY (excl. tax)) is made so the rosy seabass is easy to eat, and it's this branch's pride. Another recommendation is the Kaga lotus root hasumushi (880 JPY (excl. tax)). It's a common local specialty, and it's made by steaming grated lotus root on eggs and other ingredients. The lotus root stays crunchy even as the eggs have steamed into soft dumplings. They cover it in a Japanese-style thick, starchy sauce to create a delicious meal! Please definitely try this Kanazawa specialty.
4. DAIMYO JAYA
DAIMYO JAYA is a traditional restaurant where you can eat a kaiseki course meal with crab or rosy seabass depending on the season. They offer genuine Japanese meals surrounded by Japanese aesthetics. Lunch sets start at 1,500 JPY (excl. tax), and dinner kaiseki starts at 4,000 JPY (excl. tax), but something you should definitely try in the upcoming season is the rosy seabass steak Kaga kaiseki course (6,000 JPY (excl. tax)). From April to October, you can enjoy all sorts of local cuisine like rosy seabass steak, jibuni, and hasumushi. Rosy seabass is a high-class fish often called the "toro of whitefish" thanks to its fattiness. When cooked as a steak with soy sauce and butter, the fragrant fat makes it an exquisite feast! This is a meal that's worth splurging on.
5. Saryo Fumuroya
Saryo Fumuroya is Japan's first seitan specialty restaurant. Seitan is often used in Japanese cuisine in dishes like stews and soups. Kaga Seitan is a brand of seitan from Kanazawa, and this restaurant is run by Fumuroya, the company that makes it. The Fukubakozen (2,592 JPY (incl. tax)) uses soft, rich raw seitan, crunchy fried seitan, seitan stewed in jibuni, and more to make a set meal that's made almost entirely of seitan. You can enjoy a variety of textures based on the cooking techniques and type of seitan. There are also sweets like seitan anmitsu (810 JPY (incl. tax)), which is a dessert made with syrup and sweets, and seitan zenzai (778 JPY (incl. tax)), a dessert made with sweet red bean paste, so you can also stop by and enjoy this restaurant as a cafe.
5. Saryo Fumuroya
Kanazawa has plenty of regional cuisine restaurants where you can enjoy fresh ingredients and traditional flavors. Please try them when you visit.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.