Nagoya, a central location between Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, has its own specific food culture. One of the biggest commercial areas within Nagoya is Meieki, an area that spreads to the east of Nagoya Station. Here are 5 places where you can drink delicious sake in that area.
1. Senya ichiya Meieki 4chome
This is a shop made up of private rooms, including table seats and tables set into the floor so you can stretch your legs, so this is great for people who can't or don't like to sit with their legs folded. They have brand sake from all around the country, and glasses start at 540 JPY (incl. tax). If you want to enjoy as much as you'd like, it's recommended that if you order the course that includes an 2 hour all-you-can-drink course (4,428 JPY - 9,288 JPY (incl. tax)), to add the premium all-you-can-drink course for an extra 540 JPY (incl. tax)) for a bigger variety of drinks. You can enjoy 7 kinds of sake with seasonal dishes.
2. Itamae Kappo MASA
This restaurant, designed with a mix of Western and Japanese designs, has private rooms with tables sunken into the floor, tables from where you can gaze out on the night scenery, and private rooms. The food they offer is mostly traditional Japanese food, but they also offer plenty of dishes made from a fusion of Japanese and Western tastes, such as California maki rolls (850 JPY (excl. tax)) and a mille-feuille with Hida brand beef, foie gras, and daikon radish (2,800 JPY (excl. tax)). The chef designed the menu to go perfectly with Japanese sake, so please enjoy it with a drink!
2. Itamae Kappo MASA
This is the first branch in Nagoya of this popular Tokyo izakaya (drinking establishment that also offers food). They're famous for their dishes made with wild seafood. They offer exquisite flavors, such as their high-class rosy seabass (salt-grilled or stewed) (4,500 JPY (excl. tax)) shipped directly from Ishikawa or Nagasaki, or their broadbanded thornyhead (salt-grilled or stewed) (4,500 JPY (excl. tax)), which was caught using fishing techniques that don't hurt the fish. They carefully chose the sake they offer, and they have more than 60 brands from around the country. One glass can go from 550 JPY to 1,950 JPY (excl. tax), so please try it in the manner (hot, lukewarm, chilled, etc.) that you prefer!
*Prices of fish like the rosy seabass or broadbanded thornyhead are subject to change depending on size or time of year.
4. Yorozuya Kuranosuke Meieki Branch
The wide interior is designed with such Japanese aesthetics you'll feel as though you're in Kyoto. The menu is mainly centered around "obanzai," dishes offered in Kyoto home cooking. You can enjoy their high-quality meals for a more reasonable price than a high-class traditional Japanese restaurant. They also carefully chose the sake that they offer from particular sellers so they offer more than 30 types of brand sake from around the country. One glass costs from 490 JPY to 880 JPY (excl. tax), so you can enjoy sake for a reasonable price as well.
5. Okushima Meieki Chuo Branch Annex
Okushima refers to the shore opposite Nagoya surrounding Ise Bay, part of Shima Peninsula where the Ise Shima Summit held in May 2016. From that area, fresh seafood is shipped directly to the restaurant so they can offer fireside grilled seafood and sashimi. A popular menu is Okushima's famous tekone sushi (893 JPY (incl. tax)), which was said to be eaten by fishermen while still on their boats. They have a variety of sake from around the country, including rare, little-known brands, so please ask the staff about them.
There are plenty of great restaurants! Nagoya has lots of famous cuisine, but one of the most recommended is their fried tebasaki (chicken wings). It goes well with sake, so definitely order some when you go out drinking!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.