The izakaya culture of Japan has gradually come to be known around the world. These kinds of Japanese pubs offer all kinds of food, usually influenced by the local cuisine. In this article we will feature 5 izakaya that you should visit if you are coming to Hokkaido.
1. Tairyo Izakaya Tecchan
The famous Tairyo Izakaya Tecchan, located within a 2 minute walk from Susukino Station, is a Japanese style pub serving fresh and seasonal sashimi. This izakaya receives many customers thanks to its outstanding reputation, and most people are surprised when they see the interior walls of the tavern, which are covered with retro Japanese anime, toys, figures, and photographs of old idols. It is not just the atmosphere of the pub that is unique; the menu is very original as well. Every morning, the manager, Tecchan, goes to the market to buy fresh seafood and fish, which are later used in their Sashimi Assorted Platter (1,620 JPY per person), a delicious and overwhelmingly hearty dish of sashimi served in a boat-shaped plate. You will likely be surprised at how voluminous this dish is, with sashimi piled on top of more sashimi. No need to worry, though - if the sashimi turns out to be too much for you, you can have the leftovers cooked to continue eating the fish in a different way. The menu includes Hokkaido specialties such as Genghis Khan (Mongolian mutton barbecue) and asparagus-based dishes!
Ajihyakusen is a famous izakaya located within a 2 minute walk of JR Sapporo Station serving fresh seafood and Japanese cuisine. Here you can also indulge in local and high quality sake. We recommend this tavern to all sake lovers, as their selection includes not only sake from Hokkaido, but also carefully selected brands from all over the country. The menu includes plenty of local dishes such as seasonal sashimi and mutton barbecue. Their Butter Simmered Potatoes (reservation required), a specialty dish in which potatoes are gently boiled in butter and broth for 5 hours, has even been featured in a famous food-related manga comic. One bite is enough for you to enjoy the full-bodied flavor of the butter and broth spreading within your mouth and leaving a rich but refreshing aftertaste! It is said that many people come here from far away just to taste this. This is an izakaya where you can always expect to have delicious Japanese sake and carefully prepared exquisite dishes, regardless of when you visit. It is very close to Sapporo Station, so make sure to drop by!
3. Tabegoto-ya Gozaru
Tabegoto-ya Gozaru is an izakaya where you can enjoy original Japanese cuisine using seasonal fish and ingredients along with authentic shochu and Japanese sake. It is located within a 5 minute walk from Susukino Station. Built to evoke a traditional Japanese house, the interior of the izakaya is dimly lit, creating a very charming atmosphere. The menu changes daily, which means that here you can truly enjoy special dishes using seasonal and delicious ingredients - we recommend this izakaya especially to those looking to indulge in elaborate meals! Their dishes include Hokkaido staples such as sashimi and grilled fish together with a plentiful variety of creative dishes including Tender Boiled & Grilled Pork Spare Ribs (800 JPY (excl. tax)), made with a sweet flour paste-based sauce, and Pasta with Snow Crab and Brown Meat (950 JPY (excl. tax)). It is a good idea to make a reservation in advance if you are going to be visiting this izakaya. *The izakaya's menu changes daily, so the dishes mentioned in the article may not be available.
4. Regional Cuisine Kofuji
Regional Cuisine Kofuji is a restaurant specializing in local dishes located in the basement floor of a building within a 7 minute walk of Sapporo Station. Here you can indulge in delicious and super fresh sashimi and grilled dishes. The izakaya is characterized by a traditional Japanese atmosphere, and on the counter you will be able to see the daily supply of fresh fish, including fish characteristic of Hokkaido such as sailfin poacher and atka mackerel! This restaurant counts not only locals but also tourists among its repeat customers. All of their dishes enjoy a great reputation for being delicious, but we especially recommend going for their sashimi or their perfectly grilled Open Atka Mackerel (800 JPY (excl. tax) for a small) and Salmon Belly (1,200 JPY (excl. tax))! They have a wide array of deep fried options as well, so anybody can enjoy this restaurant even if they are not big fans of raw food. Their vaunted grilled fish lunch set meal, available from 680 JPY (excl. tax) is very popular too. Make sure to casually drop by anytime!
5. Izakaya Furusato Sapporo Sohonten
Izakaya Furusato is located within a 3 min. walk of Odori Station. It is always bustling with locals and groups of people, which makes it the perfect place to go if you want to enjoy a typical izakaya atmosphere. The menu includes sashimi made with fresh fish bought by the owner at the market, and a plentiful variety of other traditional izakaya dishes. Some staples are potato-based dishes like French fries, and yakitori using chicken locally grown in Shiretoko. In addition, they also have original dishes like the elaborate Brown Meat Pizza (780 JPY). If you are going to have a drink too, we recommend snacking on "Zangi" (650 JPY), which is the word used in Hokkaido for fried chicken. The zangi in this izakaya are really large and hearty! They are crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and they are rather strongly seasoned, which makes them a perfect match for local sake and shochu, and beer. Make sure to give them a try!
Izakaya in Hokkaido are characterized by offering plenty of fresh seafood dishes, but their menu includes many other delicious options as well. Make sure you find your favorite!
*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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