Hakodate's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Hakodate's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Hakodate's Authentic Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Hakodate, a city located in Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido, is renowned for its rich culinary traditions. As a melting pot of cultures due to its history as a major port, Hakodate offers a diverse array of authentic and delicious dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From fresh seafood caught in the nearby waters to hearty noodle dishes, Hakodate has something to offer every food lover.

Local Dishes

1. Hakodate Ramen: One of the must-try dishes in Hakodate is their famous ramen. Known for its creamy, seafood-based broth, topped with fresh local ingredients such as succulent seafood, vegetables, and char siu pork, Hakodate ramen is a true delight. Head to one of the city's many ramen shops to savor this delectable dish.

2. Jingisukan (Genghis Khan): Jingisukan is a popular dish in Hakodate, named after the famous Mongolian leader Genghis Khan. It is a grilled lamb or mutton dish, usually enjoyed with a variety of vegetables. The meat is often marinated in a special sauce before being cooked on a tabletop grill, allowing you to savor the flavors and cook it to your preferred level of doneness.

3. Ikameshi: Ikameshi is a unique local specialty that consists of a whole squid stuffed with glutinous rice and simmered in a flavorful sauce. The squid becomes tender and absorbs the delicious flavors of the sauce, creating a mouthwatering combination of textures and tastes.

4. Kaisen-don: As Hakodate is a coastal city, it's no surprise that seafood plays a prominent role in its cuisine. Kaisen-don, a bowl of rice topped with an assortment of fresh sashimi, is a must-try dish for seafood lovers. The sashimi includes a variety of fish and shellfish, such as tuna, salmon, scallops, and uni (sea urchin). Each bite is a burst of oceanic flavors.

5. Genghis Khan Pizza: A fusion dish that combines the flavors of Jingisukan with a Western twist, Genghis Khan Pizza is a unique creation found in Hakodate. It features a crispy pizza crust topped with grilled lamb or mutton, vegetables, and a savory sauce. It's a delicious blend of Japanese and Western culinary influences.


1. Hakodate Ramen Kamome: Located near Hakodate Station, this ramen shop is known for its rich and flavorful ramen broths. The seafood-based soup is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Don't forget to try their signature toppings, such as the melt-in-your-mouth char siu pork.

2. Jingisukan Kiraboshi: For an authentic Jingisukan experience, head to Jingisukan Kiraboshi. This restaurant offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, where you can grill your own lamb or mutton to perfection. The friendly staff will guide you through the process, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

3. Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse: This historical building houses multiple restaurants and food stalls, offering a wide range of culinary delights. From seafood dishes to local snacks, you can explore the flavors of Hakodate while enjoying the unique ambiance of the red brick warehouse.

4. Kikuyo Shokudo: If you're looking for a taste of Ikameshi, Kikuyo Shokudo is the place to go. This humble eatery specializes in this local delicacy, serving up tender and flavorful ikameshi that will leave you wanting more. The cozy atmosphere adds to the charm of the dining experience.

5. Donburi Yokocho: This vibrant alley in Hakodate's Morning Market is a food lover's paradise. Lined with small restaurants and food stalls, it offers an abundance of fresh seafood donburi (rice bowls) and other local specialties. Take a stroll through Donburi Yokocho and indulge your taste buds in the flavors of Hakodate.

Traditional Recipes

1. Hakodate Ramen Recipe:

  1. Prepare the broth by simmering pork bones, chicken, dried seafood, and vegetables for several hours.
  2. Cook the ramen noodles according to the package instructions.
  3. Top the cooked noodles with a generous amount of broth.
  4. Add your desired toppings, such as char siu pork, green onions, and bamboo shoots.
  5. Enjoy!

2. Ikameshi Recipe:

  1. Clean and stuff a whole squid with glutinous rice mixed with seasonings like soy sauce, sake, and mirin.
  2. Place the stuffed squid in a pot and add a sauce made with dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.
  3. Simmer the squid over low heat until tender and the rice is cooked.
  4. Serve the ikameshi hot and enjoy!

Embark on a culinary adventure in Hakodate and savor the authentic flavors of this enchanting city. From traditional dishes to fusion creations, Hakodate's cuisine is sure to leave a lasting impression. Don't forget to explore the local markets, restaurants, and recipes to truly experience the essence of Hakodate's gastronomy.