Nagasaki's Authentic Eats: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Nagasaki's Authentic Eats: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Nagasaki's Authentic Eats: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Welcome to Nagasaki, a beautiful city in Japan known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and most importantly, its delicious traditional cuisine. Nagasaki's culinary scene is a melting pot of influences from Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch cultures, resulting in a unique and diverse gastronomic experience. In this guide, we'll take you on a gastronomic journey to explore Nagasaki's local dishes, recommend some must-visit restaurants, and even share a few authentic recipes for you to try at home.

Nagasaki Champon

Let's start our culinary adventure with one of Nagasaki's most famous dishes, Nagasaki Champon. This hearty noodle dish originated from the Chinese community in the city and has become a local favorite. Champon features a bowl of rich pork bone broth filled with a variety of ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, and noodles. The combination of flavors and textures makes it a satisfying and comforting meal. You can find Champon in numerous restaurants throughout Nagasaki, but two popular spots are Ringerhut and Sakura-ya.

Nagasaki Sara Udon

If you're a fan of fried noodles, Nagasaki Sara Udon is a must-try. This dish consists of thick, crispy noodles topped with a savory sauce, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes a breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet. The contrast between the crunchy noodles and the tender toppings creates a delightful eating experience. Head to Shikairo or Udon Fukurou for some of the best Sara Udon in town.


No culinary journey in Nagasaki is complete without trying Castella, a popular sponge cake that is believed to have been introduced by the Portuguese centuries ago. This soft and moist cake is made with simple ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, and honey, yet its taste is simply divine. You'll find Castella in various forms, including original, honey-flavored, and even matcha-infused variations. Fukusaya and Bunmeido are the go-to places for purchasing this traditional Nagasaki sweet treat.

Glover Garden Tea Houses

When it comes to enjoying a traditional Japanese tea experience in Nagasaki, Glover Garden Tea Houses are the perfect choice. Located within the picturesque Glover Garden, these tea houses provide a serene atmosphere where you can savor Japanese green tea and indulge in beautiful wagashi (traditional sweets). Take a break from exploring the garden and immerse yourself in the tranquility while enjoying the elegant tea and delicate confections.

Home Cooking: Nagasaki Recipes

If you're feeling adventurous and would like to recreate the flavors of Nagasaki in your own kitchen, here are a couple of authentic recipes to try:

Recipe 1: Tori Somen


  • Chicken broth
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Chicken breast
  • Somen noodles
  • Green onions
  • Nori seaweed
  • Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese seven-spice seasoning)


  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil and season with soy sauce and salt.
  2. Add the chicken breast to the broth and cook until fully cooked.
  3. Cook the somen noodles according to the package instructions.
  4. Thinly slice the cooked chicken breast.
  5. Place the cooked somen noodles in a bowl and top with the sliced chicken, green onions, and nori seaweed.
  6. Sprinkle Shichimi Togarashi on top for an extra kick of flavor.
  7. Enjoy your homemade Tori Somen!

Recipe 2: Nagasaki-Style Castella


  • 5 eggs
  • 150g sugar
  • 50g honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g cake flour
  • Butter (for greasing baking pan)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until frothy.
  3. Add the honey and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and continue to beat.
  4. Sift the cake flour into the mixture and gently fold until well combined.
  5. Grease a baking pan with butter and pour in the batter.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Once baked, remove from the oven and let it cool before slicing.
  8. Enjoy your homemade Nagasaki-style Castella!

Now that you have an insight into Nagasaki's delectable local dishes, must-visit restaurants, and even authentic recipes to try at home, it's time to embark on your culinary journey. Experience the unique flavors of Nagasaki and savor the cultural fusion that makes this city's cuisine truly special.