Nagoya's Local Cuisine: Discover Traditional Dishes, Iconic Restaurants & Authentic Recipes

Nagoya's Local Cuisine: Discover Traditional Dishes, Iconic Restaurants & Authentic Recipes

Nagoya's Local Cuisine: Discover Traditional Dishes, Iconic Restaurants & Authentic Recipes

Nagoya, located in the Aichi Prefecture of Japan, is a city known for its rich culinary heritage and traditional dishes. From hearty comfort food to delicate flavors, Nagoya offers a diverse range of options that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. In this guide, we will explore Nagoya's local cuisine, highlight some iconic restaurants, and provide authentic recipes for you to recreate these dishes at home.

1. Hitsumabushi: Unveiling the Richness of Nagoya's Grilled Eel

One of Nagoya's most famous dishes is hitsumabushi, a grilled eel dish that showcases the region's love for flavorful and succulent eel. Hitsumabushi is typically served with rice, and the eel is seasoned with a special sauce that enhances its natural sweetness. To enjoy it fully, divide the dish into three parts: savor the first portion as is, mix the second portion with condiments like nori (seaweed) and wasabi, and transform the third portion into a flavorful rice bowl.

2. Miso Katsu: A Nagoya Twist on a Japanese Classic

Nagoya has also put its twist on the classic Japanese dish of katsu (breaded and deep-fried meat). Miso katsu involves coating pork cutlets in a rich, red miso sauce before breading and frying them to perfection. The miso sauce adds a savory and slightly sweet flavor that sets this dish apart. You can enjoy miso katsu in various ways, such as a katsu sandwich or topped on a bed of rice.

3. Tebasaki: Nagoya's Famous Chicken Wings

Tebasaki is another local specialty that has gained recognition beyond Nagoya. These crispy and juicy chicken wings are marinated in a soy-based sauce with garlic, ginger, and other secret ingredients. They are then grilled to perfection, resulting in a delicious balance of sweet, spicy, and umami flavors. Tebasaki is a staple at izakayas (Japanese pubs) in Nagoya and is best enjoyed with a cold beer.

4. Ankake Spaghetti: A Unique Fusion of Japanese and Italian

While Nagoya is known for its traditional dishes, it also offers unique fusion cuisine that reflects its cosmopolitan nature. Ankake spaghetti is a prime example of this fusion, combining elements of Japanese and Italian cuisines. This dish features spaghetti topped with a thick tomato-based sauce flavored with soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. It is often garnished with sausages, onions, mushrooms, and melted cheese, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

Iconic Restaurants for Nagoya's Local Cuisine

If you're looking to experience Nagoya's local cuisine firsthand, make sure to visit these iconic restaurants:

Atsuta Horaiken

Known for its hitsumabushi, Atsuta Horaiken has been serving authentic Nagoya-style grilled eel since 1873. The restaurant prides itself on using only the highest quality eel and maintaining traditional cooking methods.


Yabaton is a renowned establishment that specializes in miso katsu. Their miso sauce is made in-house using a secret recipe passed down through the generations. Be prepared for crispy katsu with a flavorful twist!

Sekai no Yamachan

Sekai no Yamachan is a popular chain restaurant that takes tebasaki to the next level. With multiple flavors and spice levels to choose from, you can customize your chicken wing experience to suit your taste preferences.


To try some delicious ankake spaghetti, head to Spaghetti-ya. They offer a variety of unique spaghetti dishes that cater to different tastes. Whether you're a meat lover or vegetarian, you'll find a flavorful combination that suits your palate.

Authentic Recipes to Recreate Nagoya's Local Cuisine

For those who love to cook and want to recreate Nagoya's local cuisine in their own kitchen, here are a few authentic recipes to try:

Hitsumabushi Recipe:

  1. Grill eel fillets over charcoal until tender and lightly charred.
  2. Brush the eel with a special sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and dashi (Japanese stock).
  3. Serve the grilled eel on a bed of steamed rice and drizzle additional sauce on top.
  4. Divide the dish into three portions and enjoy in different ways as mentioned earlier.

Miso Katsu Recipe:

  1. Coat pork cutlets with red miso sauce (made from miso paste, sake, mirin, and sugar).
  2. Dredge the pork cutlets in flour, dip in beaten eggs, and coat with panko breadcrumbs.
  3. Deep-fry the pork cutlets until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Serve the miso katsu with shredded cabbage and tonkatsu sauce.

Tebasaki Recipe:

  1. Marinate chicken wings in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chili powder, and other preferred seasonings.
  2. Grill the chicken wings over medium heat until crispy and cooked through.
  3. Serve the tebasaki with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and green onions.

Ankake Spaghetti Recipe:

  1. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente.
  2. In a separate pan, sauté sliced onions, mushrooms, and sausages.
  3. Add tomato sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of sugar to the pan.
  4. Simmer the sauce until thickened and flavorful.
  5. Toss the cooked spaghetti in the sauce and top with melted cheese.

Enjoy these authentic Nagoya recipes and share the flavors of this vibrant city with your loved ones!