Naha's Local Cuisine: Discover Traditional Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Naha's Local Cuisine: Discover Traditional Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Naha's Local Cuisine: Discover Traditional Dishes, Restaurants & Recipes

Welcome to Naha, the vibrant capital city of Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. Naha is not only known for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes but also its mouthwatering local cuisine. Traditional dishes in Naha are a unique blend of influences from both the Ryukyu Kingdom and its neighboring countries, creating a diverse and exciting culinary experience. In this guide, we will take you on a gastronomic journey through Naha's local cuisine, introducing you to some must-try dishes, popular restaurants, and even sharing a few recipes for you to recreate the flavors of Naha at home.

1. Okinawa Soba

Okinawa Soba is a beloved noodle dish in Naha and across Okinawa. Unlike the typical soba noodles found in mainland Japan, Okinawan soba features thick, wheat-based noodles served in a rich pork-based broth. The broth is often flavored with bonito fish flakes and is topped with tender slices of braised pork, green onions, and sidhingsusu (red pickled ginger). This hearty and comforting dish is perfect for any time of the day and can be found in numerous soba shops and restaurants in Naha.

2. Goya Champuru

Goya Champuru is a popular stir-fry dish that exemplifies the unique flavors of Okinawa. The main ingredient of this dish is goya, a bitter melon indigenous to Okinawa. The goya is stir-fried with tofu, eggs, pork (or spam), and various vegetables, creating a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and bitter tastes. Goya Champuru is not only delicious but also has many health benefits, as bitter melon is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Rafute

Rafute is a slow-cooked pork belly dish that originated from China and was adopted into Okinawan cuisine. The pork belly is braised in a flavorful mix of soy sauce, sugar, awamori (a local spirit), and spices until it becomes tender and succulent. Rafute is often served with steamed rice and pickled vegetables, offering a delightful balance of flavors and textures. Many restaurants specialize in Rafute in Naha, making it easy to find this traditional dish.

4. Taco Rice

Taco Rice is a unique fusion dish that combines Tex-Mex flavors with Japanese ingredients. It was born in Okinawa and has become immensely popular throughout the region, including Naha. Taco Rice consists of a bed of rice topped with flavorful minced beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and salsa. It is often served with a side of tortilla chips and sour cream. This comforting and satisfying dish can be found in local cafes, food stalls, and even some traditional Okinawan restaurants.

5. Island Fruits

Naha is known for its abundance of delicious tropical fruits. During your visit, be sure to indulge in some of the unique fruits that grow on the island, such as dragon fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, and passion fruit. These fruits are not only incredibly flavorful but also provide essential vitamins and nutrients. You can find fresh island fruits in local markets, supermarkets, and even street vendors throughout Naha.

  1. Ma-sa-na-ri: Address: 1-11-16 Matsuo, Naha, Okinawa 900-0014
  2. Megumiya: Address: 1-11-18 Matsuo, Naha, Okinawa 900-0014
  3. Kishimoto Shokudo: Address: 2-11-4 Matsuo, Naha, Okinawa 900-0014
  4. Daimon Soba: Address: 4-4-11 Matsuo, Naha, Okinawa 900-0014
  5. Cocco Garden: Address: 2-2-35 Matsuo, Naha, Okinawa 900-0014


Okinawa Soba Recipe


  • 200g thick Okinawa soba noodles
  • 500ml pork broth
  • 100g braised pork slices
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • Red pickled ginger (sidhingsusu) to taste


  1. Cook the soba noodles according to the package instructions and set aside.
  2. In a pot, heat the pork broth until hot.
  3. Divide the cooked soba noodles into bowls.
  4. Top the noodles with the warm pork broth.
  5. Garnish with braised pork slices, chopped green onions, and red pickled ginger.
  6. Enjoy your homemade Okinawa Soba!

Goya Champuru Recipe


  • 1 bitter melon (goya)
  • 150g pork slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g firm tofu, cubed
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Remove the seeds from the bitter melon and slice it thinly.
  2. Heat the cooking oil in a pan and sauté the pork slices until cooked.
  3. Add the onion slices and bitter melon to the pan and stir-fry for a few minutes.
  4. In a bowl, beat the eggs and pour them over the pork and vegetables.
  5. Add the tofu and soy sauce to the pan and stir-fry until the eggs are cooked.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy your homemade Goya Champuru!