Utsunomiya: Exploring Local Cuisine, Famous Restaurants & Authentic Recipes

Utsunomiya: Exploring Local Cuisine, Famous Restaurants & Authentic Recipes

Utsunomiya: Exploring Local Cuisine, Famous Restaurants & Authentic Recipes

Welcome to Utsunomiya, a vibrant city in Japan known for its delicious local cuisine. Utsunomiya is famous for its gyoza, a type of Japanese dumpling, but that's not all it has to offer. In this guide, we will take you on a culinary journey through Utsunomiya, exploring its famous restaurants and authentic recipes.

Gyoza: Utsunomiya's Signature Dish

Gyoza is the quintessential dish of Utsunomiya. These dumplings are typically filled with a mixture of ground pork, cabbage, garlic, ginger, and various seasonings. They are then pan-fried until crispy on the bottom and steamed to perfection. The result is a mouthwatering combination of textures and flavors. Utsunomiya is even recognized as the "Gyoza Capital" of Japan.

Where to Find the Best Gyoza in Utsunomiya

There are numerous restaurants in Utsunomiya specializing in gyoza. Here are a few notable ones:

  • Gyoza no Ohsho: With multiple branches in Utsunomiya and throughout Japan, Gyoza no Ohsho is a popular chain known for its tasty gyoza. Their menu offers a variety of gyoza flavors, including classic pork, garlic, and shrimp.
  • Gyoza Do: Located near Utsunomiya Station, Gyoza Do is a small restaurant that focuses solely on gyoza. Their gyoza is made fresh daily, and you can choose from different fillings such as pork, vegetable, and shrimp.
  • Yabaton: Although primarily known for their mouthwatering tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet), Yabaton also serves delicious gyoza. Their gyoza is larger than the average dumpling and is filled with a generous amount of pork and vegetables.

Other Local Delicacies in Utsunomiya

While gyoza takes the spotlight, Utsunomiya has more to offer when it comes to local cuisine. Here are a few other dishes you should try:

  • Nikko Beef: Utsunomiya is located near Nikko, a famous tourist destination and home to high-quality Nikko beef. This tender and flavorful beef can be enjoyed in Utsunomiya's restaurants, where it is often served as steak or in hot pot dishes.
  • Yaki Manju: Yaki manju is a sweet treat from Utsunomiya. It is a steamed bun filled with various sweet fillings like red bean paste, custard, or matcha cream. The buns are then grilled to perfection, resulting in a delightful combination of textures.
  • Utsunomiya Nijyo Pork: This locally raised pork is a regional specialty known for its rich flavor and tenderness. It is often used in hot pot dishes or grilled as yakiniku (grilled meat).

Authentic Recipes from Utsunomiya

If you want to try making Utsunomiya's famous gyoza or other local dishes at home, here are a couple of authentic recipes:

Utsunomiya Gyoza Recipe


  • 250g ground pork
  • 1/4 cabbage, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 30-40 gyoza wrappers
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a bowl, mix together ground pork, cabbage, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar.
  2. Place a spoonful of the filling onto a gyoza wrapper. Moisten the edges with water and fold the wrapper in half, creating a crescent shape. Pleat the edges to seal the gyoza.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place the gyoza in the pan, flat side down, and cook until the bottom is golden brown.
  4. Add water to the pan, cover, and steam the gyoza for about 5 minutes or until the water has evaporated.
  5. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the gyoza is crispy on the bottom.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

Explore Utsunomiya's Culinary Delights

Utsunomiya is a city that truly celebrates its local cuisine. Whether you're indulging in gyoza, savoring Nikko beef, or trying other regional delicacies, Utsunomiya offers a unique culinary experience. So make sure to explore the city's famous restaurants, try the authentic recipes, and immerse yourself in the flavors of Utsunomiya!