Top 5 places to eat in Hakodate
Located in the south of Hokkaido, the port city Hakodate is one of the most visited places of Japan’s northernmost island. Famous for its sightseeing and the star-shaped fort (Goryōkaku 五稜郭) Hakodate is also a must stop for every Food lover.
Regardless if you are visiting Hakodate for the famous night view, the morning market or the beautiful redbrick warehouse area; If you are in the mood for delicious food, the city will welcome you with open arms. Hakodate is renowned for many things including an amazing Fish Market, Hokkaido crabs, a Uni restaurant recommend by Michelin, and the best burger chain of Japan.
One advice if you visit Hakodate, stay there for at least 2 days so you have the time to try everything! Now let me introduce you to my Top 5 recommendations of places to eat in Hakodate + a special bonus at the end. Itadakimasu!
1. Morning Fish Market 朝市食堂二番館 – One Coin Bowl:
Who are they: Asaichi Shokudo Nibankan (朝市食堂二番館) is an institution of the Morning Market in Hakodate. The restaurant is based on the second floor of the market and the service starts at 5 am. Asaichi Shokudo Nibankan has a very convivial and friendly atmosphere, exactly what you would expect from this kind of place. The restaurant serves a wide selection of donburi including the famous One Coin Seafood Donburi. One great thing about this place is that you can bring any seafood you have bought at the market and they will prepare it for you.
What to order: The One coin Seafood Donburi (¥500). For just one coin of ¥500 you will be served a delicious Seafood Donburi. It is a bowl of rice topped with a mix of Maguro (Tuna), Ebi (Shrimp), Ikura (Salmon egg), Kani (Crab) and much more delicacies. Perfect to kick off your visit at the morning market or if you simply want to snack on a budget. One of the best price for value Seafood Donburi in Japan.
Where to find them: 朝市食堂二番館 Asaichi Shokudo Nibankan located on the upper floor of Hakodate Morning Market. Open from five am to two pm every day. Come early and hungry. Japan, 〒040-0063 Hokkaido, Hakodate, 若松町9−19.
2. Uni Murakami うにむらかみ – Uni Don:
Who are they: UNI MURAKAMI (うにむらかみ)-is one of the most famous Sea Urchin restaurant in Hokkaido. Recommended by the Michelin Guide, the restaurant is praised for the high quality of his preservative-free Sea Urchin. Besides the Sea Urchin, the restaurant also serves fresh fish straight from their fish tank. The traditional interior design of the place is beautiful and equally matched by a five stars service. I recommend you to try and secure one of the private booths if you can (a must if you are visiting this place with your partner).
What to order: If you are a real Sea Urchin lover and you want to indulge in something really special go for the 80g Sea Urchin Donburi (¥4320). It is a real treat for the connoisseur. An occasion to experiment authentic, top quality Sea Urchin once in your lifetime. That’s the one i went for and it was just amazing. Special mention also to the sticky Miso soup served with the menu, it has changed my perception of Miso soup forever.
Also, good news if you are not a Sea Urchin Fan, the whole menu offered at Uni Murakami is delicious and they have many things to try (The Atka Mackerel or Tempura are both a must try). You can have a look at their full menu with this link.
Where to find them: Uni Murakami うにむらかみ– Japan, 〒040-0064 Hokkaido, Hakodate, 大手町22−1
3. Marukatsu Suisan まるかつ水産 本店 – Everything :
Who are they: MARUKATSU SUISAN (まるかつ水産 本店) is a Kaiten Sushi (I can hear some of you scream already). If you do not know what a Kaiten sushi is, it is usually referred as a conveyor belt sushi. A Kaiten sushi is basically an open kitchen, where Chefs prepare live Sushi that they put on a conveyor belt and you just have to help yourself with the sushi passing in front of you. The price is based on the colour of the plate (usually between 100 to 500 yens). What you can also do in these restaurants is to directly ask the chef for what you would like to eat (“Sumimasen, Otoro Onegaishimasu!“).
Certain Kaiten Sushi have a bad reputation in regards to the quality of their fish, but Maruktsu Suisan is not one of them. The company main business is seafood wholesaling; Which means that they have access to amazing fresh seafood that they use in the Restaurant.
At Marukatsu Suisan the quality is simply amazing for the price. This place made me forget about the overpriced sushi at Tsukiji Market
What to order: EVERYTHING! I am not even joking, be curious when visiting this place and you will end up trying many things such as delicious fatty Tuna, raw huge shrimp or even Whale.
All the sushi served at Marukatsu Suisan are delicious. I have visited a lot of Kaiten Sushi in Japan and this place has one of the best quality for value sushi i had the chance to try. Special recommendation to the Otoro, Botan Ebi, and Unagi.
Where to find them: Marukatsu Suisan is located in the Hakodate Factory, Japan, 〒040-0065 Hokkaido, Hakodate, 豊川町１２−１０ 函館ベイ美食倶楽部, Website
4.Kamome Ramen かもめらーめん – Seafood Ramen :
Who are they: KAMOME RAMEN (かもめらーめん) Let me put this straight. This Ramen joint is a bit old school. I wouldn’t recommend you to visit this shop if you are really picky about hygiene (don’t be scared if you see a cockroach). In fact, you won’t feel safe until a few locals come and sit close to you to slurp their daily treat. However, if you are feeling adventurous, this place remains a must try in Hakodate for the quality of the Seafood Ramen.
Disclaimer: I swear i have not been sick after eating at this place.
What to order: The Seafood Ramen (¥1150) is an absolute must try. Topped with Kani, Uni, Hotate, Ika and Ebi amongst many other ingredients, this ramen is delicious. It is quite rare to find a seafood Ramen topped with that many delicacies so do not miss this opportunity. The broth was also really good and well balanced.
If you wish to visit this place be careful as they close early (3PM) and they are not open for Dinner.
Where to find them: Kamome Ramen – かもめらーめん〒040-0063 Hokkaido, Hakodate, Wakamatsucho, 8−8, ホテルニューオーテ. 6-30 AM – 3 PM
5. Lucky Pierrot ラッキーピエロ – Chinese Chicken Burger
Who are they: LUCKY PIERROT (ラッキーピエロ）A Burger Chain? Really?! No, you are not dreaming, we are in Hokkaido, one of the finest place on earth to eat Seafood and i am recommending a Burger shop… !
Not any kind of burger though, Lucky Pierrot serves one of the best Burger in Japan. In fact, with almost 2 million visitors a year they must do something right.
What to order: The Chinese chicken Burger (¥350). The burger is served with delicious chunks of juicy fried chicken covered in a sweet and spicy sauce. The portion is generous and really satisfying. For a really cheap price, you will taste one of the best burgers Japan has to offer. To visit Lucky Pierrot in Hakodate is an opportunity that you do not want to miss, the retro decoration of the place is also worth a detour.
Where to find them: They have 17 branches all around Hakodate. Visit the one located in the redbrick warehouse area for a great experience. 1 Chome-17-1 Minamiikebukuro, 豊島区 Tokyo 171-0022, Japan
6. Bonus – Daimon Yokocho :
Daimon Yokocho: This place is an institution in Hakodate. Daimon Yokocho is a traditional food stall village gathering 25 food vendors. You will find all kind of restaurants in this marketplace; From Donburi, Tempura, Ramen, Crab dishes or the usual izakaya specialities. You can also try there the famous Genghis Khan (a mutton speciality).
The atmosphere of Daimon Yokocho is warm, cosy and friendly. You can expect to sympathise with a few strangers in this place. Do not miss the opportunity to visit Daimon Yokocho and try as many restaurants as you can.
Where to find: 5 minutes walk from the JR Hakodate Station. Daimon Yokocho : 〒040-0035 Hokkaido, Hakodate, Matsukazecho, ７−5.
Opening hours: 5pm – 12 am