Sapporo is the fifth biggest city in Japan, the capital of the Hokkaido prefecture and birthplace of the world-renowned Sapporo beer. Snow crab, soup curry and okonomiyaki are only a few of Sapporo’s most mouthwatering dishes. Take advantage of everything on offer in the city with our foodie-approved selection of 10 great restaurants in Sapporo.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Sapporo is widely considered to be one of the best sushi destinations in Japan, and at the very top of that category stands Hanamaru. Hanamaru serves its dishes on a conveyor belt: each plate is color-coded and each color corresponds to a price. Guests can pick and choose whatever dish they prefer and at the end of the meal the waitresses count the stack of dishes and bring the bill. Considering the excellent quality of the fish, Hanamaru is surprisingly affordable. The cheerful atmosphere and the mouthwatering sushi make this venue a mandatory casual stop when visiting Sapporo.
Nishitondendori Soup Curry Honpo
Soup curry is one of the staple dishes of Japanese cuisine. Given that Hokkaido is the birthplace of soup curry, there is a lot of competition between restaurants to establish which one serves the best in Sapporo. Nishitondendori Soup Curry Honpo definitely ranks among the top three. The soups are simply fantastic: there is a wide selection of broths to choose from, which can be ordered either in a rich or light variant. The vegetable choice is also amazing, with cabbage, lotus root, okra, asparagus, red pepper, to name a few. To add another layer of deliciousness, the soups can be ordered with extra spice ranging in level from one to eight, the latter suitable only for the most daring.
Sapporo Beer Garden
For those wanting a plate of meat and a glass of beer in the heart of Japan, Sapporo Beer Garden is a dream come true. The restaurant is in the Genghis Khan Hall, a beautiful government building built in the 23rd year of the Meiji Period. From the exterior, with its beautiful red brick walls covered in ivy, to the interior with a giant brass cauldron from the Taisho period, Sapporo Beer Garden excels in creating the perfect atmosphere to accompany a great meal. The menu offers a solid variety of meats but what truly stands out is the Genghis Khan. This is a local specialty that consists of (all-you-can-eat) barbecued mutton or lamb best served with an ice-cold Sapporo beer on the side.
Not only do Sapporo’s restaurants offer some of the best traditional local cuisine, but they also cater to international tastes. Mikuni stands out as one of the best French-style restaurants in the city. Managed by Kiyomi Mikuni, a renowned chef from Hokkaido, it is one of dining experiences offered by the JR Tower Hotel. The style of Mikuni can be described as French fusion cuisine. It has a menu filled with staple dishes of traditional French cuisine, re-invented by the chef who makes a point of using only the freshest local produce for his creations. Innovative recipes, combined with an excellent wine list, impeccable service and a jaw-dropping view from the 35th floor of the building, mix together to create one of the best high-end dining experiences in Sapporo.
The seas surrounding the island of Hokkaido provide an incredible variety of fish and some of the tastiest seafood in the world. Kani-Honke made an art out of cooking crab. It follows the kaiseki ryōri, a traditional multi-course haute cuisine, which was once very popular among aristocratic circles and which is nowadays synonymous with fine dining. Not unlike the traditional tea ceremony, kaiseki meals have a specific order for the dishes, which can be enjoyed when staying at a ryokan, a Japanese-style inn. The beautiful décor of Kani-Honke is characterized by indoor gardens with Japanese cypresses and cedars. The succulent snow crab is one of the highlights of the menu, but every single dish is worth trying.
Together with Hakata and Kitagata, Sapporo is one of the most popular types of ramen in Japan. This noodle dish is usually served with shoyu (soy sauce), salt, and miso flavors, but the Sapporo variant is topped with fried vegetables. As the birthplace of the dish, it is no wonder that ramen restaurants abound in Sapporo. Although no one has never counted them, some say that there are more than 1,000 scattered throughout the city. Rāmen Kyōwakoku is an alleyway that’s home to eight of the best ramen restaurants in Sapporo, each specializing in a different style of cooking this incredibly popular and traditional dish.
Fugetsu at Sapporo Station
Okonomiyaki must be one of Japan’s most popular dishes among locals and tourists alike. The word okonomiyaki literally means ‘grill whatever you want’ and, in fact, these Japanese pancakes are served with an incredible variety of toppings. The batter is made of flour, grated yam, water, eggs and shredded cabbage and may contain other ingredients such as green onions, prawns, octopus, squid, or meat. This staple dish of Japanese cuisine is generally served in small stalls on the side of the street. However, the best okonomiyaki experience in Sapporo is served by Fugetsu, a tiny joint that can be can be found inside the city’s train station.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.