The 10 Best Restaurants in Aomori

Apple blossoms at Hirosaki Castle; the prefecture is famous for its apple production | © Foooomio / Flickr
Apple blossoms at Hirosaki Castle; the prefecture is famous for its apple production | © Foooomio / Flickr
Photo of Christine Bagarino
27 February 2018

Aomori, the northernmost prefecture on Japan’s main island of Honshu, is best known for its summer Nebuta festival, autumn apple harvest, and its stunning fish and seafood. Here are 10 restaurants from Aomori that offer a taste of the delicious local cuisine.

Oshokuji Dokoro Osanai

Restaurant, Seafood, Japanese
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For a taste of Aomori local cuisine served in economically priced teishoku meal sets, look no further than Oshokuji Dokoro Osanai. The hotate scallops here are not only superb but super cheap, and every dish on the menu has a home-cooked taste that will make you feel right at home in Aomori.

Steak Restaurant Miraikan

Restaurant, Steakhouse, $$$
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A roadside service station may seem an unusual location for a steakhouse. But, there’s no better place in Aomori to enjoy the local Towadako wagyu beef from the Lake Towada district, Aomori black wagyu beef, and Aomori short-horned beef. Be sure to try the bara-yaki, a local dish from Towada City of grilled beef rib and onions cooked on a hot plate with sweet and spicy soy sauce. Find it within the Michi-no-Eki Oirase Roman Park, by the Oirase roadside station (closed annually December through March).


Gastropub, Seafood, $$$
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The izakaya gastropub Senya is not only a place to enjoy draft beer and regional sakes, but also reasonably priced bento lunch and teishoku dinner sets, as well as a variety of fresh local seafood, including squid and hotate scallops. Be sure to try the Aomori specialty dish, kaiyaki miso, featuring miso soup, egg, and seafood cooked over a flame on a large scallop shell.

Sushi Ichi

Restaurant, Sushi, $$$
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If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale than teishoku meals, the superb sushi experience at Sushi Ichi is sure to satisfy, whether you order a la carte or opt for the omakase chef’s course. Don’t let the unimposing exterior of this converted wooden house fool you—Sushi Ichi is the highest-rated restaurant in all of Aomori Prefecture. Prices vary by season and market price, so only come here if you’re ready to drop quite a few yen (by reservation only).


Fishmonger, Seafood, Japanese
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Some of the best maguro tuna in Japan is caught around Aomori’s Omazaki Cape, which is also abundant in squid and mackerel fish — two favorite foods of the bluefin tuna. For the very best tuna donburi bowls that won’t break the bank, be sure to make a lunch stop at Kaikyoso, located just on the cape. Their ‘Maguro Dake Don’ (Nothing But Tuna Bowl) is piled high with the holy trinity of fresh tuna: akami (lean tuna), chutoro (medium fatty tuna), and otoro (fatty tuna). Closed for winter from November to mid-April.


Restaurant, Seafood, Ramen
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In addition to tuna, Aomori is famous for its sea urchin, too. At Tabiji on the Tsugaru Peninsula, enjoy uni so fresh that it glistens like jewels. Don’t be fooled by the ramen shop sign out front, as they also serve up a fantastic bowl of Aomori-style noboshi ramen here. Uni season runs from late April through the end of July.

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Takahashi Chukka Sobaten

Restaurant, Ramen, $$$
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Niboshi ramen made with dried sardines is the representative style of ramen from Aomori’s Tsugaru Peninsula. The dried sardines add a deep smokiness and intense umami flavor to the ramen broth, a practice that has spread all the way to ramen shops in Tokyo. Try it at Takahashi Chukka Sobaten in Hirosaki City, which many locals consider the number one noboshi ramen shop in all of Aomori.

Aji no Sapporo Onishi

Restaurant, Ramen, $$$
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A specialty of Aomori City, miso curry milk ramen is an Aomori style of ramen inspired by the miso ramen found in Sapporo City, Hokkaido. Creamy milk and curry powder are added to a rich miso-based soup broth, paired with thick wavy noodles, tender pieces of char siu pork, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, wakame seaweed, and a pat of butter. It’s so tasty, you may wonder why no one thought of the combination sooner!

Taisho Roman Kissa-shitsu

Cafe, Dessert, Japanese, $$$
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At Taisho Roman Kissa-shistu, enjoy uninterrupted views of nearby Hirosaki Park in bloom from the sunroom of an historic hundred-year-old residence built in the early Taisho period. Now converted into a café, Taisho Roman Kissa-shistu serves six different kinds of apple pie sourced from famous local bakeries. There are scores of apple pie shops around Hirosaki, so if you only have time for one, Taisho Roman Kissa-shitsu is a sure bet. Open early April through late November.

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