The 10 Best Spots to Drink in Akita

Sake Bar
Sake Bar | Max Pixel
Dave Afshar

A far cry from the neon-lit nightlife of Tokyo or Osaka, Akita prefecture is known more for samurai houses and rice paddies than bars and clubs – but that doesn’t mean there’s nowhere to grab a pint. Akita ranks #1 in the country for sake consumption and is home to a number of popular sake and craft beer breweries. We take a look at some of the best spots to wet your whistle in Akita.

1. Beer Cafe Aqula

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Pub Grub, Beer

This German-inspired brewpub serves up local microbrews including pilsner, triple bock, ale, and more. The dining options are the standard European-style pub grub – sausages, fries, cheese platters, and cured meats. Most major foreign credit cards are accepted here, which can be rare in Akita.

2. Jazz Spot Rondo

Bar, Pub Grub

Jazz fans or anyone looking for something different than the unusual izakaya fare should check out this cozy little bar in Omachi. The owners have a huge selection of albums at their disposal and occasionally host live music nights.

3. Paddy’s Pub

Bar, Pub Grub

Not to be confused with the delightfully sleazy bar from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, this Western-style pub features a wide selection of imported European and American beers along with the usual snacks and pub grub.

4. Cocktail & Whisky Lady

Bar, Pub Grub

Open since 1964, this local cocktail bar has retained its old-school charm and Showa era (1926 – 1989) atmosphere. The usual beer, wine, and whisky are available as well as a selection of custom cocktails for those who want to try something new.

5. Beer Flight

Bar, Pub Grub

With its stylish brick wall interior, imported craft beers on tap, and hearty Western-style pub grub, this is an ideal spot for travelers who might be missing their favorite bars back home. Flight also happens to be a non-smoking establishment which is a welcome change for those in need of a break from Japan’s smokey bars and restaurants.

6. Yuki's Hookah Bar

Bar, Pub Grub

Hookah and shisha lovers will want to make a stop by Yuki’s for beer, hot dogs, live music, and of course, hookah. The owner occasionally hosts informal special events such as “English Night” and live performances.

7. ZOT

Bar, Pub Grub, Beer

For those who love the taste of real Belgian beers (and the buzz that follows drinking a 12% ABV beer), ZOT is a must-visit. Swanky but unpretentious, the dining options are a cut above the typical bar fare with a variety of meats, stews, and salads.

8. Loud Affection

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub

This live space and bar features acoustic performances and special events three or four nights a week. It only costs 1,000 yen (about $10) to get in and drinks will run you about $5 – $6 each. Check out their website for the list of upcoming bands and events.

9. Platz

Bar, Bistro, European, German

Connected with Beer Cafe Aqula (above), this German-inspired restaurant serves modest portions of food with much larger servings of beer.

10. The Cat Walk

Bar, Pub, Nightclub, Pub Grub

Another great option for jazz cats, this swanky live space is highly regarded by Akita locals and travelers alike. If you find yourself in the mood for some live music and an old-fashioned, speakeasy atmosphere, this is the place to go. Be sure to check out their website for upcoming shows and events.

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