In the Shinchitose area, home to such destinations as Sapporo, Otaru, and Niseko, delicious food from all over Hokkaido is gathered. Here, we introduce restaurants where you can enjoy typical Hokkaido food and drink, and spots where you can dig deeper into its charm. For example, if you want to try the classic Hokkaido dish miso ramen, head to Ichiryuan, a foreigner-friendly restaurant. While Ichiryuan is an authentic Japanese restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide, it is surprisingly accessible to foreigners, with even halal versions on offer that to cater to Muslim visitors. Those who have an interest in the kombu (kelp) soup stock that is so essential to Japanese cuisine should head to Nanakura Kombu, which uses kelp from Hidaka, a place famous for kelp production. In addition, there is also Yoichi Eco village, where you can learn about Hokkaido ingredients and lifestyles from the viewpoint of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Not only through eating delicious dishes, but also through gaining a greater understanding of the area’s food, you will surely experience an entirely different side of Hokkaido.
Yoichi Eco village
Hokkaido is an area where ingredients that enjoy the abundant blessings of nature are produced. If you have an interest in such ingredients, why not take a tour of one of the sites where they are grown? The NPO corporation Hokkaido Ecovillage Promotion Project, active in Yoichi, cooperates with local residents to provide a place for learning that puts into practice eco-friendly home-building and vegetable production. Even if you are not a resident, if you make a reservation, you can experience harvesting, tour the fields, and visit nearby wineries that have been attracting attention within Yoichi in recent years. This is a valuable spot where you can deepen your learning about the current state of food and living in Hokkaido from the perspective of the SDGs.
1863 Noboricho, Yoichi, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido
Occi Gabi winery
Yoichi has long been famous for brewing whiskey, but in recent years, wine brewing has become popular, and the area has been attracting attention from alcohol lovers from around the world. While other wineries in Japan may use imported ingredients from countries such as France or the USA, Occi Gabi Winery, which aims to make the best wine in Japan right here in Yoichi, is a discerning winery that brews using only Japanese ingredients. After visiting the winery, you can enjoy the wine while eating French cuisine at the restaurant that overlooks the vineyards. Dinner is by course only, but we recommend the menu that makes use of pork from Yoichi Town. Wine-tasting is not limited to the restaurant, and can be enjoyed at the counter or in the garden, so feel free to visit at your leisure.
635 Yamadacho, Yoichi, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido
The Barn by Odin
The Barn by Odin, an impressive building created in the image of a farmhouse barn, is a bistro in Niseko that can only be enjoyed for a limited time in winter, from December to February. The restaurant is very popular with foreign guests, with a menu that includes dishes such as Foie Gras Sushi and Flame-Grilled Wagyu Sushi, made with the very best, handpicked Hokkaido ingredients. After experiencing Niseko’s powder snow, head for dinner at this restaurant where you can taste the best wine, whiskey, and ingredients in Hokkaido.
170-323 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
Dashi, meaning soup stock, is an indispensable seasoning in Japanese cuisine. If you want to taste the stock itself, or if you want to buy kelp for making your own delicious stock, we recommend Nanakura Kombu. Each piece of kelp, an ingredient that Hokkaido is especially proud of, is sourced from the famous kelp-production area of Hidaka, and is carefully dried in the sun. Soup stock made from kelp and sardines can also be drunk at the “dashi stand” in the store. Here, you can also learn how to make stock and discover various recipes, so we recommend taking some kelp home and trying a few dishes of your own. Learn more about the culture surrounding this versatile ingredient of which Japan is so proud.
2-23 S19 W14, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
If you visit Hokkaido, you should try miso ramen at least once. Among the many famous ramen shops in Sapporo, we recommend Sapporo Ichiryuan, where you can enjoy ramen made with carefully selected Hokkaido ingredients. Listed in the Michelin Guide, the restaurant is highly regarded by foreign tourists, with dishes on offer that cater to Muslims, such as halal versions that don’t use pork or alcohol—a rare offering in Hokkaido. Not only is the ramen excellent, but so is the handmade gyoza, so we recommend ordering them together.
1 N4 W1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Kamameshi Ichie, located at Megumino Station on the Chitose Line, which links Sapporo to New Chitose Airport, is a restaurant where you can enjoy kamameshi (a rice dish cooked in an iron kama) filled with Hokkaido’s fruits of the land and sea. A highly recommended dish is “Ichie Special Kamameshi”, which consists of ample seafood, such as Hokkaido Hanasaki crabs, scallops, and salmon roe sat on top of fluffy white rice that has been cooked in an iron pot. There are also meat and vegetable-based versions of kamameshi, so there are options even for those who are not so good with raw fish. Big groups and families welcome.
3-3-2 Kashiwagicho, Eniwa, Hokkaido
Otaru Yatai Village – Renga Yokocho
Sushi is famous throughout Otaru, but if you want to enjoy it in a casual atmosphere at a reasonably priced izakaya, Otaru Yatai Village is the place to go. Consisting of two areas—Renga Yokocho and Roman Yokocho—Otaru Yatai Village has a lineup of reasonably priced food stalls serving such fare as Italian food, sushi, and oden, and some are even designed as bars serving alcoholic drinks. Among this food, stalls are Jinpei, where you can taste Genghis Khan, a style of lamb barbeque that is considered a soul food of Hokkaido. The tender raw lamb shoulder goes excellently with Jinpei’s original sauce. Otaru Yatai Village can be enjoyed alone or in groups and is often visited by locals. Be careful not to drink too much, as it is easy to get swept up in the fun of bar-hopping across several stalls!
1-4-15 Inaho, Otaru, Hokkaido
Soup curry, which consists of rice soaked in a soup-like curry containing big chunks of ingredients, is now one of the popular gourmet foods in Hokkaido. The store where soup curry originated is the Magic Spice Sapporo Store, which is endorsed by curry lovers nationwide. The secret behind the popularity of this curry, which was modeled after an Indonesian dish called soto ayam, is the mysterious deliciousness that makes you want to continue eating despite the heat of the spice. You can choose the spice level, so we recommend that people who like spicy food challenge themselves. Coupled with the unique atmosphere of the store, which is multiethnic in design, at Magic Spice Sapporo you can experience a trip to another dimension. The theme of the magic-spice curry is, “a balanced diet leads to a healthy body.” The more you eat, the more immunity you can expect.
S8-6-2 Hongodori, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido