8 Must-Try Food In Fukuoka - Ramen Battle Hakata vs Kurume

8 Must-Try Food In Fukuoka - Ramen Battle Hakata vs Kurume

Situated at the northern shores of Kyushu, Fukuoka is a harbor city that boasts deep historical values and futuristic Western culture. Together with the oceanic breeze, it provides the locals and tourists the best of both worlds in terms of scenic views, exciting activities and most importantly – FOOD. Also known as the gold mine of gourmet in Japan, visitors can find themselves lost in the world of delicacies as they are spoilt for choice. Ranging from traditional ramen to novelty sweets, Fukuoka is a city that will not disappoint your taste buds. Tourists can even bring home the gastronomical satisfaction in the form of tasty souvenirs that fill the streets of Fukuoka.

Sakura at Fukuoka Castle March2013 02
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user STA3816 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

1. Ramen, Fukuoka style: Hakata Ramen at Ichiran

Ramen Ichiran HQ at Hakata, Fukuoka
Source: Photo by user Jun Seita used under CC BY 2.0

Experience the traditional bread and butter of Fukuoka with their special take on ramen, the Tonkotsu ramen. With a strong broth made with pork bone, it sets itself apart from other styles of ramen, promising a powerful flavor that will leave you satisfied. In fact, if you still have the broth, you can get a refill of noodles at a low price of 300 JPY (2.90 USD)! This is offered in many restaurants and will surely leave you full and satisfied.

This great deal is also provided by Ichiran, one of the most well-known restaurant brands in Japan and definitely Fukuoka. They always have a long queue of customers, waiting to savor the tasty pork broth cooked to perfection with their original secret sauce despite having many branches across the country. Ichiran provides a unique dinner experience that sets them apart from other restaurants. After ordering the food, customers are led to individual counter seats, separated from their companions to enjoy the meal, allowing them to fully indulge in their perfect bowl of ramen and be free of distractions. A combination of a unique experience and traditional ramen will definitely make your visit worth it!

一蘭 Ichiran

Address: 5-3-2 Nakasu, Hakata-ward, Fukuoka-city

Opening Hours: Open 24/7 all year round.


2. Dive into the origins of Kyushu ramen with Kurume Taiho Ramen

Taiho Ramen Tenjinimaizumi
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Totti used under CC BY-SA 4.0

An even more traditional style of ramen compared to the Hakata ramen, this style gives the consumer a stronger taste of Fukuoka’s history by providing an even stronger pork broth. By including even the pig head and fried pig lard, the Tonkotsu broth thickens and is sure to give you a breathtaking flavor.

At Taiho Ramen, the iron pot the restaurant uses to cook the broth has never been empty. The pork broth also known as “Yobimodoshi Soup” is filled with layers of flavor and history as it simmers over time from the past to the present, giving you the rich and satisfying flavor. Take pride as you sip in Japan’s traditional history with every spoonful of Taiho’s amazing pork broth that blends well with a good serving of noodles and meat.

久留米 大砲ラーメン Kurume Taiho Ramen

Address: 11-8, Torihokamachi, Kurume-city, Fukuoka Prefecture

Opening Hours: 11am - 11pm. Closed on New Year’s Day.


3. Sharing is caring with authentic Fukuoka-style hotpot at Hakata Motsunabe Hakkei

Motsunabe 002
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 徳永涼 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are with a group of friends, family or simply wish to enjoy the spirit of sharing food, there is no better option than Motsunabe. It is typically a stew served in a hot pot with beef or pork intestines as the star of the stew. Beautifully seasoned with soy sauce, garlic and chili pepper, the flavorful stew will be sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Hakata Motsunabe Hakkei offers Motsunabe in different flavors which include soy sauce, miso and salt. While they all provide intriguing flavors, soy sauce has remained the most popular choice among visitors. Be ready to chow down on the large serving of guts, vegetables and a hearty chicken stock soup and it will surely wow you! This mouth-watering hotpot will make the meal with your travel companions an enjoyable and delicious feast for sure.

博多もつ鍋 八慶 Hakata Motsunabe Hakkei

Address: 8-164, Kamishirouzu, Kasuga-city, Fukuoka Prefecture

Opening Hours: 5 pm - 11:30 pm


4. Bask in street festivities and delicacies at the local Nakasu Street Stalls!

Yatai food stalls on Nakasu
Source: Photo by user RachelH_ used under CC BY 2.0

Just like many other countries, Fukuoka also has its own take on night markets. Commonly called Yatais, or mobile restaurants, they take over the streets at dusk in major streets, transforming the business districts into food havens. These restaurants serve up a variety of dishes, ranging from ramen to yakitori and even Italian cuisine! Enjoy the local culture first hand with different delicacies as it is common for the friendly proprietors and even fellow customers to strike up a conversation and have a good meal together.

Located between the Hakata River and Naka River, the Nakasu area becomes one of the biggest nightlife spots in Japan at night. The streets offer snacks like yakitori and tempura to filling meals like ramen and pasta. You can have a hearty time with good food, some alcohol and an enjoyable chat with the master of the stall. However, be sure to remain respectful to the stall owners and practise basic courtesy in your conversations or if you would like to take pictures. Mutual respect often goes a long way together with good company!

Nakasu Street Stalls

Address: Nakasu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-city

Opening Hours: 6 pm - 2 am (varies for different stalls)

5. The pastry that represents Fukuoka: Hakata Torimon

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 火国男児 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of Fukuoka’s signature food is definitely the Hakata Torimon. Staying true to Fukuoka being a blend of historical Japanese culture and modern Western influence, it is a pastry that combines the best of both worlds. The rich butter and milk are put together with traditional sweet beans, leaving you craving for more. This manju has proved itself to be one of the must-eat in Fukuoka and even makes a good souvenir to bring back. Recommended to be purchased on the last day, you can also get it at the Fukuoka Airport should you not want to have the hassle of visiting the main store.

博多 通りもん Hakata Torimon

Address: Deitos shopping mall in JR Hakata Station, 1-1 Hakataeki-chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-city

Opening Hours: 8 am - 9 pm


6. Enjoy the sweetness of Fukuoka with the Hakata no Hito

Iwamizawa souvenir-confectionery Kobushi individual-packaging-and-section
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user SelEle-MS used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Not losing to the manju is the Hakata no Hito. A favorite sweet among locals, it brings out the delicious flavor of eggs and highlights the delicate sweetness of the red bean jelly all in a simple thumb-sized pastry. Literally translated to “Lady of Hakata”, it is definitely a no-brainer that it is one of Fukuoka’s best pastry and worthy to represent the city. If you have spare change left at the airport, there is no doubt this pastry is a worthy investment to bring home as a souvenir for family and friends alike.

博多の女 Hakata no Hito

Address: Deitos shopping mall in JR Hakata Station, 1-1 Hakataeki-chuogai, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-city

Opening Hours: 8 am - 9 pm

7. Specialty and traditional Name-Daifuku with unique flavors at Nagoshi

Daifuku 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lyzzy used under CC BY 2.5

What is a Japanese dessert without the occasional dose of matcha and sakura? At Nagoshi, you will have these cravings satisfied along with many others with their wide spread of different flavors. A Daifuku, traditionally a rice cake stuffed with sweet bean jam and fresh cream, is now given a modern twist by Nagoshi. They feature Japanese flavors like matcha and sakura daifukus as well as Western flavors like chocolate pudding, a reflection of Fukuoka’s spirit of fusion.

なごし Nagoshi

Address: 3-5-27 Obatake, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu-city

Opening Hours: 10 am - 7 pm

8. Fukuoka’s best condiment, dish and even souvenir, Mentaiko!

Mentaiko from a Fish Market in Fukuoka
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chester Siu used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Every foodie that loves Japanese food would definitely have heard of mentaiko and this happens to be a specialty product of Fukuoka! Pollock roe that is slowly marinated in chili pepper sauce, it brings out the flavor of Japanese cuisine. From having it with just rice balls to accompanying salmon platters, it is definitely a dish one would enjoy.

Fukuoka’s mentaiko is known for its freshness and high quality, putting it at the top of its class. It is a frequent condiment to most dishes in Fukuoka and if you enjoy it, you can easily buy them raw at stalls to bring home as a souvenir for friends or for yourself to replicate the Fukuoka taste at home! A popular mentaiko factory outlet known to locals is Kanefuku, which goes through painstaking processes to cultivate an acquired taste many will enjoy.

かねふく 工場直売店 Kanefuku factory store

Address: 1-5-17, Higashihama, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi

Access: 10-minute walk from Hako-zaki Miyamae Subway Station, Hakozaki Line

Opening Hours: 10 am - 6 pm

Don’t miss out on Fukuoka’s unique style and taste!

Fukuoka is rich in not only culture, sights and shopping, but has also certainly proved to be a powerhouse in food as well. With their distinct taste and style, Fukuoka also offers a wide variety of food that will delight your bellies and leave you itching for more. This city also provides many tasteful souvenirs that tourists could easily purchase at the Fukuoka Airport, making sure you leave the city content and full.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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