Comfort Hotel Hakata
Phone: (81) 92 431-1211
Fax: (81) 92 431-8015
This small gyoza restaurant not far from Hakata Station is the perfect place for a spot of people-watching as an accompaniment to good food. Salarymen, office workers and gyoza connoisseurs crowd into the premises on lunchtimes and weekday early-evenings to sample the delicious, made-on-site fare and to chew over the day's business. Typical Japanese food bar: tiny tables and chairs, celebrity signatures lining the walls; sweaty in summer. Keep an eye-out for the display of phallic sculpture behind the bar! Although other food is available, it is the gyoza that really makes the day. The gyoza really are divine: you will not find better. Hint: Beware of the surly staff! Rumor has it that they get paid extra to be rude to customers.
This small noodle shop is well known in Fukuoka not only for its excellent food, but also for its 250-year pedigree. The current premises, located between Kushida Shrine, Canal City and the Kawabata shopping arcade, date back to the 15th year of the Meiji Restoration. The same menu of soba and udon noodles is still available to discerning customers from all over Fukuoka. Traditional "folk" Japanese, with lots of Hakata handicrafts on display.
This restaurant is an excellent place to sample local Japanese cuisine and is located beside Canal City. Inside this small family-run eatery, you will find extremely high-quality sushi. The proximity of Fukuoka's fish market ensures that the freshness of the ingredients is second to none, while the friendly staff makes for a warm atmosphere, traditionally Japanese. This is a popular haunt for off-duty salarymen who prefer the post-work "washoku" (Japanese dining) relaxation method. Apart from a fine selection of sushi, there is also a very good choice of local sake.
HORANS (yes, in bold!) takes its name from its owner, Jack Holland, who also runs the highly successful bars The Happy Cock and The Crazy Cock. His latest establishment, and certainly his nicest, is also an outstanding success. Offering good food, good prices, a good atmosphere, competent DJs, and live music, HORANS will not disappoint you. If you are in the Nakasu district, this place is certainly one of the more affordable and tasteful entertainment establishments you could visit. The interior is lavishly decorated with an excellent sound system. A stage allows talented local acts to perform regularly. Ample tables and a VIP lounge make the dining experience pleasant during the weekdays, but the place heats up on the weekends after 11pm when the DJ party begins. Private parties are also frequent.
This ramen shop is one of several quaint dining options along the historic Nakasu arcade. It is also a unique dining option in Fukuoka. Where hakata ramen seems to set the standard for noodles all around, this shop's owner has found his niche by serving a specialty from northern Japan: Hokkaido ramen. What's the big difference? Not much of one for those who do not eat ramen regularly, but if you are an aficionado, then you will certainly notice the extra salty flavor and the slab of butter on top.
Mention eel in Fukuoka and most people will tell you to take a trip to the rural town of Yanagawa. While we certainly recommend a trip there, you need not travel so far to taste some of the best eel in southern Japan. This small restaurant has been known for its eel for over two decades now, and is likely to continue its success as long.
All yatai have beer on hand, but over 60 different kinds of cocktails as well? This place is a rarity among yatai if there ever was one. The menu is also slightly unusual, featuring several seafood selections, and even oxtail soup. This yatai is easy to find because the word "bar" in its name is written in English on its sign. One of the curtains also features the Gordon's dry gin logo.
The characters for the name of this famous yatai mean "One Dragon." Phonetically, the name could also suggest "First Rate," which is quite appropriate. When the lanterns come on, people start lining up at this place. It has been satisfying customers for over 40 years, and is a must visit for many, whether they are residents of the area, or just traveling through. A bowl of ramen, Chinese noodles, costs a cool amount. Other smaller orders, like yakitori, grilled chicken, are hot favorites.
The restaurant itself is as simple as simple gets. Even so, the place is full during lunch hours because the food is not! You can expect great dishes to fill you for a price that will keep your wallet filled with plenty of extra bills. The seafood used in many of the recipes is guaranteed fresh--caught that day. Nothing is ever frozen or reheated. And with Fukuoka City located along the coast, you know that what you get came straight from the docks and through the hands of able chefs. The tables are simple dining hall material. The walls offer nothing to look at. Basically, you come for the food. The place is full with workers from the area during lunch hours. Evening hours see a more diverse crowd.
Moghura No Salute is a dark underground shot bar in the heart of Nakasu. On hearing your approach (heralded by an extremely loud gong), Moghura's bar-staff may or may not decide to let you in (they like to pretend that they are very discerning about the quality of their clientele!). With mirrors, neon fish-tanks and smart cocktail waiters, the bar is dark with a very subterranean feel. There is live jazz on selected days until 5am. At least a hundred varieties of bourbon line the walls. Cocktails and Snacks are also available.
Do not let the dingy exterior of this bar put you off: although dark and gritty in appearance, Jazz and Bar hosts some of the best live jazz in Fukuoka. Inside, you will find an extremely friendly and "switched on" clientèle, as well as wall-to-wall LPs featuring all the jazz greats, and a huge selection of whisky. Live nights are held four or five times a month, and feature enthusiasts from the Fukuoka area as well as better-known acts. Food you will not find; but if bourbon is your thing you will love this bar! Drinks range between JPY500 and JPY1000.
This friendly yaki-tori bar is located in an unassuming building. Inside the smoky open-kitchen, the shop's master prepares all the usual goodies associated with yakitori; but for those with more adventurous tastes, grilled pig's feet and skewered cartilage are also on offer.