5 Food You Must Eat in Sapporo, Hokkaido
Japan is a country full of oishiii food! So I did some research online before going to sieve out the best from the good. We had very limited time in Sapporo, so I made sure we get to eat some of the food you must eat in Sapporo.
I know Ramen and Sushi are food to eat while in Japan, but it’s not on this list. For Ramen, we tried Ebisoba Ichigen and its review can be seen in my post of ‘Top 5 Things to Do in New Chitose Airport Sapporo‘. As for Sushi, we didn’t have time to try the famous Hanamaru Sushi Restaurant at Stellar Place.
Go down the list and the food gets increasingly awesome! My personal favourites are No. 3 and 5, while my hubby’s are No. 2 and 4. Hoho!
Food you must eat in Sapporo:
1) Kani Donya (Crabs)
Hokkaido is famous for its seafood, and of course its abundance of fresh crabs — snow, king and hairy. Online search for places to eat crabs in Sapporo always come up to these two: Kani Honke and Nanda Crab Buffet. They have outlets either near the Sapporo or Susukino train station, which is convenient for many tourists.
However, Kani Honke was fully booked by the time we wanted to do our online reservations. Hence book early! There’s 10% JCB promotion for it. As for Nanda, I am not a buffet person and since we were going to have pre-dinner snack at Go Tsubo (more on it later), we didn’t think our stomach can stuff much in. So didn’t want to pay more for buffet!
Thank God I was looking through the list of JCB promotion, and discovered another crab restaurant at Kirin Beer Garden – Kani Donya (蟹問屋)! Btw, Kani is crab in Japanese. :) Other than seafood, Kirin Beer Garden also served Japanese beef Shiraoi and has a Genghis Khan restaurant too.
It’s not crowded when we went and I don’t recall seeing any tourists, but English and Chinese menus are available. The lady server was friendly, even though she doesn’t speak English, she was patient with my broken Japanese. She recommended Shabu Shabu crab, which we ordered with another boiled crab set – one king and one queen crab. We didn’t order very extensive sets, which was good because the basic set has a lot of delicious side dishes that made us real full!
Verdict: The crab is fresh and I like its side dishes. But I am not a big fan of seafood, so though the food was not bad, it wasn’t good enough for me to go back for more. At least we can say we’ve tried Hokkaido’s famous crabs!
[ Travel Tip ] Contact JCB concierge to help you reserve a restaurant, especially if you don’t speak Japanese.
〜 Price: Paid 6,339 Yen (~S$80) for 2 pax, after 10% JCB card discount.
〜 Contact: www.kirinbeer-en.co.jp.e.dv.hp.transer.com/japani; Tel: 0115337677
〜 Hours: 11:30am-10:00pm, Daily
〜 Directions: Take Namboku Line-Green to Nakajima koen Station 中島公園駅 (same line as Sapporo/Susukino station). Station Exit 1 and walk about 5 minutes to Kirin Beer Garden. You will be able to spot a big neon yellow ‘Kirin’ sign from afar.
〜 Address: Kirin Beer Garden Main Building @ Nakajima Park, 1-1-60, Minamijujonishi, Chuo-Ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido
2) Tadumura Tazumura Tonkatsu (Pork Cutlets)
There are many restaurants located at level 8 of Daimaru. We saw many people queuing up at some restaurants even before they opened at 11am. We were there early as well, just in case there’s a queue and we have a train to catch to Tomamu.
It was not crowded when we were there. We went to this restaurant based on BumbleBee’s blog, her Japanese teacher mentioned that this was her favourite restaurant in Sapporo. So we decided to trust the local!
The popular dish here is the black pig, which we ordered a set and a bowl of normal pork don. They have an English menu and you can choose the cut (e.g. tenderloin) that you want. The soup, salad and rice are refillable.
Verdict: The Tonkatsu was crispy and juicy! The peanut sauce with crushed sesame for the black pork was yummy too. There’s really a quality and taste difference between black and normal pork. But I still prefer my normal pork don because of the cut. This place is worth a try if you are craving for Tonkatsu!
〜 Price: Paid 2,985 Yen (~S$36) for 2 pax
〜 Contact: Website; Tel: 011-828-1258
〜 Hours: From 11:00am to 10:00pm (L.O 9:30pm)
〜 Address: Sapporo Daimaru, 8F (Near Sapporo JR Station)
3) Kinotoya Bake (Baked Cheese Tart)
I still cannot forget the first bite of this cheese tart. I was sitting cold and alone on a bench along Tanukikoji (hubby was away scouting for something). One bite and the cheese melted in my mouth! It was heavenly! Brightened my mood instantly. I wanted to share this awesomeness with my hubby, but he just doesn’t eat cheese! So good, I had to buy another one before we leave Sapporo.
Their sister company just opened a store in Singapore! But a box of 6 is selling at S$19.50 and 1 tart at S$3.50, as compared to 1,080 Yen (S$13.50) and 183 Yen (S$2.40) in Japan. Sounds overpriced in Singapore. :(
So grab this when you are in Japan!
〜 Price: Paid 183Yen (~S$2.40) per tart
〜 Contact: www.premium-hokkaido.co.jp/la_en/category/products/02.html; www.kinotoya.com; Tel: 81-11-786-6161
〜 Hours: From 8:00am to 8:00pm (airport)
〜 Address: New Chitose Airport (Domestic Terminal Building 2F), JR Sapporo Station East Entrance, along Pole Town (near to Tanukikoji) – a few outlets among others.
4) Go Tsubo (Grilled Seafood – Oyster, Clam, etc)
Go Tsubo is famous for its oyster grilled over charcoal. This hole-in-wall joint is located at Susukino, Sapporo’s red light district. Oyster is good for the guy’s *ahem*, so this explains why the shop is located here. While looking for Go Tsubo, we passed by quite a number of gigolo dressed in black long bubble jackets “convincing” people to patronize.
We went early before 7pm because I read in BubbleBee’s blog that even though it is opened from 6pm to 2am, it’s best to go early, in case the oysters are sold out by 7pm. But turned out we went too early! The owner was there but the shop was still not opened and he was on the phone. He told us to come back later. Think it’s open at only 7pm or 7:30pm. Come to think of it, most food joints in Susukino is opened till late because of the area’s night activity.
The signboard used to say 105 yen per oyster but the price was not there when we went. Anyway, we ordered 4 oysters and 1 clam, and he gave us 2 oyster for free! The meat in the above picture looks succulent right? Someone else ordered after we had our fill. This is something we will order if ever we go back!
I don’t eat oyster so my verdict is inaccurate. So here’s what my hubby thinks: very fresh and delicious! My hubby loved the clam so much and praised the oysters for being juicy. This is his must go place if we ever return to Sapporo.
〜 Price: Paid 630Yen (~S$7.90) for 4+2 oysters and 1 clam
〜 Contact: tabelog.com/en/hokkaido/A0101/A010103/1034132; Tel: 011-551-7220 (+81-11-551-7220)
〜 Hours: From 7:30am till late
〜 Directions: About 5 minutes walk from Susukino Station, Exit 4. Once outside, turn right and then first left turn, cross a few roads (I lost count) and then turn left again.
〜 Address: Minami 6 Jōnishi Chūō-ku Sapporo-shi Hokkaidō, 北海道 札幌市中央区 南6条西4
5) Garaku Curry (Soup Curry)
We had heard about the line at Garaku Curry. But the only time we were able to go was on a Saturday. We went there at about 2+pm, a late lunch hour, so we weren’t expecting a long wait. But boy were we wrong. We waited about an hour in the freezing cold!! Even the locals queuing before us were shaking cold!
Why didn’t they let us queue inside? Later I realised, the shop was on the 2nd level and people were queuing down the stairs and out the entrance – the line was longer than it seemed!
Even though the last order is 3:00pm, be sure to reach there by 2pm to queue. Because soon after we arrived, they stopped allowing people to queue. We were the second last table.
They have English menu if they know you are foreigners. Its popular braised pork curry was sold out by our turn..so sad! In the end, we ordered the chicken leg and the less popular pork option. You can also choose its spicy level. I chose level 5 and hubby level 4.
Verdict: It’s superbly nice!! The spicy and hot curry was made even nicer probably because we had been waiting in the cold for quite some time and it’s way past our lunch time at 3+pm. The serving is big for me with lots of meat and vegetables. The spicy level 5 was spicy yet shioks! (My spicy standard: I like McSpicy chicken kind of spiciness.) The level 4 spicy felt a bit diluted for me. Not a lot of places in Japan sells soup curry, so if you have a chance, try Garaku Curry. Visit their website for its other outlets in Japan.
This is my must go place if we ever return to Sapporo.
〜 Price: Paid about 2,350Yen (~S$30) for 2 pax
〜 Contact: www.s-garaku.com/s; Tel 011-233-5568
〜 Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:30am-3:30pm (LO 3:00pm), 5:00pm-11:30pm (LO 11:00pm) | Sundays: 11:30 – 10:00 (LO 9:30pm)
〜 Address: 3 minutes walk from Odori Station. Near Tanukikoji. (Chuo-ku Minami 3-jo, Nishi 3-chome 7 Kushitorisan, 2F, 札幌市中央区南3条西2丁目7串とりさん2F)
What other foods will you recommend to eat in Sapporo? Do share with us below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram. Bookmark this page >> Overview Itinerary: Hokkaido and Tokyo (Winter/Spring 2016)
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