With world-famous beef restaurants, sake breweries and bakeries lining the streets of this small Japanese city, Kobe is a must-taste destination for every food lover. These eateries will ensure you and your palate make the most of your Kobe adventure.
If you’ve got a penchant for fine dining and you’re looking to sample Kobe beef in one of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, make sure to prioritise a visit to Kobe Plaisir. Here, you can select your own ingredients and say how you’d like them prepared, then sit back and watch the magic happen before your eyes. This restaurant is notorious for being fully booked weeks in advance, so call ahead or make a reservation online to secure one of the hottest tables in town.
Take your burger game to the next level by trying this American classic made from the very best Japanese ingredients. Wanto Burger‘s red pleather seats and retro diner look make it an experience from the moment you step in the door. But it’s the burgers themselves that make this a true foodie destination: 100% Kobe beef patties, finely sliced slivers of Wagyu steak, salted eggs and fried garlic chips are all signature ingredients. Opt for their namesake Kobe burger for a truly unique taste sensation.
Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum
With all the meaty dinners in this world renowned steak city, it’s little wonder that these Japanese locals have also ensured that some of the country’s best sake is also close to hand. In fact, Kobe’s Nada district is the country’s top sake producer boasting several breweries, including the famous Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum. Here you can enjoy a self-guided tour to learn the traditional way of making this iconic brew, then (of course) take time to sample its wares.
Kobe Beef Steak Ishida Kitanozaka
This is one for the steak lovers. At Ishida Kitanozaka you can expect to see mastery at work as your own personal chef prepares the very best meat and vegetables on a teppanyaki grill in front of you. If you’re after a less exuberant experience, you can also opt for the set lunch that will give you some of the restaurant’s signature flavours for a fraction of the cost.
Famous throughout Japan, Isuzu Bakery is much-loved for its unique creations, such as the 70cm-long sausage and mustard roll. Like many Japanese bakeries, here you can grab a tray at any of its four locations and pile on your choice of treats to take away. With several new creations on offer on any given day, it can be hard to choose what to sample. Feeling adventurous? Try something unique like the seaweed and salt bread or the green tea custard tarts.
If you’ve got a taste for Japan’s favourite drink, make sure to drop by this much-loved, standing-room-only bar. With more than 90 varieties offered, there’s a sake to suit everyone. Once you’ve picked out your drink, pair it with some of the great food on the menu. This is Japanese bar food at its best, with a seasonal offerings that often include seafood specialities and a tempura of local vegetables.
Need a break from fancy steak places? Sink your teeth into the very best gyoza (Japanese-style dumplings) at this no-frills restaurant. Located close to the JR station, it may not look like a must-see destination, but as soon as your plate of sizzling pork, leek and cabbage dumplings arrive you’ll know what all the fuss is about. Although you can find gyoza throughout Japan, in Kobe they are served with a special miso-based dipping sauce you can’t find anywhere else.
Kobe Nikusho Ichiya
There’s no denying that Kobe beef often comes with a high price tag, but as this restaurant is also attached to a butchery they’re able to offer the most competitive prices in town. However, don’t think that makes Kobe Nikusho Ichiya anything less than the best in Japanese fine dining. With hot pots, rice bowls, teppanyaki and tartares all on offer, this is an ideal way to try Kobe beef in a variety of ways without breaking the bank.
With so many delectable hotspots to pack into your Kobe visit, there’s no way you’ll go home hungry. This list just scratches the surface of this small city’s offering, so pack a healthy appetite and a sense of adventure when exploring Kobe.