Finding somewhere to eat or drink near Kanazawa station is super easy. Inside the station building itself there are two areas that have a great selection of restaurants and cafes. These are Ajiwai Koji or “Flavor Lane” on the south side of the building and the Kutsurogikan or “Relaxation Hall” on the west side of the building. The nearby Forus department store
In the list below we have picked out ten of our favorite locations for food and drink in the Kanazawa Station area, with a particular focus on local specialties.
Thanks to its location on the Sea of Japan coastline Kanazawa is blessed with the freshest seafood and its sushi in particular is renowned. In Kanazawa even cheap kaiten sushi or “conveyor belt sushi” is of really high quality, so you don’t need to spend a lot of money to try it. Morimorizushi is a cozy counter sushi shop in the Forus department store beside Kanazawa Station.
You can order in English from the touch screens at your seat as delectable sushi trays shaped like bullet trains roll by on the conveyor belt. It’s a comfortable spot for solo travelers, or those hesitant of using Japanese, to sample the enormous variety of seafood on offer. This restaurant is super popular and quickly develops long lines at busy periods. If you come for lunch it’s a good idea to get here a little before 12 or sometime after 2 o’clock. If the lines are too long you can always try the other branch of Morimorizushi right next door which has table seating and where your order will be taken by a waiter.
Open: 11.00 – 22.00 (Last Orders: 21.30)
Location: Morimorizushi is on the 6th floor of the Forus department store which is just north of the east exit of Kanazawa Station.
2. Go! Go! Curry!
Go! Go! Curry! is a popular chain of Japanese style curry restaurants that originated in Kanazawa and now has branches all over Japan and even some in New York! The shop’s signature dish is Kanazawa Curry: a thick and savory curry sauce poured over sticky white rice and served with a pork cutlet and shredded cabbage. If you want something quick, cheap and tasty Go! Go! Curry! is the place to go. The restaurant is named after the former baseball player Hideki Matsui’s shirt number: 55. Hideki Matsui is also from Kanazawa and the number 5 is pronounced “go” in Japanese.
Open: 10.00 – 10.00
Location: You can find Go! Go! Curry! inside the Ajiwai Koji section of Kanazawa Station’s Anto shopping mall on the south side of the building. It’s easy to spot for its brightly colored signage and trademark gorilla mascot.
3. Kuroyuri Oden
Kuroyuri Oden’s specialty dish is oden – a simple and informal dish containing a variety of ingredients such as boiled eggs, fish cakes, tofu, and vegetables all served in soy sauce based soup. Oden is most commonly served in winter, but it is such a popular dish in Kanazawa that many people eat it all the year round. Kuroyuri Oden has been serving oden broth at Kanazawa Station since 1955 and always with the same special secret recipe for the dashi base of their soup. This restaurant is very popular and you will see long lines of people waiting to eat here during peak periods. If it is busy leave your name on the waiting list by the door so that the staff will know when it is your turn to be called. Once inside you can sit at the counter and watch the cooks at work. You can choose individual ingredients for your soup, and also order other items off the menu such as noodles, tempura, grilled chicken, and sashimi.
Open: 10.00 – 22.00 (Last orders: 21.30)
Location: You can find Kuroyuri Oden inside the Ajiwai Koji section of Kanazawa Station’s Anto mall on the south side of the building.
4. Fumuroya Café
Fumuroya is a store that sells fu: a food made from wheat gluten that is high in protein and often used as a meat substitute in traditional Buddhist vegan cuisine. Attached to the store is a café where you can try all kinds of dishes both savory and sweet that have been made with fu. There are lunchtime set meals with rice and soup, or simple snacks like namafu dengaku: grilled fu with miso sauce, and also many, many colorful sweets. Although the menu is not completely vegetarian, there are plenty of options on it that are, so for anyone who doesn’t want to eat meat Fumuroya Café is an excellent choice. Above all you will be surprised by the creativity and the variety of the dishes that have been inspired by this simple ingredient.
Open: 9.00 – 19.00
Location: You can find Fumuroya Café on the 1st floor of the Kutsurogikan section inside Kanazawa Station.
Tomikinton on the 6th floor of the Forus department store is a good choice for a reasonably priced and satisfying meal. This casual but comfortable restaurant serves tonkatsu: deep fried juicy pork cutlets in a crispy bread crumb coating. The two common kinds of tonkatsu are hirekatsu pork fillets and rosukatsu pork loin, but this restaurant also has its own special variety called “barakatsu”. This consists of super thin slices of pork layered one on top of the other. This shop also uses meat from pigs fed on sweet potatoes for an especially rich and sweet tasting pork. If you don’t like pork you can always order a set meal with deep fried shrimp instead and in season they also serve deep fried oysters. Set meals come with rice, miso soup, shredded cabbage, and pickles and you can get free refills of rice and cabbage.
Open: 11.00 – 23.00 (Last orders: 22.00)
Location: Tomikinton is on the 6th floor of the Forus department store which is just north of the east exit of Kanazawa Station.
6. Menya Taiga
Menya Taiga (also called “Taiga Noodles”) is a tiny little shop specializing in ramen style Chinese wheat noodles. Served with a thick and juicy slice of chashu braised pork, Menya Taiga’s noodles are thick and springy, and the miso based broth is creamy, deep, and rich. On arrival you will be given a glass of vegetable juice for free, just to offset the sudden and high salt intake of the miso soup. Though this shop is small and not that easy to find, their miso ramen’s reputation is legendary in Kanazawa, so there is almost always a line of ramen devotees waiting to get in. For true lovers of ramen though, the wait is totally worth it.
Open: 11.30 – 15.00 & 17.30 – 23.00
Closed on Mondays and national holidays.
Location: Menya Taiga is a 5 minute walk north of Kanazawa Station’s east exit. Here is a map of the location.
Kuroya is an izakaya style tavern serving a wide variety of local dishes in a bright and cheerful setting. Sea food features heavily on the menu in many forms: oven baked, steamed, grilled, deep fried, and raw. The top recommendation on the menu however, is the fresh sashimi which can be nicely complimented with Kuroya’s own original junmaishu sake rice wine. They also have a special beef stew which is cooked in sweet potato shochu liquor. The staff here do not speak English but they are very friendly so it doesn’t matter and an English menu is also available.
Open: 17.00 – 24.00 (Last orders at 23.00)
Closed on Sundays.
Location: Kuroya is a 7 minute walk south from the east exit of Kanazawa Station. Here is a map.
Toboku is a small but elegant counter restaurant where the chef Hironori Toboku cuts and cooks elaborate dishes in front of the customers. This kind of restaurant is called a “kappo” in Japanese, and it is especially appreciated by gourmet food lovers who like to see the artistry and skill involved in creating their food. Chef Toboku has experience working in restaurants in Kyoto, Tokyo and Italy, but now back home in Kanazawa he focuses on local dishes that you can’t get anywhere else. The full name of the restaurant is actually “Hibi Sakanazuki Toboku” which literally means “Toboku loving fish every day” so naturally seafood figures heavily on the menu. Chef Toboku is also a qualified sommelier and sake master so he can advise you on the best drinks to go with the dishes that you choose.
Open: 11.30 – 14.00 (Last orders: 13.30) & 18.00 – 22.30 (Last orders: 22.00)
Closed on Wednesdays.
Location: Toboku is a 6 minute walk from the east exit of Kanazawa Station. Here is a map.
9. Yakitori Bird
Yakitori is skewered chicken meat grilled over a charcoal fire. The restaurant Yakitori Bird is a classy little restaurant where you can enjoy this grilled chicken in a chic environment while listening to recorded jazz music. The stylish but simple white interior, friendly staff and soft lighting make this an excellent location for a date. Servings are also big and the prices are reasonable. This restaurant serves meat from Tankaijidori, a special breed of chicken from Shiga Prefecture that is renowned for its clean meaty flavor. The Tankaijidori set course is especially recommended.
Open: 18.30 – 22.30
Closed on Sundays.
Location: Yakitori Bird is a 7 minute walk south east of Kanazawa Station’s east exit. Here is a map.
10. Blue Monday
Sometimes you just need a good strong cup of coffee and the very best brew of coffee near Kanazawa Station is at Blue Monday. This is a small coffee stall where you can order a drink to take away or drink it at the standing bar counter. The owner is a friendly chap who speaks some English and will happily chat with you while you are there. The name of the shop comes from his previous life as an office worker when going to work on Monday morning was really hard. In those days he dreamt of being able to get a really good latte or espresso at a coffee stand just like this one – and now he has made that dream come true! Simple food and snacks are also available such as spicy chili hot dogs or ice cream soaked in espresso.
Monday – Friday: 8.15 – 19.00
Saturday: 10.00 – 19.00
Closed on Sundays and national holidays.
Location: Blue Monday is located in the basement of the Porte skyscraper. It is a 3 minute walk from Kanazawa Station’s east exit. Here is a map.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.