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Okonomiyaki and oysters are two classical foods of Hiroshima. Besides Okonomiyaki and oysters, there are some other dishes that are very typical and cannot be missed while you are staying in Hiroshima; they are Tsukemen, Onomichi Ramen, Momijimanju and Koiwashi.
Okonomiyaki is a grilled pancake with a variety of toppings. The flavor is very much like slightly sweet and dark Worcestershire sauce. Oysters can be eaten raw or fried or grilled. Tsukemen is perfect for spice lovers. Onomichi Ramen tastes very fresh with the soy sauce chicken broth. Momijimanju is a sweet small cake, perfect for food souvenirs from Hiroshima. Koiwashi is a healthy food made from baby sardines.
The local main cuisine in Hiroshima center round Okonomiyaki and Oysters. Since Hiroshima is the number one place in terms of the amount of oyster cultivation in Japan, oysters can be found almost everywhere.
But, you foodies will be delighted to know that Hiroshima offers a diverse range of specialties. From sweet ones (like Momijimanju) to spicy ones (like Tsukemen), from classic ordinary ones (like Okonomiyaki and Oysters) to unique ones (like Tsukemen and Koiwashi).
Here we pick several favorite foods which you cannot miss in Hiroshima. Let's start with the classic and most popular one:
Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki is a thin layer of batter with an amount of cabbage on top of yakisoba noodles. The combination of a variety of ingredients like squid, pork, egg, bean sprouts, and thick sauces, makes this Japanese sweet-sour savory pancake the pride of Hiroshima.
A great place to taste this local delicacy is no other than Okonomimura.
Around 60-70% of the oyster production in Japan is supplied from Hiroshima. Oysters produced in the region are both for domestic and international consumers.
People often eat oysters raw with soy sauce or ponzu, deep-fried (kakifry) with Worcestershire-like sauce and/or tartar sauce, baked, grilled or served on top of rice (donburi). You can also try a unique oyster don (or katsudon): Oysters simmered in a shoyu/mirin sauce, cooked with egg and onions and spread over rice, in such a way that you can taste a thick flavor of the oyster juices in the rice.
For those who love spicy food, Tsukemen is a must-try dish in Hiroshima. It consists of spicy cold noodles, served in two different bowls, one for noodles and one for its broth.
Dip these cold noodles into the hot and spicy broth, and taste the unique feature of Hiroshima Tsukemen. The noodles are cooled with iced water and served with toppings such as shredded green onions, boiled cabbage, sliced roast pork, and eggs.
Onomichi Ramen is a tasty local ramen, sold in Onomichi city, Hiroshima Prefecture. It consists of flat noodles of medium thickness, that are paired with the light texture of a soy sauce chicken broth. The broth is a mixture of chicken broth and high-quality small fish from the Seto inland sea. Melted pork loin fat is added into the mixture for a richer taste.
Momijimanju is a small cake in the shape of a maple leaf. Hiroshima is famous for its beautiful fall foliage, especially its maple trees. So the maple leaf is the traditional symbol of Hiroshima.
This small cake is made with a variety of fillings, such as sweet red bean paste, matcha, cheese, custard, purple sweet potato, lemon, and even chili peppers! Most people will buy these small delicious cakes as food souvenir from Hiroshima.
Sardines are one of the local specialties in Hiroshima. Koiwashi is made from baby sardines and usually eaten fresh. Another way to consume Koiwashi is to grill it and slice it up as sashimi, or use it in dishes such as sushi or fried tempura. It is a very healthy food that contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Sake and cocktails are two popular drinks in Japan. Since Hiroshima is one of the three great sake-producing areas in Japan, you cannot leave Hiroshima without trying the sake produced in this area first.
It is a pity to visit Hiroshima without tasting the local sake, because the sake produced there is of premium quality. Hiroshima's sake is characterized by its clean flavor, in harmony with a rich fragrance and a rich taste, due to the soft-water brewing method used in production.
The Highball drink is a mix of soda and whisky on ice. It tastes like dry, malted draft beer. It is a refreshing and fruity drink, promoted as an alternative to beer.
Hiroshima is known for its citrus which makes Lemon Sour one of the typical drinks of that area. It consists of shochu, soda water, and the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. It is one of the most common Japanese cocktail drinks. Shochu is a traditional distilled hard liquor, made from grains or vegetables such as rice, sweet potato, or barley.
There are numerous restaurants in Hiroshima with super service and varied menus. Here we pick three of them for you:
You can get authentic Okonomiyaki in Nagata-ya Restaurant. It is a restaurant specializing in Okonomiyaki. Nagata-ya is located near the Peace Memorial Park, so it is a bit touristy, but it still has a good atmosphere to enjoy your food.
Their Okonomiyaki is full of flavor and the sauce is home-made. They also have an English menu and vegetarian choices. It is highly recommended for you to grab your Okonomiyaki at a reasonable price in Nagata-ya after visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome.
Opening Hours: 11:00am-9:00pm (Mon-Fri), 11:00am-9:30pm (Sat), 10:30am-9:00pm, (Sun and public holidays); closed Tuesday and every 4th Wednesday
Address: 1F Shigeishi Building, 1-7-19 Ote-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan
This is a noodle restaurant near the Peace Memorial Park. They offer all kinds of noodles, from cold noodles to a variety of sizes of ramen noodles. They also offer some kinds of small meals, like dumplings, fried chicken, etc. All is reasonably priced!
One recommendation from the menu for you to try is broth-less ramen. The taste is amazing and will make your moment in Hiroshima unique.
Opening Hours: 11am-11pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-9pm (Sun)
Address: 3-3-3 Otemachi, Naka-ku | Sansan Bldg., Naka, Hiroshima 730-0051, Hiroshima Prefecture
Caffe Ponte is a beautiful Italian restaurant next to a river, right near the ferry dock. A peaceful setting with friendly staff will make your time in this restaurant more enjoyable. It is also located near the Peace Memorial Park.
The pizza and pasta are amazing. Besides pizza and pasta, they also have many other dishes on the menu like soup, salad, bread, and a range of other western food. Everything on the menu is delicious, and prices are fair. Not only the food there is superb, the atmosphere too! It is a perfect spot to have lunch or just a drink.
Opening Hours: 10am-10pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-10pm (Sat-Sun)
Address: 1-9-21 Otemachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0051, Hiroshima Prefecture
Hiroshima provides a wide variety of food. Asia Highlights attempts to give clients the most typical of the local cuisine that will make your trip to Hiroshima extra enjoyable. Please contact us for further information about a tour to Hiroshima.