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Where to Eat in Kanazawa, Japan

May 10, 2024

For those looking to go off-the-beaten-path in Japan, seek out the captivating “golden marsh” known as Kanazawa. While there’s still much more I’d love to explore and eat in Kanazawa, I found myself thoroughly impressed with my first visit. As a result, I wanted to share this initial list on where to eat in Kanazawa.

But before I dive into my list, I’d like to share important updates on the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

Noto Peninsula Earthquake

Unfortunately at the beginning of this year, the Noto Peninsula was struck by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. This was the strongest earthquake to hit Ishikawa Prefecture since 1885 and mainland Japan since the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The Noto Peninsula is not yet ready for tourism, as it is still in the recovery process.

Kanazawa, however, is fully open and ready for tourism. During my visit in mid-March, I found everything completely open and zero restrictions on transportation. Kanazawa is ready for your visit!

Where to Eat and What to Eat in Kanazawa

Kanazawa ended up being a last minute addition to our Japan itinerary. Less than two weeks before our departure to Japan, we came across the Edo-period preserved city and instantaneously fell in love. The rich culture, fresh seafood and Japanese foods we hadn’t experienced all resonated with us.

So, we cancelled our plans for Kyoto and Osaka, and instead, ventured out to unexplored territory (by Westerners).

Since it was so brief, I didn’t get to research specific restaurants as much as I would have liked, but I think that gave Alex and I the opportunity to explore Kanazawa with an open mind. With the combination of research and spontaneous discovery, I present to you a list of everywhere that we ate and loved in Kanazawa!

Photo Credit: All photos are property of Natalie Moe. Permission is required to use Natalie’s photos, please email for a usage inquiry.

Where to Eat in Kanazawa Roku Musubi in Higashi Chaya District
Where to eat gold leaf ice cream in Kanazawa
Where to Eat in Kanazawa Amatsubo


Order: Kaisendon
Serving Kanazawa for more than 50 years, you can expect two of Kanazawa’s culinary specialties, kaisendon and oden, from Amatsubo.

Kaisendon includes fresh, warm rice served with sweet shrimp, snow crab, yellowtail and other fresh catches from the Hokuriku Coast. I ordered the smaller portion, but also added on the uni and Kanazawa’s gold leaf flakes. The kaisendon was easily my favorite thing we ate on this past trip to Japan.

Oden consists of a soy sauce-based, dashi broth, with an assortment of fish cakes, meats, seafood and/or vegetables. I didn’t get to try oden from here, but I did enjoy it at Omicho Market. However, I do wish we would’ve ordered a bowl from Amatsubo.

While most restaurants close after lunch, Amatsubo is one of the few restaurants open for dinner. We loved dining here after our late-afternoon arrival into Kanazawa from Tokyo.
Amatsubo | +81 76-208-3571 | 38-1 Shimotsutsumicho

Kaisendon at Amatsubo in Kanazawa
Kaisendon with uni and gold leaf flakes add-on at Amatsubo

Omicho Market

Order: Noto Beef Nigiri
Since its establishment in the Edo Period, Omicho Market has played an essential role in Kanazawa’s food and culture scene.

I will share a dedicated blog post on Omicho Market, but just know that my favorite bite was the Noto beef nigiri, with the uni as a close second. This melt-in-your-mouth premium beef was prepared two ways: with local soy sauce and ginger, and bamboo charcoal salt and wasabi.

Noto beef comes from a specific strain of Japanese black cattle that are bred in the Ishikawa prefecture. Characterized by its high-quality fat with a high ratio of oleic acid, the Noto beef is tender and aromatic.

50 Kamiomicho

Noto Beef Nigiri at Omicho Market
Noto beef nigiri at Omicho Market

Sushi Tora

Order: Sweet Shrimp
This absolute gem of a sushi spot is ran by a 78-year-old man and his wife. We stumbled upon it while looking for sushi restaurants in the area. Locals who were dining next to us recommended we start off with a serving of the sweet shrimp, which is plump on the exterior, but creamy to the bite. The omakase was also excellent.

As a heads up, this restaurant is for the patient diner. If you’d prefer to have a meal in a timely manner then I would recommend elsewhere. But, if you can afford to be on the patient side, then the passion and craft of this sushi master is worthwhile.
+81 76-231-3735 | 2 Chome-19-8 Honmachi

Sweet Shrimp at Sushi Tora
Sweet shrimp at Sushi Tora

Roku Musubi

Order: Soy-Cured Yolk Onigiri
If you find yourself in the Higashi Chaya district, then you must grab onigiri from Roku Musubi! While exploring the geisha district and walking around in my kimono, Alex spotted an a-frame sign for an onigiri restaurant. Aside from this pop-up sign, you would have no idea it was a restaurant as the Higashi Chaya District doesn’t have signage on the exterior walls.

We ordered unagi, salmon, and soy-cured egg yolk onigiri. The egg yolk was my personal favorite since I loved the warm rice combined with the oozing yolk on top and inside the onigiri. Had I known these portions were going to be much larger than konbini onigiri (convenience store onigiri), then I would have ordered one to dine in and one to go. But Alex felt content with two onigiri since he can handle more rice.
Roku Musubi | +81 76-204-8688 | 1-26-16 Higashiyama

Onigiri at Roku Musabi
Unagi and soy-cured egg yolk onigiri at Roku Musubi

Horaido Cafe

Order: Gold Leaf Ice Cream (Matcha)
Kanazawa is filled with gold leaf ice cream shops, but if you want to enjoy your ice cream with a view, I recommend getting it from Horaido Cafe in Kenrokuen Garden. I specifically went to Horaido Cafe which is one of the shops lined up in between the Katsurazaka Gate and Renchimon Gate. Fair warning, the gold leaf sticks to your lips haha.

If you have a bit more time, I recommend eating their seasonal desserts upstairs. I’m not sure if a reservation is required since we didn’t have time to check it.

And as a general tip for Japan, it’s considered rude to walk around with your food so be sure to eat your ice cream inside the shop or immediately outside at one of the benches. Again, do not walk around and eat your ice cream.
Horaido Cafe | +81 76-254-0866 | 1-18 Kenrokumachi

gold leaf ice cream with matcha ice cream
Gold leaf matcha ice cream at Horaido Cafe

Nomura Samurai Family Residence

Order: Traditional Sweet & Tea Set
Located inside the Nagamachi Samurai District is the Nomura Family Samurai Residence. After walking through this well-respected family’s residence, you can enjoy a traditional sweet and tea set in the upstairs tearoom that overlooks their impressive garden. Note– this wasn’t a tea ceremony but more so a tea service.

Right next door to the building, you can purchase traditional sweets. Something to keep in mind while making your purchases is that the sweets will expire in a few weeks due to the lack of preservatives.
Nomura Samurai Family Residence | +81 76-221-3553 | 1 Chome-3-32 Nagamachi

Traditional Sweet at Nomura Residence
Traditional sweet at Nomura Samurai Family Residence

Go! Go! Curry

Order: Curry with Pork Katsu
While this is a chain, it is conveniently located inside Kanazawa Station for when you just want a quick, warm meal after an adventure-filled day.

Go! Go! Curry’s menu consists of Kanazawa-style curry, an umami-rich curry that is distinctly known for its dark, chocolate color and gravy-like consistency. Their curry is made using a system they call the “55 process,” meaning it takes five hours to stew and 55 hours to mature. This results in a thick, Kanazawa-style curry.

Other key features of this dish: Koshihikari fluffy rice, freshly-fried katsu cutlet (center-cut pork loin or white breast meat chicken), tonkatsu drizzle, and fresh cabbage.
1F, Kanazawa-station, 1-1, Kinoshimbomachi

Kanazawa Curry
Curry and pork katsu at Go! Go! Curry

As I mentioned, I plan to return to Kanazawa and when I do, then I’ll update this list with more places on where to eat in Kanazawa! I hope you enjoy Kanazawa’s food scene as much as I did.

Also, also! If you’re going to Tokyo, be sure to check out my Tokyo to Mount Fuji Day Trip and Tsukiji Market blog posts. Happy travels!

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