hokkaido food travel

Hokkaido Food Travel

Best Hokkaido Food on your Travels according to locals

Hey guys, thanks for reading this Hokkaido food article for your travel to Hokkaido. This is a collection of food that the locals frequented and were mostly recommended to me by the regulars and local people while I was living there. I’m quite selfish when it comes to food, you must be really lucky to read this because now I’m sharing all the secret spots!

Okushiba Shouten Soup Curry (奥芝スープカリ)

Did you know that soup curry is one of the most famous food in Hokkaido? It is different from the normal Japanese curry because normal Japanese curry is served as a thick sweet curry gravy on the side of the rice.

This is one of my favourite haunts that was introduced to me by my best friend in Hokkaido, Ogawa-san (I hope he sees this). The portion is generous and the menu is wholesome.

First you choose the curry dish you want – there’s like choices of premium seasonal vegetables, shrimp festival curry, mushroom curry, soft chicken curry etc. Then, you pick the curry base you want – shrimp or chicken. Last, you choose your toppings from a list sorted according to their price range!Then pick your level of spiciness! (I always choose 8 and above haha!) Last, you even get a choice of the type of rice – white rice or brown rice.

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Menu

Then you wait.

The place is decorated in a showa-era manner. Nostalgic and hip.

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Top/Right/Bottom: Seasonal vegetables curry, Hamburger curry, Mushroom curry.

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My Mushroom Curry! Looks innocent but it contains 6 varieties of mushrooms!

This is not my first time eating this curry and I must say the cold weather in Hokkaido has probably led to curry being one of the local favourites. With the portion size, you will definitely be happy with the dish and the price!

Location: Only in Hokkaido!

Outlets are in Sapporo, Asahikawa, Chitose, Hakodate.

Check google maps for exact location as they are normally in residential areas and not easy to find.

Uni and Ikura Don/Chirashi/Sushi (Sea urchin and salmon roe rice/sushi)

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Uni Sushi

Why?? Because they’re the freshest and cheapest here! They’re the most indulgent selection of seafood that you should eat on your holiday. I don’t think they can taste fresher than anywhere else. I have eaten sushi got so many years and I’m definitely not kidding when I said that sushi in Hokkaido taste a different level. If you’re going for the sashimi and sushi, this is the paradise for you. Some places sell ikura with a very strong fishy taste but fresh ikura doesn’t have the stinky fishy taste. It is like bubbles which explode on your tastebuds.

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Chirashi buffet at a hotel – doesn’t look very appetizing but it is actually very very fresh!
Where to find: Basically anywhere in Hokkaido. The best places to find the freshest and cheapest chirashi is actually fish markets in the areas by the sea. You may find delicious ones in the restaurants but they are a tad expensive than the fish market ones and those in touristy areas like Otaru and Hakodate and Sapporo are more expensive then those further up north – could cost 3500 yen and up for one bowl. In the fish markets, you could find as cheap as 1000 yen! (only for the first 10 or 20 bowls until sold out) I was told by my friend who is a local.

The best seasons to eat this is from Nov until Feb.

Sweets

Sweets like pastry and ice cream, cakes and cookies. Hokkaido is the SWEETS KINGDOM of Japan because they pride themselves on the quality of milk they produce. The cows are not trapped in small areas and forced to feed on grass all the time. Their cows are left to roam freely and they seem to have fun (I used to run past a farm all the time and they don’t seem to look sad, they just look carefree and lazy).

Number 1 Sweets Place in Hokkaido is…Rokkatei! (this is according to a Japanese food ranking site)

Rokkatei (六花亭)

With 84 years of history behind them and having survived the war, it is no wonder this pastry shop has grown and emerged as the top.

Their most popular products are actually:

Marusei Butter Sandwich – マルセイバターサンド

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Source: Tabelog

And this: Marusei Ice Sandwich (マルセイアイスサンド)

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Source: Tabelog

But I usually order what is on the seasonal menu so I ended up with this…

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Lotus root (Renkon) cheesecake with matcha latte – perfect for my afternoon tea!

Innocent looking cake but it was so fluffy and moist!

Where: They have shops all over Hokkaido island, but in Obihiro is the HQ for the store cum cafe. For more locations and addresses please visit here.

帯広本店  直営
北海道帯広市西2条南9丁目6
(tax-free shop)

LeTaO

I’ve seen girls go crazy over thhhhhis!! In Otaru, they have 2 or 3 shops in the same vicinity and hoards of tourists would go in and come out armed full with bags. The samples run out as soon as they hit the tables. The lines for the cafe above the store snakes all the way to the stairs (I waited for about 45 minutes).

After queuing for 45 minutes, we finally got to sit down and sample 2 famous LeTaO cheesecakes – the double fromage and the other one is limited edition Ciel Fromage Petit.

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Ciel Fromage Petit.

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Double Fromage Cheesecake

Where: Its HQ is located in Otaru, they have a cafe above the shop front. If you would like to visit other shops, click here.

小樽洋菓子舗ルタオ本店
住所:〒047-0027 北海道小樽市堺町7番16号
TEL: 0120-46-8825(フリーダイヤル)
FAX: 0134-31-4277

Kitakarou (北菓楼)

This place offers crazy lot of free sampling. Skip dessert for lunch, come here and walk two rounds and you’ll be filled and satisfied, my advice as a Kuishinbo. This is actually one of my favourite place because their prices are not steep and of course, the wide range of samples! They are very generous with their sample portions too.

I remember once i had a 600+ yen cake set in one of their cafes and I never forgot about it. It was more than 3 years ago!

They are most well known for their baumkuchen:

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Source: Kitakarou

And their okaki (a crispy snack made of mochi flour and tastes like senbei)

Free for sampling too in their store!

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Source: Kitakarou

Where: Their HQ is actually at Sunagawa where they first began. It is accessible by car only.

〒073-0197
北海道砂川市西1条北19丁目2番1号

Other locations are here.

Their Otaru outlet is just next to Rokkatei and LeTaO! Be sure to drop by~!

Soft Cream (ソフトクリーム)

Basically, you cannot go wrong with soft cream anywhere in Hokkaido. Never! Try Furano Marche’s soft cream or the farm closest to where you stay.

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Cranberry (クランベリー)

Their sweet potato pastry has basically rocked the patisserie world when it first came out. It was on television everywhere as long as its featuring food in Hokkaido.

SAM_7337Basically, this pastry is sold by weight per 100g. You cannot purchase half or any portion of it. It can only be sold WHOLE. You will end up spending more than 1000 yen just to taste this as their smallest size is probably close to 1kg in weight so be sure to share this with somebody! Or you could end up eating this for days. This is very filling and very yummy. The flesh of the soft sweet potato is scooped out, mixed with butter, sugar and their other secret ingredients and then placed back into the skin and baked.

I think this is a must-try!

Where:

クランベリー本店

北海道帯広市西2条南6丁目
TEL 0155-22-6656

Other locations: Here

Genghis Khan (ジェンギスカン)

It’s really barbecue mutton actually, not the mongolian ruler. This is a must-eat for me even though i’m not a big meat fan. The mutton meat is suprisingly tender and not fattening and I can eat 2 (or 3) big plates on my own.

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My sizzling ghengis khan.

If you love chicken, love beef, love pork, you will definitely love this. If you don’t like chicken, don’t like beef, don’t like port, you will still LOVE this. It is quite addictive, so bring more money in case you can’t stop eating.

Where: I have my secret locations. The best place is actually here at Shirakaba.

〒076-0048 北海道富良野市清水山 (Furano) or 〒080-2103 北海道帯広市清川町西2-126 (Obihiro)

FYI – The Furano outlet closes in winter. I was so disappointed I couldn’t eat this last vacation.

Ramen Furuki (ラーメンふるき)

If you could ask anyone living in Asahikawa area which is the best ramen, most people are gonna tell you this one.

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Whenever I go back to Hokkaido, all the guests in the guest house would be heading here for lunch. This ramen is of miso soup base and their chashu pork is thick and generous. It is crazy popular to the extent that 8 out of 10 guests (from the guest house) would be going there for lunch. It isn’t on the same ranks as those international ramen chains that you know but this is definitely a local favourite.

Anyway if you’re curious to find out, here is the location.

Where: 3-1-1-43, Midorigaoka, Asahikawa City

Opening hours: Weekdays 11:00-15:00
Saturday and Sunday 10:30-15:00

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Hokkaido is touted as the land of fresh food mecca – everything just tastes much fresher and better here. I never knew why until I lived here. I hope this article has given you a better idea on the best local food in Hokkaido for your travel trip!

Questions? Write to me below.

I think i’m gonna run a post on my list of favourite ramen next. 😀

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