In this article, I will introduce 10 must-eat food in Iwate, together with specific restaurants.
1. Jajamen Pairon (じゃじゃ麺 白龍 )
Jajamen was originally brought from Manchuria and developed in Morioka. The noodles of Jajamen are similar to udon. The udon-like noodles are served with special meat-miso sauce, cucumber, and green onion. You can also add grated ginger, garlic, vinegar, and/or hot pepper oil. Mix all the ingredients well before you eat.
Jajamen is one of “The Three Great Noodles of Morioka”.
After eating the noodles, you can enjoy “Chi-Tan-Tan”, a soup with the meat-miso sauce, the hot water in which the noodles were boiled, and beaten egg made in the bowl you have just finished.
Pairon is the founder of Jajamen.
5-15 Uchimaru, Morioka-shi, Iwate Prefecture
Mondays to Saturdays 9:00-21:00, Sundays 11:30-18:45
Closed during Obon holidays (mid-August) and new years
2. Morioka Wanko Soba Azumaya Honten (盛岡わんこそば 東屋本店)
Wanko Soba is another “The Three Great Noodles of Morioka”. The servers keep serving you bite-sized cups of noodles until you close the lid of your cup. This is a famous all-you-can-eat noodle known all over Japan as a local food of Iwate.
Azumaya is a long established restaurant which has been in Morioka more than 100 years. You will get the present charm when you eat over 100 cups. Once there was a person who ate 500 (!) cups.
It’s very fun to challenge! If you are not hungry enough, there are other delicious soba menus too.
1 Chome-8-3 Nakanohashidori, Morioka-shi, Iwate Prefecture
3. Morioka Reimen Pyon-Pyon-Sha (盛岡冷麺 ぴょんぴょん舎)
The last of “The Three Great Noodles of Morioka” is Morioka Reimen (cold noodles).
It was Pyon-Pyon-Sha that brought Korean Reimen (cold noodles) and arranged for locals in Morioka. Other than the head restaurant in Inari-cho, there are total 5 branches in Morioka city; Tonan, AEON Morioka, Morioka Station, and Morioka Handi-Works Square.
12-5 Inaricho, Morioka-shi, Iwate Prefecture
4. Maezawa Beef Ogata Ajigokoro (前沢牛オガタ 味心) - the best wagyu in Iwate
Maezawa Beef is a famous wagyu label from Iwate. Enjoy the delicate and soft wagyu here.
This restaurant offers Maezawa Beef produced at Ogata Farm very casually. They have a variety of menus; yakiniku (Korean BBQ), steak, shabu-shabu, and sashimi.
Togasaki 102-4 Maesawaku, Oshu-shi, Iwate Prefecture
Closed on Thursdays
5. Local Cuisine and Craft Beer Sekinoichi (郷土料理と地ビール 世嬉の一)
One of the famous local cuisines in Iwate is mochi (rice cake) dishes. At Sekinoichi, as a restaurant run by a craft beer brewery, you can enjoy Iwate’s local cuisine with delicious craft beer.
5-42 Tamurachō, Ichinoseki-shi, Iwate-ken
Mondays to Saturdays 11:30-14:00, 17:00-21:00
Sundays and National Holidays 11:00-20:00
6. Visit brewery and tasting sake, Asabiraki (あさ開)
Asabiraki is a brewery with both traditional procedure and modern industrialized procedure having over 130 years of history. They use the well that is designated as The Best 100 Water in Japan.
You can look the brewery for free and learn how to make sake.
10-34 Daijijicho, Morioka-shi, Iwate Prefecture
April to early November 9:00-16:30
Late November to March 9:00-15:30
Closed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
7. Nanbu Senbei Shirasawa Senbei Ten (南部せんべい 白沢せんべい店)
Nanbu Senbei is the famous product of Iwate. It is a simple snack made from wheat flour, salt, and water. The dough is pressed into round waffle molds with long handles and baked over charcoals. Shirasawa Senbei Ten is a long established production of Nanbu Senbei. You can buy some for taking home, they last quite long.
2-16 Konyacho, Morioka-shi, Iwate Prefecture
8. Fukuda Pan (福田パン)
In Japan, sweet buns with red beans or custard creams and meal buns with yakisoba or tonkatsu are so popular.
At Fukuda Pan, you can combine the ingredients you want and create original buns!
Fukuda Pan is so famous and delicious and popular for locals too. There are lines every day and mostly buns are sold out before sunset.
If you can’t decide which flavor to eat, I’d recommend the popular ones “An-Butter” (red bean paste and butter) and “Corned Beef” (Corned Beef comes with potato salad).
12-11 Nagatacho, Morioka, Iwate Prefecture
Closed during Obon holidays (mid-August) and New Years
9. Iwate Local Cuisine and Biscuit Tempura, “Sawauchi Jinku” (沢内甚句)
Most of you must be familiar with tempura, but they have “biscuit tempura”! Sawauchi Jinku is a restaurant serves local cuisines from a region called Sawauchi in Iwate. Biscuit tempura was eaten quite normally in Sawauchi area. You might think this is crazy but it was sweet and delicious!
There are other delicious local cuisines dishes such as fresh seafood dish and mushroom soup too.
5-4 Kaiunbashidōri, Morioka-shi, Iwate-ken
Closed on Sundays
10.Kimchi Natto Ramen Yanagiya (柳屋)
The last dish is something unique. The ramen with kimchi and natto! This ramen is so unique and can’t be found at any places in Japan. This ramen is recommended by locals of Morioka and starting to get popular.
Sure this ramen is so unique but people find it addictive. You can try Kimchi Natto Ramen at Yamagiya.
3F 2 Chome-2-15 Odori, Morioka-shi, Iwate Prefecture
How was this list? Water is delicious around Iwate and lots of delicious food. Enjoy eating in Iwate!
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