Miso katsu (味噌カツ)
Miso katsu is basically a deep fried pork (called tonkatsu) with miso sauce. Coated with panko (bread crumbs), it is nicely crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. What makes the dish more incredible is the sweet and savory miso sauce that goes well with the pork cutlet. It is very rich and addictive . The dish usually comes with shredded cabbages, a bowl of rice, and soup.
The most famous miso katsu restaurant in Nagoya is Yabaton, located near Nagoya station. You can get a huge and delicious miso katsu meal reasonably there.
Miso nikomi udon (味噌煮込みうどん)
Miso nikomi udon literally means udon noodles simmered (nikomi) in miso. Nagoya is actually a home of producing a type of miso called "Haccho miso", so they often use the miso for the dishes. Miso katsu is one of the examples too. The udon (Japanese white thick noodles) and other ingredients like green onions, shiitake mashrooms, fish cakes, and egg are simmered together in the rich miso sauce. It is served in a small earthen pot that keeps the dish hot.
The best restaurant to try miso nikomi udon is Yamamoto Honten. They have served only miso nikomi udon menu for a long time. There are several shops in Nagoya so you can go your nearest location.
Kishimen is a type if udon noodles. It is very flat compared with regular udon, like fettuccine. The texture is softer and smoother, and the soup is usually made from the rich soy sauce and seafood broth. The soup is a bit salty since the noodles don't soak it up.
Kishimen Sumiyoshi is a famous small restaurant located inside Nagoya station. You can choose from the variety of toppings like tempura and beef.
Doteni is another traditional dish with Hatcho miso. The ingredients like meat (pork or beef) and vegetables are simmered with the miso for a long time. They become very tender and flavorful that go well with rich or sake. It is often served at izakaya (Japanese style bar) in Nagoya.
If you want to try many kinds of doteni, go to Nonkiya. They use a variety of ingredients and delicious miso sauce. They come on the sticks that is also common in Nagoya.
It is made of grilled eel (unagi) on the rice, one of the most popular Nagoya dishes. The eel is coated with sweet and savory sauce the enhances the natural taste is eel. You can find the similar dish called unadon throughout Japan, but there is a clear difference between the two. You eat hitsumabushi with tea and broth soup. After you eat like the half of hitsumabushi, you pour the soup in your rice bowl.
Atsuta is definitely the best place to try hitsumabushi. They have been serving the high quality hitsumabushi for 140 years.
Tenmusu is a onigiri (rice ball) wrapped with nori (seaweed) that is stuffed with shrimp tempura (Japanese deep fried dish). Tenmusu is now commonly eaten in the country but there are many shops specializing in tenmusu in Nagoya. It is also easy to take out and bite, so people often eat outside. You can eat two different kinds of Japanese dish, onigiri and tempura, at once.
Senzyu is said to be the shop that made tenmusu such popular in Japan. They sell homemade delicious tenmusu for locals and visitors.
Oni manju (鬼まんじゅう)
Oni Manju is a steamed bun made from sweet potato, millet sugar, and glutinous rice flour. Oni means devil in Japanese as the peculiar lumpy appearance (made of chunks of sweet potato) looks like the horns of a devil. Despite the scary name, this dessert is sweet and fluffy that would make you smile.
The top shop to buy oni manju is Baikado, which is so popular that people often make a line for.
Ogura toast (小倉トースト)
Ogura toast is a Nagoya's specialty breakfast dish with toasted bread topped with sweet red bean paste and butter. The bread (shokupan, a Japanese white bread) is sliced thick and very soft and fluffy. You will find the sweet red bean and melting batter are the best toppings for bread. This ogura toast is commonly served at coffee shops in Nagoya, especially for breakfast with a cup of coffee.
Hase coffee is a cafe whose ogura toast is popular. Even in the early morning, the cafe is full of people who crave for the tasty and cheap breakfast.
The unique and tasty city, Nagoya!
When you find yourself in Nagoya, try these incredible local dishes to make your visit complete!