Although rarely making the top five Japanese foodie cities, do not underestimate Sapporo's culinary options. As you would expect from the Hokkaido capital, Sapporo's staple delicacies are delectable bowls of comfort. Still, the city also has a few notable locations worth noting if you're looking to make your visit food-centric. Keep on reading for tried and tested Sapporo restaurant recommendations.
Is it your first time in the city? Check out our post on what to eat in Sapporo.
Sapporo Ramen Joints
Whether you're visiting in the dead of winter or in the middle of summer, a trip to Sapporo isn't complete without treating yourself to a delicious bowl of ramen. Sapporo is home to its own variety of Japan's favorite noodle dish, which features an umami-rich miso-based broth and butter (like, a chunk of it) and corn toppings. There are other great ramen joints in Sapporo, too.
Miso ramen is great, but you might want to switch it up a little. Located on the east side of Sapporo, Isai serves bonito-broth ramen, and the chef takes his mission very seriously. If you were to visit this shop every day, you'd notice the broth slightly change in flavor. This is because the restaurant experiments with its recipes, sometimes making a more concentrated and very bonito-forward broth. They also use bonito fish caught from around Japan, which can change the broth. But if you were to visit every day, you would never be disappointed.
Menya Saimi is the home of one of Japan's most famous miso ramen. With such a reputation, you can expect to line up for a while before slurping your noodles, but the wait is so, so worth it.
For more ramen recommendations, check out our list of the best five ramen restaurants for miso ramen in Sapporo.
Other Sapporo Eateries
There's more to Sapporo than ramen. No matter what diet you subscribe to, you will find something to suit your fancy here. Be it a platter of meat or a vegan soup.
In the world of high-end gastronomy, Molière could be considered the birthplace of French cuisine in Hokkaido. The Michelin-starred establishment uses Hokkaido ingredients of the highest caliber, from fresh fish to seasonal vegetables. It's a little bit outside the city center, but if you can reserve a table, it might be the best meal you have during your visit.
Molière also has two sister resaurants in Sapporo: L'enfant qui rêve in Morenuma Park and Molière Café near Sapporo Station. The café offers a more affordable experience of Molière's famed cuisine and is closer to other attractions, making it easy to pop in, eat, and head to your next activity.
The Meat Shop
Eating local is a big part of Japanese cuisine, and Hokkaido is no exception. For meat lovers, The Meat Shop is where you should head if you want a bite of local game. Relatively affordable considering the portion sizes and dishes, the restaurant has a casual setting but offers exquisite dinner options. As you might expect, the meat options change daily according to availability.
Soup Curry Beyond Age
This Sapporo recommendation is a common one, and it's because it's worth the hype! If you're going to have soup curry, another Hokkaido-born dish, let it be at one of Beyond Age's locations.
With a vast menu, you can fully personalize your soup curry experience and select your preferred broth, protein, and toppings. Select locations also offer vegetarian and vegan options.
A Sapporo resident favorite in Susukino, Osteria Crocchio offers comforting Italian food. On weekends, except a bit of a line if you didn't reserve your table in advance. A pro tip from us: Visit at lunch or on a weekday night. Their risotto and lasagna, especially, will warm your belly.
Sapporo Sweet Treats
No meal is complete without a great dessert. Sapporo is the home of shime parfait, or "closing parfait," which is a parfait that you eat after your dinner on a night out. And these are not your small cup-sized parfaits; these are towering desserts with fruit, ice cream, and other treats. You could say they are a work of art. Most shime parfait cafes in Sapporo open at 5pm and close around midnight. Because it's such a widespread tradition, you can also expect to wait in line — sometimes up to two hours — at some of the city's most popular spots.
Parfait, Coffee, Sake, Sato
For an elevated and indulgent shime parfait experience, visit Parfait, Coffee, Sake, Sato. As you might've guessed, this specialty cafe offers courses that feature parfaits, coffee, and sake. Most menu items are seasonal, using fresh fruit and high-quality chocolate to create gorgeous edible creations.
If you're itching for wagashi (Japanese confectionery), head to Enikaitamochi. This small shop near Nakajima Park offers daifuku, both classic and new, and dango. There is always a line, and the shop closes when it runs out of stock, so head here earlier in the day to grab some daifuku for yourself.
Food Experiences in Hokkaido
Enrich your trip to Japan's northernmost prefecture with food experiences in Sapporo, Niseko and Otaru:
- Make Famous Shiroi Koibito Cookies in Hokkaido
- Educational Dairy Farm Tour and Cheesemaking Experience
- Outdoor Tea Ceremony at a Forest Garden in Hokkaido
- 13 Types of Sushi: Private Cooking Class in Niseko
- Discover Otaru: Town Tour, Seafood, Sake, & More (Hokkaido)
And if you really can only visit Sapporo, rest assured that whatever you eat will be delicious. The city is home to a growing community of cooks, brewers, and farmers who care deeply about what they bring to the table. Be sure to enjoy every bite!