10 Things to Eat in Fukui Prefecture

By Catherine Cornelius
Updated: April 2, 2024

Fukui Prefecture, located a cozy 3 hours from Tokyo via the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train, is often considered one of the least-known prefectures in Japan. Even Japanese folks get a bit confused when they hear someone is from Fukui! It’s far less famous than its “Fuku” cousins, Fukushima and Fukuoka. But thanks to four new Shinkansen stations, this treasure box packed full of hot spring inns, dinosaur fossils, hands-on traditional crafts, surfable waves, and so much more has burst open.


There are so many things to do and see, but where do you go when you’re hungry after a day of exploring? What are the local must-eats and must-drinks? We’ve rounded up 10 of the most famous local specialties for you to sink your teeth into on your next trip out to Fukui!

Weave a trip to Fukui if you're already going to Kanazawa! Check out our 3-day Kanazawa itinerary for some travel inspiration.

10 Things to Eat in Fukui Prefecture

  1. Sauce Katsudon
  2. Oroshi Soba
  3. Echizen Crab
  4. Mackerel
  5. Wakasa Fugu
  6. Aburaage Fried Tofu
  7. Volga Rice
  8. Detchi Yokan
  9. Suko Cider
  10. Sake

Sauce Katsudon


Every prefecture has its variation of a katsudon, or deep-fried pork cutlet rice bowl, and Fukui is no different. The regional twist? Fukui's comforting, meaty rice bowl is characterized by its lack of frills. You’ll find no cabbage or eggs here, only pork cutlets on a bed of rice doused in a Worcestershire-based sauce. If you can, go to the restaurant that started it all: Europe-ken Headquarters in Fukui City.

Oroshi Soba


Oroshi soba is a buckwheat noodle dish topped with grated daikon radish, served with a cold broth. This dish was popularized by an imperial visit of Emperor Showa to Echizen City in 1947, who ate the dish at a local lacquerware shop-turned-restaurant. Nowadays, you can find oroshi soba on the menu at almost any locally-owned restaurant in the prefecture; it’s that popular!

Echizen Crab


The king of crabs has arrived! Echizen gani is a title that can only be bestowed to male snow crabs caught off the coast of Fukui Prefecture. And only the best of these crabs can be sent to Tokyo to grace the table of the Imperial family. So consider yourself amongst royalty when dining on the sweet, rich meat of the Echizen crab. But budget accordingly, the cheapest Echizen crab can cost over ¥20,000.

Taste the finest crab in Fukui at Kawaki, in Fukui's Sakai City. Reserve a table on byFood!



Once the start of the Saba Kaido, or “Mackerel Trail” that stretched all the way to Kyoto, Fukui’s mackerel is so famous that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) even sent a can of it to space! But you don’t need to go to space to get your hands on some local mackerel; just head down to any town along the old Saba Kaido, like Obama or Kumagawa Juku, and you’ll find plenty of mackerel-based dishes to enjoy. If you’re adventurous, you can even try heshiko, fermented mackerel!

Wakasa Fugu


Dangerous but delicious, fugu pufferfish is served down in the coastal towns of southern Fukui. Thanks to melted ice from the mountains chilling the waters of the Wakasa Bay from March to May, Wakasa Fugu is said to be one of the most delicious pufferfish varieties in Japan. You can enjoy it as sashimi, deep-fried, and in many other ways.

Aburaage Fried Tofu


Did you know that Fukui Prefecture ranks first in the nation regarding aburaage fried tofu consumption? And that this ranking has been consistent for 60 years? Folks in Fukui love their aburaage, and with good reason. It’s vegetarian, so it’s perfect for all the Buddhist monks who call the prefecture home. It’s also incredibly versatile, with some restaurants offering aburaage burgers!

Volga Rice


This new twist on omurice, a classic Japanese comfort food, is one of Echizen City’s many claims to fame after washi paper and knives! Each restaurant has is take on the dish, but all have the same components: omurice topped with a serving of breaded deep-fried meat with a savory sauce. Supposedly, the name comes from the dishes’ resemblance to a volcano, while others claim it comes from a Russian dish.

Detchi Yokan

This chilled sweet treat is enjoyed during the summer months throughout Japan. Except in Fukui Prefecture, where it’s considered a wintertime staple! Detchi yokan is a firm, jello-like traditional Japanese sweet made using red bean paste, brown sugar, and agar. The story behind the name and time of year claims that once upon a time, individuals from Fukui who were apprentices (detchi) in Kyoto would bring this treat back home with them every New Year's holiday.



Thanks to abundant fresh water, specialty rice strains, and modern scientific wizardry at breweries like Born in Sabae City, Fukui’s sake rice wine has garnered international awards at many an international wine competition. Every single town has at least one local brewery! From nigori to daiginjo-shu, you’re bound to find a new favorite sake.

Suko Cider

This sweet and tangy fizzy drink is made using the pickled stalks (suko) of the sato imo taro plant, one of the main crops of Ono City. Ono is famous for its abundant and pure groundwater, which makes drinks like suko cider all the more refreshing! If you’re not in the mood for a sweet drink, you can always test out some of the pickled taro stalks the beverage gets its name from.


Thanks to the proximity of the Sea of Japan and the Japanese Alps, Fukui Prefecture has an almost “Japan in Microcosm” food culture. From traditional classics to more modern eats, plus some dinosaur-themed foods at the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, there’s something for everyone to enjoy! So why not take the Hokuriku Shinkansen all the way to Jurassic Japan and become a Fukui foodie for a day or two?

Can't find some time to visit Fukui? You can enjoy Fukui crab at Kani Kato in Asakusa, Tokyo! This specialty restaurant serves only the best crab in the country in an array of delicious dishes.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Catherine Cornelius
Catherine is a backwoods wild child who flew straight from rural America to rural Fukui Prefecture and started hanging out with the farmers. She won’t openly admit it, but seeing Japanese farmers driving little orange tractors makes her feel a little nostalgic. An avid fan of eating local, she spends her time going from farmers markets to local food festivals to niche pop-up restaurants and back again.
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