Ramen isn’t the only delicious noodle dish in town (though I have recommendations for ramen if you need!). If you’re in the mood for thick strands of udon or earthy buckwheat soba, here are my recommendations!
Sweet, umami and salty, Tamaya’s udon is dangerously delicious. Their udon with beef sinew stew is particularly addictive, and many of my Tokyo friends make a point to come here after a night of drinking in Kanazawa.
It’s part of Japanese culture to have noodles as a last meal after an evening out. Being drunk makes us hungry. Is it weird? But you can see this culture reflected in the late hours of most ramen, soba, and udon shops. Tamaya opens really late at 10:00 p.m. (22:00) and stays open until 4:00 in the morning!
Long lines will form, mostly of Japanese businessmen, waiting to have the last dish of the day: a good indicator that such a restaurant is worth that wait.
10:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.
1-6-1 Katamachi, Kanazawa
210 meters from Kaname Inn Tatemachi
Getting to this restaurant takes wheels, but you won’t regret the effort. Souan Soba inhabits a beautifully renovated machiya (old Japanese townhouse) just a kilometer away from Hakusan Hime Shrine. The latter is surrounded by nature and history, making the pair a nice one-two stop for a day trip south of Kanazawa. Plan ahead, though, as Souan doesn’t accept reservations; skip the line and arrive before 11:30 a.m. for lunch.
I always get the Inakasoba (“country style soba”). The flavor and texture are the epitome of what soba should taste like! If you’re with a group, order the Sobagaki (mashed soba powder with water)—it has a mochi-like texure—the Negimiso (green onion with miso paste) and Kamo-yaki (grilled duck) with soba, too. So, so nice.
11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (or until sold out)
Ro-32, Tsurugi-hiyoshi-machi, Hakusan
15 km from Kaname Inn Tatemachi (approx. 30 min. by car)
If you’re headed to the Higashi Chaya district, you must lunch at Buemon. Their specialty is Kaga-bocha soba, infused with the flavor of the region’s famous roasted twig tea. Their tempura soba is is equally popular.
But my go-to is the Hanamaki soba. The surface of the soup is coated in black seaweed from the Noto Peninsula and garnished with pickled cherry blossoms. The flavor matches the dashi fish stock very well. I usually don’t care for hot soba, as the texture of the soba can degrade quickly, but this dish is always an exception.
If you want some amazing cold soba, try the Shirayuki soba, with an egg yolk nestled in a bed of beaten egg whites. The flavor can be almost overwhelming, but delicious.
11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (lunch)
6:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. (dinner)
irregular holidays, check website (Japanese)
1-15-5 Higashiyama, Kanazawa-shi
2.3 km from Kaname Inn Tatemachi (18 min. by bus or 10 min. by car)
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A foodie who has explored all things edible in Kanazawa, from high-end sushi and ryokan multi-course dinners to casual meals and snack bars. His recommendations have been shared by friends and now even magazines ask for his opinions! Unofficially the best taster in the city. ;) Ask him anything!