Fukuoka, Japan will always hold a special place in my heart. As my first vacation spot inside Japan, I was introduced to so many new things: capsule hotels, ramen at the yatai, nightlife worth going out for, and the laid-back atmosphere of Kyushu. I’ve been back once before while passing through on my way to Mt. Fuji, but I must have visited there at least 10-20 weekends during my years in Hiroshima and Kagoshima.
Although the city is still very much the way I remember it, Japan as a whole has seemingly improved in offering a greater variety of food. After a year in Hiroshima, I would have jumped into a 50-degree onsen to get decent Mexican. Japanese food with all its sushi will always be delicious to me, but it’s comforting to know that, this time around at least, there’s more available than simply fish and rice.
I actually didn’t feel drawn to eat at Ichiran in Fukuoka for the simple fact there are multitudes of yatai around. However, some enjoy the whole solo dining experience. Apparently at Ichiran the food is so good you must have your own booth with which to consume the noodles.
Bayern, Austrian (バイエルン)
Although there is a more equipped bakery and kitchen in Minami-ku called Sailer, Bayern will be my favorite for its convenient access to Ohori Park and great breakfast special: just ￥750 for cured meats, cheese, juice, fresh REAL bread, bacon, and eggs.
Shiv Shankar, Indian (シブ シャンカル)
I’m always skeptical of new Indian places, as I’ve seen tandoori chicken go horribly wrong. Surprisingly, the best I had had was in Pohang, South Korea, after a particularly brutal paintball tournament. In Nishijin, just west of Ohori Park, Shiv Shankar did not disappoint with its reasonable lunch specials. All the proper curry, spices, and real nan made this a ridiculously satisfying meal. I was too full to eat dinner that night.
Goodbeer Faucets, American
Craving a real hamburger and craft beer? Look no further than Goodbeer Faucets, not far from Canal City. Asahi, Kirin, and Sapporo are all lacking at this location, in lieu of craft beers ranging from IPAs to good wheat beer. After Korean food for a solid month, it was a breath of fresh air. They have amazing apple pie a la mode as well, but it takes 20 minutes to cook.
Since learning of kasutera’s existence from my first visit to Nagaki, I’ve always been on the lookout for the best and tastiest in Japan. It didn’t take long, as the shop with the Batman logo drew me in and provided me with the yellow cake and red bean paste in perfect quantities.
Hakata Eki Underground Shopping
Where to even begin for this massive shopping complex? It’s so large some shops have two or three locations. There’s a full cheese station with imported wine, places to get fresh juice (including acai!), and booths with items ranging from sushi to Chiran tea.