20 Best Restaurants in Shikoku, Japan

Aisunao

$

Aisunao is centrally located and famous for its healthy and predominantly vegetarian lunches. Situated in a traditional Japanese guesthouse, diners sit on raised tatami mats overlooking a garden. Perfect for recharging your batteries between exploring the various art sites of Naoshima.

765 Honmura, Kagawa-gun, 761-3110, Japan
087-892–3830
Known For
  • Vegetarian lunch
  • Healthy food
  • Tranquil experience
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

Amitie

$$$

Weekend lunch and the prix-fixe dinners are outstanding—and a good value—at this special place serving French- and Italian-inspired bistro-style cuisine. The food and presentation are excellent without being snooty, and the softly worn wooden interior is funky yet not crass or grimy. Try the beef with red wine sauce or grilled sea bream. Sit upstairs and strike up a conversation with your neighbors or the gracious hosts.

6--23 Minami Horibata-cho, Matsuyama, 790-0006, Japan
089-998–2811
Known For
  • Rich meat dishes
  • Funky atmosphere
  • Delicious fish dishes
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. No lunch weekdays

Café Salon Nakaoku

$$

Sandwiches, rice omelets, and Italian dishes are among the eclectic fare served at this café inside a traditional house. This is a good spot for a meal, or just coffee and cake. One of the few restaurants in town open for dinner, Café Salon Nakaoku is about 150 meters south of the Art House Project's Minamidera installation, after going through the crossing and then taking the right-hand fork in the road.

1167 Honmura, Kagawa-gun, 761-3110, Japan
087-892–3887
Known For
  • Pasta
  • Authentic setting
  • Great homemade cakes
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues.

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Cantina

$$ | Kitahama Alley

In an old warehouse facing the waterfront, Cantina serves Mediterranean food with a Japanese twist. The tuna and cod roe pasta in cream sauce is good, as are the seafood paella and the prosciutto and mozzarella salad. Stop by for lunch, or grab a seat on the outdoor patio and watch the sun go down. Credit cards are accepted after 6 pm.

Dogo Bakushukan

$$ | Dogo

Brew pub meets izakaya at this rustic joint by the Dogo Onsen Bathhouse. You'll find plenty of meaty and fishing izakaya staples on the extensive menu to make a good lunch or dinner. Specials include a rice bowl topped with seabream and a drizzling of soy (uwajima taimeshi) and kamaboko fishcakes made with beer yeast. Or after a good soak in Dogo's famed waters, you could stop by here just for a refreshing German-inspired brew, such a weissen or alt. 

Domannaka

$$$

This modern izakaya-style Japanese restaurant on the same small street as the Agnes Hotel (near Tokushima Station) specializes in skewers of flame-grilled chicken, beef, pork, and seafood. The vast menu also includes hot-pot stews, fresh seafood dishes, and tempura items, and there's plenty of local sake to wash it all down. Sit at the counter and chat up the friendly chef and the regulars or, for a quieter meal, ask for a table in the back.

1--47 Terashima Honcho Nishi, Tokushima, 770-0831, Japan
088-623–3293
Known For
  • Beautiful atmosphere
  • Great chicken skewers
  • Excellent selection of sake
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. except when Mon. is a public holiday, then closed Mon. No lunch

Faust

$

This delightful café-restaurant sits just off the main drag between Harimaya-bashi and the castle. Choose a table by the window and people-watch on the cobbled lane, or head indoors to the quirky third-floor dining area. The cake, incidentally, is excellent.

Kurofuneya

$$ | Kitahama Alley

You'll find good Mexican fare alongside Japanese favorites at this second-floor establishment on Kitahama Alley. The friendly owner will happily take a break from playing jazz records, mixing fancy cocktails, and pouring beer and seasonal sake to supply delightfully quirky travel advice.

3-2 Kitahama-cho, Takamatsu, 760-0031, Japan
087-826–3636
Known For
  • Beautiful evening view
  • Fancy cocktails
  • Relaxing atmosphere
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch, No credit cards

Museum Restaurant Issen

$$$$

Located in the Benesse House Museum, Restaurant Issen serves traditional kaiseki food in beautifully curated surroundings and with impeccable service. A highly aesthetic experience, and one of the most elegant dining options on the island. Note that children below the age of six are not allowed, and reservations are required for dinner, with different menus for same-day reservations and reservations made two or more days in advance. At lunch, try the relatively inexpensive kaiseki sampler sets.

Myojin-Maru

$

This ever-popular place in Hirome Market has perfected katsuo tataki, the regional fish specialty and the only item on the menu other than beer and rice. Fresh cuts of skipjack tuna are seared to perfection by a cook perilously close to being engulfed by the flames that he's feeding with big handfuls of straw. So look for the orange flames erupting from this stall's window. You can have the fish served on a bed of rice, sprinkled with salt, or drizzled with a citrusy soy sauce, and you'll never get enough of it. Myojin-Maru belongs to the captain of the largest fishing vessel in the port town Kure, where most of the restaurant's fish comes from. Locals love this place. To avoid lines, arrive early for lunch or dinner.

2--3--1 Obiya-machi, Kochi, 780-0842, Japan
088-820–5101
Known For
  • Amazing skipjack tuna (katsuo tataki)
  • Cozy and relaxed atmosphere
  • Local favorite

New Ginza

$$

The chefs at this chic little bistro transform standard Japanese ingredients into extraordinary cuisine. Antique tables and plush chairs create a sedate setting for delicious lunch plates and excellent handmade pastries. Don't worry about the Japanese-only menu—just order the daily lunch set or the best-looking dessert from the glass display case.

2-4-11 Hyogo-machi, Takamatsu, 760-0024, Japan
087-823–7065
Known For
  • Casual setting
  • Excellent pastries
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No dinner, No credit cards

Shima-Shoku-Do Miyanda

$

Connected to a small gallery a few doors down from the I ♥ Yu baths in Miyanoura, this rickety looking restaurant serves up traditional, simple teishoku set meals for lunch and dinner. With the classic combo of rice, miso soup, and pickles, expect super-fresh sashimi and other seafood options. When the weather is nice, enjoy your meal on the restaurant's wooden terrace. 

2268--2 Miyanoura, Kagawa-gun, 761-3110, Japan
087-813--4400
Known For
  • Filling teishoku set meals
  • Fresh sashimi and other seafood
  • Terraced seating
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

Shioya Diner

$$

This 1950s-style café serves hot dogs, sandwiches, and whatever else the friendly owners feel like making that day. Next to the bathhouse in Miyanoura, it's a perfect stop for a post-bath beer. Shioya is sometimes closed for dinner, so in the evening it's wise to call before coming.

2227 Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, 761-3110, Japan
087-892–3290
Known For
  • Great comfort food
  • Groovy atmosphere
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Fri, No credit cards

Sushi Kappo Komatsu

$$$$

Specializing in fish from the Seto Inland Sea, this intimate sushi restaurant is the place to mingle with food-loving locals or enjoy an intimate dinner for two. The ingredients are top-quality, and everyone here wants to make sure you enjoy your experience. Sit at the long counter and order à la carte, or dine upstairs on a prix-fixe meal in a quiet booth. There's no English menu, but some people on staff speak English. Sushi Kappo Komatsu can be hard to spot, but look for the bamboo screens and miniature rock garden out front. Reservations are recommended for the prix-fixe dinners.

10--16 Gobo-machi, Takamatsu, 760-0044, Japan
087-826–3812
Known For
  • Amazing sushi
  • Traditional atmosphere
  • Aesthetic experience
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch Mon.--Thurs.

Tenkatsu

$$$

Find your favorite fish in the pool at Tenkatsu, and it will be on your plate a few minutes later. You can sit close to the action at the big black countertop, or dine on tatami with sunken horigotatsu tables. The interior design here hardly overwhelms, but the food more than makes up for it. Plastic displays and picture menus help you choose your non-fish dishes, or you could opt for a plush course (but going a la carte is much cheaper if you aren't ready for a big meal). Nabe hot pots in autumn and winter are house favorites, but they also serve local specialties like honetsukidori grilled chicken thigh.

7--8 Hyogo-machi, Takamatsu, 760-0024, Japan
087-821–5380
Known For
  • Local favorites like honetsukidori chicken
  • Large variety of seafood
  • Hot pots

Tosa Ryori Tsukasa

$$$

Meals here range from simple lunchtime bento boxes to the lavish fish platters that are a Kochi specialty. The staff will recommend the local favorite katsuo (skipjack tuna)—in Japanese it's sasuga Kochi, "just as you'd expect in Kochi"—but consider the shabu-shabu meat and vegetable combinations, which your servers will teach you to cook on a special table in your private tatami room. Be careful with seating; the first floor is a bland cafeteria, so indicate that you want an upstairs room instead.

1--2--15 Harimaya-cho, Kochi, 780-0822, Japan
088-873–4351
Known For
  • Amazing katsuo (local fish)
  • Great hot pots
  • Excellent lunch sets

Un Petit Peu

$

Delicious handmade custards and crepes and a two-story dining area with corner views of Matsuyama's busy night scene make this coffee-and-pastry shop a perfect part of any evening out. Extremely popular and open into the wee hours, it's a great place to meet Matsuyamans.

1--10--9 Niban-cho, Matsuyama, 799-0002, Japan
089-931–8550
Known For
  • Late-night eats
  • Local favorite
  • Delicious desserts
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch

Uo Ichiba Komatsu

$$$

The simmering energy of a cantina thrives in this three-story izakaya, where tanks full of eels and fish wait to be selected for your plate, and the chefs do a dazzling job preparing them. The other Japanese fare is also top-notch. An evening here is especially lively if you get a counter seat in front of the chefs. You will find Uo Ichiba Komatsu in a street shooting off the Marugame-machi arcade.

7--1 Furubaba-cho, Takamatsu, 760-0041, Japan
087-826–2056
Known For
  • Good selection of local sake
  • Amazing seafood
  • Lively atmosphere
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch

Waraya

$

Locals take fierce pride in Kagawa's culinary specialty, sanuki-udon noodles, traveling distances that defy common sense to sample the ones served at this restored riverside house at the base of Shikoku Mura. Stop here for lunch and enjoy the rustic waterwheel. If you're with a party of three or more, choose the family-size noodle barrel for the most bang for your slurping buck. Or to elevate simple slurping to something more decadent, opt for noodles with a topping of shrimp tempura. Either way, you'll eat well for less than ¥1,000.

Yoridorimidori

$$

In Hyogo-machi, the northern part of Takamatsu's warren of arcades, Yoridorimidori is one of those places locals tell you to go to try Takamatsu soul food. It doesn't disappoint. The specialty is honetsukidori, garlicy chicken thigh grilled on the bone. Staff suggest trying both types, the young chicken and the mature chicken, the first of which is superbly tender under its crispy skin, the latter firmer but more flavorful. Also on the menu is a selection of izakaya staples, plus sake and beer to wash it all down with. It's worth getting there early or having your hotel book a table, as it fills up quickly.

1--24 Hyogo-machi, Takamatsu, 760-0024, Japan
087-822--8247
Known For
  • Honetsukidori chicken
  • Lively atmosphere
  • Local sake
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch