[Kyushu 100] Saga Gourmet Spot Top 20

“Kyushu 100” is the project to introduce the fascinations of 100 spots representing Kyushu chosen by traveler’s review. In order to let you know more fascination of Kyushu beyond 100 spots, we introduce the spots for “Eat” ,”Play” and “Stay” of 7 prefectures in ranking order.

Facing the Ariake Ocean to the south and Genkai Ocean to the north, Saga Prefecture is a treasure house of seafoods surrounded by one of the best fishing grounds in Japan. Especially, don’t miss the live squid sashimi with its smooth texture and sweet taste! Besides seafood, there are more Saga gourmet experiences such as Saga Beef with finely-textured marbled meat, Tonkotsu (pig based) Ramen with light but full-flavored soup, Tofu and sweets. Here are Saga’s popular restaurants in ranking order you should visit.

Ikahonke Iso Hhamabekkan (Karatsu City)

Overlooking the Yobiko Ohashi Bridge over the Kabeshima, you can enjoy the famous Yobiko’s Squid known nationwide. The specialty is the live squid sashimi caught in the water tank just before they are served. You can experience eating the live squid tentacles while still moving. Squid steamed dumpling or squid tempura are also recommended.

Photo by 福ふくちゃん

Photo by juri83

I had been longing to eat Yobuko’s Squid for a long time and eventually did it! We ordered 2700-yen set meal and the squid sashimi was sweet and delicious! Hospitality was also very nice.Review from SN
The nice-view restaurant by the sea. Live squid Sashimi was an amazing experience. They cooked the squid tempura after we finished the sashimi part. It was a sufficient amount to share with two people.Review from juri83

Klee Blatt (Tosu City)

The stone-oven bakery offering a variety of fresh-baked breads. Including the croissant using the wheat from France, there are so many different kinds of high-quality breads in the shop. You can choose to enjoy the bread with coffee on the terrace or to take out.

Photo by wongtaikwan

Photo by wongtaikwan

I had breakfast here everyday on my visit to yayoigaoka in tosu delicious breads and pastries at a fair price will surely miss my daily breads here thats for sure.Review from Joseph O
The pastries are beautifully displayed and absolutely fantastic. We will go back again and again. Oh…and free coffee and a beautiful outside dining area where you can enjoy the bounty. Review from Cathy C

Sagabeef Restaurant Kira Honten (Saga City)

Saga Beef Restaurant directly operated by Saga JA Group. You can enjoy the finest quality of Saga Beef as steak, Shabu-shabu, Teppan Yaki or Sushi. As there are many divided rooms in the restaurant, you can enjoy the private time in a relaxing way.

Photo by 卓達李

Photo by 卓達李

Having heard of the delicious Saga beef but dinner menu is quite expensive, so we did manage to take lunch last week. We tried the Saga beef lunch set at Yen3,900 per person with salad, Saga beef and vegetable Teppanyaki, dessert and coffee and tea. Still remember the Saga beef melted in my mouth. Yummy…. Review from AlvinHongKong
First tried out at this restaurant in Dec 2013 and was very impressed with the Saga beef at a reasonable price. Last month (Dec 2014), we came back again with a bigger group and everyone was very satisfied with the quality of the Saga beef. We will definitely be back again for a third time and more.Review from Daniel_lawgg

#4 Kawashima Tofu Shop (Karatsu City)

It is a long-established shop which has been dedicating the tofu to the feudal lord of Karatsu since Kansei period during the middle of Edo Era (1789-1801). The specialty is Zaru-Tofu made with the ingredient of soybean brought in from the contracted farmhouse in Kyushu. Furthermore, you can enjoy the special course of tofu menu including Uzumi Tofu with hot soup and barley porridge, soy milk and thick deep-fried tofu.

Photo by solelevante

We enjoyed the breakfast here at 8 o’clock. What a luxury to try the fresh zaru-tofu as well as thick fried tofu they just made. The taste is, of course, the best.
Shop atmosphere is also very nice.Review by venvenvenven
With advanced reservation, we went there for lunch. As the shop has a limited capacity, I highly recommend you to make a reservation. You can enjoy the best tofu here.Review from Soratobu

#5 Kawataro, Yobuko Branch

The restaurant offers the renowned Yobuko squid representing Saga gourmet. In the large water tank, squids are swimming calmly. You will be satisfied with a variety of fresh squid cuisines including transparent live squid sashimi, squid steamed dumpling and squid tentacles tempura.

Photo by ら・ふらんす

Situated on a dock in Yobuko, Kawataro was the first to serve the catch as Otsukuri style. Our kids had the tempura set, while we had the Ika no Otsukuri set which starts with squid (calamari) sashimi. It is so fresh it can still occasionally squiggle on the serving platter. When you have had enough of the sashimi, they take the dish down to prepare the remaining portion as tempura. It was simply the tastiest squid we have ever had!Review from LC
We are not a fan of Squid Sashimi so we opted for the Squid Shumai instead, it was interesting and the texture was soft and tastey but just like any good dim sum.Review from Billy Z

#6 Patisserie Tamagoiro (Karatsu City)

The specialty is a roll cake using special egg “Yuouran” of “Minori Farm”. The eggs, laid by hens raised on floor level naturally with home-blending feed without any antioxidants, are safe and tasty. In addition to the sweets made with high-quality ingredients, you can also enjoy lunch here.

Photo by morinoyukako

The shop is full of healing atmosphere. The pride of special egg producer makes the cake fluffy one. Coffee shop is very nice. You can also take out the cake.Review from hamhams
I came to buy a roll cake, but I also enjoyed the café with good atmosphere. We tried cheese tart, pudding and the special egg cake. Everything was so great! The entrance might be difficult to find, but it is worth coming here.Review from rigelbz

#7 Ide Champon (Takeo City)

As the head shop of Ide Champon founded in 1949, this restaurant has been continuously serving their original champon arranged from the champon the founder tried in Nagasaki Prefecture. The champon made with plentiful vegetables and rich Tonkosu (pig bone) soup is perfection itself. The hidden gourmet to have been loved for more than half a century.

Photo by 宮崎隊長

Following the recommendation from a friend, I went there on the way back from Saga prefectural government. I tried Special Champon, but was unable to overcome the large amount. Next time, I should challenge again. Both the noodle and soup are so great.Review from Masatoshi
We arrived at about 3:00PM, but I was surprised to find a long queue waiting to enter the restaurant. Indeed, it is a popular restaurant! I enjoyed the waiting time as well and enjoyed Special Champon with a lot of vegetables.
Review from 417shunsukef

#8 Gallery Arita (Arita Town)

As far as you can see, there are 2,000 sets of coffee cups and saucers of Arita porcelain. Not just only admiring them, you can actually use your favorite cup when ordering the hot drink. Some local specialty such as “Godoufu” made of kudzu starch instead of bittern is also served with Arita porcelain.

Photo by がちまい子

I stumbled on Arita Gallery in 2012 while searching for coffee in the early morning. Was amazed and happy to see Arita Gallery’s many coffee cups lining the front windows. The owner, Mrs. Kubota, was graceous, and tasked me to choose any coffee cup for my use for breakfast.Review from RON T
Gallery Arita is a family owned restaurant and china shop. The lunch menu is very good for a moderate price with very friendly service. You can chose from the hundreds of coffee cups on display for the special cup you want for your coffee order. Before or after your meal, brouse the items for sale in their shop area. Review from captainked

#9 Saga Restaurant Shino Kenchoten (Saga City)

The nice-view restaurant located on the top floor of Saga prefectural office. You can enjoy the magnificent panoramic view overlooking Saga plain and Ariake Ocean. The menu features mainly Japanese-Western original cuisines made of local ingredients such as Saga beef and seafood from the Ariake Ocean. “Sicilian Rice”, cooked with a variety of local vegetables such as lotus root from Shiraishi, is popular.

Photo by アキラ88

The SAGA beef’s good for steak. Lunch was delicious. About taste, it was sweet generally. I was quite happy. Saga cow’s meat is expensive. I know that. However, even considering it, lunch price is high. Staff have not been refined. Review from ferretMAMA
You can enjoy a nice panoramic view from the restaurant. Various lunch menus are available with only 1000 yen. We recommend you to try Sicilian Rice (Saga beef, Salad and melting egg boiled in hot spring waters are decorated on the rice). Review from ken

#10 Saga Retro-Kan (Saga City)

The retro-style western building making well use of an old building of Saga prefectural police established in the Meiji Era. “Saga Beef with rice bread sandwich” is a must-eat. Additionally, you can also enjoy the original western menus with plentiful ingredients from Saga.

Photo by Nevaeh19

Well renovated modern building with cafe and bakery on the first floor, and the restaurant is on the second floor to return to the 1970s. You can enjoy Saga’ slow food made of local ingredients such as vegetable and Saga beef. Review from jeonys63

#11 Mambo (Karatsu City)

Like the Sea God’s Palace, it is located in a unique situation. The glass window of the basement floor is completely in the ocean and you can see various fishes swimming around. “Squid steamed dumpling-Ikashumai” was born here. Please enjoy a variety of squid cuisines such as live sashimi or tempura.

Photo by oniyun

When I went to Yobuko, There is no choice because we have to eat a cuttlefish. The cuttlefish here is delicious. I think that this is more delicious than a cuttlefish in Hakodate. Because it seems hard to get here without driving car, it is Honorable for a drinker. Japanese sake in Saga is the best. Review from machiotoko

#12 Gepparo (Karatsu City)

The restaurant, located in the Karatsu Seaside Hotel, is so popular with the buffet restaurant where the customer can enjoy various menus overlooking the ocean around Karatsu. Led by squid undoubtedly, you can enjoy almost 50 sorts of dishes from the main to dessert including steak, sushi and lobster with all-you-can eat system.

Photo by がちまい子ちゃん

I really enjoy this restaurant. Worth reserving a table by the floor to ceiling window on the sea side. The food is all delicious (even items I’m not fond of have startled me here by their great taste and aroma).Review from 731stephenr
We enjoyed the breakfast buffet here. Although the dining room was very busy with the holiday crowd, the staff were efficient and friendly. Nice view of the sea and beach. Review from ChuJoe

#13 Steak House Caravan (Karatsu-City)

Japanese beefsteak restaurant. The second-generation owner chef, who was well trained in hotel in Fukuoka and teppanyaki restaurant in Ginza, is using his skill in cooking steak. You can enjoy finely textured Saga Beef and Imari Beef. Michelin Guide Fukuoka/Saga 2014 Special Edition features this restaurant with 1 star.

Photo by clinicmorita

Absolutely wonderfull beef. Tender full of flavour. The kind of beef that melts in your mouth. Accompanied by a good bottle of Italian redwine. Can it be any better? Review from Sven K
Visiting Caravan was a delight! we sat in front of the chef. Enjoyed him cooking and his performance. We selected our beef. Saga beef is very famous and is one of the most delicious beefs in Japan. The meet was perfect.Review from Marzieh G

#14 Mambo Yobuko Asaichidori (Karatsu City)

The group restaurant of above mentioned “Mambo”. Located close to the venue entrance of Yobiko Asaichi Market, one of the three major Asaichi Markets in JAPAN. Their specialty is seafood menu such as a set menu with squid, squid tempura rice ball (Ika Tendon) and sea urchin rice ball (Unidon). Fresh squid tentacles tempura to be cooked after order as well as squid steamed dumpling are ideal menu for taking out.

Photo by エボ太郎

Located in the immediate vicinity of the Morning Market Street Yobuko, it has an easy access. I enjoyed a lot of shopping before coming here. Squid tentacles can be purchased in a small shop. There is a useful parking lot. Review from Daisy

#15 Maruko Ramen Center (Kiyama Town)

Founded in 1952. The turbid soup made of 100 % pig bone has light taste with less smell than expected. Straight and middle-thin noodle produced in the exclusive noodle factory was controlled by the experienced craftsman in changing the ingredient blend in accordance with the weather or humidity.

Photo by 泰祐 渡

Ramen shop opens for 24 hours If you don’t have a chance to eat ramen in Kyushu, this place is recommendable. When trying to buy 420 yen ramen with the vending machine, I have pressed special ramen 550 yen … next. “Special” was with raw egg and 4 slices of roast pork topped on the ramen. Review from maedu61

#16 Soan Yokocho (Ureshino City)

“Onsen Yudoufu”, a famous tofu cuisine in Ureshino Onsen was born here. The hand-made tofu, made carefully for its taste, flavor and texture, is melting in the mouth. The soup with the deliciousness of tofu soaks into the other ingredients such as vegetables or shrimps.

Photo by 南京豆

I chose this place because it offered the local tofu specialty dish made with boiling springs water. I’m not a huge fan of tofu. It was delicious. Happy with my decision to eat the local dish. Review from Jenny B

#17 PATISSERIE Ange CoCo (Tosu City)

Café zone as if they appeared on the streets somewhere in Europe. Multiple cafes such as coffee house, gelato house, cheese-soufflé house and waffle house are lined in a row. Please be absorbed in tasting various sweets at every café.

Photo by さすらいの銀行マン

With fairy-tale atmosphere, this place is attracting many women. I enjoyed the cakes, of course, and ice cream. Although I had once purchased the cake for Christmas and asked for home delivery. If you took a girlfriend while dating, you must be highly appreciated.
Review from cantikkitty

#18 Genkai (Karatsu City)

1Founded in 1969. In the 10 fish tanks of large/middle size, fresh squids are swimming. Including the live squid sashimi, you can enjoy various fresh seafood from Genkai Ocean of Goto Islands as sashimi, deep-fried and grilled.

Photo by まんぷくぷく

Deals in the active squid, mackerel active, you can also have shellfish. There is no luxury, but you can enjoy the simple and delicious seafood. Credit card is also accepted and there are souvenirs as well. Review from JK

#19 Ide Champon Yamato (Saga City)

A sister restaurant of above mentioned “Ide Champon” in Takeo City. In addition to the standard champon, “Special Champon”, with plentiful vegetables/wood-ear mushrooms and raw egg, is also recommended. The thickness of egg and the crispy wood-ear mushrooms are unexpectedly well harmonized.

Photo by ヨシィー

While sitting in the counter table, I was able to see the state of the cooking of Champon. The champon was huge volume and the noodle was completely covered by vegetables and seafoods! Pretty crowded at lunch time. Parking is located in front of the store.Review from ETflyer

#20 Ra-Ra-Ra-Ramen Saga Station North Exit (Saga City)

The Tonkotsu Ramen shop with thin noodle. You can choose the soup between “light pork broth”, “rich pork broth” and “heavy pork broth”. Every soup has rich flavor in common and the thin noodle is good going down. If you prefer, please add sesame and red pickled ginger.

Photo by ferretMAMA

This is a popular ramen shop near the train station. It’s famous about the broth. I ordered the spicy ramen, hard boiled and Gyoza. The soup is incredible, the noodles boiled to perfection and the Gyoza is the best I’ve ever had in my life (and I’ve eaten a lot in the past). Must try!! Love it, and good price. Review from Kthananan
I just can find this restaruant near saga station, but the ramen is very delicious, 120yen you can refill the ramen ,so i spend around 800 yen it already made me satisfied .Review from Wengcheong C

Every spot of “Kyushu 100” chosen by travelers is full of fascination. Now, let’s go and experience 100 spots chosen by travelers!

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Ranking method:” Saga Gourmet Spot Top 20″ was aggregated by the unique algorithm based on the review evaluations in Japanese posted during July 2015 – June 2016 in terms of Gourmet Spots in Saga.