I love Nagasaki! And it may be because FOOD is the way to my heart. The people of Nagasaki have been nothing but kind to me, saying a friendly hello and shoving food into my hands. And ohh, the food has been amazing – it was love at first bite. So before I get into all the other things that make Nagasaki so incredible, here are some awesome spots you must eat at when you’re here.
1) Log Kit – Sasebo Burger
So, Sasebo is a town outside of Nagasaki that is known for its burgers. It’s said to be Japan’s best burger becuase they’re grilled after you order and apparently the buns are homemade as well. Sasebo is about an hour and a half bus ride away and seeing as I didn’t have the time to go over there, Neetha told me about this gem of a burger shack that’s right outside of Nagasaki’s Chinatown. It’s a tiny spot, and I actually walked by it the first time even though I was intently looking for it. Luckily, everyone there is familiar with the place so if you can’t find it just put a pathetic lost foreigner face on like I do and sadly ask “sasebo?” They’ll point you in the right direction. The beef is yummy, the sauce they put on it is delicious, and the fun part comes in when the right way to eat the burger is to “smoosh” it. Seriously, the guy brought me my burger and said “smoooosh, ok?” Sure! The French fries are on point too, and with all the healthy sushi you’ve been eating you can chow down on this guilt-free.
2) Keikaen – Champon
Nagasaki is known for champon, a giant bowl of noodles and other seafood-y goodness. It reminded me of pho because of its size and that there was so much good stuff in there: pork, lots of seafood and veggies. My eyes grew large when I first saw the gigantic bowl that was all mine. This place is fancy but their champon price is right – under 800 yen for a bowl that will definitely fill you up.
3) Wakatakemaru – Conveyor Belt Sushi
Shout out to Hostel Akari for one badass neighborhood map of where to go and what to eat! Akari pointed me in the direction of this ultra-cheap conveyor belt sushi place located in the Hamanomachi Arcade. Every plate was a mere 110 yen each (two pieces to a plate.) What a freakin’ steal. And I’m guessing that this must be the norm for Nagasaki but I was also pleasantly surprised to find mussels in my miso soup. Win! A full dinner cost me only 500 yen, nom nom.
4) Kiitos – Coffee
It was a hot afternoon and I had been walking all over Nagasaki – by the way, who knew this town had so many stairs?! I was falling asleep on my short twenty minute tram rides and I knew I needed a pick me up and a chance to rest my weary legs. Well, Akari came to the rescue once again when it pointed me in the direction of an adorable coffee shop on the Naka Dori shopping street. Walk upstairs and you’re suddenly in bliss with calming music playing and Marimekko art everywhere. I was happy to see that they had cappuccinos and even happier when a deliciously frothy cappuccino appeared for me to nose-dive into. The ambiance of this place is great and the decor is simple yet chic – I could easily see this being a great coffee spot in the village. The owner of the cafe, Julie, started chatting with me and she is absolutely adorable. She’s from Nagasaki and fellas, if she’s not yet taken someone needs to go and swoop her up. Seriously. Also, when I told her I was heading to Fukuoka tonight she ran and gave me a bagel to eat on my trip. So, so sweet. Great food, wonderful people, and a delicious cappuccino: what more could a girl ask for!