Sapporo, Japan
ZipTipz Sapporo: Dining And Drinking
© 2006   
Sapporo is blessed with an abundant availability of fresh fish and other seafood (crab, scallops, shrimp, oysters, squid, mackerel, and salmon), locally grown seasonal fruits, vegetables and cereals (potatoes, corn, asparagus, onions, pumpkins, melons, cherries, plums and apples), and the country's finest dairy products. So do not be surprised at the quality of the food served in the city.

Sapporo has some of the best sushi restaurants in the world. Whether you eat in a kaitenzushi, where the plates are delivered on a conveyor belt and prices are reasonable, or you elect to splurge in one of the top restaurants, the quality will be good. If you can afford it, dine at Azuma Sushi, the oldest (opened in 1876) and probably the best sushi restaurant in Hokkaido.

No visit to Hokkaido would be complete without at least one crab dinner. If you have the money, why not spoil yourself and head for Sapporo Kani Honke, one of the best crab restaurants in Sapporo. Although crab generally tends to be on the expensive side, you do not have to break the bank to enjoy it. Many restaurants, Kanikosen, for example, offer all-you-can-eat crab courses at prices that are very reasonable. To the average Japanese, the word ramen is almost synonymous with Sapporo, and not without good reason: Sapporo Ramen, noodles served in a delicious miso (soy bean) broth, is just about the national dish. There are ramen restaurants all over the city, each serving the noodles in its own particular way. You can get a simple bowl of ramen that is topped with bean sprouts and onions for around JPY350, or you can pay JPY1,800 for a king-sized bowl with all the trimmings, including crab, shrimp, scallops, and vegetables. The best way to feed a ramen fix is to head for Shin Ramen Yokocho, an arcade of about twenty ramen restaurants.

Local specialties in Hokkaido are not all based on seafood. Meat eaters also have plenty to choose from. There are many restaurants that specialize in Gengis Khan, a Mongolian-style barbecue of marinated lamb and vegetables that you grill yourself in a cast iron pan at your table. Many of these restaurants offer all-you-can-eat/drink deals for a fixed price, so the ambiance is generally on the raucous side—which makes them ideal for parties. Just about very major European and American cuisine is represented in Sapporo. There are a variety of excellent French (Sky Restaurant Ambrosia) and Italian restaurants offering great views over the city to complement the food they serve up. If you feel like a burger, and not just the fast food variety, check out Nuts Café, which is as close to a real American eatery as you will find anywhere in Japan.

Sapporo has many excellent restaurants serving food from different regions of China. Gyoza, dumplings filled with meat and vegetables, is a specialty in various places. Korean restaurants are also very popular, and they generally serve yakiniku, which is a Korean-style barbecue, as well as fabulous rice dishes like bibimba and the fiery pickled cabbage known as kimchi. If you haven't tried Korean food before, check out Yakiniku Tokuju.

Many restaurants in the city address the needs of budget travelers. At the top end of this category are the family restaurants like Jonathan's, Skylark and Denny's. Meals at these restaurants usually cost below JPY1,000. Then there are the international fast food chains (McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Wendy's) and local versions like Mos Burger. There are also many Japanese fast foods that satisfy the appetite and do not empty the wallet. Yoshinoya, for example, is a chain restaurant that serves gyudon, a bowl of rice topped with marinated sliced beef. The cheapest meal here is a bargain at only JPY300.

Sapporo, with its vast dairy industry, is also a paradise for those with a sweet tooth. You will find ice cream parlors (Hokkaido Milk Mura) and cafes specializing in cakes and desserts (Calcio D'angolo) dotted throughout the city. Whatever you crave, you will find it in Sapporo.

ZipTipz top picks: Dining in Sapporo
© 2006   
Sapporo Kaniya - Every dish features crab
Kikuzushi - Serving sushi for more than 80 years
Sapporo Kani Honke - Best crab restaurant in Sapporo
Azuma Sushi - Probably the best sushi in Sapporo
Tonkatsu Nampo - Succulent pork dishes
Kushiro - Home cooking in a traditional setting
Pizzeria - Said to be the best pizzas in town
Le Tabou - Paella and flamenco
Mani Thai - The first and best Thai restaurant in Sapporo
ZipTipz top picks: Night Life in Sapporo
© 2006   
Sapporo Beer Garden - The freshest and best beer in Japan
Champanyu - Magnificent view over Odori Park
Backstage Café & Gallery - Billiards and Internet in classy surroundings
Karaoke Super PIA - Sing the night away
Beer Inn Mugishutei - Largest selection of beer in the Orient
Bar Airs - Perfect spot for a bit of romance
Paramount Universal Cinema 11 - Biggest cinema complex in the city
Cara Café - Enjoy a singsong in style
350 Bar - They don't come any cheaper
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