In Japan, tucked away in bustling city corners are charming districts known as “yokocho”, lined with cozy eateries. These hidden gems ignite a sense of excitement among food and drink enthusiasts.
Scattered across Japan, particularly near office-laden areas, each yokocho boasts a unique blend of character, size, and shop diversity, adding an extra layer to the overall dining experience. One city that hosts several such districts is Fukuoka, where yokocho dot the vicinity of Hakata Station, a hub surrounded by office buildings and government agencies.
One standout locale is the aptly named “300 Steps from the Station Yokocho”, situated just a short stroll from Hakata Station. Thanks to an underground passage that connects the yokocho to the station, visitors can comfortably explore regardless of the weather. This compact corner of the city is home to ten esteemed local restaurants. Serving a gamut of delectable dishes such as yakitori, izakaya-style meals, fresh fish, motsunabe, and gyoza, these establishments contribute to Fukuoka and Hakata’s renowned regional cuisine.
Open from daytime onwards, these restaurants draw a diverse crowd, from lunch-goers and daytime drinkers to post-work patrons and dinner guests, all mingling at the counters and small tables. A visit to “300 Steps from the Station Yokocho” feels akin to stepping into an all-weather street food fair. Upon arrival in Fukuoka or Hakata, it’s the go-to spot for an instant culinary adventure.
Known for its popular pork belly and cabbage skewers, Yakitori Hachibei isn’t just about chicken. The restaurant is famous for popularizing Hakata-style yakitori and often sees patrons enjoying yakitori with wine in its atmospheric interior.
• Open: 11:30 – 23:00 (L.O. 22:30)
• Phone: 092-260-8556
• Website: https://hachibei.com/
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yakitori_hachibei/
A seafood izakaya that prides itself on its fresh seafood directly sourced from fishermen and its voluminous servings. Its signature dish is a sashimi platter featuring six types of seafood.
• Open: 11:30 – 24:00 (L.O. 23:00)
• Phone: 092-409-0322
• Website: https://www.3peace-company.com/tenpo.html
Known for popularizing the ‘Udon Izakaya’ style, where patrons enjoy izakaya-style dishes with drinks and finish with udon.
• Open: 11:00 – 24:00 (L.O. 23:30)
• Phone: 092-409-0302
• Website: https://www.niwakaya-chosuke.com/niwakaya-chousuke
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/niwakaya.chosuke/
A restaurant specializing in meat dishes, boasting soft and chewy beef tongue from Kyushu-bred Wagyu.
• Open: 11:30 – 15:00 (L.O. 14:30), 17:00 – 23:00 (L.O. 22:30)
• Phone: 092-409-4929
• Website: https://tanca.jp/pages/tanca_hakata
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hakata_tanca/
Shirasu Kujira Hakata Isogai
Known as a place where you can enjoy cheap and delicious fish, Isogai offers seafood-centric izakaya menus, such as seafood skewers, sourced from local fish markets. You can enjoy it casually in a standing-drink style.
• Open: 11:30 – 15:00, 17:00 – 23:00 (L.O. 22:30), Weekend: 11:30 – 23:00 L.O. 22:30)
• Phone: 092-409-0231
• Website: https://www.hakata-isogai.net/shirasukujira/kushiage.php
A meat restaurant specializing in rare cuts of aged and lean beef. Popular dishes include steak, sushi with black-haired Wagyu, and aged rare cuts.
• Open: 11:30 – 14:30 (L.O. 14:00), 17:00 – 24:00 (L.O. 23:30), Weekend: 11:00 – 24:00 (L.O. 23:30)
• Phone: 092-414-2929
• Website: https://nikuyaki-benjamin.com/
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nikuyaki__benjamin/
Bistro Jidori-no Hakata Branch
Enjoy Spanish-style bar food and charcoal-grilled Miyazaki brand chicken, known as ‘Jidori,’ with wine.
• Open: 11:00 – 15:00 (L.O. 14:00), 16:30 – 24:00 (L.O. 23:00), Weekend: 11:00 – 24:00 (L.O. 23:00)
• Phone: 092-292-1210
• Website: https://jidorino-hakata.owst.jp/
Hakata Bite-Size Gyoza Yaoman
Known for Hakata’s bite-size gyoza. Inside the crispy exterior, you’ll find plenty of rich juices from the black pork. Their deep-fried chicken wings are also a specialty.
• Open: 11:00 – 23:00 (L.O. 22:30)
• Phone: 092-409-3858
• Website: https://www.ishidakikaku.co.jp/shoplist/
Motsunabe & Hakata Cuisine Ikkei
Located next to the “300 Steps from the Station Yokocho”, it has a quiet and calm atmosphere. It is the origin of “Grilled Motsunabe” and also offers a course of Hakata cuisine.
• Open: 11:00 – 24:00 (L.O. 23:00)
• Phone: 092-409-3382
• Website: https://motsunabe-ikkei.com/?page_id=1327
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/motsunabeikkei/
Pizzeria Da Gaetano (JRJP Hakata Building)
A pizzeria with a wide, open entrance under the stairs that connect the Yokocho and the street above. The pizza is baked in a wood-fired oven inside the shop, which is a branch of a famous Italian restaurant.
• Open: 11:30 – 14:30 (L.O. 14:00), 17:00 – 24:00 (L.O. 23:00), Weekend: 11:30 – 23:30 (L.O. 23:00)
• Closed: Every 1st and 3rd Tue. of the month
• Phone: 092-409-7298
• Website: https://www.gaetano.jp/info.html#sec2
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gaetano_jrjphakata/