Winter is the season for steaming bowls of noodles, and, for me, that means udon. But why settle for udon from a general restaurant with a food-ticket vending machine when you can get it from a restaurant that specializes in it? Nanao’s Sanuki no Udon-ya Hatabou, an udon-ya (udon shop), has some of the best udon I’ve ever had in Japan. The staff is very friendly and the atmosphere is simple and airy. The menu is all in Japanese, but you can preview it on their website; there are pictures of the different types of meals in the shop, too.
I recommend the basic bukkake udon served hot with ala cart kabocha and shishitou tempura. Prices go from 600-1000 yen for a bowl depending on what style and toppings you get. Call ahead if you have a large group.
Café Moritat is in the building connected to the udon-ya. The café’s specialty is homemade cheesecake and coffee, but the real star of Café Moritat is, in my opinion, the hot cocoa. For 500 yen and a 20 minute wait, you can have a cup of fresh homemade cocoa made with real chocolate and real whipped cream. This is hands down the best cocoa I have ever had.
Leah Zoller is a first-year CIR in Anamizu and doesn’t mind waiting 20 minutes for cocoa this good.
Kama-age udon, a basic udon served with a dashi-based broth on the side. Served hot (温かい atatakai) or cold (冷たい tsumetai).
Zaru udon, a cold dish of noodles served on a plate with a cup of broth for dipping. General served cold in the summer.
Shoyu udon, a plate of noodles and toppings. Served hot or cold.
Bukkake udon, a bowl of noodles and toppings with a cup of broth on the side. Bukkake is the onomatopoeia for the sound of splashing, and refers here to the pouring of the liquid from a cup to the bowl. Served hot or cold. Good for people who prefer the noodles to the soup.
Kake udon, an udon dish served in broth with spring onions. Served hot or cold.
In addition to these basic types, there are different set toppings (pork, beef, squid, etc.) and an ala cart menu of tempura vegetables and meats for an additional fee (50-100 yen per piece).
Re-99 Kojiima-machi Nanao-shi Ishikawa-ken 926-0852 (at the Tsumuki-machi intersection)
Closed every Monday and every 2nd and 4th Tuesday. (Check website for a list of dates)
Café Moritat: 11:00-21:00
Sanuki Udon-ya Hatabou: 11:00-15:00
Check here for menus, a map and a list of closures
Take the 249 from the north and turn onto the 1. From the south, take the 159 to the 1.
The buildings are on the corner of the intersection. If you continue on the road that goes past the udon-ya part of the building, there is free parking lot with 7 spaces. In front of the building, there is another free lot with 3 spaces.
From Nanao Station, it’s a 25 minute walk to the restaurant.
Or, take the Nanao City Loop Bus (市内循環)to 能登食祭市場 (Noto Shokusai Ichiba) from Nanao Station. The website is unclear about how the circuit loops, but this stop is on the western circuit 西回り. Walk for 7 minutes across the 1 toward Myou-kanin Temple (妙館員寺) away from the Shimamura Fashion Center.