Kokusai Dori in the city of Naha might be one of the biggest tourist trap I have seen in Japan, so where does one go to eat authentic Okinawa food in Naha?
While I was drinking a beer at Helios Brewery, my wife found a place in her Japanese guide book that described Mikasa restaurant as a restaurant for the locals, so we decided to give it a try.
Mikasa is nothing like the kitschy restaurants found on Kokusai Dori, it’s pretty much the Okinawa version of an old dinner.
It’s old, worn out by constant use and seem to be always busy. I instantly related to this restaurant, I had been to places like this all my life back in Montreal.
Mikasa which is open 24h a day is staffed with a bunch of old ladies who are busy cooking the epitome of Okinawa homey food.
The food is so tasty that we ended up going 3 times during our 4 days stay. This no bullshit approach to Okinawa food seem to be indeed popular with the locals since it was always busy and frequented by taxi drivers which is always a good sign.
On our first night, we ordered the fried rice and the beef with tofu.
The fried rice is made with corned beef which is really popular in Okinawa. Simple, straight forward mouth watering delicious.
The beef is served with plenty of garlic and Okinawa tofu which is slightly harder than the stuff found on the mainland. It came with a huge portion of rice and miso soup.
On our third day in Okinawa we woke up really early, so we ended up going to Misasa for breakfast.
My wife ordered the somen champuru which is served with green onions, onions and big chunks of SPAM.
I ordered the yakiniku which turn out to be pork meat served with a pasta salad, cabbage salad, a huge plate of rice, pickles and a soup.
The look of this dish is not Michelin stars material, but the taste was unbelievable. The meat was tender and perfectly cooked in a nice sauce. It’s one of these dish you want to make the trip back just to have a chance to eat it again.
On our last day, we went back to eat the goya champaru which is the ultimate Okinawa classic dish. The signature dish turned out to be a lot less bitter than the one I had eaten before. Egg, goya, tofu and SPAM, that’s it!
I ordered the liver which was fried with lots of garlic and green onion. Great liver and one hell of a big breakfast.
Mikasa is also extremely cheap which most set priced between 500 and 550 yen. The ladies are also pretty funny.
The restaurant is located on route 58 and it’s actually pretty close to Kokusai Dori.
If you visit Naha and you don’t want to fall into the tourist trap of Kokusai Dori, head to Mikasa.
View Larger Map