Dining in Kobe is a treat as you can find a little bit of everything here. There's certainly no shortage of variety or style among its restaurants, but that can make it hard to select where to eat next. With a sizeable expat population, eating out in Kobe has more of a cosmopolitan feel than other cities of a similar size. From street-side noodle shops to opulent, 5-star eateries, dining in Kobe can be as affordable or as indulgent as you wish.

    Kobe beef is city's best-known dish, and places serving up this marbled, tender meat are numerous. Chinese and Indian restaurants abound, as do eateries offering western fare. Many of the best spots are found in and around Sannomiya in downtown Kobe.

    1

    Kobe Plaisir

    Head to this celebrated restaurant for top-notch seasonal beef dishes

    Kobe Plaisir is where you can experience Japanese fine dining in the city’s bustling Chuo Ward. This acclaimed restaurant serves premium cuts of Kobe beef alongside a rich seasonal menu. With the Hyogo prefecture bound by the Sea of Japan and the Seto Inland Sea, Kobe’s diverse climate and geography foster one of Japan’s most respected agriculture industries.

    Book a table at Kobe Plaisir to experience the prefecture’s celebrated Kobe and Tajima beef cuts, alongside wonderfully presented vegetables, sake and rice.

    Location: 1st Floor, the b kobe, 2-11-5, Shimoyamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0011, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 11.30 am to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 10.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +81 (0)78-571-0141

    Map
    2

    Kaisendonya Sannomiya Seriichi

    Visit this boisterous seafood restaurant for local cuisine and beverages

    Kaisendonya Sannomiya Seriichi is a popular seafood restaurant in the center of Kobe. Here, you’ll find a wealth of fresh seafood caught from the region’s biodiverse waters, including sea urchins, oysters, and shrimp. Other specialties such as Kobe beef and foie gras are also on the menu.

    Kaisendonya Sannomiya Seriichi is renowned for its lively atmosphere, with locals packing into the joint for a splendid meal and a few beverages. Enjoy a Japanese beer or delve into the extensive selection of sake and shochu available. This bar-cum-restaurant is within walking distance of Sannomiya Station and Motomachi Station.

    Location: 3-1-2 Kitanagasadori, Chuo-ku Marufuku Bldg. B1F, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0012, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 5 pm to midnight, Saturday–Sunday from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm and from 5 pm to midnight

    Phone: +81 (0)78-392-8377

    Map
    3

    Mouriya Kobe

    Experience the best of Kobe beef at this 130-year-old restaurant

    Mouriya Kobe is one of the city’s oldest steak restaurants, with origins dating to 1887. This place serves premium-quality A5 wagyu beef, which has incredible marbling on the meat. Plus, with expert chefs cooking everything on a teppanyaki broil right before your eyes, this dining experience is simply unbeatable.

    Whether you choose a rump steak or the finest fillet steak on the menu, your sumptuous dish is usually served with fresh vegetables. Mouriya Kobe is incredibly easy to reach, thanks to its convenient location in the city centre. The restaurant is just a short walk from Sannomiya Station.

    Location: 2F, No.1 Kishi Building, 1 Chome-9-9 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0012, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)78-321-1328

    Map
    4

    Kobe Harborland Sandaya

    Find delicious regional cuisine alongside incredible harbor views

    Kobe Harborland Sandaya is an outstanding steak restaurant with striking views of the Port of Kobe. Its thick-cut Kobe beef and Japanese black beef are served alongside locally grown vegetables.

    Your dining experience is elevated further with the restaurant's elegant interior decor and live piano. With Kobe Harborland Sandaya situated within a vast shopping complex, leave some time to explore the neighboring retailers before soaking up the night-time city views.

    Location: Kobe Harborland umie, MOSAIC, 3F, 1-6-1 Higashi Kawasaki-cho , Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0044 Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)78-360-2900

    Map
    5

    Wakkoqu

    Kobe beef has become a sought-after specialty around the world, so sampling it in the city of its origin is a must. Kobe beef is not cheap, but Wakkoqu is one of the better-value spots in which to indulge in this tempting steak. Choose from sirloin, tenderloin or other choice cuts of beef and watch as the skilful teppanyaki chefs grill and season them to perfection in front of you. Meals are served as set menus, offering different grades of beef with a side of soup and roasted vegetables, coffee and dessert. Wakkoqu has a cozy, intimate feel with seating for up to 30 guests. If you're traveling on a budget, take advantage of the good value lunch menu. 

    Location: Shinkobe Oriental Avenue 3F, 1-1 Kitanocho, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0002, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11.45 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)78-262-2838

    Map
    6

    Nishimura Coffee

    Long before Starbucks became a part of Kobe’s café culture, there was Nishimura. It’s still standing at the same street corner location since opening in 1948. Nishimura brews more than 20 blends of coffee and also offers sandwiches, snacks, cakes and other desserts. The family-run café exudes elegance and charm throughout the two spacious floors of its German-style house. Strict quality control with the ingredients and production, from the beans to the milk to the roasting technique, gives Nishimura coffee a heavenly edge over the more stock-standard coffee shops around.

    Location: 5 −3−5 Kotonoocho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo, 651-0094, Japan

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 11.30 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)78-241-2777

    Map

    photo by Manish Prabhune (CC BY 2.0) modified

    7

    Kitano Club

    Set on the hillside of Kitano-cho, Kitano Club is a well-established spot for French cuisine. Creative tasting menus offer delectable servings of roast lamb, beef or duck with salads, grilled vegetables and desserts. The setting is very romantic, and its elevated position let’s you enjoy dramatic views across the city in the valley below. The scenery inside is often just as appealing since this chic dining spot attracts the most stylish of Kobe's residents and visitors. While Kitano Club's longevity has made it a local institution, even returning diners will always find something fresh to try with new menu selections every month. Reservations are recommended.

    Location: 1-5-7 Kitanocho, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0002, Japan

    Open: Daily from 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm (the bar is open until midnight)

    Phone: +81 (0)78-222-5123

    Map

    photo by 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Sogo department store basement floor

    If you're short on time and just seeking a quick meal or take-away, the bottom level of Sogo department store, near Sannomiya station, is an ideal place to stop. In addition to being conveniently located in the heart of Kobe's shopping district, Sogo's food fair is chock full of stalls selling a wide range of prepared meals and snacks. Tempura, grilled fish and beautifully packaged Japanese sweets are available, as well as delicatessens and bakeries with Western fare. Pickled goods and savory crackers make for great take-away snacks to enjoy while sightseeing. Kimchee, sushi, Japanese teas and Yakitori (grilled meat on a stick) are also among the numerous delicious items on sale.

    Location: 8-1-8 Onoedori, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo, 651-8511, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)78 221 4181

    Map

    photo by 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    Hyotan

    This Japanese version of a 'greasy spoon' casual diner proves that keeping it simple is a good formula for success. Your choice on the menu is limited to gyoza, gyoza or … gyoza. But no one seems down in the dumps about having only dumplings for dinner, since Hyotan has been attracting Kobe's hungriest for more than 40 years. What the restaurant lacks in style it more than makes up for in speed, value and consistency. A plateful of 8 tasty mince-pork morsels will satisfy your stomach while being very easy on the wallet. Hyotan is a lovely cheap-eats treat.

    Location: 1-31-37 Kitanagasadori, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo, 650-0012, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm and 5 pm to 11.30 pm. Saturday and Sunday from 11.30 am to 10.30 pm (closed on 2nd and 4th Monday of each month)

    Phone: +81 (0)78-331-1354

    Map
    10

    Grill Ippei Sannomiya

    Experience big and bold Japanese-inspired western food

    Grill Ippei Sannomiya was founded in 1962, offering locals and visitors delicious Japanese-style western cuisine. Located in the middle of Kobe, this laidback joint is especially admired for its beef cutlets, homemade brown sauce, and deep-fried oysters served in large portions.

    Thanks to Grill Ippei Sannomiya’s extensive menu, you’re bound to discover a flavorful dish that leaves you completely stuffed. Then, once you can’t take another bite, you can quickly wander into the inner-city districts or head straight for Sannomiya Station just a couple of blocks away.

    Location: 5 Chome-5-26 Kotonoocho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo 651-0094, Japan

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 11 am to 2.30 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm (closed Mondays to Wednesdays)

    Phone: +81 (0)78-252-2527

    Map

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