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In Japan, "su-" is the sound that people make when they slurp their noodles. Far from being impolite, slurping noodles is a sign that you enjoy your meal, and at Sumanume you'll be sure to be slurping away. This local favorite is somewhat off the beaten path, but the soba brings tourists and locals in from near and far. The restaurant has traditional tatami mat floor seating, and can accommodate 50 guests. They are usually open till 4p, or until they run out of food. They are closed on Mondays.
Situated between Okinawa City and Nago City, Shimajikan is located along Route 58 in Onna Village, making it the perfect place to take a break for a meal. The bright restaurant only has tatami seating or floor seating, with leg wells under the table to maximize comfort. The hospitable staff strives to make their customers feel as though they were visiting an Okinawan home, and do so with their locally sourced ingredients and fresh seafood from the Onna Sea. The bar boasts 48 different types of Okinawan spirits, so you'll be sure to find one that you enjoy. You can order from a prix fixe menu to sample everything, or order à la carte. Last order is at 10p, and pets are allowed on the terrace.
Situated in the center of Kokusai Street, Zizake Yokocho is the perfect place to enjoy some awamori (locally crafted Okinawan sake) along with a smattering of traditional Okinawan tapas-style dishes after a long day of souvenir shopping. Accustomed to tourists, the pictures of the prix fixe menus help indecisive visitors choose which of these healthful dishes to sample, although items can also be ordered à la carte. This venue gets crowded during the tourist season so be sure to make reservations via their website. Live traditional music and dance performances occur three times nightly beginning at 6:30p, and patrons are welcome to join the dancers on the stage at the end of the set. Feel free to bring your own awamori for a JPY2000 bottle fee.
Located on the northern tip of Motobu Peninsula near Ocean Expo Park, the restaurant Chanyaa is within a traditional Okinawan home that has been renovated into a bed and breakfast hotel, which makes for a uniquely Okinawan dining experience. The restaurant specializes in shabu shabu (slices of meat, seafood, tofu and vegetables dipped in boiling water or broth, then dipped in sauce), so diners will be able to taste the essence of each ingredient. The small space only seats 30 and meals are by phone reservation only. Call far in advance to ensure a spot.