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Best Local Cuisine in Okinawa

, 4 Options Found

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.

A local favorite, the unassuming facade of Urizun hides a treasure trove of local Okinawan dishes within. Dark and dimly lit, Urizun has tatami mat floor seating as well as seats at the bar, both of which are perfect for cozying up to a group of friends. The chefs aren't shy about sharing the secrets of their recipes, as you can learn how to make some of their most popular dishes from the website. The small platters of food are meant to go with the aged awamori (Okinawan rice liquor), and the restaurant carries awamori from breweries all over Okinawa.

A great budget option for people on the go, Kishimoto Shokudou on the Motobu Peninsula specializes in Okinawa soba and only seats 35. Be sure to bring cash, because this place doesn't take card. The Churaumi Aquarium and Ryugujo Butterfly House are nearby. This restaurant is closed on Wednesdays and opens promptly at 11a until 5p (or until everything is sold out).

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.

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