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.
Japanese noodle dish soba is usually served with tsuyu (dipping sauce), but Tomishiro Soba also serves it up with song. This local soba restaurant becomes a concert venue every Friday night at 20:00, when guest musicians and the restaurant manager (who is also a singer) perform. Every fourth Friday in the event line-up is dubbed Amateur Night where many performers come in to perform traditional Japanese music, some with regional Okinawan instruments. Anyone is welcome to come and enjoy the performances, but a cover charge is implemented in addition to food prices.
The stage dominates the venue here, with two floors of seating all focused on the performers. The venue hosts comedians, professional and amateur rock groups as well as wedding receptions. All-you-can-eat or drink menus are also available, making this the perfect spot to hang out with a group of friends. Opening hours vary according the schedule, so check the website for details.
In a basement space in Naha City, Sachiko Nakada, Okinawa's queen of comedy, performs skits, dances and songs with family members and the Deigo-za performance group. Having done multiple TV shows and live events, Sachiko Nakada's goal is to preserve Uchina-guchi (the native Okinawan dialect) through her comedic performances. Food and drink are available at the venue.
Located in Okinawa City, Cheese Cheese Cheese serves not only fondue, but also anything that goes well with it. So, when you come here for a meal, ask for a sake or wine pairing to go with your cheese, and don't be surprised when you see items like steak, deer confit, foie gras and grilled duck on the menu. The chic restaurant serves creative pairings of cheese and Japanese ingredients, giving their version of fondue flavor, flair and originality. Savor the food with a large group of friends, or reserve the private room for a special event. They are closed on Sundays.
With one location on Kume Street and another on the busy Kokusai Street, Ryukyu Cuisine & Dance Yotsudake serves set menus of traditional Ryukyuan cuisine and enhances the experience with classical Ryukyuan dancing. Traditionally, the Ryukyu Kingdom welcomed envoys from powerful countries with this kind of hospitality. Ryukyu Cuisine & Dance Yotsudake brings this tradition to the present, allowing visitors to experience the hospitality for which Okinawa has become renowned. The tables on the first floor are organized so that everyone can see the stage, though guests can also reserve a private room on the second floor. Reservations are highly recommended.
Facing Sunset Beach near the American Village, Entertainment Pub Restaurant Karahaai lives up to its name, with lively performances featuring Tink Tink and the famous Rinken band paired with freshly prepared food and creative cocktails. Both groups perform traditional Okinawan music while wearing bingata (a colorful dyeing technique) costumes. The Fenutin restaurant, by the same owner as Karahaai, is right next door. People who prefer a quieter meal can reserve a table or private room. Reservations can be made through the website.
The owner, Toshiko Yamashiro, hails from Iheya Island in Northern Okinawa, and named the tavern after Iheya Island's symbol, the Nendo Hiramatsu (a type of pine tree). Conveniently located near Kokusai Street, the bar and restaurant serves an assortment of Ryukyuan dishes, and the couple performs traditional dances and songs. If you're feeling bold, you can put on a costume and do a free-spirited Okinawan dance called the Kachashi with the owners. The venue is closed on Wednesdays.
One of the Heki Kumoji restaurants can be found on Kokusai Street in Okinawa. Extremely particular about serving only the finest ingredients, the venue is sure to provide natural and fresh sea salt and extracted olive oil for all dishes. Heki Kumoji is best known for its lobster, and beef steak or Ryukyu beef steak. Nigata rice is always served with the main dishes, enhancing every bite.