Do You Know Nags? Nagoya’s Hidden Gems – Part 4

ByBert Wishart
Apr 30, 2021

Do You Know Nags? Nagoya’s Hidden Gems – Part 4

Whether you’re a total noobie or are a piece of the local furniture, Nagoya is a city that continuously surprises. New restaurants, shops, and bars pop up all the time, and you can be wandering down a familiar street and suddenly notice something that you’ve never come across before.

We all have our favorites, our haunts, our places that we like to call our own. In this JIS series, Nagoya residents share their recommendations so you can get to know this eclectic city as well as they do.

Who? Adam Miller

Recommendation? Piacere Mio

Adam has been in Nagoya more years than he’d perhaps like to admit, and if you’ve been here for some time, you may recognize his name from his days writing for the (sadly) now-defunct NagMag, his own magazine Axiom, and his food reviews in Japan Times. Due to the latter, he is in an excellent position to give a restaurant recommendation.

“Piacere Mio is an absolutely great place,” says Adam, “and a really nice Italian gent runs it.” On top of that, despite its size, it is a really cozy restaurant, with Italian bric-a-brac adorning the walls like you would find in a family trattoria in some small rural southern town, but for most people, it’s the pizza that they come for.

Where: Nagoya, Chikusa Ward, Okutecho, 5−16 Morita Bld 1F (map)

Who? Rob Dupuis

Recommendation? Vegi Kitchen GuGu

Canadian Rob has also been in Nagoya a good number of years and is, in fact, something of an excellent chef, having appeared on Japanese television to serve up his famous poutine. However, despite Rob’s poutine and beef pie is legendary in these parts, he has turned to the green side and gone all vegetarian on us.

Fortunately, this means that he can wholeheartedly recommend Vegi Kitchen GuGu. “You’ve got to include a plant-based place in any list of recommendations, and I love this place,” says Rob. “Vegan, gluten-free, and absolutely delicious!” Both GuGu’s lunch and dinner menus are extensive – which isn’t always the case in Japanese veggie restaurants – and are helpfully in English.

Where: Nagoya, Chikusa Ward, Nekogahoratori, 3 Chome-11 Maison Nekogahoratori 1F (map)

Who? Zuiryo ‘Z’ Taniguchi

Recommendation? Asada Nagoya

If you’ve ever been to Ahoy!, a pretty cool event at Flow Lounge or Vinofonica, you’ve probably seen Japanese-American Z spinning some beats (or whatever it’s called. Obviously, I’m not cool enough to be down on the lingo).

But when he’s not laying down some tracks (???), Z is spreading the word on some great Japanese restaurants, and his tip is Asada. “This place specializes in cuisine from Kaga in Ishikawa prefecture,” Z explains. “The area is known for its seafood and its rice. And good rice? That means great sake! Oh, and being in the JR Central Towers, it has breathtaking views of downtown Nagoya.” Presumably all the more beautiful after half a dozen good sakes, I’d imagine…

Where: Nakamura Ward, Meieki, 1 Chome-1-4 JR Central Towers Towers Plaza 12th floor (map)

Who? Steve Brown

Recommendation? Cucina Yoshi / Siculamente

Another DJ friend of mine (okay, yes, I’m bragging that I have DJ mates), Aussie Steve, knows some of the coolest places in Nagoya. His top recommendation is the Sicilian restaurant Cucina Yoshi.

“I came across Cucina Yoshi as it is run by one of my daughter’s classmates’ parents, but it is excellent,” says Steve. “It’s a little expensive, but the food is delicious.” Another friend of mine, Christian Ollier, backs up Steve’s choice: “That place is bloody ace. I went there for my birthday, and they had wild boar ham, which was crazy good!”

Where: 2 Chome-3-6 Chiyoda, Naka Ward, Nagoya (map)

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Image: by kinpi3 via [CCBY 2.0]

About the author

Bert Wishart editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Bert whiles away his precious time on this Earth by writing about popular culture, travel, food and pretty much anything else that is likely to win him the Pulitzer he desperately craves.

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