Modern day Hiroshima, Japan is more than its memorials. The sprawling metropolitan’s various restaurants offers visitors delicious Japanese cuisine. In Hiroshima, you will find tasty pastries at Andersen Bakery and St. Marc Café. At Masui enjoy tonkatsu and Japanese curry dishes. As for other traditional dishes, such as okonomiyaki and ramen, be prepared to eat these made with a Hiroshima twist.
Pastry from Andersen Bakery
Pastry from Andersen Bakery
Pastry from Andersen Bakery
The Original Andersen Bakery
Andersen Bakery, which has locations throughout the world, came from humble beginnings. The story of Andersen Bakery began when its founder Shunsuke Takaki visited Europe in 1959. Shunsuke fell in love with Danish pastries and he vowed to bring these delicacies to the people of Japan. The first Andersen Bakery opened in 1967 in Hiroshima. The success of this shop led to the franchise opening bakeries throughout Japan. Later, more Andersen Bakery locations opened in the United States, Hong Kong, and where the inspiration came from, Denmark.
You will find the main Andersen Bakery at what once was the Hiroshima Branch of the Teikoku Bank. After the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima renovations on the building began. The first and second floor of the building are home to Andersen Bakery. The first floor of the building, known as the Bakery Market floor, offers customers a variety of baked goods and pastries. Visitors can buy coffee or tea to drink along with their fresh-baked purchases. The second floor, known as the Kitchen floor, offers customers a variety of meal options. Select from grilled and stewed foods, sandwiches, salads, pizza and pasta, and Chinese dishes. Besides those options the Kitchen floor has a full delicatessen, desserts, and beverages.
Entrance to St. Marc Cafe
Meal at St. Marc Cafe
Logo for St. Marc Cafe and Choco Cro
Close up of a Choco Cro at St. Marc Cafe
St. Marc Café
Another great choice for pastries, sandwiches, and coffee is the restaurant chain St. Marc Café. These cafes became popular throughout Japan for their chocolate croissants. These chocolate croissants, called Choco Cro, are so famous that often people call the cafes by the name of Choco Cro and not St. Marc Café. Look for special varieties of the Choco Cro that mark events such as the holidays Halloween and Christmas.
Tsukemen noodles and spicy broth at Bakudanya
Tsukemen noodles and spicy broth combined at Bakudanya
Entrance to Bakudanya
Karaage at Bakudanya
Hiroshima’s Take on Ramen
In the simplest terms, ramen is a bowl of broth with noodles. Yet, as one travels throughout Japan they find a variety of styles and takes on this simple dish. In Hiroshima, their style of ramen is tsukemen. Chefs first cook the tsukemen noodles and serve them dry. Patrons dip the noodles into broth before eating. Establishments that cook up tsukemen serve their customers two separate bowls. In one bowl you will find your tsukemen noodles, meat, and other sides such as eggs. Another bowl has the broth. Add the noodles, meat, and sides into the bowl with the broth, mix it around and enjoy.
A popular chain specializing in tsukemen noodles is Bakudanya. Here you can choose what level of spiciness you want for the ramen’s broth. A handy heat chart details the spice level from zero to a hundred. Pick the level of spiciness you can handle. Bakudanya offers more dishes beyond ramen such as rice wrapped in seaweed and karaage (Japanese fried chicken).
Tonkatsu Curry at Masui
Display case outside Masui
Tonkatsu and Curry
A popular Japanese dish is tonkatsu, breaded deep-fried pork. Combine this dish with Japanese curry and you have a hunger quenching dining experience. Masui in Hiroshima is a hard location to miss. Next door to the restaurant is a deli with a sign reading “Sukiyaki and Foreign Food” with a bull’s head and the word beef emboldened over it. Right next to the deli is the entrance to Masui.
Before entering Masui stop by the display case housing various dishes. These plastic recreations of the dishes Masui serves may help you decide what to order. Upon entering the restaurant, you will have your choice of table seating or a tatami table. Tatami is a mat, and will mean removing your shoes as shoes should not touch the mat. If needed, you may ask for an English menu. Order the tonkatsu with curry for a treat of a meal.
Okonomiyaki from a food stall in Okonomimura
Insides of an Okonomiyaki from a food stall in Okonomimura
Side entrance and elevator to Okonomimura
Hiroshima and the Okonomyaki Playground
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese style savory dish similar in texture to an omelet and similar in shape to a pancake. Associated with the areas of Hiroshima and the Kansai region of Osaka, the okonomiyaki dish comes in two different styles. In Kansai, Osaka chefs mix the ingredients before using them to form the omelet pancake. Cooking okonomiyaki in Hiroshima involves the ingredients being layered to form the omelet pancake.
Step 1 making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 2 making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 3 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 4 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 5 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 6 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 7 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 8 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 9 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 10 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 11 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Step 12 in making Okonomiyaki at a food stall in Okonomimura
Foodies that seek amazing okonomiyaki will want to visit Okonomimura. This playground for okonomiyaki lovers offers multiple food stalls on three floors. There are over twenty food stall on floors two, three, and four. Pick a stall that looks good to you and saddle up to an open seat. To keep things simple just let the chef know if you want meat or seafood and sit back and enjoy the show. Right in front of you the chef will cook up your food. Before you know it, you’ll be dining on a delicious Hiroshima style okonomiyaki.