Travelling to Fukuoka, Japan?

Places for solo dining in downtown Fukuoka

Remember that many restaurants in Japan accept only cash.

I stayed in Fukuoka for 23 days and found it to be an enjoyable and liveable city. The downtown area (represented mainly by Hakata, Tenjin, and Nakasu) is cosmopolitan and filled with impressive commercial buildings, shopping centres, restaurants and hidden bars. Hakata is Fukuoka’s business hub; Tenjin is where you experience local entertainment and dining culture; and Nakasu is for the more adventurous-minded, red-light curious. 

Many restaurants in Fukuoka are designed for solo dining, so if you’re an introvert you’ll be at ease. They’ll have compartments (each of which has its on cutlery and sauces) for you to enjoy your meal in relative solitude.

If you are looking for recommendations in Fukuoka, feel free to message me on Instagram or e-mail me.

Tempura Hirao

2 Chome-6-20 Daimyo, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0041
Google Map link

I thoroughly enjoyed the simplicity and flavour of my meal at “Tempura Hirao”. The restaurant is in “Daimyo” – a trendy neighbourhood next to Tenjin with boutique shops, street food stalls and backstreet bars. You choose your meal at the ticket machine; set meals come with rice and miso soup. There is a big variety of individual tempura ingredients you can add-on, a la carte. I tried different types of fish and vegetables.

The service is unique, as each tempura piece is cooked and gently laid onto your table by the chef.


1 Chome-7-16 Haruyoshi, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0003
Google Map link

The ramen I tried at “Kobushi” near Hakata Station was unlike any I’ve had before. The broth was thick and featured grated yam. Burdock (a traditional root used for medicinal purposes) is added as a tempura-style topping. 


〒810-0021 Fukuoka, Chuo Ward, Imaizumi, 1 Chome−19−18
Google Map link

From its name, you can tell that this restaurant in “Daimyo” is a go-to for local Japanese people. I didn’t see or hear any other foreigners when I dined inside. Thankfully, they had an English menu. Their food is savoury, affordable and catered for a down-to-earth meal with friends or a lively late-night snack. Beers and cocktails are available to order.

Among the many small plates, I’d recommend the Chicken Skin Skewer (it’s what the restaurant is famous for), Beef Tendon Stew, and Shinjidai Karaage (garlic & soy flavoured fried chicken).

Hakata Kawabata Dosanko

4-229 Kamikawabatamachi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0026
Google Map link

The staff stand-out with their cheerful hospitality and focussed cooking at this restaurant. It’s inside the 400-metre “Kawabata Shopping Arcade” in Hakata District, and from what I could observe, specialised in Miso Ramen, Fried Rice and Champon (a type of soupy, stir-fried noodle). I sunk my block of butter into the soup and stirred until it became creamy.

Menya Gaga Tenjin

〒810-0021 Fukuoka, Chuo Ward, Imaizumi, 2 Chome−5−6 1F-B
Google Map link

Fukuoka is famous for being the birthplace of Tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen. “Menya Gaga” may not be easy to find; its entrance is like someone’s home. Inside this specialty ramen house, the Ajitama Ramen is recommended with soup that has been simmered for more than 20 hours. Its creamy and rich flavour is accompanied well with a plate of dumplings.

Ichiran Tenjin Nishidori

2 Chome-1-57 Daimyo, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0041
Google Map link

“Ichiran” is famous, with restaurants throughout Japan. I had known about this particular branch for a while; the restaurant has promoters outside and the storefront is rather flamboyant. One day, after I got some work done at “Garraway F” (a co-working space owned by Toyota), I went in for lunch.

It’s worth a visit for the novelty. There is one door for entrance and one door for exit. “Ichiran” has made the dining experience bespoke for those visiting alone. To ensure your utmost privacy when eating ramen, each dining compartment has solid shutter that slides up and down. You never actually see the person who serves your food, as they slide the shutter only high enough to place your bowl on the table.

Hakata Issou

3 Chome-1-6 Hakataekihigashi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka, 812-0013
Google Map link

I visited “Hakata Issou” during my first week in Fukuoka, and it was one of my first (and most memorable) tastes of Tonkotsu ramen. The broth was creamy, hearty and so rich that it had bubbles at the top. It’s a small restaurant, so expect to wait a little before ordering from the ticket machine. Like many restaurants in Japan, this shop accepts cash only.