I debated for a little while whether or not to reveal these spots, but I figure that if you know me and you follow me, we probably like each other. So here you go 🤗
Out of all the coffee places in Niseko, this has got to be my favourite. (And Dom’s too!) It’s not in Niseko proper as you can guess - I like to drive. The owner Is a farmer, so it’s closed on farming days (or when he’s out snowboarding). Come for coffee and bagels. He’s not open all the time though, sometimes he’ll head out to snowboard. But you can always give him a call to check if he’s in! I have his number - you wanted local secrets, hidden gems, right? 🤫More details
Dom’s parents’ favourite spot, doesn’t exist on the Niseko restaurant guides or listings. Considered amongst the “Best” sushi restaurants for those who frequent Niseko. It’s in Niseko Town, which is great for those willing to drive or take a taxi. I have found a few of my favourite spots in Niseko town, so I’m quite happy to stay in the area, jumping from afternoon coffee to meeting people for dinner here... (which never ever happens because I’m almost always the designated driver, and because this place is too expensive to eat casually at). It’s great for entertaining. Ambience is good. Service is good. Be aware though that they require you to spend something like ¥8000 minimum in the winters on one of their sets (guess they’re just making too much money)... but if you’ve read this far then I should probably reveal to you that I don’t enjoy it as much as... someotherplace 🤭. Nevertheless Hanayoshi needs to be on this list because I’d lose my street cred amongst highbrows if I didn’t know it 😂😂 god forbid I lose my street cred!!
65 Fujimi, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, Japan
Also known as M’s Cafe (this place has a real branding issue LOL) I’ve hidden away here many times when I’ve needed to escape the stress of... hosting people. (Remember that time I hosted more than 60 of you at the same time? Gawd what was I thinking? Anyway I hid away here with Phil to get some headspace.) They roast their own coffee beans, and so yes. Coffee is good. My mother in law doesn’t eat beef, but the pork and chicken here apparently is pretty good. I personally like their Hamburger set (no. It’s not a real burger. It’s Japanese Style, with rice!) and their steaks are yummy too.
355-2 Soga, Niseko-chō, Abuta-gun, Hokkaidō 048-1522, Japan
I first came here with Cavi! One of the many times we were just uncovering new places in Niseko. Anyhow, food here is solid. Really good. Ingredients are local, fresh, and well done. That said, it’s owned and created by Shouya Grigg, a British guy... and prices are reflective of that. Not to say it is unaffordable, but certainly more expensive than most places around. Though, if those prices were for places as good as this in Hong Kong, I’d become a regular! If you can, try their Ezo Deer 🦌 Gnocchi. But really everything here is fabulous. The manager, Shizuka, is also a Hokkaido local who speaks good English and will take really good care of you.More details
Since Lemi is about local secrets, hidden gems, let me give you another one. Yukitei was actually made famous in Japan by a comic book because of their special Potato Udon. Kutchan (the town it’s in) is famous for being a potato farming town. I come here at night, however, for their killer value Shabu Shabu or Sukiyaki sets (comes with Udon), and their ohsogood Ramen Salad. Don’t leave here without trying it. I come in the evening because they close a little later than other places. Their last order is at like 8pm (or 9, can’t remember) and they usually have space. It’s also... actually... so cheap. It’s higher quality than anything you’d find in top restaurants, and cheaper than anything too. It’s just. A total gem. But their ambience is simple, their service is simple, and you could be entirely just fooled by that to think it wasn’t good. For lunch, just come for their Udon sets. Yummmyyyy!
Hotel Daiichi Kaikan, 2-13, Minami 3 Jonishi, Abuta-gun, Kutchan-cho 044-0033, Hokkaido
Ok probably the best reason to come are for the oysters. They are so far, delicious, and good. Their food menu USED to be amazing too... but they’ve since made it a lot smaller and it’s not that good anymore =( service is snobby at best. Been there maybe 10 times and service is never really my favourite.
3-11 Kita 1 Jonishi, Abuta-gun, Kutchan-cho 044-0051, Hokkaido
When I took Pistol Pete here, and he’s lived in Niseko for more than 7 seasons at that point, he said “omg. Party in my mouth.” A local took Anthony Bourdain here... and it’s basically impossible to eat here anymore. Only 15 portions a day. Maybe my recommendation here will make it even more difficult, but it’s already out of my reach anyway. Book a year in advance if you ever want to try it for dinner.
431 Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, Japan
Best Pizza in Asia. No debate. Mouth watering just thinking about it... I’m just sad it’s so small. But they just expanded in 2018 to include dinners too! Yayyy! (A young couple runs it, their kids are little. So they used to only do lunches and were unable to do dinner services but now they’ve hired waitstaff!) They studied the art of pizza in Naples 😘
483-1 Niseko, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido
Great Vegetarian food! Always take vegetarians here. Yummy carrots and sour milk =) Decent value, decent buffet spread. I always leave full. Oh! And if you come in the summer, you’ll see the sunflowers through the window 🌻. In the winter you’ll see a snowy Mount Yotei.
888-1 Soga, Abuta-gun, Niseko-cho, Hokkaido, Japan
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