From June to September, Niseko is a food lover’s paradise. As a farming community, the summer harvest is bountiful to say the least. Local restaurants and cafes make the most of the fresh summer produce available, and the best chefs whip up meals bursting with flavour. Pair this with wonderful weather and stunning scenery, and you have a recipe for an unforgettable experience! Here are our top five picks for places you must get to this summer for lunch.
Classic French with a local twist
The potato is a humble vegetable widely celebrated in Kutchan. It made complete sense then that the inspiration behind Chef Seino-san’s recently opened French style restaurant, J’ai La Patate, be no other than, well of course, the potato. The team at MnK are lucky enough to have this new foodie hotspot on the premises of Country Resort, in fact, literally next door to their reception.
J’ai La Patate serve beautiful, sophisticated meals that celebrate the fresh local produce of the area. A lunch course inclusive of starter, main and drink will cost you ¥2,000 in summer. Our Operations Manager Yooja also recommends a glass of wine to complete your meal. “J’ai La Patate holds an amazing selection of wines, and their restaurant manager Yuki will be able to help you select the perfect option for your meal”, she explains.
Lunch is served between 11:30 – 14:30 daily, with the restaurant closed every Wednesday. Reservations are required, so please call in advance to check availability and secure your seat. Bookings are also available for dinner.
Authentic, charming and worth a visit for the views alone
Jazz music flows from the speakers of this farmhouse style Kutchan restaurant, situated at the foot of Mt. Yotei. Kitchen Narita comes highly recommended by our IT specialist Ben, who says he would go nowhere else when his craving for potato croquettes kicks in!
Kitchen Narita use potatoes grown locally on their friends’ farms, and all of their croquettes are hand made. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch some of the action from your seat. “Be sure to grab a table by the window for impressive views of Mt. Yotei,” explains Ben. And what is his favourite item on the menu? “Hands down, it is the Hamburger and Potato Croquette Lunch Set.” Served with miso soup, seasonal vegetables and perfectly cooked rice, this meal will leave you completely stuffed, in the best way possible.
A hearty lunch serving at Kitchen Narita will set you back anywhere between ¥700 - ¥1,000. The restaurant is open from 11:00 – 14:00 daily, and closed on Sunday as well as public holidays. Kitchen Narita comfortably seats 30 people, and no reservation is required.
Locally sourced and deliciously prepared, this cafe can do no wrong
A short walk from Akazora apartments in the heart of Hirafu village lies one of our favourite lunch and coffee spots, Green Farm Cafe. Grab a seat on their outdoor deck in the summer, and bask in the glorious Niseko sunshine. Green Farm Cafe’s ethos is simple; food farm to fork. Enjoy Hokkaido’s freshest produce, and small batch coffee roasted locally, all served to you with a smile.
With a variety of classic favourites on the menu, such as burgers, pasta and home made pies, Green Farm Cafe have something to tempt everyone. Be sure to keep your out for their ever-changing daily specials as well. A perfect option for when you’re looking for a meal on the go, or are in need of
Open from 08:00 – 17:00 daily,
Great value and stellar quality, you’ll quickly understand why it’s a favourite with Niseko’s locals
A long time favourite of many throughout the MnK office, Houzuki Udon Café is a must for anyone travelling through Niseko this summer (or any other time for that matter). Serving up beautiful handmade udon noodles in well-crafted broth, Houzuki is located on the road leading to Lake Hangetsu.
In a location a little off the beaten track, chef Katsuya-san makes his udon fresh every morning using Hokkaido wheat, and water from Mt. Yotei. The vegetables in his dishes are sourced form nearby farms.
One dish constantly raved about here at MnK is the tempura chicken and udon noodle set. Enjoy for approximately ¥900. Vegetarian options also available.
Open for lunch from 11:30 – 17:00 daily, and closed on Monday. Hot tip; get there nice and early to avoid the lunchtime queue. No reservation is required.
Homemade delicatessen, fresh bread and specialty teas
Located only a hop, skip and a jump from The Orchards, La Villa Lupicia Boutique Bakery is where the MnK team makes a beeline for whenever freshly baked bread is required, and let’s be honest, that’s always!
The bakery at La Villa Lupicia makes all of their breads using Hokkaido flour in a slow-fermented process. Picture fluffy loaves, crusty baguettes, croissants, pastries and tarts to your heart’s content. Our Reservations and Concierge team member Kana is a big fan of their cumin seed loaf. She says, “They have something for whatever mood you’re in. If you fancy something sweet, something savoury, or even a delicious salad, they have it.”
You can pick up a loaf of bread for as little as ¥200 up to ¥1,000. Pick something up to accompany you’re picnic or make a meal of it. The bakery is open weekdays from 10:00 – 17:00 (closed Wednesday), and 09:00 – 18:00 on weekends and public holidays.
Don’t forget to check out La Villa Lupicia’s weekend market throughout summer, taking place every weekend and on public holidays. Find fresh local food items, Lupicia teas, homemade bread and more!
Be sure to let us know what your favourites are from the list, and if there are any restaurants or cafes you think are just as noteworthy. For ease of access to these great lunch spots and more, see our range of accommodation options available here. We hope you have an incredible time exploring Niseko with family or friends this summer, and enjoy the tastes of Hokkaido.