Sweet Bakery: When you need a change ...
We had mostly eaten (and for the most part enjoyed) Japanese food on our travels, but there are times when you really crave the food of home - or at least of another country! So when we spotted this cosy bakery/cafe on quaint Nawate-dori, with a menu of pizza, toasted sandwiches and soup, we thought it looked a promising spot for a more Western lunch for a change. And so it proved to be.
Sweet appears to be a Masumoto offshoot of a Seattle bakery, and has been on this spot since 1913. It claims to have been the first shop to sell French-style baguettes in the region, a claim I find easy to believe!
Inside we found a pleasant space, with old photos on the walls reflecting the bakery's establishment in 1913. Looking at the clientele, this place seems popular with local young mums in particular. There are also a few seats and tables outside, where smoking and dogs are permitted (neither is allowed inside, and after finding some Japanese cafės too smoky for my liking, I was pleased about this).
Chris found one of his favourites on the menu, a Reuben sandwich, and I had a bowl of clam chowder. We both enjoyed these dishes and they were just the right size for lunch. With two soft drinks our bill came to 1,850¥. I’ve seen good reports of the coffee here too, and with tasty-looking cakes it would be the perfect spot for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon sightseeing break. But don’t come for dinner – they close at 18.00.
The website below is in Japanese only but the photos of the different dishes are universal in their appeal!
Once we had finished our lunch it was time to head back to the station to catch the train to Tokyo. Our brief visit to Matsumoto had come to an end, so this is my last tip. If you’d like to return to my intro page to leave a comment, please click here.
Za.Watami: Hot Pot in Winter
We hit this restaurant by chance. It was almost full house when we arrived. We tried their famous hot pot set dinner, crab & potato coquettes, scallops on hot plate . 2 hot pot options were sold out when we ordered. They also have an English menu. We were on a 2nd floor, sitting on the floor and eat on the low table. Nice Japanese design with dark oak interior.
Favorite Dish: Wonderful hot pot dish. Love the soup and the tender meat.
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Soba Restaurant: Restaurant near Matsum0to Castle
This restaurant is recommended by one of the locals in Matsumoto. The waiter speaks no English but they have English menu. They had horse meat set menu which we dared not try. 2nd floor is the restaurant. The ground floor sells souvenirs and their food stuff.
Favorite Dish: We tried the soba set menu. The soba has to soak into a cup of cold soup and eat the soba. After you had finished the soba, you poured hot water from the kettle into the cup of cold soup and drank it. Quite tasty and good experience. But I still prefer hot noodles.
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Mangetsu-ya Restaurant: Affordable Japanese cuisine in a nice setting.
The Mangetsu-ya restaurant in the suburb of Asama is well situated for backpackers staying at the Asasma HI hostel. It is just a short walk away (go right out of the hostel, left at the first intersection, walk to the next intersection and you will see two restaurants to your right).
Inside there is a diner like feel with a Japanese twist. There is an extensive menu to choose from, though it's all in Japanese! Pick from the pictures or take a chance on something! Service here is friendly and warm.
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This is another trendy eating and drinking establishment in the back streets on Matsumoto. Quite hard to find unless you are with someone who knows how to get there! Nonetheless it is one of my favourite places to chill out in Matsumoto and worth a mention.
Favorite Dish: The Vegetable Platter! YUMMY!
This cool little place is located near Matsumoto Castle and the river. It is a very trendy and popular hang out for both foreigners and Japanese alike. The staff are great and they have an English menu too.
Favorite Dish: Kushikatsu
Yone Yoshi! Here we ate an...
Yone Yoshi! Here we ate an excellent meal.
The food was excellent!!!! I will warn you to stay away from the bee larve was nasty.
Favorite Dish: We had some yummy sashimi-like horse meat, Sakura nabe (horsemeat sukiyaki), beef set meal, and haichinoko (bee larve). All topped off with some cherry Belgium beer.
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