Located in the East China Sea in between Taiwan and Japan's mainland, Okinawa is one of Japan's most beautiful tourist destinations! Known for their tropical climate, breathtaking beaches and World War II sites it's no wonder that more and more tourists are visiting these islands every year! Now believe me when I say, the beaches were stunning and nobody was mad about the blazin' sun, but what really got me was the food! Unlike any other Japanese cuisine, Okinawa has a heavy American culinary influence as well as it's own unique cuisine.  Although, everything in Okinawa is much more spread out than it is in the mainland (seeing as there are FAR fewer inhabitants) getting around to the different areas and restaurants can be a bit tricky (especially if you don't rent a car...), but trust me, they're worth the trek! Here are my five favourite restaurants in Okinawa.

1.  Yanbaru

Yanbaru was one of my absolute favourite meals in Okinawa. This family run restaurant specializes in traditional Okinawa cuisine that is both an experience as well as delicious! Serving up traditional eats such as sea grapes (a type of Okinawa seaweed), bitter melon (seen beside), table made soft tofu and delicious steamed hot pots, Yanbaru will not disappoint. We loved Yanbaru so much that we frequented it a few times during out stay in Onna, each time being just as good as the time before! Oh and did I mention, they have Okinawa donuts? Don't miss it!

Yanbaru 1288 Serakaki Onna-Son, Kunigami-gun, Onna-son 904-0404, Okinawa Prefecture (〒904-0404瀬良垣1288)





2. Paanilani Hawaiian Pancake House

Okay, so nobody hates a good plate of pancakes to start the morning! Fortunately, there is no shortage of Hawaiian Pancake houses in Okinawa! Having stayed in Onna, we frequented Paanilani  pretty much EVERY morning and boy did we love it! Serving up a variety of different stacks, there really is something for everyone! From tropical pancakes, macadamia & banana pancakes to classic buttermilk pancakes served with a thick slab of bacon (don't mind if I do) there really is no going wrong! If you are staying in Onna, you gotta check out Paanilani!

Paanilani Hawaiian Pancake House 698 Serakaki, Kunigami-gun, Onna-son 904-0404, Okinawa Prefecture (〒904-0404瀬良垣698




3. Nakamurasoba

When in Okinawa, make SURE you try Okinawa Soba noodles. Unlike traditional buckwheat soba noodles found in mainland Japan, Okinawa soba are a thick wheat noodle similar to thick ramen noodles or udon noodles. If you are not staying in Onna, I can guarantee there will be plenty of other Soba shops to check out, but having stayed in Onna, I thought I would recommend this joint! Anyone who knows me knows I love a good bowl of noodles and I am ALWAYS keen to try something new! Seen beside is the A-SA Soba bowl which contained homemade Asa seaweed noodles topped with Asa seaweed, kamaboko (Japanese fish cake) and stewed pork belly and lemme tell you it was hella tasty!

Nakamurasoba Serakaki1669-1, Kunigami-gun, Onna-son 904-0404, Okinawa Prefeture. (〒904-0404瀬良垣1669-1)







4. King Tacos

King Tacos is a fast food joint serving up American Style Tex-Mex cuisine with an Okinawan flare. Famous for their Taco Rice, a strictly Okinawan dish popular among the U.S military, this simple dish consists of  steamed white rice topped with taco flavour ground beef, shredded cheddar, lettuce and salsa! This casual joint is definitely worth stopping by if you are in the area! Along with the taco rice, we feasted on the taco cheese burger (seen beside). All I can say is I was a BIG fan of this burger... BIG fan. 

King Tacos, 3-1-1 Ginowan, Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, (宜野湾3-1-1)




5. Bacar 

Trust me, I know that you're as surprised as I was when I was recommended to visit Bacar a simplistic yet delicious pizza joint in Naha Okinawa. Now I'm usually all about eating as local and traditional as possible, but when someone tells you that this might be the best za they have ever tasted... You go. With a short winded pizza list, margherita or marinara you better believe that they put in the careful care to make it delicious. Cooked in a wood burning oven, this pizza is definitely worth the trip!

Bacar, 3-16-15_Kumoji, Naha 900-0015, Okinawa Prefecture (〒900-0015久茂地3-16-15)



So dieters, do me a favour, and make sure you make your way to Okinawa! 

You stay hungry, 

And remember, your diet starts tomorrow!