I recently travelled to Sapporo for my first snowboarding trip. Meanwhile picking up a new sport in Niseko (which i will write more about it on my next post), I was so happy to try some of their local dishes. Hokkaido is best known for its fresh seafood and dairy products, but there are other special dishes in addition to those that are definitely worth trying. Here's a food guide to help you decide what you should try when in Sapporo & Niseko. 

Ramen Shingen
Ramen Shingen serves three types of ramen broth: shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), and miso (soy paste). Their specialty is miso, of course. You can even choose your broth to either be rich or mild, and ramen to be full or half size. I ordered a shio rich ramen with extra bamboo shoots and it was the best ramen I ever had throughout this trip. There are only 12 seats in this ramen bar, so expect a long line or I would advise to come by during off-peak hours. 

 Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku 
Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku (aka Ramen Republic) is not a single shop but a complex of multiple ramen bars marketed as one. I ended up going to Yoshiyama Shoten, which the broth taste is generally lighter than Shingen. Of course, you can try out more in Kyowakoku if you have more time in Sapporo city. 

Sanchi-chokuso Hakkaido ([公式] 産地直送 北海道 札幌駅前店)
Located a min walk from Sapporo station, Sanchi-chuokuso is a popular izakaya restaurant that can is known for its authentic seafood delights. Famous for their hearty portions of ikura, it overflows from the bowl when serves so you will be able to enjoy every bit of it. 

Sushi Hanamaru 
Hanamaru is a popular sushi joint in Hakkaido. There are two different types - Kaiten sushi (conveyor belt restaurant) and normal sushi bar. I went to both and it didn't disappoint. The price is very affordable too. Don't be surprised to expect at least a 30-mins wait or longer if you are visiting the Kaiten one. I haven't been eating at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant for a long time, it was indeed a good experience. It's located conveniently on the 6th floor of Stellar Place shopping center, which connects with Sapporo station. 
As for the sushi bar, we went to the Sapporo Tokeidai Building outlet which is closer to us. 

Soup Curry Garaku
One of the hidden gem we stumbled upon meanwhile exploring around Tajuki Koji shopping street. Soup curry is a popular local dish in Sapporo, as the name mentions, is a bowl of spicy broth with a mix of vegetables and a selection of either chicken, pork or lamb. I personally enjoyed the dish, as my bf thinks Malaysia's curry is more flavourful. Garaku is quite a popular joint among locals, so do expect a line too. 

J.S. Pancake Cafe
How can you not eat pancake when you are in Japan. J.S Pancake is a cafe chain, located at the 3rd floor of Stella Place which can be easily found from Sapporo station too. 

Baristart Coffee
Baristart Coffee can be found at downtown Sapporo near Odori Park. Good coffee and probably because of the milk from Hakkaido.

The Bow Bar
To all the whiskey lovers out there, The Bow Bar is a bar that specializes in old scotch and some of the whisky was distilled back in 1950s. The bar is owned and run by Junya Honma, who is very friendly and knowledgable host. Because of its rare collection, each glass doesn't come cheap. 

Aji no Tokeidai 
Aji no Tokeidai is one of the best local Hakkaido ramen in Niseko and you can find it tucked in the corner of the carpark of MaxValu in Kutchan. I tried a clear miso this time but they are popular for the butter corn ramen that gives a richer taste and sweetness to the broth. 

A-Bu-Cha 2
A-Bu-Cha 2 situated at the upper Hirafu Village, is a perfect izakaya for dinner time. They serve variety of nabe (hot pots) and sukiyaki. 

Niseko Kushiya
Local's favourite casual izakaya with affordable price. We went for a free flow buffet option, which there were sets of yakitori dishes and all-you-can liquor beverages. 

Nabe Nabe
Nabe Nabe specializes in shabu-shabu with its fresh ingredients like wagyu beef and king crab. What's better than eat a hot soup during winter time. 

% Arabica Coffee
It was a joy to find % Arabica in this cutest kiosk on the main street of Hirafu. 

Milk Kobo 
Although I didn't manage to visit the famous dessert hub itself, my friend brought back its signature item on the menu - Choux Cream which is basically a cream puff filled with the creamy vanilla custard. It was so so good!!!

Bar Gyu
Bar Gyu is known as the fridge door bar, which you literally enter through a fridge door and once you're in, you'll be in heaven. They serve amazing cocktails and a good selection of Japanese whiskey. 

Once you have eaten your way around Sapporo city and Niseko, it's time for some snowboarding tips next.