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Seeing Stars in Kanazawa: Michelin 2-Star Tour

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Want to see stars during your next Kanazawa trip? Here are the seven restaurants that received two stars from the Michelin Guide 2016 ranking. And if you're only seeking the best of the best, they are ranked in order of comfort according to the guide. Regardless where you go, you know that the food will be divine!

7. Komatsu

When you sit at the counter at Komatsu, you just might not know what to expect. But trust us when we say that the two stars have been well earned thanks to the chef's long-standing techniques. Because of the counter seats, this ryotei provides you with an opportunity to talk to the experienced chef while enjoying your meal. The Michelin Guide specifically points out the sublime flavor of the hamo dashi (fish stock) used to create the dishes, and the gold lacquer inside makes for an amazing presentation. But with limited seating, you might have to plan far in advance to get a seat.

Address: 86-1 Urokomachi, Kanazawa

6. Ikkon

In the backstreets of the busy Katamachi shopping district hides this tiny two-star ryotei. While enjoying the popular ayu (sweetfish) dishes and paella-inspired takikomi gohan (rice cooked with ingredients and stock in the same pot), you can relax to the smooth sounds of Western jazz music playing in the background! What an interesting contrast to have such music in a traditional Japanese ryotei. It's a very tiny restaurant so don't forget to book your table!

Address: 1-4-4 Katamachi, Kanazawa

- (Japanese)

5. Rocca

Rocca is a kaiseki ryori (set course dinner) ryotei owned by a chef who previously worked in Kyoto—the capital of premium ryotei—for almost two decades. The owner insists on using local ingredients for his famous dishes, which include pepper-flavored squash, chestnut surinagashi (pureed soup) and grilled corn takikomi gohan. All the contrasting elements come together to form a gorgeous picture on your table.

Address: 2-7 Rokumaimachi, Kanazawa

4. Kifune

Located right along the Asano River, this restaurant was reformed from an old house that has around 80 years of history. The most renowned dish is often the hassun, or the second course, which is a seasonal dish that changes to incorporate ingredients best representing the season. There's a strict limit to the number of reservations for each lunch and dinner everyday, with some people claiming to have waited months for a table, so make sure to reserve your table in advance!

Address: 1-9-69 Hikosomachi, Kanazawa

3. Zeniya

Zeniya received its two stars from the fresh ingredients and wonderful services, but the lovely traditional interior, which proves the long history of this ryotei, most certainly helped. The slow-simmered awabi (abalone) is highly recommended and was passed down from the founder back in the Edo Period (1603-1868). In spite of its long history, the owner always tries to fuse history with innovative ideas.

Address: 2-29-7 Katamachi, Kanazawa

- (Japanese)

2. Suginoi

A ryotei (luxurious Japanese restaurant) that emphasizes on incorporating its cuisine with the traditional architecture, Suginoi was not only awarded two stars from the Michelin Guide, but three red spoons, indicating a high level of comfort while dining. This seven-room building was erected in the Meiji Era (1868-1912) and has stunning views of the Saigawa River from the second floor. The first floor is connected to the garden, so you can see sakura in the spring! The dessert kuzukiri noodles are a must-try as the chef prepares them with premium mountain water.

Address: 3-11 Kiyokawamachi, Kanazawa

- (Japanese)

1. Tsuruko

One of the most famous ryotei in Kanazawa, and one with the longest history, the owner of Tsuruko stressed using local ingredients only, which includes a lot of seafood as the Hokuriku area is on the coast of the Japan Sea. Besides that, Tsuruko always tries to incorporate innovative ideas with seasonal ingredients. Something that's remarkable is that it has 30 seats! You might still get a chance to be seated even without making a reservation.

Address: 6-5 Takaokamachi, Kanazawa

- (Japanese)