Asada is a small, family owned restaurant within walking distance of the Matsumoto Station that specializes in handmade Shinshu soba. The restaurant enjoys the reputation of being one of the best, if not the premiere soba shop in town. Their business hours are officially 11:30 to 16:00, but in reality they close whenever the run out of noodles. So, get there early for lunch to add your name to the list because there will probably be a line of people waiting and when the soba is gone, it’s gone. Expect to pay between ¥1000-¥2000.
If you’re looking for casual dining with a lively atmosphere and good drinks, look no further than the kushikatsu joint, Yumeya. They serve year round standard fried skewers as well as seasonal specials. If you’re a foreigner, the staff will probably try to address you in English and tell you about local specialties. If you’re interested in regional sake, they’ll graciously offer you a tasting to help you choose the right one. Dinner here will set you back between ¥2000-¥3000.
Temari-ya is bakery that produces “Shinshu baumkuchen” – which sounds like a regional dish despite actually being a German traditional cake baked on a spit. For whatever reason, baumkuchen is extremely popular in Japan and this shop in the Nakamachi district is the go-to place for locals who crave this high end, lightly sweetened, moist cake. Expect to pay between ¥800-¥2000, depending on how big of a sweet tooth you have.
Kawasho in sanzoku-yaki, a famous local dish found all around the Matsumoto area. They serve delicious fried chicken on a bed of cabbage accompanied with miso soup, tsukemono, and white rice. Unlike Japan’s most famous fried chicken dish, karaage, sanzoku-yaki is more savory smelling and much crunchier. The shop is a bit far, so you’ll want to take the bus or taxi from the Matsumoto Station area. Dinner costs between 1000-2000 yen per person.