Tsuruga/Wakasa Gourmet Column

The appeal of Fukui and Wakasa beef! Introducing three-star standards, delicious ways to eat and recommended restaurants.

Wakasa beef is a brand of beef from Fukui, raised with great care in the rich natural environment of Echizen-Wakasa. Its fine texture, rich flavor, and melt-in-your-mouth texture are more delicious when eaten as shabu-shabu or yakiniku (barbecued beef). Here we introduce the characteristics of Wakasa beef, delicious ways to eat it, and recommended restaurants in the Reinan (Tsuruga/Wakasa) area of Fukui, the hometown of Wakasa beef.

What is Fukui Prefecture's brand beef, Wakasa Beef?

Among the Japanese black cattle raised in Fukui Prefecture, only those that meet certain standards are called Wakasa beef. This section introduces the characteristics of Wakasa beef, the criteria for certification as three-star Wakasa beef, and delicious ways to eat Wakasa beef.

Characteristics of Wakasa Beef

Wakasa beef is the highest quality Wagyu beef, carefully selected from among the Japanese black cattle raised for more than 12 months in the rich natural environment of Fukui Prefecture. It is characterized by its brightly colored marbling, fine texture, and tenderness, and is popular for its sweet, melting texture and smooth aftertaste.

Compared to other brands of beef, the standards are stricter. Only high quality beef with a meat quality grade of 3 or higher on the five-grade scale and a fat crossbreeding grade of 4 or higher on the 12-grade scale are sold as Wakasa beef.

Certification Criteria for Three-Star Wakasa Beef

Among the selected Wakasa beef, those that meet even stricter standards are called "three-star Wakasa beef.

<Certification Criteria>
(1) meet the Wakasa Beef certification criteria (meat quality grade, fat crossbreeding, etc.)
(2) Oleic acid content is 55% or more.
(3) Produced on farms that are recognized by the prefectural government as having safe and secure breeding methods.

Oleic acid is a type of unsaturated fatty acid that is good for the body. The higher the oleic acid content, the lower the melting point of the fat and the more palatable it is.

Delicious way to eat

The most common way to eat Wakasa beef is to simply grill it like yakiniku or steak so that you can enjoy the flavor of the beef itself. Beef sashimi and shabu-shabu, which allow you to fully appreciate the sweetness and flavor of the meat, are also popular. Wakasa beef croquettes, a combination of Wakasa beef and vegetables grown in Fukui Prefecture, are also popular as a one-rank higher side dish.

Five restaurants in the Reinan area of Fukui Prefecture where you can eat Wakasa beef

Wakasa beef has long been raised in the Reinan area of Fukui Prefecture. Here are some of the recommended restaurants in the Reinan area where you can eat Wakasa beef.

"Chobei", a culinary inn that focuses on Wakasa ingredients


Seafood barbecue at Chobei

Citation meta. Cuisine | Tsuruga Sazanami Resort Chobei 【Official Site

In addition to Wakasa beef, this restaurant serves Wakasa fugu (blowfish), Wakasa oysters, and other seasonal seafood grilled over charcoal with a view of Tsuruga Bay. The course menu includes seafood caught in Tsuruga Bay and Wakasa beef served on a ceramic plate steak. At Chobei, the recommended way to enjoy Wakasa beef is with wasabi and Echizen salt. All rooms have ocean views and are available for day trips.
Address 14-43-3, Nago, Tsuruga, Fukui 914-0834, Japan
Telephone number 0770-23-7818
Business hours Lunch 11:00-14:00 (L.O.13:00)
Dinner 17:30 - 21:00 (L.O.19:30)
*Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Tsuruga Sazanami Resort Chobei (敦賀さざなみリゾート ちょうべい)

Wakasa beef shabu-shabu course is recommended at Dining Shioso Tsuruga Ekimae.

Dining Shiosou is an izakaya (Japanese-style bar) that was spun off from Shiosou, an ekiben shop that has been in business for over 120 years. It is proud of its local fish, which it buys every morning at the port of Tsuruga. The main menu features seasonal fish served as sashimi and sushi, but you can also enjoy Wakasa beef. We recommend the Wakasa beef shabu shabu course. There is a private room for 2 to 8 people where you can enjoy your meal in a relaxed atmosphere.
Address 5-10 Shirogane, Tsuruga, Fukui 914-0054, Japan
Telephone number 0770-47-5442
Business hours Weekdays 17:30-23:00 (L.O. food 22:00, drinks 22:30)
Holidays, Friday through Saturday 17:00-23:00 (L.O. food 22:00, drinks 22:30)
Closed Monday
Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Dining Shioso Tsuruga Ekimae (ダイニングしおそう 敦賀駅前店)

"Steak&wine Botantei", an authentic steakhouse for special occasions


Chef grilling meat at Botantei

Citation meta. Botantei Official Web Site/Tsuruga/Restaurants/Steak

A luxurious and authentic steakhouse. It is the perfect place for a special meal with your loved ones. You can enjoy Wakasa beef in various styles such as shabu-shabu and sukiyaki, centering on Wakasa beef chateaubriand steak. At the counter, you can have the beef grilled on a teppan in front of you. In addition to meat, the restaurant also offers locally caught seafood such as abalones and Wakasa guji. Hors d'oeuvres and soups prepared by the chef, who specializes in Western cuisine, and garlic rice made by slowly frying back fat are also popular. A wide selection of wines and sake are available to match your meal.
Address 3-8 Shinmatsushima-cho, Tsuruga City, Fukui 914-0803, Japan
Telephone number 0770-25-8686
Business hours Lunch 11:30-14:30 (L.O.14:00)
Dinner 17:30-22:00 (L.O. 20:30)
Closed Tuesdays
*Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Botan-tei (ぼたん亭)

"Gosuke" where you can enjoy domestic eel and Wakasa beef at the same time


Wakasa beef steak at Gosuke

Citation meta. Wakasa beef | Kumagawa-juku Gosuke

At this restaurant, you can enjoy Japanese wild eel and A5-rank Wakasa beef steak at the same time. The Wakasa beef is served with a little rock salt as a condiment to bring out the flavor of the ingredients. The eel you can enjoy together with the steak is cooked with a secret sauce that makes the meat plump and the skin crispy. Kumagawa-juku has been selected as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, and the restaurant has an old-fashioned appearance that perfectly matches the townscape. Private rooms are also available for a more relaxed dining experience.
Address 16-28-1 Kumagawa, Wakasa-cho, Mikata-Kaminaka-gun, Fukui 919-1532
Telephone number 0770-62-1818
Business hours 11:00 - 14:00
Closed Thursday
*Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site Meat, Kumagawa-juku Gosuke (熊川宿 伍助)

Restaurant "New Sampia Tsuruga Bienvenu" with plenty of seasonal ingredients


A view of the interior of "Bienvenu"

Citation meta. Restaurant・Breakfast|New Sunpia Tsuruga【Official】.

This restaurant is located in the Hotel New Sunpia Tsuruga. The restaurant is popular for its cuisine using seasonal ingredients. At the dinner buffet, you can enjoy an authentic Western-style menu using Wakasa beef and other ingredients from Fukui Prefecture. The atmosphere is perfect for special occasions or when you want to enjoy a slightly luxurious meal. The accommodation plan including dinner is also noteworthy.
Address 1F New Sunpia Tsuruga, 2 Kureha-cho, Tsuruga, Fukui 914-0813, Japan
(福井県敦賀市呉羽町2 ニューサンピア敦賀1F)
Telephone number 0770-24-2111
Business hours Lunch 11:00-14:00
Tea time 14:00-18:00
Dinner 18:00-20:00 (L.O. 21:00)
Closed Open all year round
Please confirm details in advance.
Reference site New Sunpia Tsuruga Restaurant Bienvenu

Let's eat up Fukui's brand beef, Wakasa beef!

Wakasa beef is produced in the rich climate and landscapes of Fukui Prefecture. In the Reinan area, there are many restaurants where you can enjoy Wakasa beef together with seafood from nearby fishing ports, and you will have a luxurious time. There are a variety of Japanese and Western restaurants to choose from, so please select the one that best suits your mood.

The information is current as of January 2024. The information is subject to change without notice.