Adored by visitors and locals alike, the yatai – an outdoor food stand – is one of the most iconic symbols of Fukuoka’s culinary culture. Every night, around 100 yatai stalls set up shop along the streets of Fukuoka, serving customers late into the night. You’ll find clusters along the river in Nakasu and around the Tenjin district. The recent influx of new yatai owners in the Nagahama area (famous for its ramen) has also put that area firmly back on the map.
You can experience the wide gamut of Fukuoka cuisine by visiting these food stands. A wide array of dishes beckon, from Fukuoka’s famous tonkotsu ramen to yakitori chicken skewers to gyoza dumplings. Your best bet is to embark on a hashigo, or yatai crawl, sampling one stall after another until your tummy fills up.
Each stand only seats around ten people, so it is a great place to rub shoulders with the locals and other visitors to the city. But with other people always looking for a seat at the counter, it is always best to think of these food stands as pit stops rather than a leisurely dining experience.