Ankake Spaghetti looks like Italian pasta, but it really isn’t. And if you gave the dish to an Italian chef they would probably die from shock.
But that doesn’t mean the Nagoya invention isn’t delicious.
Because it is!
What is Ankake Spaghetti?
Ankake Spaghetti is extra-thick spaghetti noodles in a spicy sticky sauce. The sauce is made from vegetables and potato starch which gives the sauce its stickiness. The spiciness comes from lots of pepper.
This sauce goes very well with the chewy thicker than usual spaghetti noodles.
Typical toppings of Ankake Spaghetti are either vegetables such as onions and green peppers, something that is called Kantori from the English world country, or Vienna sausages which is often called Miraneze (Milanese).
If you want to get vegetables and sausages that’s called Mira-Kan.
There are also other toppings available as well depending on the restaurant you visit. I am not a huge fan of sausages (even though I am German, the irony, I know) but I love to top my Ankake Spaghetti with a lot of cheese.
The Origin of Ankake Spaghetti
It is said that Ankake Spaghetti was invented when trying to adapt meat sauce to the taste of Nagoya people. I am not sure Ankake Spaghetti has any resemblance with meat sauce at all, but it seems to have been spot on.
The popularity of Ankake Spaghetti cannot be explained any other way.
Where to Eat the Best Ankake Spaghetti in Nagoya?
I had my first Ankake Spaghetti at Sekai no Yamachan, a popular Nagoya Izakaya which serves cheap local dishes. Their specialty, however, isn’t Ankake Spaghetti but rather delicious peppery chicken wings.
I have to admit I wasn’t really convinced by the flavor of my first Ankake Spaghetti.
But that was because I didn’t try it at a true Ankake Spaghetti restaurant. If you go to one of the places below, you will fall in love with Ankake Spaghetti for sure.
Nagoya Food Tour
Unfortunately, Ankake Spaghetti isn’t part of the regular Nagoya Meshi Food Tour that runs daily from 2:30 p.m. We do try other delicious local foods like Miso Nikomi Udon, Hitsumabushi, Tenmusu and Tebasaki.
You can, however, plan a completely customizable private food tour with me where we can make a stop at one of the spaghetti houses in Nagoya so you can try Ankake Spaghetti!
Spaghetti House Yokoi
Spaghetti House Yokoi is one of the restaurants that claim to be the inventor of the Ankake Spaghetti. Of course, it is hard to prove that.
No matter if they did come up with the recipe or not, Spaghetti House Yokoi makes some very delicious Ankake Spaghetti and they have been doing it since the 1960s.
The special Ankake sauce at Yokoi is simmered for 2 days, which is why it is so delicious.
The most popular dishes at Spaghetti House Yokoi are the Ankake Spaghetti topped with Mirakan, Miraneze or alternatively Ebineze, which is sausages and deep-fried shrimp topping.
Yokoi has two stores in Sakae and one in the KITTE building right next to Nagoya Station. The original with an aged and rustic feeling is located just 5 minutes walk from Sakae Station.
SPAGHETTI HOUSE YOKOI
Opening Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. closed Sunday afternoons
Address: 2F Santo Building 3-10-11 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008
Website | Google Maps
Spaghetti House Sole
Spaghetti House Sole is another contester for the title of ‘Creator of the Ankake Spaghetti’. Whether it is true or not I cannot say. But if you visit the restaurant you will have no doubt in your mind that they make a very good Ankake Spaghetti. Even if they maybe weren’t the first ones to do it.
The restaurant has been in operation since 1961 and making Ankake Spaghetti is their specialty. They have a wide variety of toppings and everyone will be sure to find something they like.
Sole has only one restaurant which is located in Sakae. Check out their interpretation of Nagoya’s sole food.
SPAGHETTI HOUSE SOLE
Opening Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. closed Sunday
Address: Aishin Plaza Building 103 4-9-10 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008
Website (Japanese only)| Google Maps
In the 1980s during a TV interview Karametei, while not the inventor of the dish, coined the term Ankakesupa, an abbreviation of Ankake Spaghetti.
After that, it was commonly used to refer to the dish even in other restaurants.
If you want to try the ‘original’ Ankakesupa visit Karametei.
With nine shops in different parts of the country, Karametei is easily accessible to travelers. Karametei also sells their delicious Ankake sauce online so you can cook authentic Ankake Spaghetti at home.
Their main shop is close to Issha Station on the Higashiyama line which can be easily reached from Nagoya Station.
Spaghetti House Ciao
Spaghetti House Ciao has been around for a long time. They have been selling pasta since before the name Ankake Spaghetti was even coined.
Needless to say, they know what they are doing and serve some delicious Ankake Spaghetti.
Aside from many variations of Ankake Spaghetti, they also sell some very delicious Teppan Spaghetti another Nagoya staple dish with pasta.
You can find Spaghetti House Ciao in four locations in Nagoya. Two close to Nagoya Station, one in Sakae and one in between close to Fushimi Station. Their main shop is outside of Nagoya to the north.
The shop in the pictures is the one in Sakae next to a restaurant I always visit during my Nagoya Meshi Food Tour. If you are interested in joining a food tour in Nagoya and learning much more about the local food read on here.
If you are a big eater and you thing the portion sizes in Japan leave something to be desired you might want to check out Ankake Taro. Here you can order your delicious Ankake Spaghetti in Mega size (1 kg of noodles), guaranteeing you will be full by the end of the meal.
Ankake Taro makes their Ankake sauce with lots of vegetables which gives the sauce its thickness. This and the thick noodles are the secrets to Ankake Taros’ success.
Ankake Taro not only sells delicious Ankake Pasta with many different toppings but also other kinds of pasta. Maybe try Spaghetti with Indian curry style sauce or some Teppan Spaghetti.
Their main shop is located a couple of hundred meters from the international center which is only one station from Nagoya (or you could walk there to work up an appetite).
Two other shops are around the Sakae area, which is the downtown of Nagoya. You can also find them in the new Kinshachi Yokocho a food street right next to Nagoya castle.
Opening Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. closed Tuesdays, Sundays and Saturday afternoons
Address: 1-14-8 Nishiki, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0003
Website (Japanese only)| Google Maps
Pasta de Coco
Do you love customizing your food? Then Pasta de Coco might be the restaurant for you. You can choose from four types of Ankake type sauces, choose the volume of noodles (from 150 to 900 gram) and of course, you can put together toppings however you like giving you thousands of combinations so you will find something you will love.
Pasta de Coco is also the restaurant with the most shops around Japan. Not only in Aichi Prefecture (31 shops) but also in neighboring Gifu Prefecture (2 shops) and even in Tokyo (1 shop) can you find Pasta de Coco.
Unfortunately, almost all of the restaurants are in hard to access areas in Nagoya. I recommend the shop in Marunouchi not too far from Nagoya Castle.
Final Thoughts on Ankake Spaghetti
If you are craving some pasta after all the rice you probably eat while traveling in Japan, you should really check out Anakake Spaghetti in Nagoya for a Japanese twist on pasta.
It won’t disappoint and definitely fill you up for a long day of sightseeing.
If you want to learn more about Nagoya dishes called Nagoya Meshi check out the Nagoya Food Guide. You will get the most in-depth information on Nagoya and Nagoya Meshi when you join a Nagoya Meshi Food Tour. Check out the details here.
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In love with Japan and its amazing food, Lena wants to share her passion with the world. That’s why she started Nagoya Foodie. To teach about Nagoya, her adoptive home online through blog posts and offline through unique food tours.