• Hello & Welcome!

  • Hakata Foodie

    Hakata Foodies are multi-lingual experts with a mission: To make your visit to Japan more enjoyable by sharing our knowledge of local food and points of interest.


    Let's eat together while you're in Fukuoka or within a few hours by plane.


    We’ll book the venue and during a meal share our knowledge of places to go, things to see & do acquired during decades of living and eating in Japan and traveling around the world. Save time and hit spots that only locals know.


    By yourself or with a few friends, let's eat! Then you're on your own and ready to explore.

  • Photo by Watanabe

    The Original Hakata Foodie

    Not just another hired-gut or ordinary food companion, Bruce Haendel, the silver-haired guy in the middle is an American expert on Kyushu, Okinawa, Hong Kong, & Kyoto, and an active tourism promoter. Many of his articles on Japan can be found on welcomekyushu.com, Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organization's official site.


    Fluent in English and Japanese and able to order food in 12 languages, Bruce has been roaming the world even longer than his hero, the late great Anthony Bourdain.


    Based in Japan since 1985, he has so far munched-out in 340 cities around the planet.


    Here’s one of the Facebook pages he manages to promote beautiful Kyushu Island. Dine and let's discuss some great day trip options from Hakata, too. There are at least 18 superb destinations that we can recommend offering amazing history, culture, and nature, all within easy reach from Fukuoka City.


    Bruce's reviews for Trip Advisor have been read by more than 50,000 viewers. He promises NOT to take you to any of these places, as the word is out.


    Whether you like vegan, veggie, ethnic, fusion, or gourmet food, or are anxious to try Hakata's world-famous street food, ramen, gyoza, and yakitori, Bruce and all the Hakata Foodies are ready. Always armed with chopsticks and a cloth napkin, they are ready to show you places where Japan's innovative chefs and freshest ingredients create legendary meals.


    Hakata Foodie is another creative venture of Open Mind and JBR.

  • Happy, Well-Fed People

    Diners From Around The World

    Phil & Stacy

    California, USA

    My wife and I are foodies from California who wanted to visit some special places in Kyoto. Bruce took us to some fine dining and out for drinks. It was so much fun, we all met for breakfast. Our personal tour wasn't complete until Stacy had tried some natto and purchased a custom, left-handed chef's knife with her initials engraved to bring home. Unforgettable!

    JJ & Renee

    Hong Kong

    We are extremely well-traveled. When it comes to food, Bruce shows us places that most locals do not even know. From the most humble, Cheung Hing Kee Shanghai Pan-fried Buns on Lock Road in Kowloon to popcorn with powdered truffles and exotic cocktails at the Ozone Bar on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton. High indeed.

    Connie Bee & Family

    Florida, USA

    My family comes to Japan every year or two; it's one of our favorite destinations. When we are here, Bruce gets the chance to introduce us to great places that only locals know about. He's the best!

    Mike G

    Maryland, USA

    I'm on the road more than just about anyone except airline employees. When I have time to enjoy fine dining, I contact Bruce for meals in Japan or Korea. Last time, we met in Busan. Bruce turned me on to a meal of some very fresh sea eel. In fact, it was still wiggling until we sautéed it at our table. l didn't flinch.

  • Hakata Foodies

    Multilingual Experts With Great Knowledge of The Local Area

    Luis Matos

    Hometown: New York, USA

    Languages: English, Spanish & Japanese

    A Fukuoka veteran, I eat out every meal of the day, every day. I'm in the food & beverage business, have many friends and contacts that run, own or operate restaurants of all kinds in the Fukuoka area. My Fukuoka restaurant/bar, Off Broadway, has been welcoming guests for over 25 years. I love to eat out!

    Asma Hirahara

    Hometown: Kumamoto, Japan

    Languages: Japanese & English

    Born in Japan, my father is Japanese and my mother is American. I have also lived in Israel, Hawaii, Guam, and Okinawa. Settled in the Fukuoka area 9 years ago. Home is now in Fukutsu City, a seaside town not far from Hakata with some amazing hidden gems. I'm a vegetarian and I can introduce you to some great places off the beaten path.

    Ryu Kiheon

    Hometown: Seoul, Korea

    Languages: Korean & Japanese

    I'm from Seoul, Korea but have lived in Fukuoka, Japan for 14 years. I'm married to a Japanese woman and run a media company in Fukuoka. I love dining and talking, and can show you some of the best places in town.

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