A Quick Guide To Japanese Fast Food
Hola, it’s Mr. Wada on duty. Got no time for lunch? Or you are craving but in a budget? Both applies to me! (crap) Here’s a list of reasonable Japanese restaurants. You could say Japanese fast food!
As usual, rating is all based on my own point of view.
Gyu-don has always been the most popular Japanese fast food.
“Gyu” means beef and “don” means rice bowl. Yoshinoya, Sukiya, Matsuya are the biggest chains.
(Photo credit: Hajime NAKANO)
Mostly sizes come by Shou (small), Nami (regular/medium), Ohmori (large). Even “Mega mori” (needless to explain right?) is available at Sukiya. A regular size Gyu-don mostly costs 270-300 yen. Quite cheap, isn’t it?
Tip: If you’d like to have extra soup in your Gyu-don, add “Tsuyu-daku” to your order.
Example, “Gyu-don Nami, Tsuyu-daku” for medium Gyu-don with a lot of soup. I’d prefer regular though.
These places used to be more for guys but their efforts (marketing) of such a long-time has resulted more female customers today. Time has changed.
Matsuya serves breakfast from 200 yen and other places also serve similar. For me it’s the place to go in the morning while traveling. I can’t recall if I’ve experienced a long line-up for Gyu-don. It’s normally quick and cheap!
Breakfast at Matsuya
By the way, “YA” means store, so many store names (even other than restaurants) come with “YA” at the end. If you have heard of Tonkatsu (Ton=pork, Katsu=cutlet), there is a well-known place called Katuya that serves Tonkatsu on rice (Katsu-don) from 500 yen. If you aren’t in a budget, you should try “Hire”?(fillet) Katsu-don, a higher grade of Tonkatsu. It’s way more tender and yummier.
This place always gives away coupons for 100 yen discount for a NEXT TIME. Note: The coupon expires in a month! How evil! (I usually miss it) Katsuya often gets busy. Perhaps not the best place for very last minute lunch time.
Udon could be the quickest. I just picked this bowl of Udon noodles at the counter, paid, then threw it into a hot water myself, strained and poured Udon soup (again myself). It’s sorta DIY (we call it “Self Udon”). I may tell you how it is like another time.
I suppose I don’t need to explain what this is. In average, it costs like 600-700 yen though some places serve cheap ramen from 400-500 yen. It quite depends. It’s definitely one of the foods you should try in Japan. The more popular the ramen place is, the busier. It’s hard to say. We wanna good stuff but don’t wanna line-up. Yeah, dilemma.
Other options (not Japanese but reasonable)
Family restaurants as I mentioned in another entry. “Fami-res” offers great deals as well. Lunch is especially cheap. One I know of (because there’s one near work) serves “Today’s Lunch” deal for about 400 yen (main dish and bread/rice). Again, I wouldn’t say it’s super great but it’s always been helpful for emergency.
You may think convenience stores might cost you lesser than at any restaurants, but like a Japanese quote says “Many a little makes a mickle”, grabbing a bunch of cheap stuff at convenience stores would end up cost you as much as it would at restaurants. It’s tricky.
Enjoy your meal
Lemme know how you find them. They are always waiting for busy bees who have only a minute for a meal! Opps, Running out of time. I’ve got to go grab something….See you around!