Fast Food in Japan >>Find Japanese Fast FoodsJapan has one of the most developed fast food industries in the world. You can easily find U.S chains like McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and Subway, but indigenous fast food establishments are in almost every train station as well. We recommend beef bowls (Gyudon), curry rice, temdon, udon, and soba.
In addition to being an exciting and delicious change from American style fast-food, Japanese fast-food is often much healthier. Sure, dishes like tonkatsu can be quite heavy, but in general Japanese cuisine uses much less fat than American.
Gyudon: Whenever the spirit takes you.Gyudon is hard not to like. It's a traditional Japanese rice bowl topped with beef and simmered onions with a mildly sweet soy sauce. If you ask Japanese people for Gyudon recommendations, you'll most likely hear Yoshinoya, Sukiya, and Matsuya. You'll be happy with the price, portion, taste, and speed at all of these places, all of which are open 24/7. Yoshinoya, Sukya, and Matsuya have over 2,000 locations in Japan. In other words, you can eat Gyudon anywhere and anytime in Tokyo! Besides, Gyudon restaurants are really fast - you can be in and out in 10 minutes if you hurry.
Gyudon @ Sukiya
Gyudon @ Matsuya
Things you should know before going to Gyudon restaurants:1. You can select a size of beef bowl from "nami" (standard), "omori" (large), or "tokumori" (extra large), with varying prices. Portions can be quite big - larger than at other Japanese restaurants.
2. There are a variety of side dishes: Miso soup, tsukemono, raw egg, salad, etc. are available for an additional 100 or 200 yen. At Matsuya, miso soup is included with gyudon.
3. You can order "tsuyudaku," or "extra broth," which might surprise the Japanese around you, since it's not on the menu.
4. Besides Gyudon, you can order things like curry rice and teishoku at Gyudon restaurants, so you don't necessarily have to like Gyudon to go.
5. Gyudon restaurants have take-out service.
6. The red, sliced vegetable that frequently arrives with your beef bowl is "benishoga," a Japanese pickle made from ginger. You can also find extra benishoga and other seasoning in small containers on the counter - take as much as you like.
Stand-up Soba and Udon (tachigui soba) >>Find Japanese Fast FoodsThis is an ideal place where hectic business people have breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. Most stand-up soba restaurants are either on a train platform or very close to a station. Like Gyudon, it takes only 10 minutes to be in and out! Time is money, but taste is important too. If you want to try soba at a stand-up soba but hesitate, then try at Minatoya.
Compared with other Japanese fast-food, soba restaurants are probably going to be the healthiest, consisting of mostly noodles and vegetables. However, many places serve tempura or katsudon with their soba - there's quite a bit of cross-breeding between Japanese food styles.
Japanese HamburgersMcDonald's is the most popular hamburger restaurant in Japan, but there are homegrown Japanese restaurant chains as well. Mos Burger and Freshness Burger put a unique Japanese spin on the hamburger - they tend to be slightly sweeter, teriyaki sauce is available, and mayonnaise is often used liberally. Japanese hamburgers tend to be a bit smaller and higher quality, resulting in higher prices compared with McDonalds, but by no means expensive. However, if you are missing what you grew up with, try Becker's for more American style hamburgers.
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Tempura >>Find Japanese Fast FoodsYou think tempura is expensive? Don't worry; tempura is popular as a fast food as well. It's quick, cheap, and delicious! Tenya is a good restaurant to try it at. One bonus with tempura restaurants is that you'll be given the opportunity to sit down. You can expect a counter and a few booths. Though these restaurants take a little be longer, it'll still probably take less than 20 minutes to order and eat.
Curry RiceCurry rice is available everywhere, especially around train stations. The largest curry rice chain is "Coco Ichibanya" or "Coco Ichi" among Japanese. There will be a wide range of curry dishes and interesting toppings there, including tuna, tonkatsu, cheese, and egg. Your meal will come with the rice on one side of the bowl and the curry on the other. Curry rice restaurants also afford you the chance to take a seat, though the turn around it still quite fast. You can expect to be in and out in under 20 minutes.
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