Fun for the Family! Eight Recommended Family Restaurants in Japan
Casual restaurants chains are referred to as "family restaurants," or "famiresu" for short in Japan, and are popular among a wide variety of diners. They are valued for the casual, kid-friendly atmosphere, reasonable prices, and their locations all around the country. There is a large number of famiresu chains, and here are eight popular ones.
Gusto, which has more than 1,350 locations around the country, is one of Japan's foremost famiresu chains. It serves both Western-style food such as Salisbury steak, called hamabaagu in Japan, and pasta (both starting at 449 JPY (excl. tax)) and Japanese-style food such as tonkatsu (deep fried battered pork) (849 JPY and up (excl. tax)) at reasonable prices. There is a kids' menu (399 JPY (excl. tax) and up) with food served on plates with the popular Japanese character, Anpanman. It is recommended for families with children.
2. Bikkuri Donkey
Bikkuri Donkey is known for its plump, soft and juicy hambaagu Salisbury steak that is made with a combination of ground beef and pork! It is served Japanese-style with a soy sauce based sauce, rice and miso soup, so it is usually eaten with chopsticks. This is a restaurant where you can enjoy uniquely Japanese Salisbury steak.
Average cost: 1,100 JPY.
Saizeriya is a restaurant where you can enjoy Italian food with wine (100 JPY (incl. tax) and up). It has a selection of more than 70 reasonably-priced dishes, including pasta (299 JPY (incl. tax) and up) and pizza (399 JPY (incl. tax) and up). The most popular dish is the Milano Style Doria (299 JPY (incl. tax)) with a bechamel sauce that draws on the sweetness and richness of milk that is the secret to its flavor.
4. Big Boy
Big Boy, the hambaagu Salisbury steak & steak chain that started in the US, is for those who want to have their fill of meat! The popular menu item is the Aburi Odawara Hambaagu (starting at 790 JPY (excl. tax)) that is made with 100% minced beef. Its selection of steaks (790 JPY (excl. tax) and up) is popular too. Each item can be ordered individually or as a part of the "Big Boy Viking" buffet (500 JPY for a set, 790 JPY for an individual item (both excl. tax)) which includes all-you-can-eat salad, soup, rice, and curry.
COCO'S is a restaurant where you can enjoy both Japanese-style and Western-style food. Its signature dish is the hambaagu (540 JPY (excl. tax) and up), which is served in a variety of ways such as the "steak type" served on piping hot grills and the "wrapped" type with the meat's flavors sealed in. In the mornings, it offers a Breakfast Viking (680 JPY and up on weekdays, 780 JPY and up on weekends and holidays (both excl. tax) buffet that includes a bottomless drinks bar. You can enjoy as much of the daily menu as you want.
*The Breakfast Viking buffet is offered on different days depending on the branch.
Denny's is a restaurant that serves a selection of Japanese-style and Western-style dishes using seasonal ingredients. Its specialty is the demiglace sauce made in^house to achieve outstanding flavors. The sauce adds umami and richness to dishes such as hambaagu (754 JPY (incl. tax) and up) and omurice (862 JPY (incl. tax)). It also has a wide selection of sweets, such as triple stacks of pancakes (484 JPY (incl. tax) and up) and Japanese-style parfait (430 JPY (incl. tax)).
Bamiyan is a restaurant where you can casually enjoy authentic Chinese food. It has a wide selection from Mapo Tofu (429 JPY (excl. tax) and up), stir-fried shrimp in chili sauce (799 JPY (excl. tax)) and Peking duck (699 JPY (excl. tax)) to noodle dishes and rice dishes. The number one recommendation is the Yurinchi (699 JPY (excl. tax)), a dish of deep-fried chicken with a sweet and sour sauce. It comes with a special sesame sauce as well, so you can enjoy two flavors with one dish.
Joyfull is a chain with 780 locations around the country, primarily in the Kyushu region. It has a wide selection of menu items such as hambaagu, pasta (both 422 JPY (incl. tax) and up), Iron Grill Yakiniku Bibimbap (800 JPY (incl. tax), and Gapao Rice (692 JPY (incl. tax)). It also serves dishes befitting a chain from Kyushu, including the Nagasaki specialty, champon (a dish of meat and vegetables and Chinese-style noodles simmered in soup) and an Oita specialty, toriten (chicken tempura) (both 530 JPY (incl. tax)).
Famiresu have a wide selection of dishes, so there is always something for both adults and children! Many also have drink bars, where you can get bottomless drinks, so try them out.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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