In Japan Family restaurants or 'famiresu' are popular affordable places to eat out that are slighly more luxurious than fast food restaurants. While people usually finish their Mc Donald's hamburger or Gyudon quickly and leave, they tend to spend hours at family restaurants! Usually you can find groups of Japanese high school students at family restaurants ordering something small and spending hours studying or just hanging out. In the evening people even go on dates here, it might not be the most romantic dating spot but it's still better than Mc Donald's isn't it? You can find family restaurants everywhere in Japan which makes it easy to go out for food when you're short on cash. Don't know what to do on your trip to Tokyo? Check out this post and find 100 things to do! In this blog post I will talk more about family restaurants and my top 3 favorite ones.
Family restaurants usually serve yoshoku or western style Japanese dishes like pasta, doria, gratin, hamburger steak, tonkatsu and potatoes. There are a few washoku Japanese dishes on the menu like udon or soba but if you want to eat traditional Japanese food then a family restaurant obviously isn't where you should go. You can get free water or decide on a drink bar which is basically all-you-can-drink soft drink, tea and coffee for only about 200-400 yen! Family restaurants also offer beer and wine for affordable prices.
Saizeriya is one of the most popular Family Restaurants, their specialty is Italian food. They serve the Japanese-inspired doria and gratin as well as pasta, pizza, hamburger steak and several delicious appetizers and salads. They also offer desserts like tiramisu and gelato ice cream. They have a few non-Italian options like the Japanese hamburg steak. Have a look at some of these items on the menu.
Pizza or pasta for only 400 yen isn't it amazing? Obviously the pizza's are mini sized but it's still a great price!
For about 200-400 yen you can get various appetizers or you can just order appetizers and share them!
Gusto is the family restaurant that has most branches in Japan and also a very extensive menu of about 80 dishes and just like Saizeriya very reasonable prices! They have a kids menu as well as a take-out menu and in my opinion the best drink bar. You can get interesting drinks like hot matcha, hot chocolate, hot vanilla or even mix these! Just like Saizeriya, Gusto also has a lot of Italian food on the menu but they also have Japanese food like omurice, tuna bowl and udon. Have a look at some of the delicious meals at Gusto!
Here we can see a few non-Italian dishes like a tuna bowl, katsudon and omurice. Prices vary from 300 to 800 yen which is a little pricier than Saizeriya. Did you know that omurice was actually based on a western style dish? you can read about it here.
Gusto's hamburger steak is also very famous, especially the one with melted cheese inside! Wanna read more about hamburger steaks?
3. Royal Host
Royal Host has less restaurants than Saizeriya or Gusto but if you happen to see one make sure to check it out! This family restaurant has a high-class atmosphere and the dishes and sets are more luxurious as well. For a higher price but still cheaper than restaurants in most countries! Dishes go up to 3000 yen but then you can also expect high quality! Royal Host also has great desserts and pancakes. Let's have a look at some of their dishes.
This Royal CAB sirloin steak and deep-fried pysters set looks amazing! It costs 3000 yen
Or what about this Royal CAB sirloin steak, deep fried prawn & crab cream croquette set? Aren't the side dishes amazing? It costs 2500 yen.
Hmmm a melon parfait! only 700 yen!
This hot fudge sunday is also only 700 yen!
Of course there are many more family restaurants in Japan such like Coco's (curry only) Denny's, Joyfull (mostly Osaka), Bikkuri Donki (hamburg steak only) and bamiyan (Chinese) in this post I included my personal top 3, do you agree with this list or do you prefer another family restaurant? Have you ever been to one?
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