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Japanese food culture – Izakaya style restaurant

Updated on December 31, 2012

Most Westerners are familiar with Japanese foods such as Sushi. Experienced foodies or people that are interested in Japanese culture are also familiar with other lesser known foods. Izakaya restaurants are very popular in Japan and other places where Japanese food is popular. This type of restaurant offers a wide variety of foods and drinks to their customers. It is always fun to explore other cultures by first tasting their foods. You should read this hub to find out more about Izakaya style restaurant, an interesting aspect of Japanese food culture.

What are Izakaya restaurants? This type of restaurant has a variety of tapas' style dishes on their menus. For those that like Japanese food, Izakaya restaurants offer lots of different choices. Along with food, people usually get alcoholic drinks here. This type of restaurant is a cheap way for many Japanese people to relax after work. You can get a lot of different dishes because everything is traditionally served in small portions.

What kinds of foods are served here?

Yakitori – These are meat on a bamboo skewer that are barbecued by the chef. You can choose a variety of meats and organs that you prefer.


Tempura – These are fried vegetables and seafood that are coated with a very light batter. This is really good and everyone will enjoy this dish.


Sushi / Sashimi – Most Izakaya style Japanese restaurant will offer raw foods such as Sushi and Sashimi. For those that are not familiar with this aspect of the Japanese food culture, you can try small pieces of raw seafood or meat to see if you like it or not.


Noodles and other stews – If you want some noodles, Izakaya restaurants usually have a variety for you to choose from. These include hot and cold noodles such as Udon, Soba, Somen and etc.

Pickled food – Another type of food that is popular at Izakaya restaurants is pickled foods. Things like pickled daikon are very prevalent and go well with alcohol.

Western foods – Lots of fusion style Izakaya restaurants serve Western foods with a Japanese twist. An example would be french fries with garlic and tiny seaweed pieces.

Japanese fusion Izakaya establishments – In California, New York and other big coastal cities of the United States, Japanese fusion Izakaya establishments are very popular. These types of restaurants incorporate Western food elements into the traditional Japanese style cooking.

The restaurant atmosphere – Depending on the type of Izakaya restaurant, the atmosphere can vary considerably. Most traditional Izakaya establishments have an intimate dining atmosphere where the patrons and chefs interact freely at the bar. Other restaurants are more Western style where customers dine at the table.

Price – Fortunately, Izakaya restaurants are not as expensive as other types of Japanese restaurants. The portion size is small because foods are typically tapas' style. When compared to other types of restaurants, it can be somewhat expensive. The fusion Izakaya establishments are most expensive than traditional ones because some introduced higher end ingredients in their cooking. In Japan, people choose Izakaya restaurants for causal dining and socializing purposes.



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