Here Are All Your Yummy Lunch Options in Japan
There are many ways to have it!
Working in Japan has a lot of perks, and one of them is definitely the delicious food. Surrounded by world-class culinary dishes, one can’t help but take advantage of the situation, and eat a lot of food. This is why lunchtime is always something to look forward to in order to fill that tummy for the long workday. Not only is it cheaper than dinner time, but there are also many ways to have it. This is how many office workers enjoy their lunch in Japan.
Set meals aka teishoku in Japan promises cheap, filling, balanced meals.
Restaurants in Japan are generally pricier, but their lunch deals just can’t be beaten. Food that usually costs a couple of thousand yen would be a fraction of their price during lunchtime. One example of these kind of deals is the teishoku menus, which usually include a bowl of rice, some side dishes, the main dish, and a soup and/or dessert. These usually range from ¥500 (what Japanese people lovingly call “one coin”) to ¥1,500. So if there’s any expensive Japanese restaurant that you want to try, visit them during lunchtime and you might be lucky enough to score these deals.
There are also many other lunch-only deals in Japan, such as unlimited rice, unlimited soup, extra servings of anything (aka oomori, 大盛り), free drinks. Make sure to look for the words 無料 (muryou, meaning free) or サービス service, also meaning free) when looking at lunch menus.
Not just Japanese food
You might think that lunch deals only apply to set meals—but no. As it turns out, you can get a variety of deals in varying cuisines during lunch! Whether you fancy a steak lunch, pasta, tacos, bibimbap, or pad thai, you can enjoy the same deliciousness at a much lower price.
One thing you will notice while working in Japan is the numerous Chinese restaurants, which is probably a universal thing. For their lunch sets, they usually serve a bowl of noodles with a side of fried rice or gyoza (pan-fried dumplings) with rice. Whether this is the authentic way to go about it, it is definitely delicious and, more importantly, cheap.
Take out these cheap bento boxes
Sometimes, during peak lunch hours, the lines for restaurants can reach past their doors and out on the streets. Bento boxes are great options for takeaways to avoid waiting for a table. These are usually found in restaurants, bento specialty shops, and convenience stores. Bento boxes are usually very cheap and cost below ¥1,000 during lunchtime.
Convenience stores also have many options for takeout. Compared to other countries, there are options that are healthy as well, including brown rice onigiri, fresh salads, and fruits. Aside from the healthy options, they also have the junkier side of food including cup noodles, fried chicken, and barbeque sticks. Not to mention that they always offer something new or seasonal goods!
Grabbing a bento for lunch and eating it in the office is also a common practice for working people in Japan.
Whichever the case, it is safe to say that there is no shortage of delicious food choices in Japan. This is definitely something you can look out for when you start working in a place with such rich culinary dishes like Japan.
(22 August 2019)