The first McDonald’s opened in 1940 and since that time it has grown to 35,000+ locations worldwide. Its popularity is international with people craving their “Mackers” or “McDs” or “Maccas”, so it’s no surprise how popular McDonald’s is in Japan. Would it work in reverse? What chain restaurants from Japan would be popular in the States? Our famous friend Ike, from the comedy group Choshinjuku tells us which three chain restaurants he loves the most in Japan.

Japan has numerous chain restaurants including, Sukiya, Yoshinoya, Gusto, Kappa Sushi, Freshness Burger, Saizeriya, MOS Burger, and many more. They all have their delicious dishes and cheap options which make each of them a wonderful substitute for a home cooked meal. Some would likely do quite well in America. Yoshinoya, for example, already has several restaurants in the States and with a slogan like “Putting fast food in a whole new place…a Bowl” it’s no wonder this clever little shop made it across the Pacific ocean.

Ike, our often interviewed celebrity for all things American joined us for his top 3 ranking, so without further adieu.

Number 3: Royal Host (Family Restaurant – Ike orders omurice)

royal host

A typical family restaurant (similar to Denny’s in the States), Royal Host serves everything from steaks, and pasta to hamburg and sandwiches. The real treat though is their “omurice”, literally an “omelet with rice”. On Ike’s first visit to Japan, he was treated to Royal Host’s omurice and it’s one dish he has fond memories of. He says, “In America we don’t have omurice, but if anyone tried it, they would definitely come to love this dish! Especially at Royal Host, their eggs are just right!


Number 2: Shinjuku Negishi (Gyutan Restaurant – Ike’s recommendation, Beef Karubi Burakii set + Juicy Chicken Yaki)


Negishi isn’t normally at the forefront of Japanese chain restaurants, and Japanese people may find it strange too that the recommendation isn’t even for gyutan (cow tongue). But, the dish Ike recommended is extremely tasty and has an amazing flavor. Plus, all sets come with unlimited servings of rice!


Number 1: CoCo Ichibanya (curry shop – Ike’s special – breaded chicken curry with scrambled eggs and cheese)

coco ichiban

With restaurants already open in the States, CoCo Ichibanya really is #1! Ike says, “For Americans, the system where you choose the base curry and then add different toppings is really appealing.

He recommends the Ike special, which is breaded chicken curry (level 3 spiciness) with cheese and scrambled egg toppings. Japanese people might shy away from the richness and heaviness of this combination, but if you want to go for “Western taste”, you should definitely give it a try!


So there you have it, a top 3 ranking from an American in Japan! Which Japanese restaurants would you want to eat at in your home country? Which ones do you randomly crave on a Friday night? Let us know!

Japanese only

Images: Wikipedia.jp, Flickr, Wikipedia, RocketNews24
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