Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes)

Tokyo Travel Guides / November 25, 2016
Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) Image credit: Simon

Okonomiyaki is a mouthful to say and an even bigger mouthful to explain. Is it a Japanese pancake? Is it a Japanese pizza? But then, “okonomiyaki”, when loosely translated, means “grilled as you like it”. So, what in the actual heavens is okonomiyaki?

Imagine a pancake that is comprised of mouthwatering layers: a layer of batter, of cabbage, and of meat (usually strips of pork belly) or seafood. Interspersed in those layers are green onions, and on top is a thick okonomiyaki sauce sometimes adorned with grated cheese and bonito flakes. The layers are grilled as you would grill a burger patty. The end result? A filling and nutritious snack that is hard to find elsewhere.

Here are the best places to have okonomiyaki in Tokyo.

  • SAKURATEI | Harajuku
    For fluffy okonomiyaki topped with a secret sauce
    What to order: Sakura yaki, Seafood yaki, Kaisen monja
    Price range: 800 to 1,500 Yen ($7.09 to $13.29)
    When: 11:00 – 24:00 Daily
    Where: 3-20-1 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
  • USHIO | Roppongi
    For wildly popular healthy okonomiyaki
    What to order: Oyster yaki, Tamago, Dumplings
    Price range: 1,000 to 4,000 Yen ($8.86 to $35.45)
    When: 18:00 – 24:00 Weekdays; 17:30 – 23:00 Weekends
    Where: 3-10-9 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo
    For when you want to make your own okonomiyaki
    What to order: Wagyu beef teppanyaki, Okonomiyaki, Seafood teppanyaki
    Price range: 4,000 to 6,000 Yen ($35.45 to $53.18)
    When: 17:00 – 22:30 Weekdays; 17:00 – 22:00 Saturdays; Closed on Sundays
    Where: 2F Great Building, 4-14-19 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo
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