I’d been living in Japan for a number of years before I paid my first visit to Saizeriya and how I wish I’d found it sooner! Tokyo is a great place for budget Japanese food, but never in my wildest cheapo dreams would I have supposed that the same stood for the Italian (-esque) variety.

Photo by Chris Kirkland

Saizeriya is monstrously cheap and pretty good quality too. Take the margarita pizza – pretty good and ONLY ¥399!!! In my experience most other pizza places in Tokyo are posh and expensive, being only slightly better quality. (I used to live round the corner from Pizzeria e trattoria da ISA in nakameguro, where people queue for an hour to pay triple the price).

Or how about the Chef Salad for ¥299 – tomato, salad leaves, sheep’s cheese – there’s absolutely no way you could make the same salad at home in Tokyo at anything remotely near that price. And the “ichiban ninki” Meat Doria (meat sauce on rice) – only ¥299. The list goes on – check out the menu for yourself.

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Cheap Booze and Gyaru

And if the cheap food isn’t good enough, I hear that one popular custom amongst the local Tokyo young ladies is to stop off in Shibuya Saizeriya and get pissed on wine at ¥100 a glass before hitting the clubs.

In Tokyo, you’re never that far from a Saizeriya, with many of them open all night as well it’s a perfect Tokyo Cheapo destination at anytime of day or night.

I treated my GF and kitten (pictured above) out for a meal for the grand total of ¥847 (admittedly it was only three dishes as we’d had a late lunch).

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And for the Culture Vulture

Also for a little trivia at Cheapo dinner parties in Tokyo, you might like to read up on the story of Saizeriya. From humble beginnings as a single italian resturatant in the 1970’s, it decided to experiment with drastically low pricing (unlike other italian eateries in Japan). The concept turned out to be a success as prices went lower and lower. Now Saizeriya is a major chain throughout the country which runs it’s own local farms and imports from Italy and Australia.

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Chris's Tokyo favorites are: Tomoe Sushi, Borne, Udagawa Cafe Suite
Filed under: International Food
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