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.
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.
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).
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.
Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market