Saizeriya

Chris Kirkland

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).

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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).

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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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12 Responses to “Saizeriya”

  1. Dizzy May 10, 2014

    Just found one of these in Nagoya- I paid 499 Yen for a plate of pasta w/tomato sauce and bacon, free soup/soft drinks/coffee/tea, and a glass of wine (which was admittedly atrocious). Skip the wine but the food was fine, great value.

    • CheapoGreg May 15, 2014

      Indeed. The wine served at Saizeriya is best mixed with coke and ice!

    • farkennel May 18, 2014

      I`m going to be in Nagoya in September.Where is the one you found?I`ll be about 6 minutes walk from Sakae station.Cheers.

      • Dizzy May 19, 2014

        It was in the basement of a building across from where the tourist bus stops…I think there was a convenience store on the corner across (not Lawson’s, it was another one I didn’t recognize).

        • farkennel May 19, 2014

          Cheers Dizzy,I`ll see if I can find it.

  2. Nomnomnom September 29, 2014

    Saizeriya in Ikebukuro is some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, same goes for the service and amazing ice cold lager beer on offer. It’s a 10 from me.

  3. franziska January 6, 2015

    The first time I visited one was in Nara. The Espresso was surprisingly delicious for Japan! Also the pizza was tasty – well, you better order two of them, they are rather small 😉
    But those cheap prices are possible, because the staff get an hourly salary of 850 Yen (1000 in Tokyo)…

    • CheapoGreg January 11, 2015

      That’s true. I went to a family restaurant in Tohoku that paid their staff only 650yen/hour. That’s not the only reason the prices are so low at Saizeriya though. In general, wages in the service industry are terribly low – even at the more expensive places.


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