Exterior of Yoshinoya Restaurant

KCP Winter 2018 Student Siena Rose on Yoshinoya

Donburi (丼) literally means “bowl.”  This popular Japanese rice bowl dish can consist of a variety of elements: vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, or fish. Donburi is usually a full meal served in huge bowls, often made of ingredients simmered together and served over rice. Donburi are also sometimes referred to as sweet or savory stews on rice. A reasonably priced meal costs 500–1,000 yen, making it a popular fast food dish for Japanese and tourists alike.

Outside Yoshinoya.

The donburi simmering sauce used depends on the region, season, ingredients, and taste. A common sauce consists of dashi (a simple broth made from edible kelp and shavings of preserved, fermented tuna), mirin, and soy sauce. Donburi is usually made from almost any type of ingredient, including leftovers.

Here’s a peek at the menu. Yoshinoya is very similar to other Gyudon eateries like Sukiya and Matsuya. Each have slight differences though like what other things they may serve.

Donburi comes in several varieties such as gyūdon made from beef and onion simmered in a mildly sweet sauce with onions, egg and sometimes shiraki noodles. Yoshinoya (𠮷野家) is the second largest fast food chain of gyūdon restaurants. The chain was established in 1899 with its motto being, Tasty, low-priced, and quick”. Yoshinoya first opened at th Nihonbashi fish market in Tokyo, when the market was ruined in the Great Kantō earthquake, Yoshinoya transferred locations to the new Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo in 1926. In 1975, the first American store of Yoshinoya opened in Colorado. Yoshinoya restaurants are found all over the world today and are synonymous to world famous beef bowl or gyūdon.

Here is the view looking at the kitchen. You’ll see the little machine. When you’re done with your meal, you’ll say “sumimasen” (excuse me) and give them the receipt and your payment. They only accept cash at this location.

KCP Winter 2018 student Siena Rose shares her thoughts on Yoshinoya:

“Yoshinoya is a good place to come for breakfast, lunch, or dinner if you live in the Kasai dorm. They also have many other locations around Japan including one right near KCP. They serve fairly quickly and the food is pretty good. Their gyudon is a little more sweet than other gyudon places so that’s something to keep in mind. This location is open until 2 AM which is good for students who get hungry for a warm meal if they finish their studies late. The food is overall fairly good, but I do like other places better depending on my mood. Yoshinoya is still worth coming to and worth trying! I would rate Yoshinoya a 3/5★.”

Here’s what I got! I got their version of cheesy gyudon, miso soup, and shirasu (small sardines) with a side of grated daikon radish.

Hungry for more? Check out more restaurant reviews here and visit our photo collection here.