Torikizoku: Popular yakitori chain found across Japan

Momo Kizokuyaki Tare (Chicken Thigh and Leek Skewer), Torikizoku, Osaka, Japan

Founded in 1986, Torikizoku has established itself as one of Japan’s most popular izakaya chains, with almost 700 locations nationwide. Today, the chain is well known for its affordable prices, cozy atmosphere, and freshly prepared yakitori skewers. You can find Torikizoku locations in major cities including Tokyo (Shinjuku and Shibuya), Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Kobe, and Hiroshima. There are many reasons to visit Torikizoku. First, they offer various yakitori skewers, including chicken, beef, pork, and vegetables. Second, their prices are affordable, …

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21 of the best things to do and see in Shinjuku

Bright lights of Kabukichō

When I think of Tokyo, one of the first places that comes to mind is Shinjuku. This vibrant and dynamic ward, or neighborhood, which surrounds Shinjuku Station, is the epicenter of nightlife, entertainment, shopping, business, drinking, and eating in Tokyo. For decades, Shinjuku has attracted both locals and tourists who come from all around to experience its bright lights and non-stop action. I would describe Shinjuku as the heart of modern Tokyo. And, while some say it’s touristy, it is …

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O’Reilly 304: Trendy restaurant in Havana, Cuba

O'Reilly Tacos (Tacos Mixtos), O'Reilly 304, Havana, Cuba

In 2016, I took my first trip to Havana, a city that was entirely unfamiliar to me at the time. Havana felt like a whole new world. As I walked around the city, everything seemed exotic, from the busy streets to the colorful buildings and vibrant culture. While exploring the charming streets of Havana, I stumbled upon O’Reilly 304. This trendy but casual restaurant was located in the heart of Habana Vieja, Havana’s historic Old Town. Despite its small size, …

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Kura Sushi: Popular conveyor belt sushi chain in Osaka, Japan

Tuna and Green Onion, Kura Sushi, Osaka, Japan

Kura Sushi is a popular Japanese conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain known for its affordable sushi dishes. Founded in 1995, Kura Sushi today has over 450 locations in Japan along with 22 in Taiwan and 47 in the United States. On my recent visit to Osaka, I stopped by the Kura Sushi Shinsekai Tsutenkaku location in the popular Shinsekai district. As mentioned before, Kura Sushi is known for its affordable sushi. Everything from salmon to tuna to shrimp starts at …

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Yamamotoya Honten: Miso nikomi udon in Nagoya, Japan

The famous Miso Nikomi Udon, Yamamotoya Honten, Nagoya, Japan

With a history spanning nearly 100 years, Yamamotoya Honten has established itself as the best place to try Nagoya-style miso nikomi udon. Originating in Nagoya, miso nikomi udon is a traditional Japanese noodle dish characterized by thick udon noodles simmered in a flavorful and salty miso broth. As Yamamotoya Honten’s signature dish, the miso nikomi udon showcases every ingredient. This includes handmade noodles, a masterfully prepared broth using quality ingredients, and miso exclusively fermented for the restaurant. Over the years, …

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Misokatsu Yabaton: Best pork cutlet in Nagoya, Japan

Waraji Tonkatsu Set, Misokatsu Yabaton, Nagoya, Japan

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you’re likely familiar with tonkatsu, a flavorful dish consisting of breaded and deep-fried pork loin or fillet. It is one of my favorite foods to eat on my trips to Japan. In the city of Nagoya, you can find a unique variation of tonkatsu known as miso katsu. This local specialty is made with a deep-fried pork loin drenched in a rich and salty miso sauce. If you’re on the hunt for the …

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Sekai no Yamachan: Nagoya’s Famous Tebasaki Chicken Wings

Maboroshi no Tebasaki (Chicken Wings), Sekai No Yamachan, Nagoya, Japan

During my recent trip to Japan, I had the opportunity to visit Nagoya for the first time. Despite reading and hearing that Nagoya was less impressive than Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto, I was excited to explore a new city. Whenever I travel somewhere new, one of the first things I do is research what to do and what to eat. And, through my research, I discovered Sekai no Yamachan. Sekai no Yamachan is a chain of popular izakaya restaurants that …

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Pakwan: Pakistani Indian Restaurant in San Francisco

Chicken Tikka Masala, Pakwan Restaurant, San Francisco, California

Pakwan is an authentic Pakistani Indian restaurant with locations in the San Francisco Bay area. When opened in 1991, Pakwan’s mission was to use authentic recipes of the Indian subcontinent, featuring unique blends of Indian spices and traditional cooking techniques. Thanks to their tireless efforts and devotion, Pakwan swiftly gained a reputation as the go-to destination for authentic and traditional Pakistani Indian cuisine in the Bay Area. The restaurant attracts locals, tourists, families, and business workers alike. Today, Pakwan operates …

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Sweet Maple: Bacon and Brunch in San Francisco

Savory Soufflegg Skillet, Sweet Maple, San Francisco, California

Sweet Maple is a casual and inviting restaurant, coffeehouse, and gathering spot nestled in San Francisco’s Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood. After opening in 2010, Sweet Maple quickly gained popularity as a top brunch spot in San Francisco. Over the years, the spot has gained a following with locals, tourists, and culinary enthusiasts. At Sweet Maple, simplicity is key when it comes to their menu. They opt for high-quality, locally-sourced organic ingredients to create uncomplicated yet delicious dishes. Sweet Maple is …

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The Bird: Fried Chicken Sandwiches in San Francisco

The beautiful and delicious Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich, The Bird, San Francisco

The Bird is a fried chicken sandwich shop with two locations in San Francisco, California. This fast-casual restaurant is famous for its cage-free chicken, freshly baked buns, homemade slaw, and craft beers. While San Francisco can be an expensive city to eat in, The Bird somehow doesn’t break the bank. They pride themselves on affordability without sacrificing quality. Almost every item on the menu is around $10 or less, almost unheard of in San Francisco. Since opening in 2016, The …

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