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The word Izakaya, is a combination of “I"(居) to stay, and ‘sakaya’(酒屋), sake shop. The name thus, describes a place where one can ’stay’ at for a drink, which fits an Izakaya perfectly! However, there are many culture and physical differences between an Izakaya and normal pub or bar.

You might have seen them before while walking outside. The popularity of Japanese restaurants in United States has brought about an increase in Izakaya here over the years. With thir fascinating appearances, its so hard not to be curious!

So what exactly is an Izakaya?

Simply out, it is a place for relaxation and refreshment.

Whether to unwind after a long day’s work with colleagues with a good drink, or to enjoy a good time with a large group of friends, an Izakaya’s warm & familiar atmosphere with a menu featuring tons of great dishes, desserts and drinks, make it a pub, restaurant, and so much more. Much like Japanese restaurants, Izakaya also come in many different styles, varying from their designs to their menus.



Also called a Tsuki-dashi, this is an appetizer that is always served when you are seated in an Izakaya.

Usually a light dish to help when your appetite, an otoshi also saves as a good way to judge the kind of cuisine an Izakaya will serve.

Beer first!

Unlike regular bars and pubs, it is normal to start your session at an Izakaya with a drink before ordering anything else.

Simply say “Toriaezu Nama” which means “I will start with a beer” to get the ball rolling!


A ‘final’ dish that is ordered near the end of an Izakaya outing.

Usually a staple dish such as rice or ramen, the shime is intended to help fill you up.

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