The proverbial bread and butter of restaurant menus across Japan is teishoku (written as 定食 on menus).

Translated as “set meal,” it’s a far cry from the “do-you-want-fries-with-that?” sets found at fast food joints. Well-rounded variety is the teishoku calling card, and you can expect your order to come with a main dish (usually fish or meat), a bowl of miso soup, a bowl of rice and an assortment of seasonal side dishes and pickles. Since many of the items can be prepared en masse in advance, wait times are kept to a minimum, essential for hungry diners.

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