"TORIAEZU-BIRU (BEER)-NE!" Let’s Get StartedWith a Beer!
It’s common to start the night with a beer, and the moment they take their seat many people say, “TORIAEZU-BIRU-NE!” (I’ll have a beer to start!) You will be served a small appetizer called otoshi or tsukidashi to go with your beer. Don’t just stop with a beer! Be adventurous. Izakaya provide a variety of beverages, including sake (rice wine) and shochu (alcohol distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, or rice). You have options when ordering: Atsukan is hot sake and hiya is chilled sake. There is also chuhai, a popular mixture of shochu with soda, ice, and fruit flavors.
Sharing Food is the Izakaya Way! You Can Feel Close Like Family!
You can order additional food and drinks anytime during the meal. Simply point at the menu and say “SUMIMASEN, KORE-HITOTSU / FUTATSU-KUDASAI!” (Please bring one / two!) Many stores have a board listing their special seasonal dishes. If you can’t read Japanese, just say “OSUSUME-WA-NANDESUKA?” to ask for the chef’s reccomendation. Sharing food is the Izakaya way. Your order will come with small trays called tori-zara to split up the food. You’re not just sharing a meal, but also a great time and one-of-a-kind experience with your friends. You can feel close like family!
Still Feeling a Little Hungry? Order Rice, Noodles, or Dessert to Finish!
Japanese people often order rice or noodles to finish the meal. Popular dishes include Ocha-zuke (green tea or dashi soup over rice), onigiri (rice ball), yaki-onigiri (roasted rice ball), and zosui (rice soup). Some places have udon, soba, or ramen noodles as well! Izakaya food is mostly meat, fish, or vegetables, so it’s good to have carbohydrates to avoid indigestion! Aslo, some Izakaya have desserts such as ice cream, cake or custard pudding. When you finish your meal, say “OKANJO-ONEGAISHIMASU!” (Check please!).