[Gyudon / Yoshinoya] How tos and Menu recommended by the president

2020-07-30 PLEASURE

This post is also available in 日本語

“Gyudon” (beef bowl) is a dish in which thinly sliced meat and onions are boiled in sweet and spicy sauce, made of soy sauce etc., and laid on a bed of rice. It is also called “Gyumeshi”.

Famous fast food chain restaurants for “gyudon” in urban areas include “Yoshinoya”, “Matsuya”, and “Sukiya”. On this occasion, we looked at how to use “Yoshinoya” and some recommended ways of enjoying it.

What is “Yoshinoya”?

This is the first “fast food chain for Japanese food” to appear in Japan. It was founded in Nihonbashi, Tokyo in 1899. Currently, there are 1,218 branches domestically, and 944 branches overseas.(As of June, 2020)

Tasty, cheap and fast

They have been providing “gyudon” for more than 120 years, based on the concept of “Tasty, cheap, and fast”. They have a rich line-up of menu items including, not only gyudon, but also “Gyu-karubi don” (Grilled Beef Rib Bowl) and “Una-ju” (Broiled Eel and Rice Box). You can “eat in” or buy the food “to go”. There are also stores that do delivery. It is also possible to buy it via mail order.

Commitment to good beef

In “Yoshinoya”, they use the part of the meat known as “short plate”, which has a good balance between lean and fatty meat, making it ideal for “gyudon”. They also import “grainfed beef” from North-America, which has a less distinctive odor than the meat from cows raised in pastures only.

Flow from entrance to exit

At Yoshinoya, you order at your seat and they bring the food to you there.

Securing a seat

There is no ticket vending machine in Yoshinoya. Once you enter the store, find an empty seat in which to sit. There may be seats specified as being unavailable for use, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Once you are sat down, the attendant will bring you tea or water. If you have already decided what you would like to order, you can place your order at that time.


Choose what you would like to eat from the menu on the table.

You can choose from six sizes of rice.

Once you have chosen what you would like to order, call the attendant over. Things will work smoothly if you state what you would like in the following order.

  1. Name of the dish
  2. Size
  3. Topping

If you load the QR code from the menu sheet, you can view the menu in English, Chinese, or Korean.


The food will be brought to your table.

Red pickled ginger and “Shichimi Togarashi” (a mixture of red cayenne pepper and other aromatic spice) are available free of charge. Feel free to use these as toppings.

You can also find chopsticks at the table. Tell the attendant if you need a spoon.

Settling the Bill

Once you have finished eating, take your bill to the cash register, and pay for your food. You can also call the attendant and pay at the table.

Secret menu

“Yoshinoya gyudon” has several secret menu items. Find the “gyudon” that you like the best.

Tsuyu-daku (extra soup)

They will add extra soup to your meal. This is a popular secret menu item.

Tsuyu-nuki (no soup)

Your dish will come without soup.

Negi-nuki (no onions)

Your dish will come without onions

“Gyudon” arrangements! Best ways to eat it

Recommendations from the President of Yoshinoya

  1. Order “tsuyu-nuki” gyudon, egg, miso soup, o-shinko (pickles)
  2. Borrow an egg separator from the attendant, and separate the yolk from the white
  3. Pour the white into the miso soup and stir
  4. Pour the yolk over the rice and stir into the rice, place the pickles on top, and add “Shichimi Togarashi”

This combines the softness of the gyudon, the crunchiness of o-shinko, and the spicy taste of the “Shichimi Togarashi”.

Staff recommendation

Add “Tororo (grated yam)” topping to “Gyudon”

This is an exquisite dish that combines tororo grated yam with gyudon. This is recommended for hot summer weather, when you tend to have less appetite.

Add “Cheese” topping to “Negi-tama-gyudon (Beef Bowl with Toppings of Green Onions and Raw Egg)”

This combines chewy green onions and cheese. Many people find that this becomes addictive.

“Take-out” – four ways of ordering –


Order from the counter marked “Take-out” within the store.


You can order in advance using your smartphone and go and pick it up at the store (you can also use PCs or feature phones). Search for a store where “Smartphone-only advance take-out order” is possible, by doing a “Store Locator” from the official site, and order from this dedicated site.


You can order in advance by telephone and go and pick it up at the branch. They may not take orders by phone during busy times. Leave plenty of time when you make the order. Search for stores that allow “Take-out” by doing a “Store Locator” from the official site.


It is possible to use drive-through at certain stores. Search for stores that allow “Drive-Through” by doing a “Store Locator” from the official site.

We interviewed

A major chain restaurant whose main product is gyudon (Beef Bowl).

* Shows the menu/price as of July 14, 2020