We eat in 3 Japanese family restaurants to find the one with the most advantageous breakfast

When you need a tasty and filling meal at a reasonable price in Japan, there is no better place to go than a family restaurant like Denny’s, Royal Host or Gusto. With a variety of Japanese and Western style food, there are plenty of tasty options to choose from, and they almost always have a drink bar with unlimited free refills, which is always a bonus.

Coincidentally, they also offer breakfast. And while they may be a far cry from the breakfast you’re used to in your home country, their breakfasts are good enough to satisfy that craving you may have had. But with three different choices… which one is the best value for money?

Lucky for you, our reporter Seiji Nakazawa went to all three for breakfast and found out which ones offer the best value.

The menus at each of the three restaurants are all slightly different. At Denny’s, for example, their breakfast menu is very simple (unlike American Denny’s). The price of a standard “Morning Set” at Denny’s, which includes access to the drink bar, is 599 yen.

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There are basically two types of 599 yen set at Denny’s. One is egg bacon, sausage, and a salad, which you can order with bread or rice and miso soup. The second is a more refined salad, which comes with bread or rice and miso soup. We opted for the bacon, sausage and eggs which was a simple but delicious breakfast.

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By the way, they also have Japanese-style breakfast options, although their price varies more.

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Gusto’s breakfast menu, on the other hand, is extensive. Prices range from 399 to 699 yen, and the higher the price, the larger the portions.

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The good thing about Gusto is that the drink bar offers not only drinks, but also unlimited soup, which was a big plus in Seiji’s eyes. The meal with the largest portions included a fried egg, sausage, salad and a monstrous Salisbury steak.

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That’s enough to hold you back for lunch, that’s for sure.

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Based on the amount of food you get at each meal, Seiji thought Gusto was a pretty serious contender for the title of Top Value Breakfast.

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Royal Host is, in general, arguably the most expensive of the three family restaurants, so Seiji wasn’t surprised to find that their breakfast was a bit more expensive than the others. Their cheapest morning set was 450 yen, which goes up to 660 yen with the drink bar, making it about the same price as Gusto’s bigger breakfast sets.

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Their most expensive offering is the Morning Angus Sirloin Steak Meal (1,830 yen). Sure, it does have steak in it, so you’d expect it to be pricey, but the Omelet Morning set doesn’t even have a steak, and it still costs 1,210 yen.

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However, it turns out that despite the overall higher prices, at Royal Host you get a lot more for your money, and the reason is that the food at Royal Host is of a better caliber than the rest.

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Of course, Seiji knows that no one goes to a family restaurant for a fancy meal or to spend a lot of money, but Royal Host is worth it. You can totally see the difference in quality between the three, even down to the most seemingly insignificant part of the meal, the bun.

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At the Royal Host you can choose between Japanese sliced ​​bread or English bread. The English style bread ordered by Seiji was the real deal. It had a natural sweetness and scent that made it so good. Gusto’s small loaf of French bread (shown below) was nothing in comparison.

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Of course, you might expect there to be such a difference because it’s more expensive, but the difference between bread made it even more obvious. The last time Seiji ate bread this good was when he stayed at a motel in the countryside of Northumberland, UK, surrounded by wheat fields.

Considering it cost around 300,000 yen to travel from Japan (pre-COVID), Seiji considered Royal Host’s breakfast menu to be well worth the price if he could bring it back to when he ate delicious bread in England.

Additionally, the fact that Seiji raves about breakfast is also significant. Seiji is normally someone who doesn’t care about breakfast, and he would never regularly stop at a family restaurant for breakfast on his way to work. If it’s going to cost more than 500 yen, he much prefers to eat natto at home (which costs a lot less) before leaving.

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He would need to have something that he really want to eat before bothering to go to a family restaurant for breakfast, and for Seiji, Royal Host’s breakfast menu provides that.

So you might think that Royal Host is the only family run restaurant not worth the price. Seiji already thought that too. But not anymore. The price may be high, but the quality is better than you would expect from the price. Perhaps this is what gives Royal Host the best value for money. Plus, Royal Host is one of the few restaurants that lets you take your leftovers home. So if you order too much, you won’t waste your money.

Images © SoraNews24

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