TOP 10 Japanese Street Food at ASAKUSA BACK STREETS
When you want to pick up some street food in Asakusa, many people think of Nakamise which is the shopping street runs in front of Sensoji shrine but there are so many backstreets in Asakusa area that a lot of tourists miss.
In this blog, I will skip any street food on Nakamise and cover street food I love which you can find in the back streets of Asakusa.
1. FLUFFY PANCAKE / BENITSURU （紅鶴）
Benitsuru was opened last year but its seats are already booked up everyday. It used to be a cafe called Flamingo, and its formar owner's children opened up this amazing pancake shop. Benitsuru means red crain... You see the connection?
This possibly the best pancake I have ever had.
Their menu is very simple. I ordered the breakfast like pancake called Bacon & Eggs. It has 2 eggs and 2 crispy bacons. Pancakes are stacked perfectly by the chef, or should I say an artist. The yellow sauce is very much like hollandaise sauce but they call it custard sauce.
Also, this is the most basic pancake, Honey & Butter. Salty and rich butter and silky honey give the perfect touch to the fluffy pancakes.
One thing you might want to remember is that they only take same-day reservations. All you need to do is to go the store and they will tell you the next available time. You pay ¥2000 deposit so don't forget to bring cash with you. A lot of the times, it gets all booked up in the morning especially on the weekend.
2. NIKUMAN / SEKINE（セキネ）
Sekine is a shumai and nikuman shop right by the Shin-Nakamise shopping street. Sekine has been loved by locals and tourists since 1954. This one is a well-known shop but it's just so good that I had to include in my top 10. I usually buy their shumai to bring home and nikuman to eat it on the spot.
Their nikuman is extremely juicy and the bun is light and fluffy. You might think you want more meat at first but since the meat is so juicy and sweet that the bun sucks up the umami inside and so satisfying.
3. MENCHI KATSU / ASAKUSA MENCHI（浅草メンチ）
Asakusa Menchi is on the Denpo Street which runs from the famous Nakamise. All they have is menchi katsu which is fried ground meat.
Their menchi is a lot sweeter than the average.
This shop gets extremely busy on the weekend and the eating space which is on the left side of the shop gets packed. I like taking right-off-the-fryer menchi and eating in on the Sumida Park.
4. TENNEN TAIYAKI / SHARAKU（写楽）
There are so many taiyaki shops in Asakusa but this one is definitely the #1!
Tennen means Natural. Yeah you might be thinking what the hell does that mean. It’s just the way Japanese call this type of taiyaki made with an individual cast iron press where most of places nowadays use large iron griddles. It requires a skilled artist to create Tennnen taiyaki but the results are a crispy and addictive Japanese snack.
The owner is friendly and was telling us how he use his face to check the temperature of the cast iron press with his face every time.
5. ONIGIRI / YADOROKU （宿六）
Did you know the oldest Onigiri shop in Tokyo was hidden behind Sensoji? Their onigiri are made with selected rice from across Japan best suited for each season, wrapped with Edomae seaweed famous for its rich flavor.
Most of their onigiri is ¥280 and premium ones like salmon roe cost ¥690. Yup. Their onigiri is not the cheapest but it is the cost of the taste!
6. FRIED CHICKEN / YUKARI（縁）
If you like fried chicken like me, you have got to check this place out. When I went last time, they just came out with spicy umami red karaage.
7. DANGO / MOMOTARO（桃太郎）
Momotaro is a unseeming dango shop that most tourists pass by, but their simple but refined menu speaks for itself. In fact, when I was there, several locals came by to purchase their authentic sweets.
Momotaro has been in the same spot since 1871! Can you believe that? Their shoyu(soy sauce) yaki dango has been popular since then.
8. FRUIT PARFAIT / FRUIT PARLOR GOTO
Despite the modern interior of the shop, it’s been in business since 1946. It started as a fruits store and they later became a fruits parlor in the 60’s. But you can still purchase fruits here if you want. But the main attraction is their perfectly designed parfaits that are more than Instagram worthy.
The menu changes as good fruits changes season by season. We got Strawberry called Summer Tiara from Yamagata Prefecture.
9. THICKEST MATCHA GELATO / SUZUKIEN（寿々木園）
A Green tea brand, Suzukien have been in the game since 1848 and collaboration partner Nanaya is a Matcha sweets factory in Shizuoka. To create the thickest matcha gelato, they use a premium green tea from North Shizuoka because using lower grade green tea, creates a taste too bitter and strong.
We tasted level 1 and level 7, the thickest one. Level 1 is actually lighter than matcha ice cream you know. Level 7 is just extreme... just look at my face.
10. YAKITORI / YASUBEE（安兵衛）
Yasubee is a down to earth izakaya that is open from day-time. It looks like such a local pub only regulars go so it needs courage to step inside for the first time even for locals. However, the store staffs are friendly and nice so you have nothing to worry about.
Their yakitori is very reasonable and cooked to its perfection. You can also order small dish for ¥200-¥300.