Here in America, the popular convenience chain store 7/11 is viewed as a place to raid for snacks after a drunken night out or to grab a quick bite to eat on your way to work. In the states, 7/11 isn’t necessarily valued for its quality of food or variety of snacks on the shelf, rather, it’s usually viewed as a last resort for those desperate times when you want a Slurpee and stale taquitos all at once. Other countries, like Japan, however, have a totally different view on 7/11 stores. Unlike in America, Japanese 7/11 stores are places where people frequent on a regular basis and, on many occasions, eat there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! The stores are clean, have decent seating areas, and feature a variety of foods to appeal to your palette for anytime of day.
Popular food and travel Youtuber Strictly Dumping aka Mike Chen, featured a trip to a Japanese 7/11 in one of his videos and to this day its one of his most popular ones with close to 10 million views! With the fascination many Americans have with fast, convenience-style food, these top five foods from Japanese 7/11 stores will make you want to travel and try them right away!
Japanese 7/11 – Instant Ramen
Unlike the cheap packets of ramen with the beef or chicken flavored seasoning packets that we’re used to here, in Japanese 7/11 stores there are a multitude to different kinds of instant ramen, ranging from the standard more plain type, to Michelin star ones! The Michelin star instant ramens are some of the most interesting and delicious looking of any instant soups I’ve ever seen, with some containing freeze-dried pieces of pork belly (which turns succulent and tender when heated) and yummy vegetables! Definitely a huge step up compared to the kinds of instant soups we have here.
Japanese 7/11 – Steamed Buns
I am convinced that steamed buns are one of the greatest creations we as humans have been blessed with on this earth. Fluffy, light, and always with a delicious filling, steamed buns or Nikuman, are a quick and easy food to have on the go, with a bunch of different fillings to appeal to all your tastebuds! There are pizza buns, curry buns, cheesey potato buns, and even sweet red bean buns for when you have a sweet tooth! For about $1 per bun, you can’t go wrong with these delectable treats.
Japanese 7/11 – Onigiri
A very popular staple in Japanese restaurants and culture as a whole, Onigiri is another food that is inexpensive, delicious, and great to eat when you’re in a hurry. Who doesn’t love the sound of a triangular shaped sticky rice ball with yummy fillings? Onigiri is made using plain rice which is then formed into a triangle, stuffed with a filling, and wrapped in a nori sheet. The fillings for Onigiri vary and can include mayonnaise tuna, mayonnaise shrimp and salmon! With a price of about $1 for each Onigiri, you can try different fillings, fill up your tummy and not break your budget during your lunch break!
A little startling at first glance but unforgettably delicious is the yakisoba bun. You may be wondering what is so startling about this food? Well, the color and shape of the yakisoba noodles can almost look like worms in the food, but rest assured, just noodles! Yakisoba buns are like the best of both worlds in a foodie’s eye. Stir fried yakisoba noodles are stuffed into a split hot dog roll and topped with mayonnaise and pickled ginger. Can you say yum?
Egg Salad Sandwich
There is nothing better than an egg salad sandwich in my opinion. The creaminess of mayo, combined with the savory eggs, and some fluffy white bread makes for a wholesome sandwich. Japanese convenience stores, like 7/11 and Lawson, have the best egg salad sandwich game. Acclaimed restauranteur and food traveler Anthony Bourdain noted the egg salad sandwich from Lawson to be one of his favorites and 7/11 doesn’t fall behind either. Spongey yet fluffy white bread is filled with creamy egg salad and pieces of hard boiled eggs for a texturally delectable and inexpensive ($2) meal!