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Just How Good is Japan's Pizza Buffet?! Italian Reviews Shakey's All-you-can-eat Menu!

Just How Good is Japan's Pizza Buffet?! Italian Reviews Shakey's All-you-can-eat Menu!

Date published: 1 December 2019

All-you-can-eat restaurants are among the most popular spots in Japan. In recent years, their popularity has spread even among tourists, as they have seen a surge in the number of foreign guests.

Shakey's is well-known for its all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta buffet. But just how does it stand up in terms of flavor and value? This time we asked an Italian to try these pizzas and pastas!

Today, Mr. Antonio from Italy will try Shakey's

Today, Mr. Antonio from Italy will try Shakey's

Antonio is from Italy and although he’s been in Japan for only 4 months, he is fluent in Japanese because he’s been studying it since he was a teenager. He is polite and has good Japanese mannerism, but of course he’s a genuine Italian. “Italians are very particular about food. I’m looking forward to what we are going to eat today!” We, too are excited to hear what Antonio thinks!

When it comes to all-you-can-eat pizza, “Shakey's!”

When it comes to all-you-can-eat pizza, “Shakey's!”

Shakey’s is an American pizza chain. It was also one of the pizza pioneers in the country, having arrived to Japan 40 years ago, and it’s still popular.

While it depends on where each restaurant is located, on weekends, there are quite a few Shakey’s that prepare 400-500 pizzas a day. This is particularly surprising when you realize that comes out to be one pizza every 90 seconds or so.

There are different kind of pizzas, and Shakey’s signature one is the “Crispy American pizza.” Handmade with dough prepared with carefully selected flour, making the restaurant’s all-you-can-eat an experience of outstanding quality. There are 30 kinds of pizza that are always available, month-specific ones, and seasonal pizzas (changing once every three months).

On this occasion, we visited Shakey's Kichijoji Ekimae Store, close to Kichijoji station and boasting a particularly large space. The store has a nice and large indoors area with an American feel to it. People of all ages and nationalities visit this restaurant.

Have as much as you want: salads, pizza, pasta, drinks, and more!

Shakey’s menu is an all-you-can-eat. Salad bar, drink bar, rice and curry, pizza, pasta, potatoes, and everything else in the store is included in the price for 90 minutes.

The more popular choices are “pepperoni,” a spicy salami, and “Hawaiian Delight,” with topping of pineapple and salami. Recently added to the regular menu is the “burger pizza,” topped with burgers.

Of course pizza, but also the curry is delicious and a very popular dish.

All-you-can-eat colorful vegetables!

Antonio is thinking about what to eat!

Antonio is thinking about what to eat!

You can choose a pizza from the food corner. Antonio is overwhelmed by the variety.

Not all pizzas are always available, so you can order what you want from the menu. If you wait for about 20 minutes, you can eat your favorite freshly baked crispy pizza.

“It’s important to Italians to eat food while it’s warm, and it’s very important to make it fresh. Food that is cold carries the image of having been neglected, but if you can order it, and it’s ready to cook, you can have it warm!” Antonio said. This process doesn’t even feel like a typical all-you-can-eat spot.

Here is the first selection!

Here is the first selection!

Here are the first selections. There are three kinds of pizza: pepperoni, tuna and olives, and Italian sausage. The side dishes are French fries, spaghetti with chili and meat, tortilla chips, and salad.

And now for the actual eating! “Buon appetito!”

To start off, the popular pepperoni pizza. “It’s really good! I think American-style pizza is simple. In Italy pizza is basically Margherita or Marinara, also the pizza dough and the shape changes depending on the region. And we usually have one pizza per person. In Rome, in the Italian version of fast food restaurants, you can have a cut of pizza (usually in a square) and the price is determined by its weight.”

Next up is a slice with tuna and olives. “Oh, this is also really good. The combination of tuna and olives is also common in Italy.”

“In fact, in Italy, we are very particular about the combinations of ingredients, especially when it comes to seafood. For example, you cannot put cheese on fish dishes. Tuna, though is a little different.”

It’s surprising to hear that in Italy they have certain rules when it comes to the combination of ingredients.

“The Italian sausages are also as good as the real ones. The spicy meat tastes good. Italian sausages also contain fennel and other spices.”

By the way, in Italy it seems many dishes are quite simple, using basic ingredients - and even salad dressing is nothing but olive oil, vinegar, and salt.

“There are many kinds of American style pizzas here. By the way, the cheese stretching like this is very American-like (laughs).”

It’s interesting to hear an Italian's reaction about pizza!

This pasta is a recommended dish at the Mexico Fair (seasonal menu from June to August): Spaghetti with chili and meat.

This is one of Shakey’s unique pastas that Antonio had never seen before. “I like pasta with this kind of bean. I haven't seen exactly this kind of spicy pasta in Italy to start with. This taste is fresh and nice!” Antonio liked it.

“I like these fries too. I like the spiciness!”
Shakey’s fries are very popular. The potatoes are cut and fried in the store. This is one of those things that you can only have here.

For the next round: dessert pizza!

For the next round: dessert pizza!

I definitely want to have a dessert pizza at Shakey’s, so let’s have Antonio try it too.

There are 3 kinds of dessert pizza: coconut cream (top), marshmallow strawberry (middle), and chocolate banana dessert (bottom).

Let’s start with chocolate banana pizza.
“Italians would be like ‘why are you mixing sweets with pizza?’ There is a bit of resistance, but it’s delicious.”

Next up is the coconut cream pizza.
“There is no such dessert in Italy. Older people would probably avoid it (laugh).”
About the marshmallow strawberry dessert pizza, “This is pretty sweet. Things in Italy are not this sweet, but I can eat it.”
Are you surprised by how these new pizzas tasted?

What is Antonio’s favorite Shakey’s pizza menu?

What is Antonio’s favorite Shakey’s pizza menu?

“I liked this Italian sausage pizza the most! And the banana chocolate! It was sweet, but really good!”
It seems like sweet pizza is not very common in Italy, but Antonio recommends dessert pizza.

In Italy, culturally, meals are spent with the family, and holiday ones often take hours. For that reason, the time limit on an all-you-can-eat is quite rare for Italians.

Antonio, who grew up in Italy, is very satisfied with the variety and the deliciousness of Shakey’s! “I think it’s fun to have a variety of flavors like this. I want to come again!”

Lots of choices and good tasting food: Shakey's quality all-you-can-eat buffet

At Shakey's you can eat as much as you like at a reasonable price. Here you will find original menus, surprise dishes every time you go, and uncompromising quality-all-you-can-eat.

The amazing Italian dishes will continue to change, so don’t miss it!

Lunch buffet
Weekdays 11:00-16:30(reception until 16:00)

90 minutes
Price:Adults 1156 yen; Seniors (65 y/o and over), 1,037yen; students, 886 yen; 4y/o~ 497 yen

Dinner buffet
Weekdays 17:00-22:00 (Reception until 21:30)

90 minutes
Price:Adults, 1685 yen; Seniors (65y/o and over), 1231 yen; Elementary school student, 994 yen; 4 y/o ~ 518 yen

Holiday buffet
Sat/Sun/Holidays 11:00 - 22:00 (Reception until 21:30)
90 minutes

*The buffet prices may vary depending on the store and the time. Please check the website for details.

Written by Miyuki Yajima

  • Shakey’s Kichijoji
    • Address 180-0004 Musashino-shi, Kichijoji, Honmachi 1-15-2 Daiyabalore building B1F
    • Nearest Station JR Chuo line. 2 minutes walking from Kichijoji Station
    • Phone Number 0422-21-3125
    • Seating area:180 seats
      Business hours (Open daily) 11:00-22:30

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*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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