Shokudo translates to “dining hall.” This can mean a cafeteria or just a local restaurant. Whenever I see the kanji 食堂, I know I am going to get a cheap, simple meal popular with locals… which is pretty much always good.

At shokudo, there are often teishoku 定食, meaning “set meals.” You meal will come with small sides, like pickles or vegetables, maybe a small salad, miso soup, rice, etc. Often times, these places have self-service water and tea instead of offering much in the way of soft drinks.

In Okinawa, shokudo usually offer the local favorites of Okinawa soba, chanpuru, tonkatsu, ebi-fry, curry sets. Here are some examples:

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