I have walked past Saizeriya many times. A quick scan from the outside, with its grand Italian cathedral interior and elegant warm lighting, convinced me to save this restaurant for a special occasion. But one day, my friend walked me to one of its outlets in Hachioji without further ado, and I’m glad I did.
Unlike any other chain restaurants, Saizeriya has no sense of rush. It is indeed a fast service restaurant, where it can be pretty congested during peak meal times, but its cafe concept lets you to take your time and unwind from the outside world for as long as you wish. Visitors may keep coming, but its spacious interior can accommodate dozens of people at once.
What gives it a special vibe is the loyal customers of this restaurant, students and young adults generating a laid-back atmosphere. This vibrant feel can loosen the tension in you (good to make an appointment with someone you never met), and will make you feel like you’re in your own dining room. And speaking of the dining room, here’s the best part.
Saizeriya’s food selection, for me personally, is rich yet highly affordable at the same time. There is a wide range of pastas and pizzas but other items like steak and rice dishes are also available. There’s also a variety of sweets, including favorites like Italian Custard Pudding and Ice Tiramisu (you can even have both for a cheaper deal). Almost all meals are priced under ¥500, making you want to stay longer, and order more.
The concept of “make yourself at home” ignited by Saizeriya does not stop there. For beverages, it has the “Drink Bar (ドリンクバー)” where you can get unlimited refills of assorted juices, sodas, teas, and coffees. With this free drink access in the corner of the room, you’ll be all set to eat out with family, grab a long dinner with friends, or even have a business meeting.
Besides the one in Hachioji, Saizeriya outlets are spread across Japan, with the same feel and quality of foods. I also tried the one in Kitayama Street, Kyoto, and even though it was close to midnight, the restaurant was far from sleepy.