B-1 Grand Prix: Ultimate Local Japanese Food Event

One of the most exciting moments during an international trip is to enjoy local food, and Japan is not an exception. You can find a wide variety of cheap and delicious food that the Japanese call “B-grade cuisine”. Each prefecture and city has its own local food making your trip more satisfying. But there are tons of cuisines in Japan, which sometimes makes travelers overwhelmed. I recommend checking “B-1 Grand Prix” as one of the options for those who feel hard to choose one.

What Is B-1 Grand Prix?

B-1 Grand Prix was originally an event for promoting local towns started in 2006. Its initial “B” stands for “BRAND”. (There are so many other terms with “xx-1 Grand Prix” in Japan.) Most people think B for “B-grade”, but it’s not. The governing body is commonly called “愛Bリーグ (Ai B League)” which is a pun for the word “Ivy League” in the US. This is the biggest event jointly produced by many local organizations in Japan.

However, contrary to the organizers’ intention, it’s becoming more and more of local cuisines competition to decide the best among all the best local food. But you can definitely refer to the dishes that participated in the competition. There are many stalls on the site, and visitors can enjoy a variety of food. Entry is for free. To buy food, you need to buy special tokens online or at the site.

How Is The Award Decided?

To be nominated, they need to be a member of 愛Bリーグ. And it usually takes at least one or two years to become eligible to open a stall at the venue. Visitors can vote using a pair of chopsticks during the event, which means each person has two votes. And the food gets the most chopsticks wins.

Golden Award-winning Food

2019 – Tsu Gyoza (Tsu city, Mie)

Tsu Gyoza

Tsu city in Mie is famous for a big Gyoza (Japanese dumplings).

[Restaurants for Tsu Gyoza]

2017 – Imabari Yakibutatamagomeshi (Imabari city, Ehime)

Imabari Yakibutatamagomeshi

Very simple style rice bowl with roasted pork and fried eggs on it. It was originally an inclusive meal for employees. Because of its great taste, restaurants started offering to customers as well.

[Restaurants for Imabari Yakibutatamagomeshi]

2016 – Akashi Tamagoyaki (Akashi city, Hyogo)

Akashi Tamagoyaki

Akashi Tamagoyaki, also known as Akashiyaki, looks similar to Takoyaki, but we eat in a different style dipping into seafood stock. If you’ve already tried Takoyaki, I recommend having Akashiyaki as well.

[Restaurants for Akashi Tamagoyaki]

2015 – Katsuura Tantanmen (Katsuura city, Chiba)

Katsuura Tantanmen

Katsuura Tantanmen is a hot Tantanmen loved by fishermen in Katsuura for warming their cold bodies. It uses lots of chili oil compared to the standard Tantanmen.

[Restaurants for Katsuura Tantanmen]

2014 – Towada Barayaki (Towada city, Aomori)

Towada Barayaki

Towada Barayaki is beef ribs with plenty of onions. The sweetness of onions soaks into the meat as you grill at the table.

[Restaurants for Towada Barayaki]

If you want to try local Japanese food, you can check B-1 Grand Prix as there are more nominated food.


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