Yakitori, chicken grilled on skewers (the less adventurous type should take care in ordering — yakitori chefs pride themselves on using every available part of the chicken), is the fast food of Japanese cuisine. The skewered chicken is lightly dipped in barbecue sauce and grilled. Some restaurants may also grill various vegetables. Cold beer is the traditional beverage consumed with yakitori.

Yakitori-ya are usually identified by red paper lanterns hanging outside. Like classic diners, they are frequented more for the food than the atmosphere. Depending on the style of the chef, sauces range from sweet to salty to spicy. Higher end restaurants might have exotic meats on the menu.