6 Best Donburi

Discover the Japanese Rice Bowl Dish

As surely you all know, Japan is a country where historically rice has been one of its main foods. There are many dishes made with rice as a base or rice is included in many meals as an accompaniment, such as bread in some countries. That’s why it’s not surprising the existence of what is known as “Donburi”. Donburi or abbreviated as don literally means bowl, but popularly the Japanese use it to refer to a type of dish that consists in a bowl of cooked rice with some other food served on top of it.

So as you can imagine, there’re many types of donburi, but here’s a list with the 6 most typical donburi, including some of my favorite ones!

Katsudon (カツ丼)


This is one of my favorite Japanese dishes! 😁 It’s very simple: it consists of Tonkatsu (deep fried breaded pork cutlet), soft boil egg and onion. Many young Japanese students eat katsudon before an exam, especially before the university entrance exam. This is because it’s a dish that fills your belly a lot and you will not be hungry during the exam and because “katsu” is the same sound as the “victory” kanji in Japan

Gyûdon (牛丼)


Very thin sliced beef meat and onion. It’s usually accompanied with a raw or semi boiled egg, depending on the person. It’s one of the most popular donburi as a fast food dish since it’s served in several chains such as Yoshinoya, Matsunoya, etc.

Oyakodon (親子丼)


This dish has a somewhat macabre name (at least for me) since it means “father and son” because it’s made of chicken and egg, although there’s a version with salmon and salmon roe.

Tendon (天丼)


Another of my favorite donburi, tendon it’s made with fried pieces of battered vegetables and seafood (usually prawn) with a soya based sauce. The best part of the tendon is that there’s a wide variety of vegetables and seafood available and you can customize it! For example, I don’t like fish, so I only use vegetables 😋

Unadon (鰻丼)


Unagi”, or freshwater eel, is one of the popular delicacies in Japan. The base of most Unagi dishes is the “Kabayaki”, which is Unagi grilled and then covered in layers of sweet and savory “tare” sauce. Una-don” is the kabayaki on top of rice in a bowlIn fact it’s said that the unadon was the first donburi, and that it was invented in the Edo period for spectators of Noh plays. These plays last looong hours, so the spectators had to eat something during the show, but it had to be something easy to eat. And thus the donburi was born.

Kaisendon (海鮮丼)


And of course something that couldn’t be missing in Japan is a raw seafood donburi. Is one of the few cold donburi and the selection depends on location and season but usually includes tuna, salmon or salmon roe and shrimps.

What do you thing? Which one is your favorite? 🙂

If you are interested in Japanese cuisine and are planning a trip to Japan, may these articles can also help you! Take a look 😉

▽Related Articles ▽

▼Editor’s Picks▼

Written by

From Barcelona to Tokyo. Coffee & Adventure lover🌏☕️ 

I started to like Japan because of the anime, music and doramas, but after my first trip to the country I found what I love the most: traveling around, the culture and history. I have travelled a lot in Japan, but I still have many places to discover that I want to share with you🙋🏼‍♀️ Let’s discover Japan together!


Also, as a foreigner living in Japan for over 6 years I understand what kind of things are difficult when you move here and I want to help other people in the same situation that I have in the past.