The best Belgian waffles in Japan02 February, 2012 by Chad
If you’ve been following this site or my Twitter, you’d probably heard these glorious waffles mentioned many a time already. But we’ve have yet to feature Manneken on its own post that it so deserves. Simply put Manneken’s waffles are possibly the best you’ll find in Japan.
Manneken’s waffles boasts a 26 year old history, with the first store opening in Umeda, Osaka back in 1986. The waffles soon proven popular with the locals, spreading throughout Osaka and to other parts of Japan too. Today, there are 12 stores in Osaka alone with another 14 stores around Japan.
Thanks to a recommendation by Wilson, I had the chance to give the wonderful Manneken waffles a try last year in Osaka. I’ve been hooked ever since then.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go as far as Osaka to get the waffles. There are two stores in Tokyo, one appropriately located at the crossroads of Ginza and another strangely in Akihabara. The Ginza shop is especially easy to spot as it almost always attracts a queue.
Manneken is of course named after the famous landmark in Brussels. The Manneken logo is the literal likeness of the urinating sculpture. Even if it was their first thing to come to mind when thinking of Belgium, only Japanese craziness could have justified its use. Be reassured, their waffles taste nothing like piss.
Manneken’s Belgian waffles come in a small selection of staple flavors, with an occasional seasonal special like their reason Fromage or Sweet Potato flavors. Plain waffles cost 126 yen each while the flavored ones cost 147 yen.
Having tried quite a few flavors, I would have to say that their safest bets, the plain and chocolate ones are the best. The others, with their flavors baked directly into the waffle, tend to distract from enjoying the original waffle’s taste. All of the waffles have a plain crust of sugar already that provide enough sweetness, while at the same time helping to keep the crunchy texture.
All of Mannkene’s freshly baked waffles are intended to be consumed on the day of purchase itself. For those who want to take home the waffles, there are gift packs available at the stores. They contain individually sealed waffles that can be kept for up to a month.
We’ve also found these packed versions selling at certain supermarkets. While they won’t be able to compare with those fresh out the iron, they’re still darn good as far as waffles are concerned.
If you’ve haven’t already. You’ve definitely got to give the Manneken waffles a try. For more information, check out the Manneken website. I’ve also marked the locations for the two Tokyo outlets below.
The Akihabara Store is located at the North-Eastern Showadori exit of Akihabara Station.
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