What is this “B-kyu Boom” business all about? And how it’s giving the word “mediocre” a whole new meaning.

Most people wouldn’t wait in line for the best cheap food they can find, but the Japanese would apparently. B-kyu gurume, or B-class gourmet, is a Japanese term for someone who loves good, cheap, Japanese food. Which I guess I am technically, I’m just not as willing to wait in lines like these…

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Although the B-kyu craze originated with B-kyu movies, B-kyu gourmet has taken the scene by storm. Grade B gourmet is suppose to have an ‘A-Grade’ taste, without the price tag. However, the food included in this B-class gourmet is fantastic, in my humble opinion. Ramen, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, gyoza, sushi, curry, soba, yakitori, hanbaagu, and udon are all included in this class. That cheap price tag in Japan is amazing, since these are many people’s favorite foods or are considered just straight up comfort foods.

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The love for this food even encourages one of the best events ever, in my opinion, the B-1 Grand Prix or B-kyu Gotochi Gurume Festival. Beginning in 2006, locals compete with each other not necessarily for the best taste, but for recognition of local tastes. Here are some winners from the 2011 competition and all I can say is that me and the fat girl inside me are beyond jealous of everybody that got to go sample these delicious dishes.

#1 Hiruzen Yakisoba from Hiruzen, Okayama

Miso sauce Japanese fried noodle with chicken and lots of cabbage

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#2 Tsuyama Horumon Udon from Tsuyama, Okayama

Pan fried udon with beef organs

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#3 Hachinohe Senbeijiru from Hachinohe, Aomori

Rice crackers in clear soup with veggies and chicken or fish

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#4 Namie Yakisoba from Namie, Fukushima

Fried noodles with bean sprouts and pork

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#5 Imabari Yakibuta Tamabomeshi from Imabari, Ehime

Fried eggs over rice with chopped Japanese BBQ style pork in a bowl

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