Mana Burgers (Tama Plaza, Kanagawa) – ★★★★

The Quick Check:

  • Quality:  ★★★★
  • Type: All Vegetarian, Vegan-friendly; Hawaiian, American Fast Food
  • Location: Tama Plaza, Yokohama, Kanagawa
  • Transit Access: Tama Plaza Station (on Den-en-Toshi Line)
  • Price: $ – Inexpensive (entree about ¥700)
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday 11:00-22:00 (Last Order 21:30), No holidays
  • Website: HappyCow Page, Restaurant Website
  • Menu: Click Here
  • Phone Number: 045-901-1599

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About & Location:

Mana Burger is a brand new restaurant that opened in Tama Plaza in July 2014, after closing their Fukuoka location.  It specializes in Hawaiian and American fast food, such as veggie burgers, veggie dogs, “chicken” nuggets, vegetarian spam musubi, and Hawaiian-style sweets.  About 2/3 of the menu is vegan, and the other 1/3 is lacto-vegetarian.  All items on the menu are marked with either a “V” for vegan or “L” for lacto.

The restaurant is located about a 10 minute walk from Tama Plaza station, about 25 minutes from Shibuya on the Den-en-Toshi Subway Line.  When you exit Tama Plaza Station, you will be in the area known as the Gate Plaza (Plaza Map Here). Look for a map and then head towards the North Plaza (the Tokyu / 東急 Building). There’s a road on the right side of the Tokyu building. Go down this road. Walk one block, cross the street, and then walk part-way  down the next black.  Mana Burgers will be on the right side of the road.

Address:

  • English: Yokohama-shi, Aoba-ku, Utsugushiigaoka 2-21-12, Y45 Tama-Plaza Building 1F
  • Japanese: 横浜市青葉区美しが丘2-21-12, Y45たまプラーザビル1F
  • Map: On HappyCow Page

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Restaurant Review:

I got pretty lost trying to find Mana Burgers at first, but it was well worth my 40-minute wandering around.  First I got the Chicken Mana Burger (チキンマナ竜田)  for ¥730.  The Garden Mana burger seems to be really highly recommended online, but I was just feeling like something that couldn’t even be remotely described as healthy, so I went for this one.  And it was SO good.  Most burgers in Japan are really small, but there burgers at Mana Burgers are full-American-size burgers, and the patties were really thick.  The chicken patty was breaded (I think?) and fried, and was super tasty. Even the texture was chicken-esque, at least from what I can remember. It was topped with lettuce, onions, carrots and slathered in a delicious vegan tartar sauce.  I added mustard and ketchup as well (because I just can’t eat a burger without those), but I think it would have been perfectly fine without.  In terms of price, flavor and portion size, this was the best veggie burger I’ve had in Japan so far.  It was definitely worth a special trip.

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Chicken Mana – ¥730 (post-bite!)

 

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Chicken Mana – ¥730 (post-bite!)

For dessert I got the Mana Malasada (マナマラサダ) for ¥330, and it was simply incredible.  I’d never had a Malasada before, and I actually I wasn’t sure what it was – I had to ask.  It turns out it’s a sort of Portuguese donut that’s popular in Hawaii.  I’d been having crazy donut cravings so of course I ordered one, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.  It was just the right combo of chewy and fluffy, and was really big – it definitely made a full dessert.  It was brushed in what seemed like a combo of powdered sugar and cinnamon, and it was sort of like eating a big round ball of churro.  It was so good I want to learn how to make them now!

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Chicken Mana – ¥730 (post-bite!)

I also ordered the Mana Dog (マナドッグ, ¥480) to-go.  It included a veggie dog on a bed of shredded cabbage, topped with a heap of sauerkraut.  I added lots of mustard and ketchup too, since that’s my favorite part of hot dogs.  Unfortunately when I first ordered it, it was really cold – I think they assumed that since I was ordering it to-go I intended to heat it up later, but I wanted to eat it while I was out so I asked them to heat the sausage more for me.  When it came out again it was just perfect, and was still a bit warm when I scarfed it down an hour alter.  The sausage was good but not necessarily rave-worthy – it reminded me a lot of the “Smart Dogs” I can buy back in the US, but with a little ground pepper rolled in.  Still, it was really good, and the addition of cabbage and sauerkraut helped to make it more flavorful and interesting-tasting.  If it had been just the sausage I think it would have been much too bland.  I would definitely recommend the burgers over the hotdog, although it was still really good.

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Mana Dog – ¥480

The decor was really beautiful – you can tell it’s a brand-new restaurant, and they really put a lot of effort into the decor.  They avoid the kitschy “Hawaiian” themes that I’ve seen at other Hawaiian-style burger joints in Japan, and instead focused on creating a really open, bright space with lots of natural elements and whimsical touches.  There are tables, and bar and even a play area for kids.  I was really impressed by the attention to detail!

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The service was also exceptional, apart from the cool-hotdog snafu.  It seems like a lot of the staff speak really good English, and were really friendly and chatted with my friend and I.  They warned us that most of the menu wasn’t in English, but since they at least had English translations of the menu items’ names, I don’t think it would be at all hard for a non-Japanese speaker to navigate.  If you had any questions I’m sure you could ask the staff and they’d love to help.

Overall, I loved this place and would go back again if I could (I’m back in the US now for good).

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