There is an American naval base located in Sasebo, and in turn, it has become one of Kyushu’s most foreigner friendly cities. It’s also a great foodie destination. Sasebo is famous for the Sasebo burger. Great name, right? It’s the equivalent to America’s In-n-Out Burger in the sense that, according to all the people on the internet, it is supposedly the best burger in all the land, but after trying it, I have no idea what makes it so special. The most well-known and most advertised establishment for an authentic Sasebo burger is a place called Big Man. It’s a good hamburger, but it’s nothing to rave about. If anything, go for the french fries. Fries are a comfort food that you can enjoy no matter the main dish. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. Today, we’re talking about Smile & Smiley.
Last month, I went to Sasebo for the sole purpose of eating good food. What else is new? An array of restaurant recommendation travel guides for different cities in Japan can be found at any bookstore. So I bought a Sasebo guide, and I sought out a couple of places to try for a mini foodie adventure.
For dessert, I cannot recommend enough the Berry Basket Pancakes from a local joint called Smile & Smiley. The cafe is tiny and narrow with only a counter and one big table for large parties. What’s more, the quaint and local atmosphere makes you feel like you’re eating at the kitchen counter in your own home. It’s easy to tell that S&S is the kind of place that has a roster of regular customers. As you can see from the photo above, the pancakes come served on a mega plate so it’s best shared with a friend. The sweet creaminess of the whipped cream and tanginess of all the fruits (banana, strawberry, cranberry, raspberry, blackberry) is a perfectly befitting combination. After leaving this place, you’ll surely leave with a full tummy and a smile on your face. I know I did.