Another must-have if you’re in Shin Okubo is fresh hottoku (pronounced: ho-toe-koo). My favorite place in Shin Okubo for hottoku is Jonno Hottoku. There’s always a line, but it moves pretty quickly. It’s definitely worth the wait!!
Hottoku is a pancake-like food filled with various ingredients such as anko, honey, cheese, or even kimchi! It’s more flaky and less ‘cakey’ than a pancake. If you buy these fresh, the surface is a bit crispy and the dough is chewy and soft.
Hottoku can be found at open-air food stands on the streets of Shin Okubo, usually with one or two employees taking orders and cooking simultaneously.
At some locations, you need to buy a ‘food ticket’ from a ticket vending machine. This makes the ordering process faster, and the employees don’t have to handle money directly. Just like a drink vending machine, put your bills or coins into the machine, press the buttons for what you’d like, and push a lever to get your change. Tickets will come out from the bottom (similar to where you pick up your sodas at a regular vending machine). Give these tickets to the employee when you reach the counter & receive your yummy food!