Okinawa Tourism Information:Trulythe“Firstofthekind!”TheBirthplaceofTacoRice,“KingTacosKinMainBranch”

Truly the “First of the kind!” The Birthplace of Taco Rice, “King Tacos Kin Main Branch”

post : 2017.10.13 18:00

Tacos, pizza, hamburger, etc. Many kinds of foreign born “Okinawan” style foods are served here in Okinawa, but the #1 is definitely “Taco Rice!”

Nowadays, taco rice is served not only in Okinawa, but also Mainland Japan. But, have you ever heard of its origin? Basically it is a mixture of “tacos (Mexican food)” and “rice.” When we keep track of its history, we always end up hearing the name of famous restaurant which is “King Tacos,” a.k.a. “Kintaco.” 

Kintaco is located in Kin Town where American culture remains, and the colors of building are based on the Mexican national flag. Green indicates vegetables, white is rice, red is ground meat, and yellow is cheese!

Total of 40 seats are inside the restaurant, and a large eating area is on 2F of the building. Of course, you can order take-out as well! 

The history of taco rice has started at “Parlor Senri (closed in 2015),” the predecessor of King Tacos. Late Matsuzo Gibo, the founder of King Tacos, crated its original dish in 1984 and later opened “King Tacos” in 1985. This family-run restaurant has currently 6 branches in Okinawa, and family members inherit family’s recipe. The 3rd owner of restaurant, Sayuri Shimabukuro, gave a twist to the original recipe and made the restaurant more popular.

“Basically we always serve dishes that we think delicious.”

One of the reasons why the restaurant is loved by locals and tourists for many years is that each dish is quite filling! Basically the original recipe was created to fill the stomachs of U.S. military personnel, and the concept is still the same as before.

Fresh lettuce and sweet flavored tomato are used for the classic “Taco Rice Cheese with Lettuce (600 yen incl. tax)." Any preservatives are not used for the ground meat, and fresh cheese is a specially made product for the restaurant. Also, “Koshihikari,” one of the popular brands of rice, is used since the time of founding. Every ingredient is fully loaded as you can see it on the photo below, and it is hard to fit in a plastic bento box! It is understandable why it is popular among physically large foreign residents. Another popular dishes in the menu are “Taco Rice (with rice and ground meat; 400 yen)” and “Taco Rice Cheese (500 yen).” 

Of course, we cannot miss one popular dish which is “Tacos (300 yen for 2P / 500 yen for 4P). Each taco shell is handmade and creates its softness finely even it is hard shell. Unlike other restaurants, it is very easy to eat, and gaining more repeat customers day by day. Of course, you cannot miss the fully loaded lettuce, cheese, and ground meat in it! How impressive is that? 

Also, “Taco Cheese Burger (350 yen)” is huge! It is about 12cm / 4.7in in diameter and its height is 9cm / 3.5in. The buns are a bit heavy and they are big enough to hold with two hands, and the price is very reasonable! Compare to other dishes on the menu, it provides a good quality at this reasonable price!

Besides Tacos, chicken and other fried dishes are available at the restaurant! A fried dish called “Chicken Barabara (800 yen for 5P)” is a secretly popular dish, and each piece is 10cm / 3.9in long. You see how big it is, right?

Anyway, don’t hesitate to go to Kin Town when you get hungry! Also, it gets crowded during the lunch time, so you have to be prepared for it. The best time to go there is right after the opening time! 

King Tacos Kin Main Branch
Address: 4244-4 Kin, Kin Town
Tel: 090-1947-1684
Business Hours: 10:30-24:00 (Last Call)
Closed: open throughout the year

Okinawa CLIP photo writer Kiwamu Ogawa (Qey Word)