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Chopsticks dip thinly sliced raw meat into a bowl of boiling broth full of shrimp and vegetables.
Spring Shabu-Shabu.
Spring Shabu-Shabu

Where to Eat Shabu-Shabu in Greater Boston

The Japanese-style hot pot is massively popular — here’s where to find it locally

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Spring Shabu-Shabu.
| Spring Shabu-Shabu

Shabu-shabu, a Japanese onomatopoeic term for “swish swish,” is a style of hot pot where diners cook thinly sliced meat and raw vegetables by dipping them into a simmering broth for a few seconds. It gained popularity among busy office workers in bustling mega cities in Japan, as its format offers a quick comfort meal in a convenient manner. People often get a smaller, individual pot of broth, which differs from the Chinese style, in which a group of people typically gathers around a communal pot. However, shareable shabu-shabu is also an option.

Want to give shabu-shabu a try? Here are nine of the best options around Greater Boston.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Sura BBQ

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For many years, this Medford Korean spot has been known as a great bargain for Korean barbecue, featuring an all-you-can-eat, buffet-style feast, but the shabu-shabu is a must-try as well. The shabu-shabu menu adopts a similar format to the barbecue menu: Pick your broth, protein, and vegetables — and you have a 90-minute window to order. For those who live south of Boston, Sura has a second location in Johnston, Rhode Island, right outside Providence.

Shabu & Mein

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To get the best value at Shabu & Mein, don’t miss out on the all-you-can-eat hot pot buffet (lunch hours daily and all day Tuesday and Wednesday), where you can pick from its massive offerings of protein, vegetables, tofu, and seafood. There are also local craft beers on tap and a selection of popular Asian snacks on the menu, from scallion pancakes to char shu bao. This Cambridge restaurant is owned by JP Fuji Group, a local restaurant group that runs multiple venues in Greater Boston, including several sushi-focused spots under the name Fuji.

Spring Shabu-Shabu

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With its original location in Flushing, Queens, Spring Shabu-Shabu’s Allston offshoot is a popular spot for students and residents. Its menu is partially buffet-style, meaning the diners get to pick their “entree,” which is a protein prepared to order. The sides, mainly vegetables and tofu, are laid out on the buffet counter alongside the sauces. Each diner gets their own individual broth, with vegetarian options featured on the menu. This makes it an ideal place for large groups with different dietary preferences.

Kaze Shabu Shabu

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It’s almost impossible to miss Kaze Shabu Shabu on Harrison Avenue because of the giant mural on the side of its building, in which Totoro, a famed cartoon character from Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, is seen enjoying hot pot with friends. The two-floor restaurant is spacious, making it an ideal spot for large parties. Don’t miss out on its house-made meatballs, which are extremely juicy, flavorful, and a little bouncy in texture. The menu also features multiple types of Korean bibimbap and Japanese ramen.     

Shabu-Zen

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Located just a short walk from Boston’s Chinatown Gate, Shabu-Zen has been one of the late-night mainstays in the Boston food scene since 2002. Its offerings cover a wide variety of Japanese hot pot classics, including tontoro pork cheek and Miyazaki A5 grade wagyu beef, as well as a good selection of seafood and vegetables. In addition to Japanese miso and tonkotsu (pork bone) broths, diners can select Korean kimchi, Thai tom yum, Chinese Sichuan spicy, and more from the menu. Lunch specials are available on weekdays before 3 p.m., including a protein, an assortment of vegetables, and a choice of udon, vermicelli, or rice. There’s a location in Allston, too. 

Shabumaru

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Tucked inside the Westin Hotel, Shabumaru boasts a decent selection of Japanese sake and “saketinis,” a riff on the classic martini. Diners can pick from a variety of sushi, sashimi, and appetizers in addition to Japanese hot pot mainstays such as Miyazaki wagyu, Berkshire pork, and fish cakes, served in individual small pots. The lunch selection, which comes with broth, protein, vegetables, and noodles, offers a great value.

Tokyo Japanese Steak House

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For those who live west of Boston, Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse may be the most accessible option for a quick shabu-shabu fix. Located in the Chestnut Hill area, this restaurant is mostly known for its spectacularly crowd-pleasing teppanyaki — but its shabu-shabu menu is also worthwhile, as it encompasses a wide range of sliced meat, seafood, vegetables, and broths.

Another from JP Fuji Group (see Shabu & Mein above), this Quincy restaurant is a local favorite for an affordable and delectable hot pot meal. It’s one of the few places with an outdoor dining option, so you can enjoy your simmering hot pot with a bit of natural breeze. In addition to its shabu-shabu offerings, it features an expansive wine and sake list.

Taiyou Shabu & Sushi

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This Japanese restaurant is inside the President Plaza in Quincy, just steps away from one of the region’s largest Asian grocery stores, Kam Man. It serves up a classic mix of Japanese fare, including sushi and bento box lunches, alongside buffet-style shabu-shabu during lunch hours that offers great value and is much loved by locals.

Sura BBQ

For many years, this Medford Korean spot has been known as a great bargain for Korean barbecue, featuring an all-you-can-eat, buffet-style feast, but the shabu-shabu is a must-try as well. The shabu-shabu menu adopts a similar format to the barbecue menu: Pick your broth, protein, and vegetables — and you have a 90-minute window to order. For those who live south of Boston, Sura has a second location in Johnston, Rhode Island, right outside Providence.

Shabu & Mein

To get the best value at Shabu & Mein, don’t miss out on the all-you-can-eat hot pot buffet (lunch hours daily and all day Tuesday and Wednesday), where you can pick from its massive offerings of protein, vegetables, tofu, and seafood. There are also local craft beers on tap and a selection of popular Asian snacks on the menu, from scallion pancakes to char shu bao. This Cambridge restaurant is owned by JP Fuji Group, a local restaurant group that runs multiple venues in Greater Boston, including several sushi-focused spots under the name Fuji.

Spring Shabu-Shabu

With its original location in Flushing, Queens, Spring Shabu-Shabu’s Allston offshoot is a popular spot for students and residents. Its menu is partially buffet-style, meaning the diners get to pick their “entree,” which is a protein prepared to order. The sides, mainly vegetables and tofu, are laid out on the buffet counter alongside the sauces. Each diner gets their own individual broth, with vegetarian options featured on the menu. This makes it an ideal place for large groups with different dietary preferences.

Kaze Shabu Shabu

It’s almost impossible to miss Kaze Shabu Shabu on Harrison Avenue because of the giant mural on the side of its building, in which Totoro, a famed cartoon character from Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, is seen enjoying hot pot with friends. The two-floor restaurant is spacious, making it an ideal spot for large parties. Don’t miss out on its house-made meatballs, which are extremely juicy, flavorful, and a little bouncy in texture. The menu also features multiple types of Korean bibimbap and Japanese ramen.     

Shabu-Zen

Located just a short walk from Boston’s Chinatown Gate, Shabu-Zen has been one of the late-night mainstays in the Boston food scene since 2002. Its offerings cover a wide variety of Japanese hot pot classics, including tontoro pork cheek and Miyazaki A5 grade wagyu beef, as well as a good selection of seafood and vegetables. In addition to Japanese miso and tonkotsu (pork bone) broths, diners can select Korean kimchi, Thai tom yum, Chinese Sichuan spicy, and more from the menu. Lunch specials are available on weekdays before 3 p.m., including a protein, an assortment of vegetables, and a choice of udon, vermicelli, or rice. There’s a location in Allston, too. 

Shabumaru

Tucked inside the Westin Hotel, Shabumaru boasts a decent selection of Japanese sake and “saketinis,” a riff on the classic martini. Diners can pick from a variety of sushi, sashimi, and appetizers in addition to Japanese hot pot mainstays such as Miyazaki wagyu, Berkshire pork, and fish cakes, served in individual small pots. The lunch selection, which comes with broth, protein, vegetables, and noodles, offers a great value.

Tokyo Japanese Steak House

For those who live west of Boston, Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse may be the most accessible option for a quick shabu-shabu fix. Located in the Chestnut Hill area, this restaurant is mostly known for its spectacularly crowd-pleasing teppanyaki — but its shabu-shabu menu is also worthwhile, as it encompasses a wide range of sliced meat, seafood, vegetables, and broths.

Shabu

Another from JP Fuji Group (see Shabu & Mein above), this Quincy restaurant is a local favorite for an affordable and delectable hot pot meal. It’s one of the few places with an outdoor dining option, so you can enjoy your simmering hot pot with a bit of natural breeze. In addition to its shabu-shabu offerings, it features an expansive wine and sake list.

Taiyou Shabu & Sushi

This Japanese restaurant is inside the President Plaza in Quincy, just steps away from one of the region’s largest Asian grocery stores, Kam Man. It serves up a classic mix of Japanese fare, including sushi and bento box lunches, alongside buffet-style shabu-shabu during lunch hours that offers great value and is much loved by locals.

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