Yatai, or food stalls, are a trademark of Fukuoka. Yatai serve up a range of different menu items from ramen and oden to gyoza, yakitori and tempura, and some of the stalls are so popular that visitors will wait in line to get a seat. There are about 100 stalls in the city, mostly located throughout Tenjin and Hakata. The earliest open at 18:00, and almost all stalls are open by 19:00.
Yatai started around 1945 in the wake of World War II when restaurants set up shop with simple equipment, but now there are several unique yatai like those offering French cuisine and yatai-style bars and coffee shops.
Today the stalls are popular spots with locals coming home from work, people visiting on business trips and tourists. One of the charms of yatai is chatting and getting to know the people sitting next to you shoulder-to-shoulder. To act like a local, stop by a yatai for a final bowl of ramen after you’ve hit a few different restaurants and bars.