Popular Yatai Foods: Yakisoba
Japanese style fried noodles
Yatai food stalls at festivals always include a yakisoba vendor. Yakisoba noodles are Japanese fried noodles, but they have nothing to do with soba. The noodles used here are more like the ones for ramen.
The noodles are quickly cooked on a hotplate with vegetables, meat, or seafood and seasoned with yakisoba sauce. Ingredients, sauce, and seasoning will differ among shops - pork, onion, carrots, and cabbage are pretty standard. Toppings are similar to what you put on takoyaki: aonori, bonito flakes (katsuobushi), mayonnaise, and red pickled ginger.
Yakisoba is so popular that it has gone beyond the yatai world. You will find it on the menu at many izakaya, okonomiyaki shops, and karaoke. At supermarkets you can buy fresh portions of yakisoba, instant yakisoba, frozen yakisoba, and yakisoba sets that include noodles and sauce. Bakeries and convenience stores also sell yakisobapan, a soft bread like a hot dog bun filled with yakisoba. Of course it also comes with all the toppings.
Yakisoba really is very popular!
The yakisoba bread is also one of the good guys on the Anpanman superhero cast. Yakisobapanman fights with his spatulas and makes the tastiest yakisoba for his friends.