Family restaurants (ファミレス, famiresu) are casual restaurants that cater to people of all ages, but especially to families with children. Most belong to nationwide chains, such as Gusto, Royal Host, Denny's, Joyful and others. They typically serve a combination of Japanese and Western dishes, although some also specialize in a particular dish or cuisine such as hamburger steak, Chinese or Italian. They can be found in the urban centers around train stations and shopping arcades, but are more commonly encountered outside of the city centers and along major roads.

Family restaurants are inexpensive, with a meal usually costing between 1000 and 2000 yen. Except for those that specialize in a particular cuisine, the menu at a typical family restaurant includes a variety of Western dishes such as hamburger steak, salad, grilled meat, pasta and pizza together with Japanese dishes such as udon, ramen, donburi and curry rice. Many family restaurants offer self-serve, all-you-can-drink drink bars with various non-alcoholic beverages. A small selection of alcoholic drinks is also often available for purchase by the glass.

Family restaurants are easy to use for foreigners as they typically offer illustrated, sometimes bilingual menus and Western-style seating. Waiters and waitresses can be called over by using a call button at the table. Some locations are open 24 hours.