This Is DJ Steve Aoki's Favorite Destination in the World — and the Story Behind Those Famous Sheet Cakes

The jet-setting DJ also shares his top travel snack for the road.

Steve Aoki walking off his private plane

When it comes to globetrotting, Steve Aoki is having his cake and throwing it, too.

The DJ — an electronic music mainstay who has collaborated with everyone from Iggy Azalea to Blink-182 to BTS — has 200-plus shows in store for 2023, with tours in Japan, the U.S., Europe, and more.

With countless treks across the Pacific in recent years and being a first-generation Japanese American, Aoki’s favorite destination should come as no surprise.

“It’s my absolute favorite place on the planet — Japan,” he says. “The food is probably number one. I was trying to go down the list of why Japan is the best place in the world, and I realized how much I go out to eat and think about the food there. It just takes over my brain cycle.”

Steve Aoki sitting on his private plane in Vegas

But for Aoki, there’s more to Japan’s charms than its grub. From his beloved Japanese fan base to the country's clean, litter-free streets to its burgeoning fashion landscape, "Japan has it," he says. “Because I’m a creator in music, I have become a creator in fashion as well.” 

Among those creations, he notes a collection with A Bathing Ape, which is headquartered in Tokyo, as well as collaborations with manufacturers from Yohji Yamamoto, a high-end Japanese fashion house. As for his favorite spot for funky, upcycled finds, it’s Dog, tucked down a sticker-draped staircase in the basement of an unassuming Shibuya City building.

Not far behind Japan, Aoki calls Ibiza his “second home,” noting a residency on the island since 2007. When he’s not spinning into the early mornings at Amnesia, he’s drawn to Es Vedrà, an uninhabited, mystical island looming off Ibiza’s southwestern shore. The island is the third most magnetic point in the world.

“There's a lot of spirituality around this rock, with gatherings and drum circles and more,” he says. “People look at the rock as the sun is setting and it’s just a full-on parade. When you see the sunset in Ibiza, it’s the most beautiful thing.” He mentions Café Mambo — on the island’s northwestern shore and a place he’s DJ'ed — as a favorite sunset spot, too.

Steve Aoki holding a box of Quest Cheese Crackers

Courtesy of Steve Aoki

While certainly the life of any club party, Aoki himself has quite the strict health regimen on the road. 

“I keep up my macros, making sure my protein is at the top of the pyramid,” he says. “It’s important to have fun and eat what you want, but I try to eat later. I’ll usually start eating at 2 p.m. and sometimes hold out until 4 p.m. I’ll do a six- to eight-hour intermittent fasting window, and in that window, I try to do my best to stay disciplined. But I snack a lot, too.”

His favorite snack, which has been a part of his touring rider for the last five years, is Quest Nutrition's bars. He loves them so much that he recently joined forces with the brand to launch its new, ultra-cheesy protein-loaded cheese crackers — also a favorite.

And then there are the cakes. As renowned as Aoki is for his jams, he has become known for hurling massive sheet cakes at fans during every show (and, yes, they take the caking as a badge of honor).

Steve Aoki caking his fans at a concert of his


As for where he gets the cakes and if he travels with them? He says, with a laugh, “People think I travel with a bakery, but, no, the promoters are responsible for the cakes. I give them a six-page cake rider they have to adhere to, and they have to sign off before saying yes to a Steve Aoki show.”

With that and his global cake purchases, he enjoys being able to support local economies and bakeries. He adds that sometimes the bakers join him at shows. He takes pictures with them and hears firsthand the sometimes weeks-long process it takes to make the desserts. 

And as for the cake that, well, takes the cake in his mind? He’s diplomatic.

“There are a lot of places, but Japan makes my favorite cakes to eat,” he says. “Actually, [they] can double as both a really good cake and one that you want thrown at your face. They’re light and fluffy and kind of what you want on your face.”

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