Tokyo Food Guide: Japanese Cuisine| 45 must-try restaurants
Tokyo food comes in all kinds of varieties. But where to go for the best Tokyo food? With our Tokyo food guide we'll point you towards the 40 best restaurants in the capital.
Falling into Top 10 Best Food Cities in the world, Japan’s capital city attracts many gourmands all over the world with an extraordinary variety in food. From a high-end French Dining Restaurant to a Korean Street food stand, from a great cup of espresso to a fancy afternoon tea, we can easily find them all in Tokyo. And of course, Tokyo is a hub of Japanese Cuisine where you satisfy your sushi craving with freshest fish or try some Osaka’s taste of Okonomiyaki. To calculate exactly the number of restaurants in Tokyo is not a doddle but what we can do is making a checklist of the best restaurants in town and start our Tokyo Food Adventure!
Mentioning Japanese Food, Sushi is definitely the best thing that comes up on our mind. We can easy define the most popular Japanese food as vinegar-tossed rice base dish with a piece of seafood as topping. In tokyo there are 4 types of sushi restaurants: Conveyor Belt Sushi (Kaitenzushi) is the most common type; Chain Shops is a step of conveyor belt but they also have, Family-run shops are famous among locals; and High-end Restaurant is where you enjoy sushi with wines while watching Itamae (Sushi chef) demonstrating their skill. Here are the best 10 Sushi Restaurants in Tokyo.
1. Genki Sushi （元気寿司）
Only 1-minute walk from Shibuya Crossing, Genki Sushi is very popular among foreigners. Here you can have your own screen to order, the chef will prepare your sushi and put it on a board to deliver it to you. Beside sushi and other Japanese side dishes like Udon or Chawanmushi, you can also have some french fries or fried chicken.
Hours: 11 am ~ midnight
Nearest Station: Shibuya
2. Ganso Zushi （元祖寿司）
Ganso Sushi has shops everywhere in Tokyo, go on google map and search their name, the nearest shop might be just 1 or 2 minutes walk from your current location.
Hours: 11 am ~ 11 pm
Nearest Station: Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa,…
3. Heiroku Sushi
Heiroku is famous for their mixed plates and impressive combinations. They have English-speaking staffs so don’t hesitate if you have questions about their menus.
Hours: 11 am ~ 9 pm
Location: Omotesando, Meijijingu Mae
4. Kappazushi （かっぱ寿司）
There’s only one Kappazushi in the central Tokyo which is located in Shinjuku. But if you plan to visit Yokokohama, you can also find it there or many suburb areas of Tokyo. They have creative menu and also the design of the rotary such as the bullet train above.
Hours: 10 am ~ 11 pm
Location: Shinjuku Station, Itabashi Station
5. Sushi Zanmai （すしざんまい）
The main branch of Sushizanmai is in Tsukịi market but if you can not manage time to go there, you can try their branch at Shibuya East Exit.
Hours: 24 hours daily
Location: Shibuya station
6. Kura Sushi （くら寿司）
The most interesting about Kura Sushi is their take-away sets with good deals for 1-6 people (500 yen/ person) and they also offer many other Japanese dishes such as curry, tempura, udon and ramen.
Hours: 11 am ~ 10:45 pm
Location: Shinagawa station, Ikebukuro station
7. Sushi Katsura （寿司桂）
Sushi Katsura is a hidden gem in Tsukiji area. We cannot expect to walk by the shop all of the sudden because it’s located in the backstreet but not so far from Tsukiji subway station. This shop give you different dining experiences. You can choose to sit at the counter and watch Itamae making your sushi and serve right away or occupy a table and wait for your beautiful sushi box to come.
Hours: 11:30am ~ 2pm, 5pm ~ 11pm.
Location: Tsukiji Station
8. Sukiyabashi Jiro （すきやばし次郎）
If you search for the most expensive sushi restaurant in the world on Google, Sukiyabashi Jiro would appear right away. And to make a reservation here you’d better do it one year before your trip to Japan. Here with master Jiro, Sushi is not only a Japanese food, but also culinary art, real art.
Hours: 11:30am – 2pm, 5:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Ginza Station
9. Sushi Yoshitake （寿司よしたけ）
As other premium sushi restaurants, Yoshitake offers only one course picked by chef and cost 25000yen. The restaurant is located in 3rd floor of Suzuryu Building, Ginza – an ordinary office building. It would be easier to find the building if you can read some Hiragana, but if you can’t, just memorize how it looks.
Hours: 6 – 9 pm
Location: Ginza Station
10. Kyubei （久兵衛 寿司）
The main restaurant of Kyubei is located in Ginza and they have 6 other restaurants in Tokyo and 1 in Osaka. Being one of high-end sushi restaurants in Japan, Kyubei ‘s chef is great at English and chatting with him about Sushi will help you to find out so many facts that you never think of when eating sushi.
Hours: 11:30 am – 2 pm, 5 pm -10 pm / Closing day: Sundays and holidays.
Location: Ginza Station, Tokyo Hotel Okura, KEIO Plaza Hotel Tokyo, Hotel New Otani Tokyo, Hotel New Otani Garden Tower.
Tempura is lightly battered, deep-fried seafood and vegetable (not only just shrimp as we always think). Apparently you can find Tempura everywhere in Japan, even in convenient stores or supermarkets. Most of Restaurants serve Tempura as side dish. It’s very simple to define the dish and make it yourself at home. But there are always restaurants which stand out for a special food. Here is a list of 5 restaurants you should visit if you are eager to see how their Tempura and yours are different or just to have a good meal when your hunger revolts.
11. Aoi Marushin (葵丸進)
Locating in Asakusa, this 70 year-old restaurant has been serving perfect bowls of tendon to customers which made it very popular not only with Tokyo’s local but also foreigner.
Hours: 11am – 9pm
Location: Asakusa Station
12. Tempura Tendon Tenya (天丼てんや)
There’s nothing difficult to understand when the name of restaurant just explains the restaurant itself. Besides Tendon (Tempura rice bowls), they also offer soba, many kinds of Japanese side dishes. They also have English Menu so you will not get lost when ordering.
Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Location: Shinjuku Station, Meijijingumae Station, Shibuya Station, Tokyo Station, Okachimachi Station.
13. Tenfusa Tempura （天房）
Tenfusa Tempura is a small restaurant in Tsukiji Market. People always come to Tsukiji for breakfast with the freshest sushi in town and at Tenfusa you can both a good bowl of tendon and fresh sashimi. As so many other restaurant here, long queue is unavoidable but the food is worth queueing for.
Hours: 7:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Tsukijishijo Station
14. Kaneko Hannosuke （金子半之助）
Kaneko Hannosuke is opened the most recently. It’s very famous among Japanese, especially youngster because of their modern design and of course delicious menu. Their bowl looks very attractive and they have their own recipe and preparing method for the dishes. But will you wait for in line for 30 mintues or 1 hour? There’s long line everyday at Kaneko Hannosuke. Come and experience yourself the specialty of Tendon.
Hours: 11am-10pm (Mon-Fri) | 10am-9pm (Weekends)
Location: Mitsukoshi-mae Station (Exit 1)
15. Tempura Kondo （天ぷら近藤）
Japan has fancy restaurant for every food, and Kondo is dedicated to Tempura. Here you can watch the chef preparing ingredients, frying every single pieces and serving you right away. You will see how Japanese chefs make Tempura – a very ordinary Japanese food – become luxurious.
Hours: 12-3pm, 5-10pm
Location: Ginza Station
Let’s define Tonkatsu first before some of you guys think that it’s just fried pork. It’s true to say that way but it’s exactly deep-fried pork cutlet with crispy crust. Like Tempura, Tonkatsu is very popular and sold everywhere. The list below is about 5 must-try restaurant for Tonkatsu.
16. Butagumi (豚組)
This is an answer for your question of where to get premium Tonkatsu. At Butagami they will recommend you to try cutlets of five different pork varieties and the dish would taste better with a pinch of salt instead of sauce. The restaurant occupied a coner of Nishi-Azabu backstreet which was original an old Japanese house.
Hours: 11:30am – 2pm, 6-10pm, Close on Monday
Location: Roppongi Station
17. Katsukura （かつくら）
Katsukura is a franchised restaurant from Kyoto. Located in the hub of Tokyo – right next to Shinjuku Station, Katsukura is an ideal spot to stop by and have a very good Tonkatsu meal. Besides the main dish, they also have many more deep-fried offers in their menu.
Hours: 11am -10pm
Location: Shinjuku Station
18. Kimukatsu （キムカツ）
Recently, Kimukatsu has become one of hottest restaurants to dine at. Their Tonkatsu is very special with 25 layers of pork cutlet coating by a very crispy batter. There are also special dishes with fillings such as cheese garlic, long green onion and apricot. Differing from traditional Tonatsu, Kimukura Tonkatsu is creative and more flavorful.
Hours: 11am-3:30pm, 5:30-11pm (Mon-Fri) | 11am-11pm (Sat,Sun)
Location: Ebisu Station
19. Maisen Tonkatsu （まい泉とんかつ）
Maisen Tonkatsu is called the best Tonkatsu house in town by many food bloggers. Since 1965, their business started serving mainly Tonkatsu and quickly became famous. The restaurant is located in a World War II public bathhouse so when dining in you still can contemplating some small detail of the original building even they already redesign and fix the building.Their most famous dish is Kurokatsu (Black Pork).
Hours: 11am – 10:30pm
Location: Omote-Sando Station
20. Tonki （とんき）
Tonki provide you a kind of luxurious restaurant when dining and watching the making process at the same time. They have English menus if you request. But it’s very simple here when they don’t offer many choices which make you confused but only 2 main dishes, one with fattier meat and the other is lean meat. Both of them are delicious and surely will not only give you satisfaction but also the pleasant.
Hours: 4-11pm | Closed on Tuesday
Location: Meguro Station (1 minute walk)
Udon is simply understandable as its look – thick wheat flour noodle. Thanks to skillful chefs, we have variety of udon bowl to try. The very traditional udon is Kakeudon which is just udon and kake soup (dashi, soy sauce, mirin) and normally eaten with some side dishes like tempuras. But nowsaday, there are many Udon restaurants offer special Udon with different soups and toppings. Let’s check them out!
Shin-Udon is a small restaurant located very close to Shinjuku Station. They have Japanese, English and Korean menus with mouthwatering photos. You will feel more than happy after finishing a Udon bowl here and may want to come back and try everything on that menu. Recommendation at Shin-Udon is Yuzu Pepper Jelly Udon.
Hours: 11am-11pm (Sun-Thur) | 11am – midnight (Fri,Sat)
Location: Shinjuku Station
22. Taniya （谷や）
The restaurant is run by Tani-san, a guy of Udon who has spent his whole career into making Udon. So the noodles they serve at Taniya are freshly made, very chewy with a firm bite. Here we can order a Tempura Udon as at many other Udon restaurants but we will focus more on their noodles which made their Udon unique.
Hours: 11am – 3pm, 6 – 10:30pm
Location: Ningyocho Station
23. Maruka （丸香）
This is one of the most popular Udon shop in Tokyo where you sit down at a long table sharing by all generations – or so-called social dining. There are always people queueing and the shop offer certain amount of noodles so no matter what it is, once they run out of noodles, they will close.
Hours: 11am – 7:30pm (Mon-Fri) | 11am -2:30pm (Sat) | Closed on Sunday and Holidays.
Location: Jimbocho Station
24. Kuranosuke （蔵之介）
Kuranosuke Udon looks like a Japanese local bar from outside but it welcomes all ages, all nationalities with an aim of bringing a leisure atmosphere to everyone to enjoy Udon. Their noodles are also home-made. Kuranosuke’s recommendation is Niku Udon (Udon with meat)
Hours: 11am -2pm | Closed on Monday and Holidays.
Location: Takadanobaba Station
25. Kokuwagata （こくわがた）
Having a meal at Kokuwagata is ver cheap and you can experience a stand-up-eating shop which is very common in Japane. But it does not mean that your Udon will be tasteless and not special at all. Choosing from their menu is quite fun because there many strange name and combination that you cannot get from anywhere. Also the taste of lime that they try to recommend you to add in your Udon will bring you a very different taste from traditional Udon bowl.
Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon-Fri) | 11am – 3 pm (Sat) | Closed on Sunday and Holidays
Location: Hongosanchome Station (Bunkyo Area)
In contrast with Udon, Soba refers to thin noodles. We always think that Soba is just buckwheat noodle but in Japan, all kind of thin noodles are soba. We may find Soba as a fast food in front of a train station, a small family-run restaurant serving home-made Soba or even a Michelin Soba restaurant. The most popular type of Soba shop is standing type.
26. Sobadokoro (そば処港屋)
At their Minatoya, you will find impressive design hiding in a mysterious building at the corner. Now it’s not only about Soba but also the atmosphere, the people you enjoy your Soba with. Sobadokoro is most famous for their dipping sauce and strong flavors of Sesame and Seaweed.
Hours: 11:30am – 5pm, 5:30-8pm (Mon-Fri) | Closed: Weekends, Holidays
Location: Toranomon Station, Onarimon Station, Kamiyacho Station
27. Tamawarai Soba (玉笑)
Located in Harajuku area, Tamawarai Soba has attracted many Japanese youngsters and foreigners. The first impression of their building maybe a bit strange but it makes people curious to know what is inside. Their dishes always come with neat and nice looking. And the taste? You should come and try their creative menus.
Hours: 11:30am-3:30pm, 6:30-9:30pm (Tues-Fri) | 11:30am-8pm (Sat) | 11:30am-5:30pm | Closed: Monday and Holidays
Location: Shibuya Station, Meijijingu Mae Station.
28. Yoshi Soba (そばよし｜吉そば)
We can say that Yoshisoba is fast food chain restaurants. This is exactly slurp-and-go kind of Soba shop. Yoshisoba is everywhere in Tokyo. To treat your hunger and soba craving quickly, Yoshisoba will be the best choice.
Hours: 24 hours
Location: At all big stations like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Kanda, Ginza, Tokyo,…
29. Honmura An
The owner of Restaurant brought a New York style restaurant to Tokyo. It does not mean that we eat Soba in an American way. The shop is more westerner-friendly and a new experiences for Japanese people. English menu at a Soba shop is not common in Japan but we can find it here.
Hours: 12-2:30pm, 5:30-10pm | Closed: Monday, 1st & 3rd Tuesday every month
Location: Roppongi Station
30. Itasoba Kaoriya (板蕎麦 香り家)
Kaoriya is a tiny and cozy Soba shop in Ebisu. The restaurant has a long table where everybody can sit down together and enjoy Soba when socialize with others. It look more like a living room with simple but not really design. They are very careful when choosing tableware, light snacks and of course, what should be in the menu.
Hours: 11am-4pm, 5pm-midnight
Location: Ebisu Station
So many people are confused between Okonomiyaki which originally comes from Osaka and Hiroshima and Monjayaki which is a real Tokyo’s food. Obviously, to get the best okonomiyaki, Tokyo is not in the top spot. But in Japan’s capital, it’s not impossible to find a good restaurant for this tasty dish. When your Japan trip is time limited and you cannot visit Hiroshima or Osaka to try the original Okonomiyaki, here are some recommendation in Tokyo.
Sakuratei is very popular among both Japanese and Foreigner in Japan. Their menu has mmany choices of okonomiyaki and monjayaki. Here you can mix and make your own okonomiyaki. They also offer all-you-can-eat courses with the price arrange from 1000yen to 1200yen. Lunch course(11am-3pm) is 90 minutes and there’s also 2-hour course which includes okonomiyaki, 22 toppings, monjayaki, yakisoba and yakiudon.
Access: Harajuku Station, Meijijingumae or Omotesando Station.
Kiji is original from Osaka. They have two restaurants in Tokyo which is Marunouchi and Shinagawa. It’s not expensive eating a good okonomiyaki here with the price start from 830 yen. But again, you may have to wait in a long line for an hour because of the restaurant’s popularity.
Hours: 11am-3pm, 5-11pm
Access: Shinagawa Station, Marunouchi Station
Sometaro is one of the oldest Okonomiya Restaurant in Tokyo with grill-it-yourself style. Besides normal okonomiyaki, they have some extraordinary choices: pork with kimchi, curry, pizza (with peppers, bacon, cheese) and mochi (cheese, bacon, mochi).
Access: Asakusa Station
34. Okonomiyaki Honjin
If you like all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drinl couses and Okonomiyaki, here’s the best choice in town. There are many kinds of okonomiyaki and monjayaki to choose. In addition, you can also try to grill takoyaki here.
Access: Shinjuku Station
35. Suzume no Oyado
Suzume no Oyado maybe a bit pricier than other Okonomiyaki Restaurant. But you can experience old-school style here by sitting flat on the tatami ground.
Access: Shinsen Station, Shibuya Station
Mentioning Japanese Food, the second thing coming up after Sushi is Ramen. For so many people, Ramen may just refers to instant noodles which is cheap and quick. But in Japan, Ramen is totally different. For Japanese people back to the old days, to understand and enjoy Ramen, it’s an art. Here’s the list of 10 best Ramen in Tokyo, which may help you to choose your most favorite Ramen among the variety.
Tsukemen lovers will say that this is best tsukemen in town. Let’s understand Tsukemen in the easiest way as Dipping Ramen where you put noodle and the soup separately.Creamy chicken broth? Is it enough for your mouth to water? And that’s their key of the business. Come try and tell us if you’re a Tsukemen fan.
Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5-9pm (Mon-Sat) | Closed on Sunday
Access: Shinjuku Station
Afuri’s first shop was opened in Ebisu 10 year ago where the Yuzu Ramen marked its name in Ramen patrons’ heart. Nowadays, there are 7 Afujis in Tokyo, 1 in Yokohama and they are all located in central stations. Thanks for this convenience, we have the chance to try this amazing ramen no matter where we stay in the capital of Japan.
Hours: All the shops opens at 11am.
Access: Ebisu Station, Harajuku Station, Nakameguro Station, Azabujuban Station, Roppongi Station, Sangenjaya Station and Yokohama Station.
Isnt it a good idea to customize you ramen by yourself? At Ichiran Ramen, it’s a thing. You will receive a request paper to select your own choices of your bowl. And don’t worry because they have English version. But don’t be surprised when you sit down and the staff coming but you can’t see their faces. It’s like just you and a Ramen bowl in this world. They also have 8 shops in Tokyo which always welcome you.
Hours: Open 24 hours (Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ueno, Ikebukuro)
10am – 1o:45pm (Harajuku)
11am – 6am (Roppongi, Shinbashi)
Access: Shibuya Station, Shinjuku Station, Ueno Station, Ikebukuro Station, Harajuku Station, Roppongi Station, Shinbashi Station
39. Ramen Nagi
If you’re not a fan of dried fish, keep scrolling. We had chicken broth above, and now we dried fish broth he in Ramen Nagi. Their noodles are also different and you will definitely love it if you love chewing thick but smooth noodles. Their 8 shops are located near several central stations.
Hours: 24 hours open (Shinjuku, Gotanda, Saitama) and other shops open at 11am.
Access: Shinjuku Station, Shibuya Station, Okubo Station, Gotanda Station, Omiya Station)
One more Tsukemen choice for you. Even when you cannot come to Shinjuku and try Fuunji, but can pass by Tokyo station, let’s go to Rokurinsha. Located right at Tokyo station, it’s convenient to stop by and have a good time slurping some Ramen here.
Hours: 7:30-10am, 11am-11:30pm
Access: Tokyo Station
The secret in their stock is Japanese clams – a perfect combination of meaty soup and clam soup, double the tastiness. The shop itself is modestly located in the suburb area near Shinjuku. But once you tried their ramen, you will totally understand why people have no hesitant to travel a long way here and slurp the last drop of the bowl.
Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 6:30-10pm
Access: Hatagaya Station (Keio-Shin Line)
This is one of the best Ramen in Ramen Street at Tokyo Station. Their original shop is in Setagaya. If you walk into Ramen Street but has no idea which shop you should choose, here’s the one. Maybe for Ramen Experts, Hirugao is just a normal delicous bowl of Ramen, but it doesn’t mean that you should not give their Shio (Salt) Ramen a try.
Hours: 11am – 3pm
Access: Tokyo Station
There’s no doubt that you will receive more like a Meat Bowl at Saikoro. But at first, their chicken oil may be strange to you. Their most famous Ramen is Niku Noboshi Ramen which simply is meat and dried sardines soup. It’s very easy to find Saikoro when you come to Nakano, one of the most anime, manga center in Tokyo.
Hours: 11 – 2am (Mon-Sat) | 11am – 11pm (Sun)
Access: Nakano Station
Spicy Ramen, here we go! The shop is very impressive with the Oni (Japanese demon) decorations. Normally Spicy food in Japan is not really spicy for foreigners. But here in Kikanbo, they offer you different levels of the spiciness so maybe it would be a great spicy challenge for you.
Hours: 11am – 9m (Mon-Sat) | 11am – 4pm (Sun)
Access: Kanda Station
It sounds pretty strange if you go Ginza and search for a Ramen Shop. But coming to Kagari, their creamy soup and noodles will prove that there’s nothing to be ashamed about that. It will open a new door into ramen world.
Hours: 11am – 3:30pm, 5:30-10:30pm(9pm on Sat) (Mon-Fri) | Closed on Sun
Access: Ginza Station