Top 13 Cheap Restaurants in Tokyo

On a tight budget? Don't worry, we've compiled a list of the 13 best cheap restaurants in Tokyo.

Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, you don’t need money to enjoy the many quality restaurants Tokyo has to offer. These range from pubs to Michelin-starred restaurants and can be found all over the city. To help you find them, we’ve compiled a list of the top 13 cheap restaurants in Tokyo. If you are as hungry as you are thrifty, read on…

1. Shinjuku Kappo Nakajima (新宿割烹 中嶋)

Provided by Foursquare

You’d never know how many ways sardines can be prepared until you dine here. For less than 800 yen, you can enjoy a nice set lunch at this Michelin-starred restaurant. Shinjuku Kappo Nakajima’s sardines attract long lines of foodies, so be sure to arrive early. 

Budget: <800 yen

Address: Hihara Building B1F, 3 32-5 Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022

2. Matsuya

Provided by Foursquare

Incredibly popular with salarymen, this chain restaurant offers a variety of reasonably priced dishes – ranging from traditional Japanese breakfast to gyudon (beef bowl). For a better understanding of their food, here’s their menu.

Budget: 300-700 yen

Locations: various locations

3. Kura Zushi (くら寿司)

Provided by Foursquare

Kura Zushi’s philosophy is, “safe, reliable and delicious food.” At a mere 100 yen per plate, this kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi) restaurant certainly adheres to its philosophy. Don’t see anything you fancy on the conveyor belt? You can also order using a touch screen. Despite its low prices, sushi at this restaurant does its job.      

Budget: ~1,000 yen

Locations: various locations

4. Tempura Tendon Tenya (天丼てんや)

Provided by Foursquare

Contrary to popular belief, tempura doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. For less than 1,000 yen, Tempura Tendon Tenya offers an appetizing tendon (tempura bowl).

Check out the many types of tendon they offer by clicking here

Budget: >500 yen

Locations: various locations

5. Curry House CoCo ICHIBANYA

Provided by Foursquare

Had enough sushi? Mix it up with some Japanese curry at this chain restaurant. Curry House CoCo ICHIBANYA, as the name suggests, specializes in Japanese curry at affordable prices. Here’s their menu to gauge their prices.    

Budget: <1,000 yen

Locations: various locations

6. Ramen Hidakaya

Provided by Foursquare

Ramen Hidakay’s ramen is low in price and high in taste. Most of its ramen bowls are priced around 500 yen, with the lowest at 390 yen. Here’s their menu for their available dishes.

Since most of their branches open till late, experience life as a salaryman and enjoy a bowl of ramen after a night of drinking. 

Budget: ~500 yen

Locations: various locations

7. Udon: Mentsu-Dan (東京麺通団)

Provided by Foursquare

Featured in our Shinjuku restaurant guide, Mentsu-Dan’s udon is incredibly popular amongst locals and foreigners. A small plain udon is only 310 yen! In addition, their noodles are handmade by chefs hailing from udon mecca, Kagawa.    

Budget: ~500 yen

Address: Daikan Plaza Business Kiyoda Building 1F, 7-9-15 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023 

8. Harajuku Gyoza Lou

Provided by Foursquare

Located in Harajuku, this restaurant boasts a set of six gyoza (Japanese pan fried dumplings) for only 290 yen! Additionally, Harajuku Gyoza Lou’s bean sprouts with meat sauce are widely renowned.      

Budget: <700 yen

Address: 6-2-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001

9. Shakey’s

Provided by Foursquare

This American chain restaurant (featured in our “Japan All You Can Eat” guide) offers an all you can eat dinner plan for 1,580 yen which includes pizza, fried potatoes and Japanese curry. Though on the pricier side, you get two hours to eat to your heart’s content. It’s certainly worth every yen! 

Budget: 1,580 yen

Locations: various locations

10. Kichijoji Donburi (吉祥寺どんぶり)

Provided by Foursquare

This restaurant offers several types of donburi (rice bowls) – from beef to deep-fried chicken which come stacked with toppings. With its mountain-like portions, Kichijoji Donburi will definitely leave you feeling satisfied.   

Budget: <800 yen

Address: Mikawaya Building 1F, 1-1-3 Kichijoji-Minamicho, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0003

11. Minatoya (みなとや 上野2号店)

Provided by Foursquare

Located in Ameyoko, Minatoya’s affordable kaisendon (seafood bowl) attracts hundreds of customers each day. Since its ingredients come straight from Tsukiji, it’s fresh too. Each bowl is layered with raw seafood, hiding the rice completely. The combination of quality, quantity and price makes lining up for this restaurant well worth it. 

Budget: <1,000 yen

Address: 4-10-17 Ueno, Taito, Tokyo 110-0005

12. Kushikatsu Eichan (串かつ えいちゃん)

Provided by Foursquare

Less known than its yakitori cousin and popular in Osaka, kushikatsu is skewers of deep-fried vegetables or meats which cost as little as 100 yen each. Kushikatsu Eichan serves some of the best kushikatsu in town, so don’t miss out!  

Budget: <1,000 yen

Address: FI Building B1F1-26-5 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-0075

13. Sweets Paradise

Provided by Foursquare

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re in luck. Sweets Paradise offers an all you can eat dessert plan for only 1,530 yen which also includes soups, salads and pasta. The allotted time of 90 minutes is more than generous to get your fill.      

Budget: 1,530 yen

Locations: various locations

Special Mention: Yakitori

Typically served at izakayas (traditional Japanese pubs), a meal of yakitori or grilled meat skewers is generally pretty cheap since each skewer is about 100 or so yen. 

Recommendations: 

Piss Alley (also known as Omoide Yokocho or Memory Lane)

Photo Credit: inefekt69 via Flickr cc

With multiple izakayas, Piss Alley is one of the most popular alleyways (yokocho) for yakitori.

Budget: <1,000 yen (without alcohol)

Address: 1-2-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023

Torikizoku

Provided by Foursquare

Everything on Torikizoku’s menu is 280 yen. Though on the pricier side, this restaurant is incredibly foreigner-friendly with its English menus. 

Budget: <2,000 yen

Locations: various locations

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