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In this Tokyo food guide, you’ll find our recommendations for 20 of the best eateries in the city! From the best sushi to the latest food craze to iconic street food, here are the dishes you must try when visiting Tokyo.
Places To Eat In Tokyo
It’s no exaggeration when we say that food alone is a strong reason to visit Tokyo. Decades of artistry and dedication to perfection have earned this culinary paradise in Japan more Michelin awards than anywhere else in the world except France. Are you ready to experience an epic gastronomic adventure?
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First, what should you eat? With so many incredible food choices and so little time, how do you make the most of your trip? Fortunately, there is no such thing as bad food in Tokyo. Be it cheap eats or fancy cuisine, there is an option to suit every traveler’s budget.
Here, we’ve put together a list of the best places to eat in Tokyo. There are 20 of them, which we believe are really special and iconic for Tokyo You’ll also find our recommended restaurants and locations for each meal, so you know where to find them This is by no means an exhaustive list – but enough to get you started. Yes, you want to be hungry!
Tokyo, the sushi capital of the world, offers you next-level sushi that sets it apart from the rest of the world. Two key winning factors: plenty of fresh seafood and the time-honored skills required to make vinegared rice or sushi rice. After all, sushi is best synonymous with Japanese cuisine.
The best news is that good sushi can be found everywhere in Tokyo and for every budget. Want to enjoy sushi on a tight budget? Head to the cheap and casual kaiten sushi (conveyor belt sushi) restaurant, where you can get great seafood without breaking the bank. This is our favorite place to enjoy as much sushi as possible! For a one-of-a-kind sushi experience, there are acclaimed Michelin-starred establishments you can admire (if your budget allows).
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Also, you can’t go wrong with any of the sushi joints inside the famous Toyosu Fish Market. Go early and treat yourself to some sushi breakfast. Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi are the best, but any shop lined with locals won’t disappoint.
Chewy noodles, jammy ramen egg, juicy char siu pork, bamboo shoots and nori sheet broth in a piping hot bowl. Raman needs no introduction. Taking the world by storm in recent years, this soul food from Japan has dominated Tokyo’s food scene, and it just keeps getting better.
You can find ramen shops that serve a variety of ramen bowls, behind train stations and department buildings, in hidden streets or sandwiched between rows of food stalls. There are tonkatsu ramen, shio ramen, miso ramen, spicy shoyu ramen, tsukemen, and cold ramen. By all means, explore all the options you want, because this is the place to get your ramen fix. Escape!
We may be biased, but we dare say that no other world cuisine does deep-fried food quite like the Japanese! Clear proof of the tempura claim. What’s not to love about shrimp or sweet potatoes fried in the lightest, crunchyest butter? Only in Japan, you can find specialty restaurants that serve the best tempura.
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Yakitori is delicious skewered chicken brushed with a sweet soy glaze and grilled over charcoal. Although chicken is the most common, you can also find other meats and vegetables on the bone on the yaktori menu. Also here you can learn the high level of Japanese chicken butchery, where opals, livers, gizzards and skins make regular appearances.
The best places to enjoy yakitori in Tokyo are izakaya restaurants (Japanese gastropubs) and specialty yakitori restaurants.
Brought to Japan by the British in the late 1800s, Japanese curry is considered the country’s most popular convenience and comfort food. Unlike Thai or Indian-style curries, Japanese curry dishes have a more stew-like texture and are usually sweet and mild in temperature. They make a perfect introduction to people trying curry for the first time. That means they’re also kid-friendly. Some curry dishes: curry rice, curry udon and katsu-kare (curry with breaded pork cutlets).
However humble, the sweet-earthy buckwheat noodles represent the elegant simplicity of cuisine that characterizes Japan.
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The best soba is usually made by hand from scratch, served chilled with a dipping sauce or hot dashi broth as a noodle soup. When you want something light, healthy yet soul-satisfying, go for a bowl of soba.
Breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets, tonkatsu is the Japanese version of a schnitzel. It is a working class dish and has been a Japanese comfort food for centuries. Like all things Japan, tonkatsu can be casual and very upscale, but the best tonkatsu is mind-blowingly crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and nearly grease-free. It is usually served with fluffy steamed rice with a sweet-savory sauce, cold cabbage, pickles and miso soup.
Meet the new star of Japanese food culture: Gyukatsu (beef katsu). You guessed it, gyukatsu is the beef equivalent of tonkatsu. Fried, deep-fried, beef cutlets have been experiencing an explosion of popularity since 2015. With a crispy exterior and a medium-to-rare interior, gyukatsu is served just that way.
, with sauce, rice, cabbage, pickles and miso soup. You can grill your favorite meat on the small burner on your table.
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Juicy, melt-your-tender and the perfect amount of crisp, the dish is any meat lover’s dream. Does it live up to the hype? Well, all our friends who tasted Gyukatsu confirmed that it could easily be one of their most memorable meals! You should try it yourself.
Sukiyaki is one of Japan’s favorite cold-weather dishes, a combination of fresh vegetables and thinly sliced meat cooked in a hot pot in a sweet and salty soy sauce-based broth. If you’re visiting Tokyo in the fall or winter, mark this hot pot dish on your must-eat list.
Another Japanese noodle that deserves your attention is udon. Chewy, slippery, smooth and pliable, udon is the type of noodle that can wash away all your worries. You can get udon hot with flash-fried tempura, or cold in umami mantsuyu sauce, or with a creative fusion dish like udon carbonara. We also recommend the beef udon, kitsune udon, and yaki udon.
Yakiniku is basically a Japanese-style barbecue, served with delicate meats, vegetables and delicious dipping sauces. Everyone sits around the grill and cooks and eats. It is the most delicious and fun way to experience Japanese ethnic cuisine.
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As the weather cools, Tokyoites keep warm and cozy with hot bowls like shabu-shabu. The name “shabu shabu” comes from the sound you make when you stir vegetables and meat with your chopsticks and ‘swish swish’ the hot pot. Everyone sits around the hot pot at the table, cooks together, and when you eat while chatting, it’s a meal that creates delicious memories.
You may have heard of okonomiyaki, but it is most famous in the Kansai region, such as Osaka. Monzayaki (often called monza) is often the sibling of okonomiyaki and you have to try it in Tokyo. Both monjayaki and okonomiyaki are similar, in that ingredients are finely chopped and mixed into a dough before being grilled on a hot grill. The main difference is that Monza incorporates additional dashi batter, resulting in a racier texture.
There are many, but you’ll find some of the best monzayaki restaurants in Tokyo’s Tsukishima district, where the dish is said to have originated.
It’s true that you can easily find teppanyaki restaurants outside of Japan, but only in Japan can you get the best marbled wagyu beef and fresh fish from the sea. A feast for the five senses, Teppanyaki combines the concept of cooking on a teppanyaki (iron griddle) with Western influences.
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As a diner, you sit around a large, open grill and watch a skilled chef perform the same culinary techniques as diners, as they cook meats, seafood and vegetables to impress. While teppanyaki restaurants outside of Japan can be casual and affordable, teppanyaki food in the Kanto region (including Tokyo) is generally superior (the Kansai region, on the other hand, is more casual). You’ll have to save up for the unparalleled teppanyaki experience, but it’s worth it!
While rice and noodles have long been staples, Japanese sandwiches are the latest craze, making their way into the culinary world even outside of Japan. They are only a
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