Eating is a huge part of any trip, especially if you are a foodie travelling to Tokyo, Japan. There are infinite opportunities for finding the best Tokyo food, but the problem is, there are so many places to eat in the capital city that it might feel overwhelming.
I spent over a month in Tokyo and ate my way around the city so I can compile a list of Japanese food you must try in Tokyo. Many places are very affordable, while a few are pricey but worthwhile.
So if you are planning a trip to Japan soon, check out my 2023 Tokyo food guide and try some of the best Japanese food in Tokyo.
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Tips for eating in Tokyo Japan
Before trying some of the best Japanese food in Tokyo, check out a few of my tips when it comes to eating in Tokyo:
- Be prepared to wait in queue. It could be 10 minutes to 2 hours. The best places to eat in Tokyo ALWAYS have a queue. So prepare yourself mentally, especially if you are unfamiliar with this eating culture.
- Most restaurants accept cash only, especially all the noodle shops where you must buy a ticket before sitting down.
- Bring your credit card as some places accept credit cards.
- Check the hours of operation when you are eating in Tokyo. Some restaurants are open for lunch only. Some are open for both lunch and dinner but breaks in between.
- Tipping is not required in Japan.
Best Tokyo Food: 42 Tokyo Japanese Restaurants
I spent over a month in Tokyo and ate at many Japanese restaurants in Tokyo. In this post, I included some places I tried on my previous trips and from my 2023 Japan trip. And I categorize them into different must-eat food categories so you can easily navigate this post.
Also, I included the hours of operation and Google Maps links to each Tokyo Japanese restaurant.
So without further ado, here is my list of the 42 best places to eat in Tokyo in 2023.
Ramen: must-try food in Tokyo
What is Ramen: Japanese noodle soup with thin wheat noodles, savoury broth and various toppings. Most broths are meat or fish-based and are flavoured with soy sauce or miso. And some toppings include sliced pork, dried seaweed, and a variety of local ingredients.
Where to eat Ramen in Tokyo:
- Tsuta (11 am–3pm; closed Tuesdays) – the famous Michelin-starred shoyu ramen with black truffle oil. But be prepared to queue.
- Iruca Tokyo (11am–7:50pm; closed Mondays) – try the Michelin porcini shoyu ramen or yuzu shio ramen. Add a yuzu egg over rice as a side.
- Yakumo (11:30am–3:30pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays; 11:30am–3:30pm & 5-9pm Thursdays and Sundays; closed Tuesdays) – choose a white or black soy sauce Michelin ramen.
- Fūunji (11am-3pm, 5–9pm) – try the Tsukemen dipping noodles at this busy ramen shop
- Menya Hidamari (11:30am–3pm Wednesday to Friday; 11:30am–3pm, 6–8pm Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays; closed Mondays) – delicious soy sauce ramen with many slices of roast pork.
- Tatsunoya Ramen (11am-10pm) – order the Tsukemen Motsu, which is a dipping noodle. You can add rice to the dipping sauce afterwards and make a savoury porridge.
- Ginza Kagari (11am-9:30pm) – I love their special slow-cooked chicken broth ramen! The broth is rich, tasty and very chicken-y.
- Rahmen Eddie (11am-10pm) – I tried their Mazesoba, which is a soupless ramen with minced pork, cheese and egg.
- 9th Keisuke (11am-10pm) – their duck ramen with clear soup comes with lots of different toppings.
- Soushi Menya Musashi (11am-10:30pm) – I tried their Tsukemen dipping ramen noodle, which comes with pork and egg. One of the best!
Best places to eat Udon in Tokyo
What is Udon: a bowl of thick wheat flour noodles in a bowl of mildly sweet broth. Eaten hot or cold and with or without toppings. Udon is made with vegan ingredients.
Where to eat Udon in Tokyo:
- Kirimugiya Jinroku (11:30am–4pm, 5:30–11pm) – the Oyakoten Bukkake Udon (soft-boiled egg tempura and chicken tempura udon) is delicious at this Michelin-recommended restaurant.
- Udon Shin (11am-10pm) – get a number and prepare to wait. I had the hot soy sauce, butter, pepper and Tsumande Goran egg with udon with pork and cheese tempura. So good!
- Sato Yosuke Ginza Inaniwa Udon (11:30am–2:30pm, 5–9:30pm Monday to Friday; 11:30am–2:30pm, 5–8:30pm Saturdays and Sundays) – try cold udon with different dipping sauce or order a portion of udon with a side of tempura and rice.
- Menchirashi (11:30am-9:30pm; closed Tuesdays) – a popular udon noodle restaurant in Omotesando. Extensive hot and cold udon menu. I tried the Carbonara which comes with pork, egg and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
- Kaneko Hannosuke (11am-9pm) – try their Inaniwa udon (with chicken meatball) and tempura bowl.
Soba: best places in Tokyo
What is Soba: a thin buckwheat noodle served either cold with dipping sauce or in a hot bowl of soy-based dashi broth.
Where to eat Soba in Tokyo:
- Benten (11:30am-8:30pm Friday to Tuesday; closed Wednesdays and Thursdays) – try their signature clam soba noodles in this traditional Japanese restaurant in Asakusa which has been around since 1950.
- Daian (5-11pm Mondays; 11:30am-2:30pm, 5-11pm Tuesday to Friday; 12-11pm Saturdays and Sundays) – good soba restaurant in Shinjuku.
Tonkatsu: best restaurants in Tokyo
What is Tonkatsu: a Japanese pork cutlet dish where a thick cut of pork is breaded with panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried. A typical meal comes with a bowl of rice, miso soup and a raw cabbage salad. Alternatively, the pork cutlet is served over a bowl of omelette rice.
Where to eat Tonkatus in Tokyo:
- Ponchiken (11:15 am–2pm, 5:30–9pm; closed Sundays) – the Michelin Bib Gourmand tonkatsu in the Kanda neighbourhood is very tasty!
- Butagumi (11:30am-2pm, 6-9pm; closed Mondays) – make a reservation at the original tonkatsu restaurant or pop over to their other location at Roppongi Hills.
- Tonkatsu Marushichi (11:30am-5pm; closed Wednesdays) – order a small, medium or large thick-cut of pork chop over omelette and rice. Or get a tonkatsu sandwich to-go.
- Hajime (11am-9pm Tuesday to Friday; 10am-9pm Saturdays & Sundays; closed Mondays) – order a traditional tonkatsu meal or a bowl of thick-cut tonkatsu over omelette and rice. I had the small “Umaka Buta” katsudon set meal.
Best places to eat Tendon in Tokyo
What is Tendon: a tempura rice bowl with a variety of deep-fried tempura ingredients over a bowl of rice. Tendon is short for “tempura donburi” (donburi means rice-bowl dish).
Where to eat Tendon in Tokyo:
- Tempura Kakiage Yukimura (11am–1:30pm, 5–8:20pm Monday to Friday; 11am–1:30pm Saturdays; closed Sundays) – try their Michelin special Kakiage Don (special mixed tempura bowl with double portion of chopped prawn tempura).
- Ginza Hageten (11am–10:30pm) – many locations across Japan serving tendon and tempura meals.
Best places to eat Beef dishes in Tokyo
What are typical Beef dishes in Japan: Wagyu, Japanese Beef, is made from Japanese cattle breeds. The meat is tender due to all the marbling and is one of the best types of beef in the world.
And there are many ways to feature beef as the main ingredient in Japanese cuisine. You can have it in a beef bowl with rice, deep-fried as tonkatsu, in a hamburger patty, in shabu shabu (hotpot), in sukiyaki (slow-cooked beef with egg) and many more.
Where to eat different types of Beef dishes in Tokyo:
- Roast beef Ohno Harajuku (11am-10pm) – their wagyu roast beef volcano rice bowl is divine! Try one in Harajuku or Akihabara.
- Gyukatsu Motomura Shinjuku Minamiguchi (11am-11pm) – several locations serve this beef cutlet set meal. The best part is you can cook the beef on the mini skillet.
- Yoshi (11:30am-10pm) – order a combination of hamburger patties, beef tongue or skirt steak set meal. There is a free flow of rice, miso soup, pickles and eggs.
- Kanda Tamagoken (11am-3:30pm, 5:30-10pm) – their cheese hamburg steak omurice (Japanese omelette rice) is served on a sizzling skillet.
- Shima (6-9pm; closed Sundays) – make a reservation at this local high-end steak restaurant. Or get a steak sandwich to-go.
- Gyu-nabe Yonekyu (12-9pm; closed Wednesdays) – try sukiyaki at this 100 year old restaurant in Asakusa. The Gyu-Nabe Toku meal comes with beef, vegetables and raw egg.
Sushi: must-eat food in Tokyo
What is Sushi: traditional Japanese food with a slice of fresh fish or seafood on a bite-size amount of vinegared sushi rice. Some of the most common sushi ingredients include tuna, salmon, shrimp, octopus, and sea urchin.
It also comes in other forms like sashimi (only the fish), maki (rice cylinder wrapped with seaweed and stuffed with fish and other ingredients), chirashi (bowl of raw fish served on top of seasoned sushi rice) and omakase (a selection of freshest fish of the day).
Where to eat Sushi in Tokyo:
- Tsukiji Outer Market (8am-2pm) – go early and have the freshest seafood from the fish market as breakfast.
- Kura Sushi (11am-11pm Monday to Friday; 10:20am-11pm Saturdays & Sundays) – conveyor belt sushi with many locations across Tokyo and the globe.
- Edo Fuji (11:30am-2pm Monday to Friday; 12-2pm Saturdays; closed Sundays) – they only serve chirashi bowls. The smallest is ￥2,500 and the portion is quite big. Japanese menu on the wall.
- Manten Sushi (11am-2pm, 5-9:30pm Monday to Friday; 11am-1:30pm, 5-9:30pm Saturdays and Sundays) – make a reservation for their affordable omakase (lunch or dinner) at the Marunouchi or Nihonbashi location.
- Sushi Ochiai (12-2pm, 5-10pm) – a small sushi bar that has been around since 2007. Make a reservation in advanced for either lunch or dinner omakase.
- Sushi Punch (12-1:30pm, 6-10:30pm Monday to Friday; 12-1:30pm, 5:30-10:30pm Saturdays and Sundays) – omakase prepared by Chef Sasaki. Make reservation online.
- Sushi Umi (5-10:30pm Mondays and Thursdays; 12-10:30pm Tuesdays, Friday to Sunday; closed Wednesdays) – pricey but excellent omakase. Former two Michelin star restaurant.
Other Tokyo Japanese food highlights
There are so many more types of food in Japanese cuisine in Tokyo. Here are some of the other Japanese food highlights in Tokyo.
Other places to eat in Tokyo:
- Toridashioden Samon (4pm-2am) – oden (Japanese fish cake stew) is the perfect meal for cooler months. Try white radish rice cake in a pouch of fried tofu and a tube-shaped cake of flour paste. English menu available.
- Anda Gyoza Yoyogi Uehara (10am-10pm Monday to Friday; 9am-10pm Saturdays and Sundays) – try all four Michelin gyoza (dumplings) when you order Suigyoza Teishoku (set meal #1).
- Katsuo Shokudo (8:30am-1pm Monday to Friday; 9am-1pm Saturdays and Sundays) – go early and try the katsuo (bonito flakes) with rice Michelin breakfast.
- Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku (11:30am-3pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays; 11:30am-3pm, 5-9pm Thursday to Saturday; closed Sundays) – try their Michelin onigiri in Asakusa but go early.
- Strawberry Mania (10am-9pm) – their strawberry mochi is a fan favourite!
- Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory (10:30am-7pm; closed Tuesdays) – get a Totoro cream puff for takeaway if you don’t want to wait for the cafe.
Best Tokyo food: which must-eat food are you going to try?
It looks like I ate a lot during my Tokyo trip, and the truth is, I did! Ha! But food is a big part of any trip, and Tokyo has so much good food.
So if you are only spending five days in Tokyo or have limited time in the capital city, scroll through this post and pick the ones you really want to try. Everything on the list is amazing – I know and I’m a picky eater.
And even if you choose any Japanese restaurant from this post, there are still a lot of good eats around Tokyo. And if you find something you like, let me know in the comments so I can check it out the next time I’m back in Tokyo.
Thank you for reading my Tokyo food post
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