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Tokyo Food Guide: Where and What to Eat in Tokyo, Japan

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 Japanese food in Tokyo. 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 could compile a list of must-eat food in Tokyo. Many places are very affordable, while a few are pricey but worthwhile.

So if you are planning a trip to Japan soon and wondering where and what to eat in Tokyo, check out my Tokyo food guide and discover all the best Tokyo must-eat food and places.

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Best Tokyo in Food: Tips for eating in Tokyo, Japan

Before trying some of the best food in Tokyo, take a look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Japan. I included a lot of travel information, including how to get around Japan and other travel tips.

Here are a few additional tips for eating in Tokyo:

  • Be prepared to wait in a 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.

Tokyo food recommendations: Where and What to Eat in Tokyo

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, Japan.

Tokyo must eat: Noodles

Ramen

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.

Best restaurants in Tokyo to eat Ramen:

  1. Tsuta (11 am–3pm; closed Tuesdays) – the famous Michelin-starred shoyu ramen with black truffle oil. But be prepared to queue.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Fūunji (11am-3pm, 5–9pm) – try the Tsukemen dipping noodles at this busy ramen shop
  5. 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.
  6. Tatsunoya Ramen (11am-10pm) – order the Tsukemen Motsu, a dipping noodle. Add rice to the dipping sauce afterwards and make a savoury porridge.
  7. Ginza Kagari (11am-9:30pm) – I love their special slow-cooked chicken broth ramen! The broth is rich, tasty and very chicken-y.
  8. Rahmen Eddie (11am-10pm) – I tried their Mazesoba, a soupless ramen with minced pork, cheese and egg.
  9. 9th Keisuke (11am-10pm) – their duck ramen with clear soup comes with lots of different toppings.
  10. Soushi Menya Musashi (11am-10:30pm) – I tried their Tsukemen dipping ramen noodle, which comes with pork and egg. One of the best!

Udon

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.

Best restaurants in Tokyo to eat Udon:

  1. 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.
  2. Udon Shin (11am-10pm) – get a number and prepare to wait. I had the hot soy sauce, butter, pepper, Tsumande Goran egg, udon with pork, and cheese tempura. So good!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Kaneko Hannosuke (11am-9pm) – try their Inaniwa udon (with chicken meatball) and tempura bowl.

Soba

What is Soba: a thin buckwheat noodle served either cold with dipping sauce or in a hot bowl of soy-based dashi broth.

Best restaurants in Tokyo to eat Soba:

  1. 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.
  2. Daian (5-11pm Mondays; 11:30am-2:30pm, 5-11pm Tuesday to Friday; 12-11pm Saturdays and Sundays) – good soba restaurant in Shinjuku.

Traditional Japanese food in Tokyo

Tonkatsu

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.

Best restaurants in Tokyo to eat Tonkatus:

  1. Ponchiken (11:15 am–2pm, 5:30–9pm; closed Sundays) – the Michelin Bib Gourmand tonkatsu in the Kanda neighbourhood is very tasty!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Hajime (11am-9pm Tuesday to Friday; 10am-9pm Saturdays & Sundays; closed Mondays) – order a traditional tonkatsu meal or a thick-cut tonkatsu over omelette and rice. I had the small “Umaka Buta” katsudon set meal.

Tendon

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).

Best restaurants in Tokyo to eat Tendon:

  1. 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).
  2. Ginza Hageten (11am–10:30pm) – many locations across Japan serving tendon and tempura meals.

Beef

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.

Best restaurants in Tokyo to eat different Beef dishes:

  1. Roast beef Ohno Harajuku (11am-10pm) – their wagyu roast beef volcano rice bowl is divine! Try one in Harajuku or Akihabara.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Kanda Tamagoken (11am-3:30pm, 5:30-10pm) – their cheese hamburg steak omurice (Japanese omelette rice) is served on a sizzling skillet.
  5. Shima (6-9pm; closed Sundays) – make a reservation at this local high-end steak restaurant. Or get a steak sandwich to-go.
  6. 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

What is Sushi: traditional Japanese food with a slice of fresh fish or seafood on a bite-size amount of vinegared sushi rice. 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).

Best restaurants in Tokyo to eat Sushi:

  1. Tsukiji Outer Market (8am-2pm) – go early and have the freshest seafood from the fish market as breakfast.
  2. Kura Sushi (11am-11pm Monday to Friday; 10:20am-11pm Saturdays & Sundays) – conveyor belt sushi with many locations across Tokyo and the globe.
  3. Edo Fuji (11:30am-2pm Monday to Friday; 12-2pm Saturdays; closed Sundays) – only serve chirashi bowls. The smallest is ¥2,500 and the portion is quite big. Japanese menu on the wall.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 reservations online.
  7. 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 must eat in Tokyo

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Strawberry Mania (10am-9pm) – their strawberry mochi is a fan favourite!
  6. 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.

Which these Tokyo food recommendations are you most excited about?

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 there is so many things to eat in Tokyo, I couldn’t resist!

So if you are only spending limited time in the capital city, scroll through this post and pick the Tokyo food you want to try. Everything on the list is amazing – I know I’m a picky eater.

And even if you don’t 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 guide

You might also like these other posts:

Introduction to Japan:
Kanto region:
Food around the world:

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

2 Comments

  • Glenn Mitchell
    June 26, 2023 at 6:21 am

    Hello
    I am going to Japan in November for 2 weeks and would like to do a couple of food tours.
    Do you have any you would recommend, they seem to be everywhere, with no way to sort the good from the bad..
    Glenn
    Epicurious247 Instagram

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 27, 2023 at 12:10 am

      Hi Glenn,
      I agree – I was in the same spot. I found food tours but not sure how they are. So I ended up doing research on my own and went around the city and found these places. Sorry I don’t have any recommendations for food tours but hopefully this list can help you a bit during your trip.
      Enjoy your time in Japan!

      Reply

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