With so many options to choose from, where should you eat in Tokyo? There are over 160.000 restaurants in Tokyo. That’s 120.000 restaurants more than in the whole of Paris! In every street, on every corner and up to 80 floors high: there’s a restaurant serving Japanese or international cuisine to be found. What’s more, nowhere in the whole world are there more restaurants with at least one Michelin star. But no worries, even if you’re on a budget, there are plenty of options to enjoy a great meal in Tokyo!
Our favourite restaurants in Tokyo
During our trip, we’ve tried as many restaurants as we could. Of course we were also served food that was rather mediocre, but we discovered some real gems as well. Dining out can get quite expensive in Tokyo, but there’s something for everyone in all price categories. We’re more than happy to share our favourite hotspots so you can go and explore the Japanese kitchen yourself. We’ve added the average budget for 1 person next to each restaurant so you’ve got an idea if it fits into your travel budget.
- Menya Mushasi (Shinjuku): if you’re looking for cheap and delicious ramen, go check out this place. You’ll have to line up to get in, but thank god Japanese people are not slow eaters (understatement #1). Before you know it, you’ll be ordering your meal through a vending machine like a true local and sit down at the counter, enjoying the authentic Japanese atmosphere.
- Eatrip (Harajuku): hidden away in the bustling hipster neighbourhood of Harajuku you’ll find this peaceful oasis. Eatrip serves farm-to-table food with a mediterranean meets Japanese twist. They pay lots of attention to healthy and naturally produced ingredients, resulting in delicious and gorgeous looking dishes. Don’t miss it when you’re in Tokyo, it’s one of our favourites here! Be sure to make a reservation beforehand (lunch menu €20, diner a bit more).
- Itasoba Kaoriya (Ebisu): Kaoriya is one of those restaurants where you’ll feel like you’re drawing quite some attention to yourself being the only tourist. They serve yummy Soba (buckwheat noodles) which are preferably eaten cold and dipped into a spiced miso stock. When you’re in the neighbourhood, be sure to drop by this cosy restaurant and join the locals on one of the 2 large wooden tables. Don’t let the Japanese menu outside scare you, they also have an English version. (€16)
- Gyozaro (Harajuku): gyoza is the Japanse version of dumplings, and it’s the only thing you’ll find in this popular restaurant. Most of the times, people are lining up to get a seat, but rest assured: you won’t have to wait too long. So if you’re looking for a cheap place serving good food, this is your go to spot. (€6)
- Makoto (Shinjuku): this tiny sushi restaurant is well hidden away in a quiet street full of office buildings. Everything the chef is preparing in front of your eyes is finger licking good. Prepare for sushi of the highest shelf, with a menu starting at a fair 45 euros. The chef will happily give you an explanation of every dish in his best English. Highly recommended!
- Yamabe Okachimachi (Ueno): you’ll have two options here: go for a big or bigger portion of tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet). No stress about choosing the wrong dish here! Get into the queue to get a seat at the counter. You’ll be able to enjoy a tender and tasty piece of pork in a crunchy crust in no time. The friendly cooks behind the counter will try their best clumsy English to make you feel at home. Like with so many other Japanese restaurants, it’s not a place for cosy dining (understatement #2), but it’s definitely worth a visit. (€12)
- Unosato (Shibuya): some hundred meters from the busy Shibuya crossing, you’ll find this hidden gem in a small and quiet alley. It’s an authentic Japanese place where you’ll find (almost) no tourists. The staff doesn’t speak English at all, but luckily they do have an English menu. The food is excellent, with ingredients you won’t find a lot anywhere else. How about lotus root or some surprising fish specialties? And why not end your evening with a small tasting of their elaborate sake menu? The best news of all: prices are very reasonable. If it weren’t for the fact that there are so many good restaurants in Tokyo, we would have come back here another evening. (+/- €25)
- Kushiwakamura (Naka-Meguro): trendy Naka-Meguro hosts plenty of good restaurants, among which this yakitori hotspot. There’s plenty of choice, as long as it can be grilled and skewered. Squid, peppers, chicken or meatballs: pick your favourites. If it’s crowded, write your name on the waiting list outside and go for another walk in this charming neighbourhood. Don’t expect really refined food, but rather an easy and tasty Japanese experience to dive into. (€20)
- King George (Daikanyama): fancy something else for lunch other than Japanese ramen? Enter safe haven King George! Enjoy one of their delicious, well-stuffed sandwiches in a cosy interior that will remind you of your grandmother’s living room. (€10)
- Cabin (Naka-Meguro): nothing better to finish the day than a cocktail, right? Hipster proof Cabin is a side project of Cedros restaurant, situated at the Naka-Meguro canal and a good place to enjoy music, drinks and your company.
Read more about Japan?
- Discover why you should try sake and where to do so in this article.