Tokyo is undoubtedly one of the most exciting dining cities in the world. Seasonal ingredients reign supreme here, and there's an emphasis on freshness—not surprising given raw seafood is the cornerstone of sushi. And though Tokyoites still stubbornly resist foreign concepts in many fields, the locals have embraced outside culinary styles with gusto.
While newer restaurants targe
younger diners strive for authenticity in everything from New York–style bagels to Neapolitan pizza, it is still not uncommon to see menus offering East-meets-West concoctions such as spaghetti topped with cod roe and shredded seaweed. That said, the city’s best French and Italian establishments can hold their own on a global scale. Naturally, there's also excellent Japanese food available throughout the city, ranging from the traditional to nouveau cuisine that can be shockingly expensive.
That is not to imply that every meal in the city will drain your finances—the current rage is all about "B-class gourmet," restaurants that fill the gap between nationwide chains and fine cuisine, offering tasty Japanese and Asian food without the extra frills of tablecloths and lacquerware. All department stores and most skyscrapers have at least one floor of restaurants that are accessible, affordable, and reputable.
Asakusa is known for its tempura, and Tsukiji prides itself on its fresh sashimi, which is available in excellent quality throughout the city. Ramen is a passion for many locals, who will travel across town or stand in line for an hour in order to sit at the counter of a shop rumored to offer the perfect balance of noodles and broth. Even the neighborhood convenience stores will offer colorful salads, sandwiches, and a selection of beer and sake. There have been good and affordable Indian and Chinese restaurants in the city for decades. As a result of increased travel by the Japanese to more exotic locations, Thai, Vietnamese, and Turkish restaurants have popped up around the city. When in doubt, note that Tokyo's top-rated international hotels also have some of the city's best places to eat and drink.