Tokyo Restaurants

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 targeting younger diners strive for authenticity in everything from New York–style bagels to Neapolitan pizza, it is still not uncommon to see menus serving 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 cuisine available throughout the city, ranging from the traditional to nouveau, which 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-kyu gurume" (B-class gourmet), restaurants that fill the gap between nationwide chains and fine cuisine, serving 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 travel across town or stand in line for an hour in order to sit at the counter of a shop rumored to have 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.

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  • 1. Afuri

    $ | Shibuya-ku | Japanese

    Ramen is the quintessential Japanese fast food: thick Chinese noodles in a bowl of savory broth topped with sliced grilled chashu (pork loin...Read More

  • 2. Afuri Ramen

    Shinjuku-ku | Japanese

    Just south of the Shinjuku station, this chain ramen house serves up ramen with hints of citrus in the broth, turning this often heavy dish...Read More

  • 3. Ajanta

    $$ | Akasaka | Indian

    In the mid-20th century, the founder of Ajanta came to Tokyo to study electrical engineering. He ended up changing careers and establishing...Read More

  • 4. Brown Rice Canteen

    $$ | Shibuya-ku | Vegetarian

    Run by Neal's Yard Remedies, this laid-back café has all-natural wooden interiors and natural produce on the menu. If shopping in Harajuku,...Read More

  • 5. Crayon House Hiroba

    $ | Shibuya-ku | Japanese

    Connected to a natural-foods store, and with natural airy wooden interiors to match, Crayon House serves Japanese and Western dishes with a...Read More

  • 6. Eggcellent

    Roppongi | Café

    No surprise that eggs are the thing at this convenient spot on the first floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. Eggs are organic and available...Read More

  • 7. Fukumori

    $ | Akihabara | Japanese

    Located in the historic former Manseibashi Train Station, Fukumori features light meals from Yamagata Prefecture in the north of Japan. The...Read More

  • 8. Homeworks

    $$ | Minato-ku | American

    Every so often, even on foreign shores, you've got to have a burger. When the urge strikes, the Swiss-and-bacon special at Homeworks is an...Read More

  • 9. Kanda Matsuya

    $ | Akihabara | Japanese

    Soba, thin buckwheat noodles often served chilled in summer and hot in winter, are available everywhere, even convenience stores. The family...Read More

  • 10. Kawara Cafe & Dining

    $ | Shinjuku-ku | Japanese

    For a quick lunch, Kawara Cafe and Dining offers ¥1,000 set meals—think healthy curries and deli plates mixing Japanese and Western ingredients...Read More

  • 11. Menya Musashi Kosho

    $ | Roppongi | Japanese

    Serving both ramen and tsukemen (noodles with the broth on the side for dipping), this sleek ramen shop is a great stop for a quick and hearty...Read More

  • 12. Mercer Brunch

    Roppongi | Café

    The concept of brunch is fairly new in Tokyo but thankfully it's starting to take off. This pleasant café offers outdoor seating, a fireplace...Read More

  • 13. Monsoon Cafe

    $$ | Shibuya-ku | Asian

    With a dozen locations (including Shinjuku and Omotesando), Monsoon Cafe meets the demand in Tokyo for spicy, primarily Southeast Asian food...Read More

  • 14. Pizza Salvatore Cuomo

    $$ | Chiyoda-ku | Italian

    Swing open the door to Pizza Salvatore Cuomo and you'll catch a rich aroma wafting from the wood-burning oven—the centerpiece of this homey...Read More

  • 15. Red Pepper

    $$ | Shibuya-ku | French

    A short walk down a narrow alley from Omotesando Crossing, at this cozy bistro guests squeeze into tiny antique school chairs and desks topped...Read More

  • 16. Rose Bakery

    $$ | Ginza | International

    Satisfying the need for light, healthy food that is neither raw nor fried, this airy but rather nondescript bakery and café, which also has...Read More

  • 17. Sake no Ana

    $$$ | Ginza | Japanese

    With roughly 130 varieties of sake from all over Japan available by the carafe, Sake no Ana (literally, "the sake hole") has its own sake sommelier...Read More

  • 18. Sakuratei

    $$ | Shibuya-ku | Japanese

    At this do-it-yourself restaurant for okonomiyaki (a kind of savory pancake made with egg, meat, and vegetables), you choose ingredients and...Read More

  • 19. Sawanoi

    $ | Minato-ku | Japanese

    The homemade udon noodles, served in a broth with seafood, vegetables, or chicken, make a perfect light meal or midnight snack. Try the inaka...Read More

  • 20. Shinshu Osake Mura

    $$ | Shiba-Shiodome | Japanese

    A sake and beer store specializing in drinks from Nagano prefecture, this standing-room-only place also functions as a very casual bar where...Read More

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