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. Baird Taproom Harajuku

    $$ | Shibuya-ku | Japanese

    Founded by American Bryan Baird in 2000, Baird Brewing has become one of the leaders in Japan's now booming craft-beer movement, with a range...Read More

  • 2. Cicada

    $$$ | Minato-ku | Mediterranean

    Offering up high-end Mediterranean cuisine in an incredibly stylish setting, Cicada's resortlike atmosphere feels a world away from Ometosando...Read More

  • 3. Inakaya East

    $$$$ | Minato-ku | Japanese

    The style here is robatayaki, a dining experience that segues into pure theater. Inside a large U-shape counter, two cooks in traditional...Read More

  • 4. Kushiyaki Ganchan

    $$$ | Minato-ku | Japanese

    Smoky, noisy, and cluttered, Ganchan is exactly what the Japanese expect of their yakitori joints—restaurants that specialize in bits of charcoal...Read More

  • 5. Robata Honten

    $$$ | Marunouchi | Japanese

    Old, funky, and more than a little cramped, Robata is a bit daunting at first, but fourth-generation chef-owner Takao Inoue holds forth here...Read More

  • 6. Shin Hinomoto

    $$ | Marunouchi | Japanese

    Also known as "Andy's," this izakaya is located directly under the tracks of the Yamanote Line, making the wooden interior shudder each time...Read More

  • 7. Barbacoa Grill

    $$$$ | Shibuya-ku | Brazilian

    Carnivores flock here for the great-value, all-you-can-eat Brazilian grilled chicken and barbecued beef, which the efficient waiters keep bringing...Read More

  • 8. Daikokuya Tempura

    $$ | Asakusa | Japanese

    Daikokuya, in the center of Asakusa's historic district, is a point of pilgrimage for both locals and tourists. The specialty here is shrimp...Read More

  • 9. Darumaya

    $ | Minato-ku | Japanese

    The classic bowl of ramen is topped with slices of pork, but Darumaya, in the fashion district of Omotesando, has a slightly different take...Read More

  • 10. Dhaba India

    $$ | Ginza | Indian

    With a focus on South India cuisine, Dhaba has built a reputation as having some of the best Indian flavors in town. A specialty here are the...Read More

  • 11. Heiroku Sushi

    $$ | Shibuya-ku | Japanese

    Often, a meal of sushi is a costly indulgence. The rock-bottom alternative is a kaiten-zushi, where it is literally served assembly line–style...Read More

  • 12. Ippudo

    $ | Minato-ku | Japanese

    Open from 11 am to 4 am most days (it closes at 1 am Sunday), this ever-busy ramen joint, now an international chain with 10 stores in Tokyo...Read More

  • 13. Kanda Yabu Soba

    $ | Chiyoda-ku | Japanese

    The ever-popular Kanda Yabu Soba, located in a recently built but traditional building that replaced the original 130-year-old restaurant after...Read More

  • 14. Kyubey

    $$$$ | Ginza | Japanese

    In contrast to the borderline solemn atmosphere at many top sushi restaurants, this world-famous restaurant proves that a high-end sushi restaurant...Read More

  • 15. Maisen

    $$$ | Shibuya-ku | Japanese

    Converted from a sento (public bathhouse), Maisen still has the old high ceiling (built for ventilation) and the original signs instructing...Read More

  • 16. MLB Café Tokyo

    $$ | Bunkyo-ku | American

    Located in the shadow of Tokyo Dome, the primary baseball stadium in Tokyo, this theme restaurant is filled with sports memorabilia, waitstaff...Read More

  • 17. Montoak

    $$ | Shibuya-ku | Café

    For an afternoon of people-watching, head to this three-story café on Omotesando street in the heart of one of the most fashion-conscious areas...Read More

  • 18. Ninja Akasaka

    $$$$ | Minato-ku | Japanese

    In keeping with the air of mystery you'd expect from a ninja-theme restaurant, a ninja-costumed waiter leads you through a dark underground...Read More

  • 19. Ryoma no Sora Bettei

    $$$ | Shinjuku-ku | Japanese

    Tokyoites love unique dining experiences and their own history—they can revel in both in this eatery, which is a tribute to Ryoma Sakamoto,...Read More

  • 20. Sankoen

    $$$$ | Minato-ku | Korean

    In a neighborhood thick with Korean-barbecue joints, Sankoen stands out as the best of the lot. Korean barbecue is a smoky affair; you cook...Read More

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