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. Enju

    $$$$ | Minato-ku | Japanese

    The grand exterior and pristine banquet rooms are somewhat uninviting and overly formal at this upscale restaurant in the quiet surroundings...Read More

  • 4. New York Grill

    $$$$ | Shinjuku-ku | International

    The Park Hyatt's 52nd-floor bar and restaurant may have come to international fame thanks to Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, but expats...Read More

  • 5. Nihonbashi Yukari

    $$$$ | Nihombashi | Japanese

    Anyone looking to experience Japanese haute cuisine in a more relaxed atmosphere should look to this kappo -style restaurant, where diners...Read More

  • 6. Ume no Hana

    $$$$ | Minato-ku | Japanese

    The exclusive specialty here is tofu, prepared in more ways than you can imagine—boiled, steamed, stir-fried with minced crabmeat, served in...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Azure 45

    $$$$ | Minato-ku | French

    For his Michelin-starred contemporary French creations, chef de cuisine Shintaro Miyazaki sources the finest Japanese beef, poultry, seafood...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Heichinro

    $$$$ | Chiyoda-ku | Chinese

    A short walk from the Imperial Hotel, this branch of one of Yokohama's oldest and best Chinese restaurants commands a spectacular view of the...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. 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

  • 18. 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

  • 19. 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

  • 20. 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

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