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. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Kayaba Coffee

    $ | Taito-ku | Café

    Standing on the border of Ueno and Yanaka, this historic café is a popular stop for lunch or a light snack. A century old, the café has been...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Starbucks Reserve Roastery

    Meguro-ku | Café

    Okay, so we don't usually recommend a Starbucks, but if must hit up a Starbucks when you travel, make it a fancy Starbucks like this Reserve...Read More

  • 16. Waentei-Kikko

    $$$ | Asakusa

    Originally a teahouse, Waentei-Kikko is now a cozy, country-style Japanese restaurant and bar. The owner, Fukui Kodai, is a traditional Japanese...Read More

  • 17. Angels Heart

    $ | Shibuya-ku | Fast Food

    No snack screams Harajuku kawaii (cute) like the crepes found along Takeshita-dori. Angels Heart was one of the original crepe stands that...Read More

  • 18. Good Honest Grub

    $$ | Shibuya-ku | Café

    This airy, laid-back restaurant has the feel of enjoying a home-cooked meal at a friend's house. Brunch is generously served 10:30–4 on weekends...Read More

  • 19. Kohmen

    $$ | Minato-ku | Japanese

    With a polished, stainless-steel-and-glass interior, this always-busy ramen shop may be usual, but the food is still completely authentic and...Read More

  • 20. R Style

    $$ | Shibuya-ku | Japanese

    Even in some of the swankiest restaurants, Japanese wagashi (confectionaries) aren't up to par. To sample authentic handmade wagashi while...Read More

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