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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Sasanoyuki

    $$$ | Ueno | Japanese

    In the heart of one of Tokyo's old working-class Shitamachi (downtown) neighborhoods, Sasanoyuki has been serving meals based on homemade...Read More

  • 8. T.Y. Harbor Brewery

    $$$ | Shinagawa-ku | Eclectic

    A converted warehouse on the waterfront houses this restaurant, known for its grills, California-Asia fusions, and craft beers. Don't miss the...Read More

  • 9. Tony Roma's

    $$$ | Minato-ku | American

    This casual American chain is world-famous for its barbecued ribs. Started in Miami in the 1970s, it also serves kid-size (and much larger)...Read More

  • 10. Tsukiji Edo-Gin

    $$$ | Chuo-ku | Japanese

    In an area that teems with sushi bars, this one maintains its reputation as one of the best. Tsukiji Edo-Gin drapes generous slabs of fish over...Read More

  • 11. 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

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