It's been four years since I last visited Tokyo but I can still remember every bowl of ramen, every juicy cutlet of katsu and every delicious pastry I ate in Japan. Mhmm!
My usual travel style is to focus on the sights and the main tourist spots and food is generally third or fourth on my list of “must do's” – I leave that to whoever I travel with to plan ha. I previously covered all the great food places I ate at in my Japan series here, BUT I thought it was time to ask a tried and true local for the real lowdown on Tokyo's eating scene.
My cousin had a two year expat stint in Tokyo and is a serious foodie. Here is his guide for where to eat in Tokyo, Japan for classic Japanese foods like ramen, izakaya, yakitori and katus! If you love roasting your own meat, we've also included yakiniku places. We narrowed down the complete list of places to eat in Tokyo and chose the best 12 restaurants.
The Foodie's Guide for
Where to Eat in Tokyo
1 | Jangara Ramen | District: Omotesando | this is where you need to eat in Tokyo for classic pork bone broth ramen
2 | Afuri | District: Roppongi | this is a chain of Japanese ramen shops but the tsukemen dipping ramen is one of my favorites
3 | Gogyo | District: Nishiazabu | the burnt miso ramen here is really unique
4 | Ichiran | District: Roppongi or Omotesando | a little spicy, but popular enough that they opened an outlet in Hong Kong
Izakaya / Yakitori
5 | Hachibei | District: Roppongi | must tries: edamame skewer, grilled avocado, yaki onigiri grilled rice ball, tsukune chicken meatball
6 | Jomon | District: Roppongi
7 | Misuji | District: Akasaka | the most reasonably priced of the list
8 | Yoroniku | highest priced, but ridiculously good
9 | Xex Omae | more teppanyaki but also good
10 | Jumbo Yakiniku | District: Shirokane | also delicious and reasonably priced
11 | Kintame | Address: Koto-ku, Tomioka 1-14-3 | a very traditional pickle place
12 | Tonki | District: Meguro | my favorite place to get fried pork katsu. Get the ‘rosu' cut, which is fattier than the lean ‘hire' cut
*Izakayas are informal Japanese gastropubs for after-work drinking.
**Yakitori are japanese skewers
***Yakiniku is Japanese grilled meat
Unique Japan Food Tours & Experiences
- Nighttime Food Tour: a small group tour option of Tokyo's night food culture. More info here.
- Tokyo Robot Restaurant & Cabaret Show: great for families with an electric, anime-style high energy show. Learn more here.
- Japanese Washoku Cooking Class: ‘washoku' is a Japanese home-cooking style. Learn all about traditional techniques in this class, which also combines a tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market! You can find class info and rates here.
- Japanese Tea Ceremony: learn all about the art of tea with a Japanese tea master! More info can be found here.
Planning a trip to Japan?
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Want to know what else to do in Japan? Check out my full series:
That Time I Got Naked with Strangers… My Japanese Bathhouse Experience
Tsukiji Fish Market Pt 1 Is the Tuna Auction Worth Visiting?
Tsukiji Fish Market Pt 2 (You Woke Up Late) The Other Stalls
How to Travel Japan Shinkansen & the Japan Rail Pass
Tokyo's Most Famous Temple: Asakusa and Senso-Ji
Hotel Review Mornings at the Park Hyatt Tokyo
Tokyo Sights: Visiting the Imperial East Gardens
A Visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto (Memoirs of a Geisha!)
Sushi for Breakfast, Really? Sushi Daiwa at Tsukiji
Dessert Among Diamonds Mikimoto Lounge
How Good is Japanese Tonkatsu