Quality Japanese food is everywhere these days and many of us are well aware of the joys of perfectly prepared sashimi, crispy tempura, or a huge, steaming bowl of ramen noodles.
But no matter how good your local Japanese eatery is, the menu is unlikely to match the range of traditionally prepared food you’ll find while visiting Japan, especially at the best restaurants in Tokyo.
Once you’ve received Japanese visa approval, booked your flights, and packed your bags, you’ll want to start researching the best places to eat in Tokyo so you don’t miss out during your trip. Just make sure you check here for a Japan Visa Application form first.
Top Dining Experiences in Tokyo
Although whittling down a few must-visit restaurants is an insanely difficult task, we’ve tried to round up the the best restaurants in Tokyo across the numerous districts, taking a range of budget options into account.
Located in Akihabara, one of the most underrated neighborhoods in Tokyo, Tonkatsu Marugo is one of the very best restaurants in Tokyo in which to sample tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet), a popular delicacy in the country.
Marugo has a reputation for frying cutlets low and slow, making for juicier and crispier tonkatsu than in most eateries and a loyal customer base.
Although unassuming on the outside, the quality of this restaurant’s food can quickly be deduced upon seeing the long queues that form at meal times. Booking a table in advance is a good idea if you want to guarantee a seat!
Although it’s one of the most popular Japanese foods around the world, many people would argue that you haven’t really tried sushi until you’ve eaten at a sushi bar in Tokyo.
Breakfast at one of the legendary sushi counters at Tsukiji fish market is a must, and if you have the foresight to book far in advance, so is a meal at Sukiyabashi Jiro.
Widely considered by Japanese chefs to be one of the best Tokyo restaurants in which to eat traditional sushi, Sukiyabashi Jiro is run by veteran master Jiro Ono, who has been operating the eatery since the late 1960s.
Even though it’s located in a tiny space with only 10 tables, the restaurant has often been rated among the very best in Asia, and has received 3 Michelin stars and visits from prominent international figures such as Barack Obama.
Due to insanely high demand, you have to make a reservation well in advance, through the concierge of a luxury hotel, However, if you’re willing to settle for a 2 star Michelin experience, you can visit the branch operated by Jiro’s son Takashi in Tokyo’s Minato district.
Gyopao Gyoza Roppongi
Located in Roppongi, Tokyo’s lively night club area, Gyopao specializes in Japanese-Taiwanese fusion cuisine and is one of the most popular restaurants in the city.
This cozy and tastefully decorated space is a huge draw for both locals and visitors from around the world because of its titular gyoza dumplings, served in a rich chicken bone broth.
The staff are welcoming, friendly, and have a good level of English. The dishes are also available at a range of princes so you don’t need to break the bank to dine at Gyopao.
Traveling to Japan? If you’re in Australia, you can get a prepaid travel SIM card for your trip to Tokyo here.
Kyushu Jangara Ramen
Tonkotsu ramen, a dish that originated in Fukuoka Prefecture, has quickly become the defining dish of the ongoing ramen craze sweeping both Japan and the rest of the world.
Also known as Hakata ramen, this creamy, slow-cooked pork bone broth is traditionally served with sliced pork belly and al dente ramen noodles.
Although you can also find Tonkotsu Ramen at the popular ICHIRAN or IPPUDO chains, one of the best places to try the dish is at the Kyushu Jangara franchise.
Try the house speciality, Kyushu Jangara Ramen, described as “Tokyo-style Tonkotsu Ramen” and made with pork, chicken and vegetable broth, or just the classic “Bonshan” pork broth ramen.
You’ll find branches of Kyushu Jangara across Tokyo, including in the Akihabara, Akasaka, Harajuku, and Ginza districts, but should get there early at mealtimes to beat the queue!
Another good option for those who wish to save money during their trip, Kushiwakamaru is a cozy and moderately priced restaurant located in Tokyo’s Meguro district.
Popular with Japanese locals as well as the expat community in Toyko, Kushiwakamura’s house speciality are yakitori –skewers of salty grilled chicken and vegetables infused with a smoky charcoal taste.
The meaty delights available at the restaurant also include tebasaki chicken wings , tsukune (minced chicken balls), and a rotating menu of special yakitori with ingredients including duck and quail.
All of this hearty fare is best accompanied by generous amounts of either Japanese lager, shochu, or sake. Luckily, the drinks are relatively cheap!
Although not renowned for quality cuisine, this kitschy space certainly provides an entertaining spectacle of robots and energetic dancers set to a mix of pop music and laser show.
Many visitors to the robot restaurant choose to just have snacks and a drink during the spectacle, and grab dinner in surrounding Shinjuku either before or after instead. Nevertheless, a full menu can be ordered at the robot restaurant if booked in advance, costing between 1,000 to 1,500 yen.
An upmarket, stylish space, Kozue is often regarded as one of the best restaurants in Tokyo simply for its incredible, unparalleled views over the city.
Situated on the 40th floor of the luxury Park Hyatt Hotel, a window seat at Koze offers guests a wide vista over Tokyo’s western hills and, on clear days, even a glimpse of Mount Fuji in the distance.
However, the views are not the only attraction. Koze is one of the best restaurants in Tokyo to sample Japanese haute cuisine (kaiseki). The varied menu is defined by the staple of premium wagyu beef, and also features seasonal delicacies such as puffer fish (torafugu), matsutake mushrooms, and sweetfish (ayu).
Author Bio: Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable travel tips and experience with the audience.