Best Restaurants In Tokyo: Where to Eat; Our Local Recommendations

Tokyo is loaded with restaurants with some of the most incredible dining experiences you can find in Japan. These hand-picked recommendations, with help from my local Japanese friends, will show you some of the best in Tokyo — some are even among the best in the world.

While Shinjuku is probably a foodie’s mecca, every district has outstanding cuisine. And you don’t need to huddle around Tokyo Station either.

I honestly don’t like the word “best” because, well, best is different for everyone. But I understand you want options — and Tokyo doesn’t disappoint.

Before we dive into the best restaurants in Tokyo, I recently put together a very comprehensive guide to Japanese cuisine. Where I cover nearly 80 different dishes for you to discover when in Tokyo.

I’ve chosen popular restaurants with spectacular food, ambiance, and service. I also split the list based on the type of cuisine — so you can discover something new to try in a variety of cuisine choices.

These restaurants are easy to access. Many can be reserved using Voyagin’s fantastic concierge service online before you arrive in Tokyo (some even offer guides to dine with you and help order).

Sometimes the opening and closing times of restaurants in Tokyo can be confusing so I put together a quick guide to help you with that too.

Best Yakiniku in Tokyo

best yakiniku restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Grilled wagyu yakiniku is massively popular with tourists and locals alike—hands down one of the absolute best dining experiences you can have in Tokyo.

Learn more about yakiniku cuisine in our in-depth yakiniku guide here. And if you would like to learn more about wagyu I have you covered (or the incredible price of wagyu).

  • Yoroniku (Minamiaoyama)
    Yoroniku is commonly referred to as one of the absolute top yakiniku restaurants in Tokyo — in Japan — and for a good reason. The care and perfection that goes into the quality here are incredible.
  • Yakiniku Zen (Ikebukuro)
    Yakiniku Zen is known for its unique bamboo grill — giving the wagyu grilled on it a distinctive flavor you’ll love. 
  • Yakiniku Kunimoto (Minato)
    Kunimoto is famous for its classic hibachi charcoal grill that brings out the incredible flavor of the quality wagyu meats found here.

Best Sushi in Tokyo

Best sushi restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Japan is the home of sushi, and no doubt, you want to try sushi when visiting Tokyo. While the legendary Sukiyabashi Jiro is on everyone’s mind, there are many top-class sushi restaurants to enjoy in Tokyo. 

Learn more about sushi in our in-depth sushi guide here.

  • Sushi Sho Masa (Roppongi)
    This restaurant is unique. A top-class omakase sushi shop serving courses with over 30+ sushi to try. You won’t go home hungry from this spectacular restaurant.
  • Sushi Harataka (Ginza)
    Located in Ginza, this beyond incredible Michelin-star sushi experience is served by nonother than Chef Haratake, a disciple of the sushi legend Jiro Ono (of Jiro Dreams of Sushi fame).
  • Sushi Imamura (Minato)
    Sushi Imamura is fantastic not only for the chef’s absolute perfection but because it is in a quiet corner of Minato in a quaint neighborhood. One could say a bit off the beaten path.
  • Asakusa Sushi Ken (Asakusa)
    If you’re looking for a halal-friendly sushi shop, your search is over. This shop has a specialized menu just for your religion’s cuisine needs.

I intentionally left Sushi Saito off this list. It is virtually impossible to get reservations, as Sushi Saito is widely hailed as Tokyo’s top sushi restaurant, complete with three Michelin stars.

Even though Tsukiji’s inner market moved to Toyosu, there’s still some fantastic sushi to be had there. The pride and craftsmanship remain strong in Tsukiji’s outer market.

Best Kaiseki in Tokyo

Best kaiseki restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Traditional kaiseki is that fancy, traditional Japanese cuisine you’ve probably seen in movies and all the travel guidebooks out there. These are some of Tokyo’s top restaurants. 

Learn more in our kaiseki guide here.

  • Sekihoutei (Shibuya)
    Sekihoutei is a 2-star Michelin restaurant serving some of the finest kaisekis you’ll find anywhere. They also have fugu on the menu from October to March (winter).
  • Kohaku (Shinjuku)
    Kohaku is a 3-star Michelin restaurant with a renowned chef crafting the most ultra-seasonal cuisine you’ll find in Tokyo. Delicious and worth every yen.
  • Ishikawa (Shinjuku)
    Ishikawa, a 3-star restaurant, is about as good as it gets. If it were possible to name one restaurant “best,” this would probably be the one. Incredible food, warm atmosphere, and the friendliest hospitality you’ll find anywhere — and the chef himself often mingles.

Best Ramen in Tokyo

Best ramen restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Japan has taken Chinese noodles and made them their own. So much so it’s spawned raving fans across the globe. It’s practically a cult phenomenon with die-hard ramen fans traveling all over Japan to try every ramen shop they can find.

You’ll often hear people rave about Ichiran Ramen, but it’s relatively average ramen with dividers between the patrons, which can be an interesting experience, especially for introverts.

Learn more about Japanese ramen in our in-depth ramen guide.

  • Afuri (Harajuku)
    One of the highest-rated ramen restaurants in Tokyo, Afuri’s unique menu item is their fresh yuzu shio ramen — giving it a refreshingly unique flavor. Quick service, delicious ramen, and a modern, but trafficked atmosphere let you know there’s something special here.
  • Takahashi (Shinjuku)
    A ramen shop with a classy mix of traditional Japanese values and modern decor. Interesting lighting adds a fantastic ambiance to the quality ramen experience here. Attention to detail is in tall order here, with even the ramen bowls adding to the experience.
  • Ramen-Tei (Asakusa)
    With such a normal-sounding name, there’s nothing ordinary about the ramen here. Rich, flavorful broth, and tasty noodles. They have tsukemen and wanton ramen. English menus, friendly staff, delicious food — what more could you ask for?

Best Izakaya in Tokyo

Best izakaya in Tokyo, Japan

If you ask us, izakaya are the real reason to visit Tokyo. These incredible dining/drinking experiences are simply put — perfection. Izakaya are where you can find the best yakitori, and most are huddled around train stations — easy to get home, or back to your hotel.

Check out our in-depth guide into the izakaya experience.

  • Michishirube (Shinjuku)
    Michishirube feels as if it existed before time itself — as if the owner lives there and uses everything to add to the shop’s ambiance. It’s a wonderful time and one that will leave a lasting memory.
  • Warayakiya (Roppongi)
    Suppose you want to catch a fire show while partaking in dining perfection and the best atmosphere this side of the globe, check out Warakiya. The fire pit in the middle of the shop is used for cooking their signature dishes — and impress patrons.
  • Hibiki (Chiyoda)
    If you’re looking for something with a more upscale atmosphere, Hibiki is it. Elegant, somewhat traditional, with a fantastic variety of items on the menu — and they even have their brand of whiskey!

Best Okonomiyaki in Tokyo

Best okonomiyaki restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Okonomiyaki is the “savory pancake” grilled on a flat iron grill and packed with incredible flavor. You have to try both the Osaka and Nagasaki style okonomiyaki, two of the same meal, but very different.

Learn more about it in our in-depth guide to okonomiyaki here.

  • Tomokunchi (Shinbashi)
    When you want okonomiyaki, you want it as close to the authentic source as possible (when in Tokyo), and this just may be as close as you get. Classic Osaka okonomiyaki in a quaint izakaya atmosphere. 
  • Kyoya (Roppongi)
    This is a small okonomiyaki restaurant run by the friendliest couple. A mom and pop okonomiyaki experience with some of the best flavors foodies will love.
  • Buchiumaya (Shinjuku)
    Heralded as the “must go, affordable” okonomiyaki restaurant, Buchiumaya has a lot going for it. Locals love it; tourists love it… the food is incredible, the atmosphere is fun. And it won’t destroy your wallet.

If you’d like a guided foodie tour to check out delicious okonomiyaki (among other things), this night foodie tour in Shinjuku will hook you up nicely.

Best Soba in Tokyo

Best soba restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Soba is the traditional Japanese buckwheat noodles, and the best restaurants are a noticeable step above the others in terms of quality. 

Learn more about soba in our in-depth soba guide here.

  • Yabu Soba (Ueno)
    While you may end up waiting in line to get in, this super popular soba house has an uncomplicated menu, an excellent atmosphere, and is easy to find. Perfect when you’re hungry after exploring the Ueno Zoo.
  • Kamiyama (Shibuya)
    A bit of an upscale soba restaurant tucked back away from the road down a traditional-looking cobblestone path with bamboo trees. Although on the pricey side, the ingredients are fresh and every dish is fantastic.
  • Ryan (Shibuya)
    A soba house with a great atmosphere and unique menu. You’ll find the traditional soba dishes plus their twist on things. Go on the weekend for their “weekend special” soba.

You can try your hand at making homemade soba noodles with lessons from experienced soba craftsmen.

Best Curry Rice in Tokyo

Best curry rice restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Pretty much everyone knows and loves CoCo Ichibanya’s curry. But there are more curry rice options to try in Tokyo. Especially in the Jinbocho area, renowned for some of the best curry restaurants in Tokyo.

  • Sumatra Curry Kyōeidō (Jinbocho)
    I thought I knew good curry until I discovered this curry restaurant. It’s on the main road, but down a short spiral staircase, so it almost feels off the beaten path. But if you miss this, you miss out on an exceptional curry restaurant.
  • Bondy (Jinbocho)
    A curry restaurant so popular you’ll likely wait in line 30 minutes or more to get in. But the wait is worth it. Deep, rich flavors and cheesy rice await.
  • Temma (Nakano)
    This unassuming little curry shop is a fantastic stop-off on the pathway leading to the Nakano Broadway Mall. And you must try the fried curry bread too.

Best Tonkatsu in Tokyo

Best tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Tonkatsu is that fabulously fried pork cutlet you may have heard of already. It’s so crispy, so juicy, it’s remarkable. As in, you literally want to make remarks about it.

  • Butagumi (Nishiazabu)
    Butagumi is pretty much at the top of every foodie’s list when visiting Tokyo. Not only for the insane quality, but the warm atmosphere and friendly staff bring the whole experience together.
  • Tonkatsu Tonki (Meguro)
    A magnificent alternative to Butagumi, Tonkatsu Tonki, is almost a mix between the traditional Japanese atmosphere and the lunch cafeteria. The tonkatsu is made in front of you, and the food is incredible — and affordable.
  • Tonkatsu Yutaka (Asakusa)
    This off the beaten path tonkatsu restaurant is a magnificent way to fill your belly after exploring the tremendous Senso-Ji temple area. It’s especially nice that it’s out of the way — while a bit harder to find, it is very worth it.
  • Marugo (Akihabara)
    This small, unassuming tonkatsu restaurant doesn’t hold any Michelin stars but is Michelin recommended. And if you judge a restaurant by how long the locals are willing to wait in line for it, this is a good one. Expect a line, but also expect incredible tonkatsu.

Best Teppanyaki in Tokyo

Best teppanyaki restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Nothing quite like a fantastic teppanyaki meal to make you feel like you’re royalty. Sitting in front of the chef while they perfectly sear your meal on a flat iron grill with masterful skill is a dining experience like no other.

Learn more about teppanyaki in our in-depth guide.

  • Hakushu (Shibuya)
    A family-owned teppanyaki restaurant in the heart of central Tokyo. Made extra famous for winning #3 in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice award. I especially like how the owners didn’t let this go to their heads. The humble, down-to-earth, friendly atmosphere creates a magnificent dining experience.
  • Shima (Kyobashi)
    A quaint little teppanyaki restaurant packing an incredible menu, serving the highest quality meats and oysters. Not on the typical tourist’s path, but so worth it if you want astonishing teppanyaki east of Tokyo Station.
  • Kisentei (Roppongi)
    When you’re hungry after enjoying the Suntory Art Museum and looking for a classy place to eat, Kisentei has you covered. Amazing high-grade wagyu expertly seared on a flat iron grill — and they have a variety of other tasty items to accompany the wagyu beef.

Best Tempura in Tokyo

Best tempura restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Japan’s fried perfection is an especially good treat in Tokyo — and you don’t have to spend your life savings to enjoy it. From shrimp tempura to pumpkin tempura, you’re in for a treat.

Learn about tempura in our full guide into this delicious cuisine.

  • Kondo (Ginza)
    This is a Micheline 2-star tempura restaurant with an unbelievable omakase course — and Chef Fumio Kondo has over 50 years of experience! You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better tempura restaurant in Japan, let alone Tokyo.
  • Ginya (Meguro)
    Another 2-star Michelin tempura restaurant in central Tokyo, but it isn’t a hoity-toity experience. Staffed by the chef and his wife, it’s a friendly atmosphere leaving you with one of the best meals you’ll have during your visit to Tokyo.
  • Uchitsu (Hiroo)
    This is an experience you’ll remember for years to come. Top-class tempura perfectly fried by a 2-star Michelin chef — right in front of you. Chef Uchitsu designed his restaurant, so you sit right in front of him and watch him expertly prepare your food.

Best Unagi in Tokyo

Best unagi restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Unagi (grilled eel) is a seasonal delicacy in Japan. While it is available year-round, the best unagi is had during the summer months (cheaper).

  • Nodaiwa (Azabu)
    Nodaiwa is a 1-star Michelin unagi restaurant with a long history. It’s 5th generation chef, Kanejiro Kanemoto is from a long chain of unagi masters and is now in charge of the family’s 18th-century unagi restaurant. 
  • Akimoto (Chiyoda)
    This is the famous Akimoto unagi restaurant found in Chiyoda near the Imperial Palace. With over 100 years of experience and locally sourced eel, you’ll find some of the best unagi anywhere in Japan here.
  • Ishibashi (Edogawa)
    A fantastic 1-star Michelin unagi restaurant with a home-like atmosphere. A more comfortable experience if you’re not into the ultra-traditional Japanese style and just want to relax while enjoying an incredible unagi meal.

Best Pizza in Tokyo

Best pizzerias in Tokyo, Japan

I know you didn’t come to Tokyo for pizza. But pizza is an exciting thing in Japan — the Japanese shops make it their own, and there are many foreign-owned restaurants making something special here.

  • Pizza Bull (Shinjuku)
    A quaint pizzeria making their authentic pizzas from scratch by hand. A small shop, just a few tables, and some counter seating. Making some of the best pizza you’ll find in Shinjuku — and Tokyo for that matter.
  • Savoy (Azabu)
    Who would have thought a pizzeria with only two choices of pizza would be so popular? Long lines (they move quickly) to grab your share of this fantastic marinara or margarita pizza. Just a tiny little shop too, seats maybe 12 people.
  • Pizza Studio Tamaki (Azabu)
    The hip modern brick building adorned with Pizza PST is so cool, so good… and located so perfectly right at Shiba Park (near Tokyo Tower). This “best pizza in Tokyo” list would never be complete without this pizzeria on it.

Best Donburi in Tokyo

Best donburi restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Donburi is most prevalent in Japanese fast-food chains such as Sukiya, Matsuya, and Yoshinoya. But there is quite a variety of donburi options in Tokyo. 

Learn all about it in our in-depth guide into donburi here.

  • Buono (Asakusa)
    A tiny little mom and pop donburi shop with a quaint atmosphere, friendly service, and fresh seafood donburi to please your palate. Has almost a homemade feel to everything. The wife cooks and the husband makes small talk and serves the customers. Fantastic experience.
  • Kumada (Shibuya)
    This seafood donburi shop specializes in salmon donburi. The freshest cuts and perfectly arranged meals are quick, easy, affordable, and keeps you full to get back to exploring all the things you want to do in Tokyo before you leave.
  • Umimachi Don (Setagaya)
    This is an out of the way, definitely off-the-beaten-path donburi shop. Nothing special, I added it to the list because sometimes, these little shops are the best — even though for locals they are daily meal types shops — the quality is still outstanding — and this shop meticulously crafts your meal.

If you want to see where this fresh seafood comes from, check out this private tour of the new Toyosu Fish Market AND the old Tsukiji Fish Market — in English. A great tour of both. Even though Toyosu is the hip new market, Tsukiji market still has a ton to offer.

Best Shabu-Shabu in Tokyo

Best shabu-shabu restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

Boiled meat doesn’t sound all that appetizing, but Japan has somehow made the impossible, possible — especially when you have the perfect slice of A5 wagyu that just melts in your mouth.

Learn all about shabu-shabu in our complete guide.

  • Imafuku (Minato)
    This is it. The main attraction. When you want the best of the best shabu-shabu, here is where you go. A Michelin star shabu-shabu restaurant and the building is super cool looking too. Great food, fabulous atmosphere. You can’t go wrong here — though getting reservations may be a pain.
  • Imahan (Asakusa)
    After exploring Senso-Ji temple, why not stop by here for one of Tokyo’s top shabu-shabu restaurants? This restaurant was founded in 1895! You have to admit that it is quite a long time to finely tune their craftsmanship. 
  • Zakuro (Ginza)
    This famous shabu-shabu restaurant was founded in 1955 and is just a 2-minute walk from Ginza station. No chance you could miss it. This place is an incredible shabu-shabu dining experience.