Hand-Picked Eats in Harajuku

Updated November 8, 2019 | by Chad A. Thiele, 23 year veteran of Tokyo.

The dining scene in Harajuku is immense. There are probably a few hundred restaurants to choose from.

Here are a few hand-picked places for you to enjoy. No rhyme or reason for these, except that they are delicious.

Deus Ex Machina Cafe

Deus Ex Machina Cafe

Sometimes you just want to have a beer, eat a delicious sandwich and enjoy the scenery and/or the company.

Deus is the place where you can do that and feel as if you are at an old friends place who is having a get-together. Complete strangers interacting as if they have all been hanging out together their whole lives.

You can sit at a table, at the bar, on a couch, or outside on a bench. The staff is so accommodating and laid back.

If you could imagine what it would be like if Scooby-Doo and Shaggy ran a restaurant, this would be it.

Map pin to Deus Cafe

Rainbow Pancake

Rainbow Pancake

Absolutely the fluffiest pancakes you will ever eat! 

The texture remains true to pancake style, just a much fluffier version that literally melts in your mouth. 

There are many different creams, sauces, and fruits to accompany your pancake that just take it to that next level. 

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Eggs ‘n Things

Ok, so technically this is a Hawaiian restaurant, but it is too good not to mention. 

From fluffy pancakes to meat platters, Hawaiian spam to garlic shrimp plates, there is such a variety that will definitely satisfy any cravings you might have. 

Map pin to Eggs ‘n Things

Long! Longer!! Longest!!!

You will most definitely see people walking down Takeshita street with these really long, spiral potatoes on a stick, or super tall ice cream, cotton candy, and churros. 

This novelty café is one of the more popular places to get a snack.

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Marion Crepes

Marion Crepes

Crepes are one of the more popular desserts here in Japan. 

You will find a crepe store just about everywhere you go, but Marion Crepes is the oldest and most popular spot to go on Takeshita street. 

With over 100 different crepe combinations, you are sure to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Map pin to Marion Crepes

The Manhattan Fish Market

The Manhattan Fish Market

Don’t let the name throw you off. It’s not an actual fish market! 

You might recognize it since it is a global restaurant chain, but it’s just better here in Japan!

Using only locally sourced seafood it is one of the best places to get fish ‘n chips in a comfortable, open-spaced atmosphere. 

They have a perfect small lunch menu that hits the spot, but their night menu is what you really need to check out. 

It’s the place to go if you are craving a big platter of seafood. 

Map pin to The Manhattan Fish Market

Gyoza Lou Harajuku

Ok, when you see this place you might be wondering why I even put this on here, but seriously, if you love Gyoza, trust me when I tell you that this is the best Gyoza in town. 

The menu is super simple – fried or steamed, with a side of bean sprouts or cabbage. That’s it. 

But oh, will your taste buds thank me. You don’t even need the sauce they’re so good.

Map pin to Gyoza Lou

Luke’s Lobster

This is not a place to sit down and eat, well, there are a few stools, but I have never seen one empty. 

When you walk down the street and are close, you will start to see people holding these delicious looking subs and your mouth will instantly start to salivate. They look so darn delicious.  

But when you take a bite and your teeth sink into this garlic buttered bread and you taste the succulent, sweet, and delicate lobster, your eyes roll in the back of your head with every bite. Man, that’s good!

Map pin to Luke’s Lobster

Crayon House

The best place to go for people with small kids. 

It is a buffet-style restaurant that serves 90% organic food and their menu has information about any type of allergen that might be in there; which, is not a common thing in Japan, so if you or your child suffers from food allergies you will appreciate this detail. 

Although it is in Japanese, Google Translate works great. Enjoy meat and vegan options as well as soup and salad and then head up to the 2nd floor for toy shopping. 

Map pin to Crayon House

Red Rock Harajuku

Red Rock Harajuku

Are you a total carnivore? Like your beef to be the star of your meal? 

Then Red Rock Harajuku is where you need to go. 

Layers upon layers of perfectly cooked slices of roast beef rest on top of a bed of rice topped with an egg and yogurt sauce, which can be omitted if you like. 

Map pin to Red Rock Harajuku


Sometimes you just need some good ole’ BBQ. 

While there are other choices out there, Smokehouse is the best. But it’s not just the food that makes this place so great. The ambiance is very comfortable and relaxed with a hip vibe. 

Maybe that’s why they call it “Urban BBQ”? Either way, you can’t go wrong enjoying an ice-cold brew with some sweetly smoked ribs. 

My personal favorite is the smoky deviled eggs. YUM! 

Map pin to Smokehouse

Totti Candy Factory

If the city of Harajuku could be described as taste, sugary-sweet would be my guess. 

And if the city of Harajuku could be described as a color, it would be the color of Totti Candy Factory’s Harajuku Rainbow colored cotton candy. 

Or maybe Harajuku is best described in one of their cute little animal cake pops? 

Either way, it’s delectable. 

Map pin to Totti Candy Factory

The closest thing to a Willy Wonka Factory that you can get – absolute heaven for sugar addicts.

The best way to describe this place is to describe one of their best items – the “Freak Cone”. 

This cone is stuffed with ice cream, has an ice cream sandwich stuck inside, a mini cone filled with liquid chocolate stuffed on the other side, a tiny ice cream cone filled with cookie dough stuffed somewhere in the middle and a few freshly baked mini cookies topping the whole thing off. 

Get the idea? Sugar overload, but it is worth every bite.

Map pin to Cookie Time

Ichiran Ramen

Every time I go to this place the line is out the door and down the road and for good reason. 

Ichiran Ramen is the best ramen out there. 

It’s a place where you go when you really just want to enjoy the fantastic noodle experience instead of the experience of dining out with your friends. Once you start eating these noodles, it’s like nothing else in the world matters. 

You can customize your ramen to your liking too, which makes it even better.

Map pin to Ichiran Ramen