Restaurants in Tokyo
To the surprise of many visitors, dining out in Tokyo doesn't cost the earth. With an estimated 60,000 restaurants in Tokyo, there is something for every tastebud and budget, from gastronomic delights (Tokyo has more Michelin stars than anywhere else on the planet) to fresh and delicious sushi, served from a stall at the city's famous Ameyoko Market.
Lunch is the perfect time to try new restaurants, particularly in areas like Ginza, Omotesando and Harajuku, as menu prices are often set cheaper than their night-time equivalent. Don't miss the 'bento boxes': great-value lunch boxes filled with a selection of rice, shellfish, and vegetables.
Tokyo is a city which loves food, boasting some of the best restaurants and food markets in the world. However, like its nightlife, Tokyo's restaurants are often tucked away down alleys, on the top of high rises or down in basements. Don't let this put you off as the interiors of many of these restaurants are beautiful. Service is impeccable and every diner is made to feel special.
The Tokyo restaurants below have been grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over ¥10,000)
Moderate (¥5,000 to ¥10,000)
Cheap (up to ¥5,000)
These prices are for a three-course meal for one, including half a bottle of house wine or equivalent, tax and service. An 8% consumer tax is added to restaurant bills and luxury restaurants may also add a 10-15% service charge. Tipping is not customary and might offend.
The rich and discerning still adore this top-end restaurant, a Tokyo institution since 1950, blessed with two Michelin stars, where the chef follows the strict vegetarian Buddhist rules of shojinryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine). Diners relax in one of the restaurant's private tatami rooms, each elegantly designed in traditional Japanese style.Address: Minato-ku, 2-3-1 Atago, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 3431 0811
L'EffervescenceCuisine: French, Japanese
A key part in Japan's Michelin star boom, L'Effervescence represents Tokyo fine dining at its best. Chef Shinobu Namae made his name at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant in the UK, but is influenced by French and Japanese dishes. Chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard) with abalone or wild boar with yuzu are the style of food to expect.Address: Minato-ku, 2-26-4 Nishiazabu, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 5766 9500
TakazawaCuisine: French, Japanese
With just 10 seats, this tiny restaurant is one of the hottest places to eat in town. Chef Yoshiaki Takazawa cooks up stunning traditional Japanese dishes infused with French flavours, making this a culinary experience not to be missed. Seafood is the main draw with the menu changing depending on seasonal ingredients.Address: Minato-ku, Floor 2, Sanyo Akasaka Bldg, 3-5-2, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 3305 5052
Bamboo GrassyCuisine: Japanese
Teppanyaki means stir-fried meat and vegetables cooked on a large grill, and this is one of the best restaurants in Tokyo to give it a try. Grab a front-row seat to watch the chefs at work - their dexterity never fails to amaze. Okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancake) and yakisoba (stir-fried noodles with meat and vegetables) are also available.Address: , 3-9-29 Biahausu Ebisu, Shibuya-ku,
Telephone: +81 3 5739 0527
For a great variety of traditional Japanese food, a splash of chic with a down-to-earth vibe and a great plate of ramen, head to Gogyo. Squeeze along the benches and watch the flames of the kitchen from afar while tasting a range of shochu (a clear spirit) and yakibuta (barbecued pork). Let the lantern hanging outside the door guide you in.Address: , 1-4-36 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 5775 5566
Sushiyori InoseCuisine: Japanese
Tokyo has thousands of excellent sushi restaurants to choose from, but this spot has gained an impressive reputation thanks to its winning hospitality. It's refreshingly unpretentious, utterly unique and won’t leave you penniless either. There is no menu though; the chef makes what he pleases and you eat as many plates as you like.Address: Shinagawa, 2-20-2 Higashigotanda, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 3443 1719
Set alongside the Shibuya River, Afuri is famous for its signature yuzu-infused ramen (which adds a lightness to the broth). Queues often form outside, but service is fast. Select your order from the vending machine at the entrance (there's English labelling too) and then collect your dish.Address: Shibuya-ku, 1-1-7 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 5795 0750
This popular Tokyo restaurant has been running since 1880, and there is a touch of old Japan from the moment you relinquish your shoes at the door. After being led to your table by the kimono-clad waitress, choose from shabu-shabu (thin slices of beef and pork served raw for you to cook in a boiling broth) and sukiyaki (thin slices of beef, vegetables, tofu and noodles cooked in warishita, a special stock of soy sauce, sweet sake and sugar).Address: Taito-ku, 1-3-4 Asakusa, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 3841 0010
The Pink CowCuisine: Western
The Pink Cow is a firm favourite among ex-pats and locals into western food and drink. The atmosphere is colourful and relaxed, with funky furnishings and a maze of rooms hung with the work of local artists. The list of Californian wines is excellent, and the simple, home-style cooking (from burritos and bagels to fudge brownies) makes for an affordable, yet comforting meal.Address: Minato-ku, 5-5-1 Roppongi, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 6434 5773