If you’re planning to travel to Japan and want to research ahead to know which restaurants to go to in Tokyo, this post is for you. I’ve been to this beautiful country a few times and every time I visit, there’s always something to keep my palate giddy with excitement. And that’s even after dining nearly every weekend at Benihana.
Of course, you can always ask the locals or your travel guide for their recommendations on the best restaurants to go to. But if you want the list right here, right now, then read on.
Minatoya specializes in seafood and their kaisendon bowls (rice bowls topped with raw seafood) are not only delicious, but also generally inexpensive. You can order a bowl for as low as JPY 500. Located in Ameyoko Market, you can also try their famed takoyaki balls. I would definitely recommend a bowl of anago and scallops.
2. Nisshin Tasuke
Craving for unagi skewers? Then you must head to Nisshin Tasuke. Unagi is barbecued freshwater eel usually prepared in sushi form. At this restaurant, it’s served as a streetfood complete with skewers. You can also get clams and squid, and their grilled scallops (hotate) are a must-try.
3. Sushi Katsura
Sushi Katsura is situated north of Tsukiji Outer Market and in my opinion, they have the best cheap sushi in all of Tokyo. The seafood here is topnotch quality and you can get a lunch set for just JPY1,280, this already includes 6 pieces maki, 1 tomago and 9 pieces nigiri.
4. Harajuku Gyoza Lou
Gyoza pertains to Japanese dumplings with veggies and ground meat fillings wrapped in a thin dough sheet. It’s very popular in Japan, often served with ramen and other dishes. At Gyoza Lou, located in Harajuku, you get your gyoza steamed or pan-fried. Each order is comprised of 6 tasty dumplings for as low as JPY 290. There’s often a line here so be prepared to wait a bit to be served.
If you want to try kaitenzushi restaurants, then Sushiro is the place to be. Basically, in a kaitenzushi resto, you will experience getting sushi plates from a conveyor belt that goes around the whole restaurant. Sushiro is the most popular Kaitenzushi restaurant chain in Japan and each sushi plate costs only JPY120.
6. Oreryu Shio Ramen
A friend of mine actually flew to Japan just for the ramen. I can’t blame him. Establishments like Oreryu Shio Ramen is out of this world. A stone’s throw from Shibuya station, this ramen place serves the most delicious shio ramen I’ve ever tried. It’s light, buttery and creamy with a hint of sweetness from the corn. It’s served with ramen egg, veggies and roasted pork which is a treat in and of itself – soft, fatty and smokey.
In Tokyo, fukagawa meshi is a regional specialty. It a clam and long onion dish cooked in miso then placed over rice. This humble dish may originally have been cooked for the working class but there’s nothing humble about the flavors. The clams are plump and juicy, while the rice is filled with miso and clam flavors, with a hint of coriander and fried laver.
8. Kisaburo Nojo
This restaurant is well-known for their tamago kake gohan, a very popular dish in Japan comprised of rice (steamed) topped with raw egg and soy sauce. They offer all-you-can-eat tamago kake gohan and boasts of 8 varieties of premium eggs sourced from local farms in the country.
9. Rainbow Pancake
Japan’s souffle pancakes became well-known in recent years and social media is likely to blame. But this comes as no surprise as the pancake’s height and fluffiness are definitely worth the buzz. Rainbow Pancake’s souffle pancakes are not only tall and very fluffy, but also rich and delectable.
Check out this souffle pancake here: