Restaurants & Cafés

The best restaurants and cafés in Tokyo, including restaurant reviews and new openings

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Restaurants

The best rice joints in Tokyo

Our top Tokyo eateries specialising in that most essential of carbs

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Restaurants

Where to eat now in...Shimokitazawa

We point you to the hottest restaurants in Tokyo’s hipster central

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Restaurants

The konbini connoisseur’s guide to oden

Warm up your innards with the quintessential winter snack

The 100 best restaurants in Tokyo
Restaurants

The 100 best restaurants in Tokyo

Feast your eyes on the best restaurants in Tokyo, and get ready for the culinary adventure of a lifetime

Latest restaurant reviews

Uoharu
Restaurants

Uoharu

Compared to the shiny glass-and-steel towers nearby and the splendour of neighbouring Marunouchi Brick Square, the Shin-Tokyo Building between Yurakucho and Hibiya Park may feel a little worn, but it still houses quite a number of visit-worthy restaurants. One of these is an eatery driven by an admirable cause: Uoharu serves as the physical outpost of the Tsukiji Mottainai Project, an effort aimed at reducing food waste at the legendary fish market by making good use of the heaping piles of seafood and produce left unsold at the daily auctions or discarded due to cosmetic faults.  Opened in late 2014, it’s run by the Mugen group that also operates restaurants like the Nakame no Teppen izakaya chain and Nodoguroya Kakiemon at Nakameguro’s Koukashita, and has become a favourite of many local lunchers looking for a decent seafood teishoku or kaisendon bowl. At lunchtime, you’ll be prompted to order and pay in advance at the entrance – there’s usually a selection of five to six set meal options, all costing around ¥1,000 – while the evening hours see Uoharu turned into a no-frills izakaya with freely usable tables and counter seating around the open kitchen. Our daytime visit was hardly that memorable, with the fried oysters on our teishoku a little dry and the ¥1,200 price feeling a tad high (wasn’t this supposed to be leftover fare?). But evening brought redemption, as the plentiful nihonshu selection nicely complemented marine treats like shirako milt, mehikari (greeneyes) f

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Unatetsu
Restaurants

Unatetsu

When the unagi craving strikes in Kichijoji, head straight for this unpretentious joint that’s been keeping locals well fed on quality eel and run-of-the-mill izakaya grub for over five decades now. Enter from a narrow alleyway just off the Sun Road shopping arcade and you’ll find yourself in a down-to-earth, sparsely decorated space dominated by a huge flat-screen TV on the back wall and inhabited by chain-smoking local salarymen and elderly folks (there’s a more comfy, family-friendlier room upstairs). Sure, Unatetsu may not score many points in the atmosphere column, but there’s nothing wrong with the stamina-packed, charcoal-grilled delicacy that gives the place its name. The basic unaju (unagi over rice plus soup and pickles) comes in three varieties (¥2,200-¥3,300), while more extensive teishoku options (from ¥3,250) and Nagoya-style hitsumabushi (¥3,600) are also available. Our most recent visit – in early January – saw very competently grilled, lightly flavoured and pleasantly fatty fare that adds up to quite decent value, especially when it comes to the cheapest (‘梅’) unaju option. Besides unagi, the menu also lists everything from tempura to kushiyaki, but these sides aren’t that attractively priced and make for little more than a distraction. Although the lack of local competition means it’s usually the default option for anyone seeking an eel-powered boost in the area, Unatetsu hasn’t given in to complacency – an admirable feat in itself.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Sakura
Restaurants

Sakura

Getting decent Italian food in Roppongi is real easy for those willing to throw value out the window, as the area is packed with fancy and reasonably tasty but rather overpriced trattorias and ristorantes. But for the cost-conscious diner, there are only a handful of eateries to choose from. Among these is the welcoming Sakura, found right behind the station in the same building as budget bistro Le Petit Marché and the Sommelier wine shop, which is actually the force behind the entire operation. A casual ‘wine diner’ (as the name suggests), it offers plentiful lunch options: everything from the wood-fired, quite competent pizzas to the voluminous roast beef donburi we opted for on our last visit goes for around ¥1,000, while you can add a half size salad for ¥100. Lunchtime is also happy hour, when wines by the glass start from ¥300. In the evening, you’ll find a long list of dishes made with fresh fish and meats from all over the country; we’re particularly fond of the pastas and pizzas that incorporate hinai-jidori chicken from Akita and pair nicely with a cheap red from the restaurant’s admirably well-stocked wine cellar. While you can usually walk straight in at lunchtime, Sakura often gets very crowded on weekend evenings, so book ahead if you’re looking to score one of the tables by the big windows and show off your plonk-fuelled evening to everyone passing by outside. More modest types will have to make do with the smaller tables and counter-like spots lining the oblo

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Narikura
Restaurants

Narikura

We all know that some meals are about more than just the food itself, and tonkatsu at Takadanobaba’s Narikura is one such comprehensive culinary experience. It all starts with finding the end of the line; there’s practically always a queue outside this revered pork cutlet specialist, and you can expect to spend at least an hour standing in it before being allowed to enter the basement premises. You could cheat and aim to arrive before the early evening opening time, when the queue is shortest, but that would border on doing Narikura wrong. After all, the sweet aroma of fatty meat and frying oil that wafts up into your nostrils once you reach the top of the staircase – meaning you’re almost at the entrance – is more than worth a fleeting moment of boredom. And it only gets better after said appetite-stimulating olfactory sensation: orders are taken outside, so once seated in the smallish room with space for only 20 or so diners, you’ll be staring at a beautiful cut of deep-fried deliciousness within mere minutes. Those lucky enough to be directed to a counter chair will get to enjoy the chefs’ craftsmanship at point-blank range. The exact menu varies slightly depending on the kind of high-grade meat available – on our visit, the standard option had been shipped in from the Kirifuri highlands in Nikko, while brand pork alternatives included Niigata’s Kiramugi and Kagoshima-grown Berkshire (‘Kurobuta’). Teishoku sets centred around either the fattier rosu (loin) or the leaner

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
See all restaurant reviews

Hot new openings

Dandelion Chocolate Kamakura
Restaurants

Dandelion Chocolate Kamakura

San Francisco-born 'bean to bar' chocolate purveyors Dandelion opened their first Japanese shop less than a year ago in Kuramae, but they're already branching out to shores further afield. This second incarnation is perched in pretty Kamakura, where they'll be selling chocolate bars made from scratch at their Kuramae factory, alongside chocolate-rich drinks, pastries and more. Don't forget to also browse their range of items sold only at this store. It's an easy walk from Kamakura Station, so definitely consider popping by if you're in the area.  Open February 2017

SaladStop! Roppongi
Restaurants

SaladStop! Roppongi

These Singaporean salad specialists made their Tokyo debut in November with the opening of an Omotesando outpost, and are now gearing up for expansion. SaladStop! Roppongi will be housed on the ground floor of the Grand Tower Residence building near Roppongi-Itchome Station and feature a selection of 15 'signature salads', customisable with a wide range of toppings and 18 different condiments. Open January 30, 2017

Minimal Shirokane-Takanawa
Shopping

Minimal Shirokane-Takanawa

One of the main movers and shakers behind the city's 'bean to bar' chocolate trend – which, by the way, is showing no signs of slowing down – Minimal set up their third Tokyo outpost in Shirokane-Takanawa in January. They've got their chocolate factory right behind the store, meaning that you'll likely be greeted by wafts of cacao upon entering and have the chance to witness a chocolate bar being created from scratch. They'll be offering their daily-made chocolate dip too, so don't miss out. So far, they plan to only offer take-out and merchandise at this location, so you'll have to practice some proper delayed gratification techniques before sitting down somewhere else to savour your chocolates. 

Gonpachi Asakusa Azumabashi
Restaurants

Gonpachi Asakusa Azumabashi

Famous as the restaurant that inspired Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill (and as the place where George W Bush dined with ex-PM Koizumi), not many people know that Gonpachi is actually a small chain of restaurants, each with their own, distinctive theme and atmosphere. This one is their 11th in Japan and their first in tourist-heavy Asakusa, just a few steps away from the Kaminarimon and next to Azumabashi, with a great riverside view from the second floor. At first glance, their menu focuses on pretty standard izakaya fare (some yakitori, some appetizers, some noodles), but the execution is definitely better than run-of-the-mill. It's also somewhat East-meets-West, with their Bagna Cauda having a kani miso dipping sauce instead of a traditional Italian anchovy-based version, and their fried shrimp dumpling coming with a salsa-esque topping. If you happen to like oysters, they also carry seven different types, including four domestically sourced varieties, which are all quite resonably priced and again in a slight twist, come served with both lemon and soy sauce for you to choose from. They place high emphasis on crafting everything from scratch: their soba is hand-made in store every day, and if you're seated on the first floor, you might have the chance to see one of the chefs in action, rolling out a massive slab of buckwheat-based dough and then expertly cutting it into thin noodles. It definitely adds to the experience. The same goes for their temaki - in the words of the

Upcoming food events

Koenji Hot Soup Festival
Things to do

Koenji Hot Soup Festival

February is usually the coldest month of winter in Tokyo, so the timing is perfect for this festival that lets you sip a wide variety of hot soups under the open sky. Taking place on the plaza just outside Koenji Station's north exit, it sees local restaurants team up with eateries from neighbouring Asagaya and Ogikubo to serve everything from Thai tom yum goong and gumbo soup to Mexican menudo, made with beef tripe in a spicy base, alongside a range of old-school nikomi. And with the Koenji Engei Matsuri for performing arts going on during the same weekend, making the trip should be well worth your while.

Yokohama Strawberry Festival
Things to do

Yokohama Strawberry Festival

A real crowd-pleaser every year since starting out in 2013, Yokohama's berry celebration returns with a bang in February. In addition to free tastings of seasonal strawberries and sales of similarly themed sweets, jam and pastries, the Red Brick Warehouse will see plenty of kid-friendly fun taking place. If you're looking to taste free berries, we recommend arriving well before 11am, which is when the sampling starts on each day. 

Dassai Sake Weeks in Ginza
Things to do

Dassai Sake Weeks in Ginza

One of the most popular sake brands at the moment, Yamaguchi's Dassai, is getting a spot in the Ginza limelight with this two-week stint that sees 40 local bars and eateries creating menus that should pair perfectly with Dassai. The first week is focused on sweets that go well with the Dassai Junmai Daiginjo (polished until 39%), the Dassai Sparkling (polished until 39%) and the Dassai Nigori Sparkling (polished until 50%). The Dassai Store in Ginza will also be offering original sweets to 100 people every day during the event, so queue up to grab yours.  TimesFebruary 6 - February 12February 13 - February 19 Participating venues vary by week – check the details when buying a ticket through the website or at the reception area in Ginza. 

Hokkaido Special Dinner Buffet
Restaurants

Hokkaido Special Dinner Buffet

Hokkaido is one of the nation's most plentiful regions for seafood and many other delicacies, and winter is the best season to enjoy this splendour. Have an exclusive Hokkaido dining experience without leaving Tokyo at the ANA InterContinental in Akasaka, where a festive dinner buffet is available at the Cascade Cafe restaurant through March. Inviting executive chef Hisayuki Niregane from ANA Crown Plaza Hotel Kushiro, its group hotel in Hokkaido, the ANA InterContinental offers almost 50 kinds of dishes including steamed crabs, grilled lamb and hearth-baked pizza made with Hokkaido's famed dairy. You'll also find specialities usually only offered at the Hokkaido hotel, such as cutlets of deer and octopus shabu-shabu. Milk soft serve, melon bavarois and raw caramel pudding will be waiting for the sweet of tooth, and even the drink menu has been given a Hokkaido makeover. Note that there is a ¥590 (¥510 for seniors, ¥200 for children) surcharge for the buffet on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

Nabe Hut at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse
Things to do

Nabe Hut at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse

Warm up your innards at Yokohama's Red Brick Warehouse in late January, which is when this 'nabe hut' will be opened on the facility's main plaza. The hot pot haven offers a wide range of mixtures, from the standard pork and cabbage version to oyster nabe and a soup made with sake lees. Motsunabe (hot pot with pork tripes) and Akita's kiritanpo (with roasted rice skewers) should also rank among the most popular offerings, which can all be combined with fine nihonshu.

Bubbles Night
Restaurants

Bubbles Night

You'll be able to indulge in your fair share of swanky boozy fizz at The Strings Hotel's Valentine's dinner event, set in their Bubbles Bar on the 26th floor. The star of it all is the Louis Roederer champagne, which you'll get to enjoy with a sweets buffet over three days. The sugary edibles will include the hotel's signature lollipop-style sweets, as well as sweets specially made by pâtissiers for a total of ten different options. If you're looking for a fancy and sweet place to spend Valentine's – either with friends or that special someone – then head up to this spot high above Shinagawa. 

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