Restaurants & Cafés

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

Tokyo's best smoked restaurants
Restaurants

Tokyo's best smoked restaurants

Where to head for that quintessential smokey flavour

Tokyo’s best open-air restaurants and bars
Restaurants

Tokyo’s best open-air restaurants and bars

Plum terrace, waterfront perch or rooftop bar? Tokyo has it all right here

The top 10 halal restaurants in Tokyo
Restaurants

The top 10 halal restaurants in Tokyo

Where to head for the best non-haram Japanese food in town

Four great Tokyo shops with cafés
Shopping

Four great Tokyo shops with cafés

Enjoy a coffee mid shopping spree at these supremely convenient shop-café hybrids

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

Va Bene
Restaurants

Va Bene

Booze and meat make for a winning combination at Va Bene, an Italian-style wine and beer bar with one of the best locations in Kichijoji. Sitting pretty in a corner space right across from classic yakitori eatery Iseya and close enough to Inokashira Park that you can see the trees from the terrace seats out front, this endearingly down-to-earth joint opened in spring 2013 and has maintained a steady level of popularity ever since. You’ll do best to book a table for groups bigger than two, especially on weekends – although we did manage to sneak in without a reservation around 9pm on a recent Friday night. Once inside, you might need a while to browse the rather extensive menu. Although the energetic staff are quick to point to the daily specials on the blackboard, we recommend exploring the regular offerings first. That’s because these mean excellent value: in addition to the slow-grilled wagyu and brand pork meats (from around ¥1,800 for 150g), offered mainly as lean cuts, you’ll find very good starter salads, pâtés and pickles, plus our hands-down favourite: delectably creamy and moreish sweet potato gnocchi. We could have snacked on these addictive little dumplings all night, but that would definitely have ruined our plans of getting into beach shape for summer. As for the liquid offerings, wine aficionados will do well to check in with the laidback resident sommelier, who lords over a closely curated selection of less than 50 varieties. Glasses start at ¥600, while find

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Izmir
Restaurants

Izmir

An anonymous mini-mall in Asagaya is an unlikely venue for this gem of a restaurant, run by the jovial Elif Ozeri and her family since its opening back in 2004. Consisting of an open kitchen, a long counter and half a dozen tables lined up along the wall, Izmir is a small, comfy and inviting place. Adding to the homely atmosphere is the almost complete lack of touristy knickknacks that pass for décor at many of the city’s other Turkish eateries (many of which aren’t actually run by Turks, mind you). While the tables are fine for parties of three or more, couples are usually directed to the counter, where they can stare at the rotating kebab grill and be served drinks straight from the kitchen. And what about the food? Discounting the gorgeously plated and flavourful but overpriced and somewhat pretentious fare at Azabu-Juban’s Burgaz Ada, Izmir’s offerings make a very strong case for best Turkish eats in Tokyo. Although the signature döner kebab wasn’t exactly world-beating on our last visit, the other meat dishes are excellent – we’re big fans of the fittingly spicy and chewy Adana kebab, while the İskender kebab is decadently creamy and voluminous enough for two. Those less than enamoured with animal flesh will want to focus on the meze appetiser selection: go for one of the karışık meze combo plates for a taste of homemade hummus, both light and spicy mixtures of veg and yogurt, and the herby tomato stew known as acılı ezme. You’ll need to order it separately, but only h

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
DC BBQ
Restaurants

DC BBQ

Frequent Tokyo visitor and businessman David Chuang was apparently dissatisfied with the lack of good American-style BBQ restaurants in our otherwise foodie-friendly city. So, naturally, he built his own. The result is DC BBQ, which opened near Azabu-Juban last December. DC BBQ’s pride and joy is its barbecue pit, which is heated not with gas or electricity but good old-fashioned firewood. Convincing the authorities to allow the 600kg pit to even exist was apparently a challenge – the room it’s in had to be completely sealed off from the rest of the restaurant should the worst occur – but it allows the meat to smoke for up to 12 hours at relatively low temperatures for an authentic American BBQ experience. And a fine experience it is. We tried the DC BBQ Combo, which included cuts of brisket, pork shoulder, belly, spare ribs and BBQ chicken (we also threw in some beef short ribs for good measure), and while the chicken tasted a little dry, the pork- and beef-based items were superb. With crunchy black crusts and melt-in-your-mouth softness, the meat clearly benefitted from its hours of slow pit cooking. Despite DC BBQ’s insistence on providing an authentic American menu, there are a few concessions to the Japanese palate, including Asahi as the main beer (although they do have Blue Moon on tap, too) and pickled lotus root and gobo appetisers. Other sides we sampled, including a wedge salad, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, BBQ wings and an apple crumble ice cream, were all g

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

Hot new openings

Kung Fu Kitchen
Restaurants

Kung Fu Kitchen

You'll be spoilt for choice in the ramen department at this Chinese-style noodle shop: they have a whopping 26 different varieties to pick from. Satisfy a shrimp craving with their shrimp wonton noodles, go all pork-happy with the umami-rich pork rib ('paakoo') noodles or choose shio soup with a peppery kick by having their aoto negi (blue pepper and leek) ramen. You'll also get to select the thickness of your noodles – three types are available, from old-school thin to imperially thick ones – and if you feel the need to add a little extra volume to your meal, there's gyoza and dim sum on offer too. Besides the staggering amount of choice, the main draw will likely be their interior, which is modelled on a streetside food court or hawker centre. Open June 2, 2017

Nick Stock
Restaurants

Nick Stock

Meat meets coffee at this Kyoto-imported café, where the menu focuses on homemade sausages, steaks, hamburg steaks and other meaty fare alongside some fine brew. Their hot dogs are particularly noteworthy: made with branded chamiton pork from Kagoshima, the juicy yet crisp sausage is worthy of the 'signature' moniker. There's also a 'healthier' option in the shape of a chicken-based hot dog, and a 'steak dog' – more than enough choice here for wiener lovers. Open May 29, 2017

Nippon no Hitosara
Restaurants

Nippon no Hitosara

Bringing out the best in fish through fermentation: that's the driving idea behind this new Marunouchi restaurant. Using fish and fermented seasonings from ports across the country, Nippon no Hitosara has added some inventive quirks to its menu as well: definitely try the sashimi with shiboritate kiage shoyu, meaning freshly pressed, unpasteurised and unfiltered soy sauce – it's been fermented but not strained. Soy sauce (and the fish, of course) doesn't get much fresher than this. If you want some veggies instead, the Asatore yasai to sanshu no hishio (morning vegetables with three types of paste, made with homemade jang (think miso paste)) is a good bet, while the Futakuchi hakko tai chazuke, Thai-style seabream sashimi with fermented soy sauce on top of rice with tea, is another fishy winner.  Their lunch sets look very good too, although you might have to get there early to grab one of the ¥1,000 teishoku: two of the sets, including the rather scrumptious Ryukyu-don – despite its Okinawan name, this is an Oita speciality, a soy- and mirin-doused sashimi donburi with sesame, shiso and green onions – are only served to ten customers daily. Open May 30, 2017

Cinagro Organic Salad & Café
Restaurants

Cinagro Organic Salad & Café

Tokyo seems to have gone all salad-happy this year, with this organic veg-based salad shop opening inside the Marunouchi Building being the latest testament to the healthy fad. In a twist on farm to table, they've gone for a 'farm to bowl' concept: combine some of your favourite veggies and they'll stuff them into a bowl before topping it all off with a fresh herb, white balsamic or other dressing. For those who need a steady gluten intake, there's talk of a selection of piadina – an Italian-style fluffy-ish flatbread – too, as well as some more heartier fare. Open May 29, 2017

Upcoming food events

Taiwan Festival Tokyo Beer Garden
Things to do

Taiwan Festival Tokyo Beer Garden

Ueno Park's central plaza gets turned into a Taiwan-style beer garden for four June days, with the ice cold brews complemented by edibles from street stall grub to fresh mango, lychee, pineapple and banana. Don't forget to try your luck in the lychee seed-throwing contest – the winner gets a return flight to Taiwan, while runners-up receive more spiky fruit than they can carry. 

Phak Chi Fes
Things to do

Phak Chi Fes

If fresh coriander and your innards don't get along, it might be for the best to stay away from Kabukicho during this five-day festival, which sees all things phak chi served up in obscene quantities and in forms that range from pad thai to curry and burgers. The nine participating shops will all be equipped with beer taps, so feel free to hop around and combine your green treats with cold ones. Just prepare for queues – Tokyo's coriander boom is showing no signs of slowing down.

Oedo Hawaii Festival
Things to do

Oedo Hawaii Festival

Hula dancing meets taiko drumming at this eclectic fusion festival that celebrates both Hawaiian and Japanese culture in Nihonbashi over one weekend in July. The underground (and properly air-conditioned) Belle Salle hall will see a good 80 acts showcasing everything from taiko drumming and shamisen, swordsmanship and Japanese dancing to hula and traditional Hawaiian music, while the consumables are set to range from loco moco bowls to washoku (we're hoping for some poke...)

Vietnam Festival
Things to do

Vietnam Festival

Held more or less every year since 2008, the Vietnam Festival returns in June with a programme as schizophrenic as ever: the ample quantities of bánh mì, 333 Beer and pho are complemented by a lineup of live entertainment ranging from V-pop singers to local comedians and idol groups. We're also looking forward to the interesting form of traditional art known as 'water puppetry', a practice that goes back centuries in Vietnam, and the many stalls selling handicrafts and other fun knickknacks.

Tokyo Beer Week
Things to do

Tokyo Beer Week

The best week of the year for craft beer converts, Beer Week returns in late May for a bonanza of events taking place all over the city. Confusingly enough, it takes place over two weeks this year and sees brewers and industry folk from all over the world descend on Tokyo, joining representatives of domestic brands and brews for everything from seminars to special offers. Kicking off at Commune 2nd and the UNU farmer's market on May 27, the celebration continues at practically every dedicated craft pub in the city. Highlight events include a 'Rockin' Beer Cabaret' on June 2, a cheese pairing duel on June 4, and the spring edition of BeerFes Tokyo, on at Ebisu's The Garden Hall on June 3 and 4. For the full list of events, see this page.

Midtown Loves Summer
Things to do

Midtown Loves Summer

Having celebrated its tenth anniversary in spring, Tokyo Midtown now gears up for the hot season with a packed programme of summery fun. The insides of the complex will be decorated with wind chimes, while the expansive lawn area, which will be illuminated at night, is where to dip your feet in a cool stream or sit down for a fruity cocktail at the Smirnoff Midpark Cafe. To top things off, every night between August 10 and 13 (from 7.30pm) will see a firework show combined with some digital hanabi art. 

Tokyo's best...

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Restaurants

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Restaurants

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Restaurants

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Restaurants

Afternoon tea

Spend a couple of lazy hours over fancy brews and sweets

Ramen
Restaurants

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Vegetarian
Restaurants

Vegetarian

Enjoy a meat- and fish-free feast

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Restaurants

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Restaurants

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Restaurants

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Restaurants

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Restaurants

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