Restaurants & Cafés

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

Try 'the world's best chocolate cake' at Bubó Barcelona
Blog

Try 'the world's best chocolate cake' at Bubó Barcelona

The Spanish pâtissiers famed for their chocolate creations have finally landed in Tokyo

Dominique Ansel's new Ginza outpost will sell flying cakes
Blog

Dominique Ansel's new Ginza outpost will sell flying cakes

The inventor of the Cronut is set to open his second Tokyo shop in March

Omotesando Koffee has at last been reincarnated – as Koffee Mameya
Blog

Omotesando Koffee has at last been reincarnated – as Koffee Mameya

Eiichi Kunitomo's beloved coffeeshop is back at the old location, but with a new concept

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
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Hot new openings

Winehall Glamour Shinjuku
Restaurants

Winehall Glamour Shinjuku

Homemade pizza and over 70 different wines from all over the globe come together at this dazzlingly named restaurant a stone's throw from Shinjuku-Sanchome Station and Hanazono Shrine. On the pizza side of things, they have everything from a classic Margherita to more Japanese-style adventures such as the 'Genovese-style' Salmon and Avocado, the Pakchee and Spicy Mexican Meat, and the most inventive one yet: the 'Bismarck-style' soft-boiled egg and natto cheese combo. The good thing is that all 15 types of pizzas go for a mere ¥500, so if you end up finding one you particularly fancy or quite the opposite, it's not the end of the world even if you order another one. To keep non-pizza eaters happy, they also have meat- and pasta-based offerings; come with a group and share away.  Open February 28, 2017

Le Poulet Brasserie Ukai
Restaurants

Le Poulet Brasserie Ukai

Directly accessible from Otemachi Station through the Otemachi Park Building, this brasserie makes you feel as if you're having a drink or a nibble in a lot calmer, greener environment than the city's central business district. Their speciality is the rotisserie chicken, which is slow-roasted to perfection and hence takes about 40 minutes to arrive after you've ordered – the wait probably adds to the chilled-out atmosphere. From the juicy breast meat to the firm thighs, each bite carries a slightly different taste sensation, and there are enough different sauces on offer for you to find the perfect match for each piece. Less patient diners may want to opt for the rotisserie chicken sandwich or one of the salads, which can all be enjoyed on the sunny terrace. Perfect for a (somewhat) lazy lunch.

Anniversary Garden Restaurant
Restaurants

Anniversary Garden Restaurant

Located inside Shirokane's Happo-en garden, the Anniversary Garden restaurant reopens in early March 2017 with a new focus on organic eats. This also means they're very particular about telling people where their food comes from; take the green salad made with veggies from Nishita farm in Ishikawa prefecture, potage made with turnip from Shibakai farm in Chiba, organic chicken curry with herbs from Shizuoka's Ochiai Herb Garden, sauteed Tsukuba chicken from Haneishi farm in Ibaraki prefecture and so on. If that doesn't get you thinking about what you put in your mouth, we don't know what will.  Reopening March 1, 2017

Azur et Masa Ueki
Restaurants

Azur et Masa Ueki

Nishi-Azabu is getting an interesting-looking, semi-new French eatery in March, when chef Masahito Ueki is moving his signature restaurant from flashy Ginza to a somewhat less notable back street just off the Nishi-Azabu crossing. The basic recipe – haute cuisine crafted from the finest Japanese ingredients – will remain the same, but a few new features will be introduced as well. Notable among these is the designer cutlery and tableware, which fuses traditional arts such as Arita and Kasama pottery, Aizu lacquerware and Tsubame-Sanjo metalcrafts with cutting-edge shapes and décor. Ueki hasn't yet been able to break through into the very top layer of Tokyo's French restaurants, but perhaps this fresh start will provide the impetus he's looking for. Open March 1, 2017

Upcoming food events

Ramen Girls Festival
Things to do

Ramen Girls Festival

Once upon a time, most ladies wouldn't be caught dead in a ramen shop, smartly staying away from the greasy smell, artery-clogging grub and ultra-masculine atmosphere. Luckily enough, those days are long gone, and this Yokohama festival celebrates the fact over one very long weekend. In addition to slurping up delicious noodles served by the likes of Hakata Ikkosha, Menya Itto and Kanda Katsumoto, visitors can sip all kinds of beauty-bringing drinks at the stalls set up on the Red Brick Warehouse's main plaza. Oh, and before you ask: men are allowed to come inside, too.

Shimada Green Ci-Tea Japan at Shibuya Loft
Things to do

Shimada Green Ci-Tea Japan at Shibuya Loft

Shibuya has many things, but one feature it was lacking was a proper tea field. Enter the Shimada Green Ci-Tea Japan event, which will see a real tea crop set up on the ground floor of Loft, where you can stop by to enjoy a serene cuppa – a temporary oasis for those tired from shopping, if you will. The collaboration with Shizuoka's Shimada is no accident either, as the city is famed for its tea production. Lightly steamed, deep-steamed and roasted teas will all be on offer, alongside Ibuki, the 2016 winner of the World Green Tea Contest. Plenty of stuff to pour over, in other words. 

Gyoza Fes Tokyo
Things to do

Gyoza Fes Tokyo

It's looking like a real dumpling dust-up at Komazawa Park in March, when 19 gyoza shops from all over Japan will be treating hungry attendees to copious amounts of beer-compatible bites over the long weekend. In addition to standard pan-fried gyoza, you'll be able to choose from boiled and deep-fried versions or opt for some even more unorthodox creations ('Italian' gyoza, anyone?). The longest queues will probably form in front of the stall run by Danta, the Takanawa eatery known as former PM Junichiro Koizumi's go-to haunt.

Washu Fes in Nakameguro
Things to do

Washu Fes in Nakameguro

Sakura and sake are a match made in heaven – at least if you believe the folks behind this annual nihonshu festival in Nakameguro, which is returning for its sixth edition in March. Over 100 varieties of fine sake from all over the country can be sampled over two hours for a flat ¥3,000, while admiring the blossoms that drape the Meguro River in pink and white is of course completely free.

Pan no Fes (Yokohama Bread Festival)
Things to do

Pan no Fes (Yokohama Bread Festival)

Get ready for three days of extra-pasty fun at Yokohama's Red Brick Warehouse, where more than 50 bakeries from all over the country hawk their wares and show off new creations. Pan no Fes attracted a whopping 120,000 visitors last year, with all the bread selling out in the end, so although the festival area has been expanded for this second edition, we'd recommend preparing for queues.

Craft Sake Week Roppongi
Things to do

Craft Sake Week Roppongi

A great opportunity for sampling a wide range of artisanal nihonshu and shochu over the course of ten days, the Craft Sake Week takes over at Roppongi Hills in April, inviting ten different breweries to show off their wares every day. And you won't need to rely on convenience store onigiri for solid nutrition in between sips: the grub comes courtesy of Shinobu Namae's double-Michelin-starred L'Effervescence, Arakicho favourite Sharikimon Chawanbu and so on. The ¥3,500 'starter set' includes a sake cup plus six 'food and drink coins' worth ¥250 each. Once you run out, pick up six more coins for ¥1,500 or 11 for ¥2,500.

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Restaurants

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Restaurants

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