Restaurants & Cafés

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

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

Satisfy your truffle craving with an Umami Burger
Blog

Satisfy your truffle craving with an Umami Burger

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You can now have a proper sit-down meal in Komazawa Park
Blog

You can now have a proper sit-down meal in Komazawa Park

The park's new Mr Farmer restaurant also doubles as an emergency shelter

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

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
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
See all restaurant reviews

Hot new openings

Press Butter Sand
Shopping

Press Butter Sand

Those worried about their cholesterol levels should stay away: this layered shortbread cookie (sometimes known as 'butter sand', short for sandwich, in Japanese) shop inside Tokyo Station uses copious amounts of fresh Hokkaido butter in its creations. It's run by the team behind Bake Cheese Tart and deals in luxurious cookies that consist of butter cream and caramel wedged between two layers of sweet, buttery shortbread. They make for a great souvenir, so if you've forgotten to bring something for your friends, relatives, boss or colleagues and are at Tokyo Station, this is a good pick. You can even check out the pressing process with your own eyes, as the cookies are made on site here. Open April 27, 2017

Pagliaccio Ikejiri-Ohashi
Restaurants

Pagliaccio Ikejiri-Ohashi

Opened in early April 2017, this trattoria near the Ohashi intersection does a great job baking bread with natural yeast. For lunch, check out their simple panini selection: choose between the mortadella, mozzarella & rucola variety or the mackerel, shredded carrot and rucola one, both of which – in a rather un-Italian twist – are served with french fries. At dinner, their menu expands to include a range of antipasti, cheeses that go nicely with the bread, pasta dishes and more, all of which should of course be accompanied by a few picks from their selection of natural wines. 

Singapore Bak Kut Teh
Restaurants

Singapore Bak Kut Teh

A favourite of many a Singaporean, bak kut teh has made it to Tokyo in the form of this specialist eatery near Akasaka Station. For the uninitiated, bak kut teh is a heavenly mix of pork on the bone simmered in a broth with ample amounts of garlic and a whole host of medicinal herbs and spices, served with a strong cuppa of the same tea that the dish is usually solved with. The owner of this particular joint was rather enamoured with the entire bowl and thus went to Singapore multiple times to uncover the mystery behind creating a fabulous-tasting bak kut teh; after many years, he finally managed to conjure up a version of his own good enough to sell. Free of additives and seasoned with a spice mix made by the owner, it's surely an original version. The usual rice and fried breadsticks are of course available too, so you'll be able to jazz up your meal exactly to your liking. 

Tsujiri Ginza
Shopping

Tsujiri Ginza

A revered Kyoto tea shop famed for its use of Uji matcha, Tsujiri now graces Tokyo with a shop-in-shop down in Ginza Six's depachika. Besides their green staples, they sell Ginza Six exclusives such as the Tsujiri double rich matcha soft ice cream and the Tsujiri rich matcha terrine. The soft serve comes in both a regular and 'rich matcha' version – matcha fans are advised to order both and see if they can taste the difference. Their mainstays, including matcha baumkuchen and cake rolls with pretty matcha swivels inside, make for great gifts or luxurious picnic fare. Note that everything is on a takeout-only basis, although there are some benches close by for you to plonk down and savour your tea-flavoured treats. 

Upcoming food events

Melonpan Festival
Things to do

Melonpan Festival

Savour a vast variety of sweet, melon-shaped bread at this festival held at 3331 Arts Chiyoda, where bakeries from both Tokyo and further afield team up to show off their 'melon pan'. Formerly a one-day affair, the Melonpan Festival now takes place over an entire weekend and invites you to taste dozens of bread varieties – some of which even have actual melon cream inside. The funds raised will be donated to a charity working to improve working conditions for and employ women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, so you can munch away without feeling too guilty.

Okinawa Matsuri
Things to do

Okinawa Matsuri

Music, food, local specialities and traditional crafts from Japan's chilled-out holiday destination of choice are on parade in Yoyogi Park at this free festival, which now returns for its sixth and most extensive edition so far. Head to the stage to catch performances by Okinawan artists, dancers and manzai comedians, or hit the food stall area for soba, spam, Orion beer and maybe even some mimigaa (pig's ears, natch).

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Cinco de Mayo
Things to do

Cinco de Mayo

Held annually in the US to commemorate Mexico's historic victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, the Cinco de Mayo Festival will be heading to Tokyo again this year – and unusually enough, it's arriving right on schedule. Returning to Odaiba for 2017, the three-day festival will again feature the familiar mariachi bands, salsa dancers, tequila bars and Tex-Mex food stands, complemented by non-Mexican gourmet and music contributions from Central and South American countries – a wonderfully wacky mix of influences, in other words.

Hop & Eats
Things to do

Hop & Eats

Two pints of domestic craft beer and all the barbecue grub you can handle over four hours will be available for ¥5,000 at this one-day gourmet extravaganza. Joining hosts TY Harbor on the brew side of things will be Kansai representatives Ise Kadoya and Minoh, as well as Niigata's Swan Lake Brewery, while the American-style grilled eats will come courtesy of TY Harbor's very capable chefs. Burgers, steaks and suds under the May sun – we could think of far worse ways to spend a Sunday. Best get your tickets well in advance for this one.

Meat Gourmet Fair
Shopping

Meat Gourmet Fair

An ingredient you can never go wrong with, top-grade meat is in focus at Shibuya Tokyu's Golden Week gourmet extravaganza, which sees coveted restaurants from all over the city set up stalls on the Toyoko department store's eighth floor. Sample carnivorous delights from the likes of Asagaya's Sato Briand and Meguro yakitori masters Torishiki, go for some sukiyaki, hot dogs or meat sushi, and wash it all down with craft brews from Hitachino Nest, Sankt Gallen, Fujizakura and company.

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. 

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