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Best late-night and 24-hour restaurants in Tokyo

Where to find food whatever the hour in Shinjuku, Akasaka, Shibuya and Roppongi

Written by
Time Out Tokyo Editors
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Missed the last train home and in desperate need of warmth and shelter? Got an intense craving for food after a night on the tiles? Whatever your reason for prowling the city streets at a time when most people are tucked up in bed, you can always turn to these late-night and 24-hour restaurants for a bite and some company when most of the city has shuttered. Here’s where to satisfy your late-night hunger pangs.

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Midnight diners

  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Shinjuku
  • price 1 of 4

Ramen Nagi must be doing something right. When it opened in 2004, it operated out of a rented space in a bar in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai district. Today, it has outlets in Taiwan and the Philippines, while its flagship branch is still in Shinjuku’s drinking quarter.

Key to its wild success is its incomparable broth, made by simmering over 20 varieties of small dried fish for more than half the day. The deep, complex broth is then perfectly paired with thick, curly noodles. Come here after bar-hopping in Golden Gai, or if there’s a long queue at the main restaurant, head to the nearby annex outlet, which is also open 24 hours a day.

Akasaka Ichiryu Bekkan
  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Akasaka
  • price 1 of 4

This Akasaka restaurant, now in its sixth decade, is open 24 hours and specialises in a Korean dish known as seolleongtang, a cloudy soup made from slowly simmering beef bones and offals for many hours. It’s deeply flavourful, and accompanied by a spread of 11 types of banchan (small Korean side dishes) plus a bowl of rice – just the type of filling, comforting and warming meal your body cries out for after a night out. While this ground-floor annex specialises in this single dish, it’s also worth visiting this restaurant’s main location on the fifth floor of the same building, which offers a diverse menu of Korean dishes.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Roppongi
  • price 1 of 4

The expansion of this mini-chain is a boon for the city’s night owls – its six Tokyo outlets (there’s also one in Osaka) are all open 24 hours. This Roppongi branch, with its striking interior design and convenient location next to the Grand Hyatt, does a roaring trade in the wee hours, which is hardly surprising considering the abundance of nightlife options nearby.

For a rejuvenating post-clubbing feed, you’d do well to order the Peking duck, which is roasted whole in an iron pot, then cut and served at your table. While you tuck into the crispy skin, the chef will turn the bones and remaining meat into a soup and a stir-fry. It’s one duck, three ways.

Mean's Pizza & Caffébar
  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Shibuya

Perhaps Mean’s new-wave pizzas make sense when you’re drunk – it’s hard to imagine soberly ordering their okonomiyaki or chicken teriyaki options. To be fair, their Italian-Japanese fusion creations have their fans, although we like to stick to the tried-and-tested margherita, a steal at only ¥550. The extensive menu covers a host of Italian classics such as pastas, diced beef steak and roast chicken, while baked potatoes, prosciutto and French fries are available as sides.

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Sushi Zanmai
  • Restaurants
  • Shibuya
  • price 1 of 4

Few experiences can make you feel more like a genuine Tokyoite than tucking into a feast of raw fish at three in the morning. This dependable chain gets surprisingly busy with sushi fans in the middle of the night. If you’re after some serious post-nightlife nourishment, a surefire bet is the sumptuous Sushi Zanmai selection, a vast bowl of rice with 13 toppings including tuna, sea urchin and salmon roe. Get it with a side order of grilled fish and chawanmushi (a savoury egg custard dish) and it’ll keep you going till lunchtime.

Unir Akasaka
  • Restaurants
  • Akasaka

Coffee shops in Tokyo tend to open late (usually after 10am) and close early, which kind of defeats the point of caffeine – to help wake you up in the morning, or to help keep you awake at night. But coming to the rescue is Unir, where you can get your caffeine fix any time of the day or night. Located on the first floor of the fittingly titled Hotel Innsomnia Akasaka, this smart, slick speciality coffee haunt offers espresso, French press brews, granola and excellent pastries.

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Yakiniku Gen-Chan
  • Restaurants
  • Shinjuku

While we’d never judge anyone for their dietary habits, we’re slightly surprised to learn that at half four in the morning on any day of the week, a bunch of people will be sitting in a Shinjuku restaurant tucking into all-you-can-eat barbecued meat. This spacious and mercifully well ventilated Shinjuku restaurant offers charcoal-grilled yakiniku all day and all night – there are more than 70 items to choose from including top-notch meat and bibimbap.

While we’re at peace with pre-dawn meat feasts, we’re less convinced by Gen Chan’s gendered pricing policy – women pay ¥3,480 while men pay ¥3,980. The lunch menu is simpler and cheaper, of course, with the Kalbi set meal and Skirt Steak set meal priced at a mere ¥950 and ¥850 respectively

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Shinjuku-Sanchome
  • price 2 of 4

A 24-hour coffee shop is perhaps the perfect business model – caffeine-fuelled customers can stay up all night long ordering cup after cup, while stragglers stumbling home from a hard night’s clubbing can start the process of sobering up. If your 1am craving is for a cup of Joe rather than a midnight feast, then head to Edinburgh. Perched on the outskirts of Kabukicho, it offers as many as 20 varieties of coffee, including high-end brews such as ‘Hawaii Kona’ and ‘Royal Blend’ (a snip at ¥3,000). Servings are generous and you can squeeze two cups out of a pot, while they also have free wi-fi. 

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Hyungboo
  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Akasaka
  • price 2 of 4

A well-known stop for K-pop junkies, Hyungboo attracts a seemingly constant stream of customers, who dine amidst walls plastered with the photos and autographs of Korean and Japanese celebrities. If you’re not there for the stars, go for the food – the restaurant offers an overwhelming selection of Korean fare, including hotpot favourites gamjatang and budae jjigae, keranchimu (Korean-style steamed custard egg), jijim and yakiniku, as well as an excellent set menu consisting of more than a dozen different dishes.

Kader
  • Restaurants
  • Turkish
  • Roppongi
  • price 1 of 4

Sometimes, only a kebab will do. When the appetite takes hold, duck into Kader, a Turkish restaurant not far from Roppongi’s main intersection, for a beef kebab topped with crunchy salad. If you’re hankering after something sweet, round off your meal with a bite-sized square of baklava; or for something a little different, try some menemen, a traditional Turkish breakfast of scrambled egg with tomato.

Still hungry?

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