1. Kitafuku | Time Out Tokyo
  2. Hakarime はかりめ
  3. Numazuko Ginza
    Photo: Numazuko Ginza
  4. Gyoza Hohei
    Photo: Gyoza HoheiGyoza Hohei

Best restaurants in Ginza

The most memorable meals in Tokyo's flashiest 'hood: sushi, ramen, tempura, premium beef, crab sashimi and more

Written by
Time Out Tokyo Editors
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Tokyo's food scene is legendary and we have the Michelin stars to prove it. However, there are countless restaurants worth visiting besides those bestowed with a star, or three. Here's where we come in, to point you in the direction of the best restaurants in the metropolis, and in this case, in one of Tokyo's swankiest neighbourhoods – Ginza.

This being Ginza, most of the restaurants do come with a price tag to match its princely locale, but remember that lunchtime usually offers much more reasonable rates while still maintaining similar stellar quality. Whether you're looking for some fantastic sushi, melt-in-the-mouth slices of wagyu, a quirky take on ramen, or even some comforting omurice, start eating through this list.

RECOMMENDED: Check out the best restaurants in Shibuya

  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Ginza

Hungry diners should seek out this chic noodle joint in Ginza, which specialises in spicy, mapo-style ramen noodles. Whipped up by a former Chinese restaurant chef, the mapo-men (¥1,000) is made with ample amounts of mouth-numbing Sichuan pepper, bound to get your tear ducts working. Thankfully, if you’d prefer to customise your bowl, the restaurant lets you choose from three levels of spiciness: light, medium and heavy.

  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Kyobashi

Amid the dense concentration of restaurants in Ginza, Do Miso serves up a miso ramen that brims with originality. The most popular bowl on the menu is the Toku Miso Kotteri Ramen (¥930), which features a bold, rich soup made from pork and chicken bones blended with five different kinds of miso and grated ginger. The bowl is then loaded with copious amounts of bean sprouts, sweet corn, chashu, nori seaweed and a boiled egg, making for a substantial meal nonetheless. Under all the toppings you’ll find thick, curly noodles that are perfect for soaking up all that miso flavour.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ginza

Sister shop to their ever-popular Kyoto-based restaurant, this is the perfect spot to get your late-night gyoza fix as most nights it's open till an early 3am. The Kyoto-born shop is best known for their signature dumplings stuffed with a savoury garlic and leek filling and crisp exterior, but their ginger gyoza which contains no garlic or onion are a popular alternative for those who are wary about serious garlic breath. Other than the gyoza, the simple menu is rounded off with a few side dishes and drinks, making them a must-eat spot for serious dumpling eaters. 

Hakarime
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Ginza
  • price 2 of 4

An upscale anago specialist in equally upscale Ginza, Hakarime has built its entire menu around conger eels – yet the prices here are surprisingly affordable for the area. Don’t miss the assorted anago sashimi and anago nihonshu (hot sake served with a floating piece of grilled conger eel head), which you can only find at a few places in the city.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ginza

This classy wood-panelled barbecue joint is on a narrow street off Ginza’s main drag. A row of tabletops line one wall, with the rest partitioned behind glass walls, and at the centre of each, depressed into the table surface, is a dome-shaped grill, meant to represent Mongolian warriors’ helmets. Although their all-you-can-eat/drink dinner deals are reasonably priced, for those on a budget we recommend the warrior-sized lunch sets.

You can choose from six types of lamb and veggie grills (mostly under ¥2,000 on weekdays), which include self-serve soft drinks and all-you-can-eat salad, rice and miso soup (also self-serve), plus dessert – a traditional Hokkaido milk pudding called yukishiki-anshin.

Kushinobo Ginza
  • Restaurants
  • Ginza

Headquartered in the Hozenji area of Osaka, Kushinobo specialises in kushikatsu – various deep-fried delicacies served on skewers. In addition to set meals, the menu lists a wide variety of à la carte treats, all made with quality ingredients. Although the skewered bites are all deep fried, you’ll be surprised by the diversity of flavours.

We recommend ordering at least one skewer of everything, especially the prawn, wagyu and asparagus. After savouring a couple of sticks unadorned, try experimenting with the various condiments: these range from classic kushikatsu sauce to sesame salt and a spicy sesame-mustard sauce.

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Sushidokoro Yamada
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Ginza

It’s not often you come across an omakase menu that doesn’t break the bank. But at Sushidokoro Yamada, you can enjoy the 15-piece chef ’s selection for just ¥10,000. Chef Yusuke Yamada has been crafting aged sushi at his Ginza establishment since 2012, and uses his experience growing up in a fishing village to practice some finely cultivated sushi techniques. The restaurant is also one of the few middle- to-high end restaurants that don’t require months to secure a reservation or an in-the-know hotel concierge to get you a seat at the counter.

Nakamura Tokichi
  • Restaurants
  • Ginza

On the fourth floor of the chrome-plated shopping mall Ginza Six is this understated little shop. At the front, you’ll find a great variety of matcha tea for sale, but beyond a mysterious partition curtain is the real gem: its café. Everything on the menu is made with matcha, including their soba and udon. The waiter will prepare complimentary tea when you sit down, while describing the day’s selection. The matcha notes in everything from the noodles to the cheesecake are mild and never overpowering. We recommend the matcha soba set, which comes with ginger-topped rice, Kyoto pickles, matcha jelly, and three different ways of seasoning the soup.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sushi
  • Ginza

Ginza is known for its expensive sushi, but prices are kept low at this popular conveyor-belt restaurant, which offers all your usual sushi finds. If you’re feeling a little fancy, you can order from the premium selection. We recommend the nama uni, where the generous heap of fresh sea urchin is larger than the rice underneath, and the seared anago (conger eel) that is so huge it completely covers the rice.

Kitafuku Ginza
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Ginza
  • price 4 of 4

From the moment you remove your shoes to walk on the tatami mats to your final morsel of fresh, briny-sweet crabmeat, Kitafuku is an exhilarating experience. A meal at this crab specialist, where the offerings vary from season to season, lasts at least two hours, which is the minimum time necessary for a live king crab (typically around 4-5kg) to be deshelled, systematically dismantled – leg by leg, claw by claw – and enjoyed in various ways: blanched, boiled, charcoal-grilled and sashimi. It doesn’t come cheap though – and if you’re not a big fan of crab, don’t even think about it – but it’s worth every yen for a unique and spectacular evening out.

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  • Restaurants
  • Sushi
  • Ginza

Sushi Tokami has an impressive pedigree. Set in a discreet basement space that once belonged to the three Michelin-starred Sushi Mizutani, it was the talk of the town when it opened in 2013. The chef Hiroyuki Sato was widely hailed as one of the city’s best sushi masters despite his relative young age and the restaurant earned a Michelin star within its first year of operation.

Fast forward to 2018: Sato has left the year before (he later opened Hakkoku) and Tokami is now helmed by his protege Shota Oda. The restaurant however, has kept to the same winning formula and the sushi is still excellent. Moreover, Oda’s affable demeanour has made a meal here quite a relaxed affair.

Sanshuya
  • Bars and pubs
  • Izakaya
  • Ginza
  • price 1 of 4

At the heart of ritzy Ginza is a time warp to a simpler – and considerably less swanky – Tokyo. A convivial izakaya, Sanshuya has been delivering satisfying and surprinsingly affordable dishes since 1968. By mid-afternoon each day it’s full of Tsukiji market workers catching up over a drink, and it stays busy till closing.

It’s as unostentatious as it gets, with straightforward furnishings and communal tables, yet its old-school aesthetics are endearing – the menu items are listed individually on black and white signs hanging from the top of the kitchen counter like confetti. Meals at Sanshuya focus on produce from the nearby fish market, but be warned: Sanshuya becomes extra busy during winter’s oyster season, not least because its deep-fried oysters are legendarily good.

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Kondo
  • Restaurants
  • Tempura
  • Ginza
  • price 3 of 4

At Kondo, the art of tempura approaches an exact science. That a deep-fried vegetable can taste so light and fresh seems impossible – so stark is the contrast between one's usual understanding of food cooked in grease and the lightly battered, sesame oil-kissed creations conjured up by chef Kondo.

In fact, he refers to tempura as 'steamed cuisine', wrapping vegetables from across Japan and ultra-fresh Tsukiji seafood into a gentle hull of batter before giving them the hot treatment. One of Kondo's standouts is the sweet potato tempura, which is fried very gently in order to maintain its sweetness and served piping hot.

  • Restaurants
  • Ginza
  • price 2 of 4

Rengatei sits quietly on gas-lit Ginza-dori, and has served traditional fare since 1895. At lunchtime, the place is packed with customers spilling out on to the street. This restaurant is believed to be one of the first in Japan to serve a Western-style menu; rice was first served on a plate here in the early Meiji era, when people preferred rice to bread. Popular dishes include pork cutlets, omurice, fried oysters, fried lobster and hashed beef with rice.

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Kazami
  • Restaurants
  • Ramen
  • Ginza
  • price 1 of 4

One of the quirkier ramen joints around, Ginza's Kazami has made a name for itself on the back of a very unlikely ingredient: sake lees. Found in a narrow alley, its stylish interior could pass for a high-end eatery if it wasn't for the exclusively noodle-focused menu.

The speciality here is the Sake Kasu Noko Soba, which features an additive-free flavourful soup made with chicken, pork, asari clams, oysters and high-end sake lees from Kyoto's Fushimi. Add thin noodles – another Kyoto import – plus superb char siu, slightly grilled abura-age, leek, spinach and an egg, and you have an aromatic bowl unlike any other.

Ginza Cobau
  • Restaurants
  • Ginza
  • price 3 of 4

Considered overpriced and inaccessible, Ginza’s yakiniku eateries don’t have the best of reputations among the capital’s price-conscious carnivores. But Cobau is an exception: with prix fixe deals starting from ¥8,500, it’s far from cheap, but the restaurant provides value with an impressive menu of rare, gorgeously plated kuroge wagyu cuts. One of the few places in Ginza that combines quality with variety, the chic restaurant also offers a wide range of non-yakiniku meat dishes, including Korean-style sukiyaki and simple nikomi stew.

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Chikuyotei Ginza
  • Restaurants
  • Ginza
  • price 2 of 4

One of Ginza's finest old-school eel restaurants, Chikuyotei is best known for its classic unadon (eel over rice) but also serves other fine seafood in ochazuke form (over rice, with tea poured on top) – just the way it used to be back in the early 20th century. Places like this are becoming increasingly hard to find in Tokyo, but this one doesn't look like it's going anywhere: there are even queues outside of the restaurant on some days.

Kyubey
  • Restaurants
  • Ginza
  • price 3 of 4

Kyubey is one of those high-end sushi bars where the freshness of the seafood requires little embellishment; the garnishes and dressings complement rather than overpower. Here you take a seat at one of the fifteen spots around a counter and watch four itamae work with the precision of open heart surgeons.

This is the sushi bar of fantasies, where it’s not merely the itamae’s craft that is well-honed. Paying the bill is done discreetly and swiftly on departure by the kimono-clad waitresses; perfect for business entertaining and special treats.

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Shiseido Parlour Ginza
  • Restaurants
  • Eclectic
  • Ginza
  • price 2 of 4

Founded in 1902, Shiseido Parlour is a pioneer of Japanese-style Western cuisine (yoshoku), ie omu-rice, croquettes and the like. At the restaurant, one menu item that's sure to raise eyebrows is the extravagant curry rice topped with lobster and abalone, and it includes the chef flambéing them at your table.

Meanwhile, the third-floor café specialises in sweet treats such as old-school ice cream soda (popular for well over a century now, we hear) and fruit parfaits, including an indulgent strawberry version that contains enough milk and ice cream to make a lactose-intolerant person break a cold sweat at first sight.

Ibaia
  • Restaurants
  • Bistros
  • Higashi-Ginza
  • price 2 of 4

Tucked away in a lesser known part of Ginza, grill specialist Ibaia seats only 20 and is practically always full. Regulars keep coming back for dishes like hirekatsu – a thickly cut Australian beef fillet that’s coated in breadcrumbs mixed with herbs and garlic, baked until golden and served in a rich tomato, red wine and port reduction. Another standout is the heart skewers: two sticks stacked with three large cow hearts each are grilled over charcoal until slightly charred, then topped with paprika, diced shallots and fresh green jalapeños.

But don’t be fooled: Ibaia isn’t only for carnivores. Sourced daily from the owner’s family farm in Saitama, the vegetables here are turned into special side dishes that rotate weekly. A perfect complement to the heavy meats, these veggies are a cut above your average limp bistro salad. Bookings are required and taken a month in advance. 

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Renge
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Ginza
  • price 4 of 4

In upmarket Ginza, Renge occupies a small, unassuming space on the ninth floor of Ginza 745 – all you see here is an open kitchen with counter seating and a few small tables. What’s not basic here is the food – perhaps just as Hidetoshi Nishioka intended, for his Shanghai-influenced tasting menu truly takes centre stage. 

Chef Nishioka has had an eclectic career, starting as a Japanese pastry chef before working in Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese restaurants. But it is Chinese cuisine that he has mastered: the dishes at Renge divert confidently from Shanghai orthodoxy, with Nishioka’s diverse background evident on the plate. The restaurant is only open for dinner and it offers a tasting menu of around 12 courses.

Dhaba India
  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Kyobashi
  • price 1 of 4

Poke your head through the door of this popular restaurant and you’ll surely swoon. A mingling of Indian spices fills the air, colourful carpets hang from dark blue walls, the floors are tiled and turquoise, and south Indian music at a low volume helps create a tranquil, almost meditative vibe. It’s an alluringly romantic environment – but it doesn’t come close to upstaging the food.

The chefs, lured to Tokyo during recruitment sessions in the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, produce magnificent south Indian cuisine, including a near-legendary masala dosa. You'll be glad to know that the staff insist that they don’t dilute the authentic spiciness of South Indian cooking for Japanese palates.

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