The best Tokyo yakitori restaurants

Where to get your tasty skewered chicken fix
Ogawa, Yotsuya | Time Out Tokyo
Tokyo yakitori done right at Yotsuya's Ogawa
By Time Out Tokyo Editors |

Best known as every Japanese oyaji's favourite beer snack, the humble yakitori (grilled, skewered chicken) is most commonly consumed in noisy pubs, at simple roadside stalls, or at various open-air festivals taking place year-round all over the country. However, the gourmet value of this simple delicacy is also widely recognised, best evidenced by the existence of Michelin-starred yakitori restaurants in Tokyo. Below, we have selected 10 of the best places in the city for getting your mouthwatering chicken-on-a-stick fix, ranging from friendly neighbourhood izakayas to splendidly sophisticated bird bars. And if you secretly prefer beef to chicken, make sure to consult our Tokyo yakiniku guide.

Restaurants, Yakitori


icon-location-pin Sendagi
This tiny Sendagi eatery caters to all friends of wine and/or nihonshu. Go for the standard menu (¥5,400, includes appetiser, skewers, and a main dish) or pick your favourites off the blackboard - menus change daily, with the birds being grilled ranging from duck to shamo chicken.
Restaurants, Yakitori

Isehiro Kyobashi

icon-location-pin Kyobashi
Be it at lunch or at dinner, Isehiro will never let a yakitori lover down. The lunch bowl (yakitori-don) maintains the same high quality as the dinner courses (from ¥4,725), which allow visitors to experience a wide variety of chicken parts.
Restaurants, Yakitori


icon-location-pin Musashi-Koyama
This tiny eatery in Musashi-Koyama often fills up right away after opening, making reservations highly recommended. The very reasonably priced yakitori (from ¥150) are outstanding, particularly the perfectly cooked livers and tsukune meatballs.
Bars and pubs


icon-location-pin Bakurocho
This Higashi-Nihonbashi chicken-and-drinks bar specialises in tataki, a kind of meat dumpling that can be sampled either cooked or raw. Pour some savoury sauce over your dish and start chewing - the goodness will overwhelm most taste buds in seconds.
Restaurants, Yakitori


icon-location-pin Kinshicho
Made of only the freshest chicken liver, the giblets at this Michelin-starred gem are worth the short trip to Kinshicho. Those uncomfortable with intestines will be relieved to hear that the rest of the menu maintains a similarly high quality.
Restaurants, Yakitori

Ginza Torishige

icon-location-pin Ginza
This upscale joint in Ginza has been in business for over 80 years, and the experience shines through in their tsukune meatballs, light-tasting quail skewers, and chewy duck dishes. Don't forget to end your meal with a bowl of Torishige's famous 'dry curry'.
Restaurants, Yakitori

Souten Minamiguchi

icon-location-pin Otsuka
The can't-miss dish at Otsuka's famed Souten is the shiitake-flavoured tsukune meatball, a juicy and powerful creation that rises high above the standard. Adventurous diners might want to take a shot at the chicken sashimi plate with its symphony of textures.
Restaurants, Yakitori


icon-location-pin Nakameguro
The standard course (¥4,800) is the only way to go at this Nakameguro bar, but it's also most certainly the right way; starting with artistic appetisers and stretching all the way from small veggie bites to excellent chicken skewers, Iguchi takes yakitori to another level.
Restaurants, Yakitori


icon-location-pin Yotsuya-Sanchome
Opened in summer 2013 in Yotsuya's Arakicho, this small yakitori place has attracted quite a following in the past few months. The 'tasting course' (¥2,000) is great for first-timers, and features an impressive variety of juicy skewers that go perfectly with wine.
Restaurants, Yakitori


icon-location-pin Shibuya
Carnivores in the know might have heard of this Shibuya eatery, which lets customers grill every chicken part imaginable, yakiniku-style, in a homely atmosphere. The proprietress explains preparation methods and ingredients carefully, so even first-timers needn't worry.

More to explore