Best restaurants at Tsukiji Market

The Tsukiji outer market still has enough sushi and seafood restaurants, food stalls and cafés to keep you well-fed for weeks

Tsukiji Kagura Honten
1/3
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa
Tsukiji Masa
2/3
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Tempura Kurokawa
3/3
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
By Jessica Thompson |
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Since 1923, Tsukiji Market has drawn crowds with its vibrant mix of street eats, colourful vendors, bustling market vibe and kitchenware shopping galore. While the inner wholesale fish market has moved to Toyosu in November 2018, the outer market hasn’t gone anywhere – it’s still an exciting, fun-filled place for shopping and dining.

Home to over 300 shops and restaurants, Tsukiji Market is a dense grid of lanes and interlinked alleyways just south of Tsukiji Station. Some require a little legwork to find, but you’ll be rewarded with excellent sushi, kaisendon, soba noodles, fish burgers, curry, sake and more. We’ve trawled the market to pull together our favorite restaurants and food stalls – so be sure to save time in between shopping to have lunch, and maybe breakfast and dinner, too. 

RECOMMENDED: For quick bites, check our list of Tsukiji’s best street snacks – and if you’re looking for fun after sundown, check out our guide to Tsukiji after dark.

Eat your way through Tsukiji

Choseian
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa
Restaurants, Soba

Choseian

Tsukiji

The freshly made noodles, homely interior, warm staff and quirky trimmings at Choseian make this hidden gem worth seeking out. Inside the cosy interior, several booths and a shared banquette sit under the diffused glow of rattan lamp shades.

Choseian’s thin and dainty noodles make for a satisfying light meal and can be served hot or cold. We love the ebiten soba (¥1,550) – the airy, crisp tempura batter is a perfect match for the tender kuruma ebi prawns, which are accompanied by seasonal vegetable tempura on the side...

4Season
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa
Restaurants, Japanese

4Season

Tsukiji

This quaint pasta café serves up retro charm and soulful plates of spaghetti in a small, light-filled dining room decorated in varying shades of green. The café dates back more than 30 years and so does its playlist of 1970s and 80s Japanese pop ballads.

4Season specialises in wafu, a Japanese take on Western pasta dishes. The menu has wafu classics like napolitan (ketchup spaghetti), plus the restaurant’s original creations like the soup pasta (¥1,100), which is served in a seafood broth replete with clams, squid and prawns...

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Tsukiji Masa
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Restaurants

Tsukiji Masa

Tsukiji

Venture down the narrow alleyway that houses Tsukiji Masa and you’ll find the best fish burgers in the market. Owner-chef Takahashi took inspiration from the burgers he ate while working in New York and created a distinctive blend of American and Japanese flavours. 

The classic cod burger (¥500) contains a tender piece of fish in a crispy panko crumb coating, laid on a bed of shaved cabbage, and topped with a slice of melted cheese. The shimesaba burger (seared pickled mackerel; ¥500), inspired by a mackerel futomaki (thick sushi roll), comes with a slice of tamagoyaki omelette, shiso leaf and crunchy cucumber slices...

Torito Bunten 鳥藤分店
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Restaurants, Japanese

Torito Bunten

Tsukiji

The place to go for a break from seafood, Torito Bunten, a small no-frills diner run by poultry wholesaler Torito, serves everything from teriyaki chicken to chicken liver. It’s most famous for oyakodon (¥900) – a bowl of freshly steamed rice topped with tender chicken pieces and runny egg mixed with its signature umami-rich tare sauce. It comes in regular or shio (salt) flavour, with a side of miso soup.

If you’re a karaage fiend, enjoy a plate of golden fried chicken with a crunch that’s audible from across the room. The mizutaki, on the other hand, is for those after a healthier chicken dish without sacrificing on flavour...

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Tsukiji Kagura Honten
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa
Restaurants, Sushi

Tsukiji Kagura Honten

Tsukiji

Tsukiji Kagura Sushi Honten stands out from the crowd of sushi shops in Tsukiji with its charming old-school wooden interior and flawlessly friendly service. But the shop’s most remarkable feature is its sushi rice. In true traditional Tokyo style, the rice is mixed with akazu (red vinegar), giving it an amber hue. Made by slowly fermenting sake lees into vinegar, the added akazu also imbues the rice with a rounded, slightly earthy and nutty flavour that harmonises perfectly with fresh seafood.

The Kagura sushi set (¥4,400) is the chefs' recommendation and who are we to argue? Covering the spectrum of Japanese seafood, it offers three cuts of tuna for comparison...

Odayasu Jyogai
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Restaurants

Odayasu Jyogai

Tsukiji

Inside the food hall on the second floor of the Tsukiji Uogashi building, you'll find diners at Odayasu Jyogai enjoying heaping plates of amber-tinged katsu (crumbed and deep-fried food) pretty much as soon as it opens at 9am. Of course, there's tonkatsu – tender, juicy pork loin – on the menu, but to keep with the seafood theme of Tsukiji, we'd recommend opting for one of the seafood katsu plates. 

The moriawase (¥1,600) is only available at the Tsukiji location, a combination of a giant prawn, scallop and crab croquette served with house-made tartare sauce. Sets come piled with freshly shredded cabbage and a bowl of miso soup...

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Tsukiji Koromo Sushi
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Restaurants, Sushi

Tsukiji Koromo Sushi

Tsukiji

This compact nine-seater restaurant is located on the outer rim of Tsukiji Market, facing Harumi-dori, so it’s the perfect place to go to dodge the market crowds. You’ll find that Tsukiji Koromo Sushi is more laid back than the  fancier sushi restaurants – there might even be jazz playing softly in the background. 

The shop serves about 18 different types of kaisendon, ranging from ¥1,500 to ¥4,000, as well as assorted plates of sushi. We love the uogashidon (fish market donburi; ¥2,100), which serves the freshest seafood of the day. For those who like their raw fish seared on the outside, the aburi-don is a rice bowl topped with a tasty assortment of fatty tuna, salmon, white fish, shellfish and more...

Restaurants

Marukita Shop 2

Tsukiji

The kaisendon here is the major draw: while the popular ikura (salmon caviar) and tuna with salmon options start from ¥1,000, we recommend spending ¥2,500 for Marukita’s ‘omakase-don’ – a luxurious bowl topped with a daily selection of 11 kinds of seafood. The exact contents vary by season, with typical choices including super-fresh shrimp, fatty tuna, salmon, scallops, salmon roe and uni (sea urchin).

Marukita does these bowls of seafood with panache. While it’s famed for serving them from 5am almost every day, a lesser-known fact is that the restaurant actually turns into an izakaya from 3pm...

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East Indian Curry Company
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa
Restaurants, Japanese

East Indian Curry Company

Tsukiji

Owner-chef Akida started the East Indian Curry Company for one very simple reason: he loves curry. And after tasting his blend of Japanese-, Indian- and European-style curries, you’ll love curry, too.

The house favourite is tuna katsu curry (¥1,300), sporting large chunks of the meaty fish breaded and deep-fried, and served with rice and the restaurant’s signature curry sauce. The tuna is remarkably soft and tender, and the curry sauce, laced with onion, zucchini and potato, is a perfect balance between sweetness, spice and heat. If you’d rather not combine fish and curry, go for the moreish pork belly curry for just ¥980...

Tsukiji Sushi Sei Honten
Photo: Tsukiji Sushi Sei Honten
Restaurants, Sushi

Tsukiji Sushi Sei Honten

Tsukiji

This sushi establishment is popular with both locals and tourists for its exceptionally fresh seafood, great value and friendly, jovial chefs. Split across two levels, this is a surprisingly spacious restaurant, and both floors are filled with natural light. Sit at the counter to admire the glass cases of glistening seafood, be entranced by the deft knife skills of the chefs, and take note of classic sushi shop paraphernalia like the copper wasabi grater – a surefire sign the kitchen uses real wasabi.

You can order from the menu, where sushi ranges from ¥220 to ¥660 apiece while elegant plates of sashimi are roughly ¥1,350 to ¥5,000. Or leave the decision-making to the chefs and opt for a 12-piece omakase set (¥3,850)...

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Tsukiji Sushi Sen
Photo: Tsukiji Sushi Sen
Restaurants, Sushi

Tsukiji Sushi Sen

Tsukiji

Tsukiji Sushi Sen sits comfortably somewhere between Tsukiji’s street stalls and Tokyo’s sleeker, fanicer sushi haunts. Seats wind around the L-shaped counter, giving the restaurant an izakaya vibe, while the mirrored wall makes the place feel permanently packed.

Sushi is served on bamboo stands called geta and you are presented with the usual choices of sushi sets (¥1,880-4,980), kaisendon (¥2,000 to ¥2,500) and omakase (chef’s choice). If you're ordering from the menu, we recommend the aburi-engawa (¥198), the grilled fatty trim of a flatfish, which is melt-in-your-mouth soft. Or go for one of the house specials: squid with yuzu seasoning (¥198) and octopus with shiso and ume plum seasoning (¥198)...

Tempura Kurokawa
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Restaurants, Tempura

Tempura Kurokawa

Tsukiji

This pint-sized tempura place is right at the edge of Tsukiji's outer market, but that doesn’t stop people from queueing up. Without a doubt, the secret of Tempura Kurokawa’s popularity is the combination of freshly made batter and a searing hot deep-fry that produces reliably crisp and light tempura. The seafood is sourced fresh from Toyosu fish market each morning, and the vegetables come directly from farms in nearby Chiba prefecture. 

At lunchtime, our favourite tempura bowl (tendon) is the scallop and prawn kakiage tendon (¥1,500), with tender seafood and seasonal vegetables encased in a golden net of batter, and topped with sweetened soy sauce...

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Shubiduba
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Bars and pubs, Wine bars

Shubiduba

Tsukiji

Tucked into a tiny corner of Tsukiji, Shubiduba is one of Tokyo’s best standing wine and sake bars. This place is truly blink-and-you’ll-miss-it small (look out for a wooden counter under a faded blue awning), but the range of drinks certainly isn’t – at any one time, expect to find around 250 varieties of wine and 15 types of sake by the bottle, and at least 10 varieties of each available by the glass. Shubiduba specialises in natural wine and sake – meaning you can expect expressive, umami-rich styles – with a good mix of local Japanese wines and international brands thrown in for good measure.

If you’re new to sake, try the nomikurabe comparison set, which gives you three small cups of contrasting sake varieties, a great way to work out which style suits you best...

Kissamako Kissaten
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
Restaurants, Cafés

Kissamako Kissaten

Tsukiji

Kissaten are usually thought of as Japanese coffee shops, but Kissamako is no ordinary kissaten. A typical kissaten is like a moment frozen in time: picture vinyl seats, chrome-edged tables and lace-trimming everywhere, then add a layer of retro 1960s Japanese charm. Kissamako has been open since 1961, so it’s got the 60s charm in spades, but unlike a normal kissaten, this place is all about seafood. The house special is the ozoni, a bowl of aromatic clear broth with grilled mochi, poached chicken, clams, scallops and vegetables (¥1,600 or ¥1,800 with coffee). For a quick bite, grab the quintessential kissaten egg sandwich for ¥500...

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