The best restaurants and cafés near Sensoji Temple – updated

Where to eat and drink before or after exploring Asakusa's top tourist attraction

Sensoji Temple | Time Out Tokyo
By Time Out Tokyo Editors |
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With over 30 million visitors annually, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is one of those Tokyo sights that virtually every traveller checks out at least once. And for good reason: Metropolitan Tokyo's oldest temple offers entertainment for hours, from the bustling Nakamise shopping arcade in front of it to the calmness of neighbouring Asakusa Shrine. But getting a proper meal around Sensoji can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you're looking for something better than the usual tourist nosh. That's why we've rounded up more than 20 of the best eateries in the area, including traditional restaurants, trendy cafés and down-to-earth izakaya. Take your pick below.

Where to eat and drink near Sensoji

Restaurants

Pétanque

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With just eight counter seats, this intimate micro-bistro is run by chef-owner Takeshi Yamada, who previously worked at the now-closed Ginza wine bar Grape & Gumbo as well as Asakusa-bashi’s Wineshop & Diner Fujimaru. Pétanque’s most popular dishes include the deep-fried chicken ‘tulips’ and oeuf mayonnaise, which is an egg-and-mayo dish that’s a staple in Parisian bistros. However, with Yamada’s experience, it comes as no surprise that the bistro’s natural wine list is its biggest claim to fame...

Café Tsumuguri
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Restaurants

Café Tsumuguri

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Set in an old Japanese house at a quiet residential area, Café Tsumuguri is truly a hole-in-the-wall. With its soft lighting and calming music, it is the perfect place to escape the noise and crowd of Kannon-ura. The married couple that owns Café Tsumuguri opened shop 70 years ago, and the second floor space feature a variety of seating options. If you're looking for a bite, we recommend the seasonal fruit sandwich: the cream has just the right amount of sweetness, with notes of amazake (traditional low-alcohol Japanese drink made from rice)...

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Restaurants

Noake Tokyo

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Immerse in Tokyo’s festival culture at this cosy sweet shop established by pâtissier Nobue Tanaka and service specialist Kengo Tanaka. The duo first ran a street stall in Omotesando and Roppongi before opening Noake Tokyo in Asakusa, one of Tokyo's most historic neighbourhoods where traditional festivals are still very much an important part of everyday life. Since the couple are big fans of traditional Japanese festival sweets like candy-coated apples and chocolate bananas, they've given a modern, creative updates to these treats...

Benten
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Restaurants, Soba

Benten

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This little restaurant has been serving buckwheat noodles since 1950 and has become a popular spot among the locals looking to enjoy soba over a pint of beer or sake. Benten’s signature dish is the clam soba, where the soup's flavourful broth is made from meaty clams and scented with the zesty aroma of yuzu and mitsuba leaves. Each bowl of noodles is then topped with three large clams, which are sourced from Tokyo's neighbouring Chiba prefecture...

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Restaurants

Asahi

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This Chinese restaurant counts more than 70 years in business and its original menu hasn't change once throughout the decades. Currently run by the fourth and fifth generation owners, Asahi has added some new dishes to the original menu, such as the popular paku-paku coriander ramen. Released three years ago, the curly noodles are topped with a heap of coriander and finished with green onions and fried garlic that perfectly complement the salty flavours of the chicken-based soup...

Restaurants

Sonpon

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After its relocation in 2017, this popular Thai joint can now cater to more customers compared to its previous location's five counter seats. The owner hails from Korat, a region in Thailand famous for Pad Mi Korat (stir-fried noodles) and Tom Sep, a soup full of giblets. Most of the dishes here are around ¥1,000, but the portions are nearly twice the size of those offered at similar restaurants...

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Restaurants

Shokudo Unsuke

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Head down Kannon-ura and look for the shop with the yellow door to find Unsuke Dining Hall, a curry and folk art café. During lunch, you can opt for the beef curry lunch set; the meat is stewed for about three hours till tender and then combined with sautéed onion and carrots to create a smooth yet rich flavour. During dinner, there are a selection of smaller dishes and appetisers on top of the daily changing menu. The chef is even open to taking requests from diners...

Restaurants

Café Michikusa

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Since opening in 2011 by the Suzuki family, this homely cafe has become a favourite among the locals, who vouch for its classic pancakes. These fluffy treats have a crispy exterior that makes them deliciously moreish, especially when they’re served with maple syrup and banana (which you can swap out for berries instead)...

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Bars and pubs

Fos

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Once an okiya (geisha house), Fos’ traditional structure doesn’t have any signboard on its facade, making it a hidden gem mostly occupied by Asakusa locals. Yes, you can fully relax here instead of fighting your way through the crowds to order a drink. Don’t forget to take off your shoes before entering the dimly-lit space. Then make a beeline for the bar counter manned by the owner-bartender Takahiro Mori and his colleague Kazuki Hayakawa (pictured). There's no drink menu, so just inform them of your preferred spirit and flavours and they will concoct a cocktail suited to your taste...

Restaurants, Tea rooms

Kono Hana

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Raised and born in Asakusa, the adorable sister duo Fujioka opened their popular bakery Konohana back in 2008. Mayumi is in charge of creating all the pastries while her younger sister Megumi sells the creations in the little on-site shop. The yeast for their bread is made from raisins and all the other ingredients are sourced from all over Japan: salt from Okinawa, wheat flour from Hokkaido... Head over at 10.30am when the store opens and line up for their fluffy round breads, scones and more.

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Restaurants, Japanese

Gonpachi

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Famous as the restaurant that inspired Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, not many people know that Gonpachi is actually a small chain of restaurants, each with their own, distinctive theme and atmosphere. This one is just a few steps away from the Kaminarimon and next to Azumabashi, with a great riverside view from the second floor...

Restaurants

Kamameshi Mutsumi

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Tatami flooring lends a relaxed mood to this kama (small pot) eatery where simple, homely meals are enjoyed by patrons of all ages. First-timers will want to go for the gomoku kamameshi, a mix of seafood, chicken and veg steamed with rice...

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Restaurants

Onigiri Yadoroku

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Located just behind Sensoji in Asakusa, Yadoroku is the oldest onigiri specialist in Tokyo. Choose from a range of different toppings including salmon, ume, tarako, shirasu and okaka, all for an affordable ¥280-330. Lunch sets are available from ¥690...

Restaurants, Cafés

Cafe Meursault

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Grab a seat by the huge windows at this hip café perched partially above the Sumida River for spectacular views over lit-up Azumabashi, the Skytree and the golden, uh, turd on the roof of the Asahi Building. If you’re really lucky, you might be able to snag one of the tables on the small terrace and feel like you have the city all to yourself...

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Restaurants, Oden

Otafuku

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Otafuku has been serving oden since the Meiji era, in an old-school setting complete with paper lanterns and a well-kept garden. All those years of experience show, too: The oden soup is light, with a delicate flavour that seems to have a little more depth than the standard bonito and kombu...

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Find more things to do in Asakusa

Nightlife

Asakusa nightlife guide

Here we look at how to have fun in Asakusa once the sun has set. Start out at the magnificently illuminated Sensoji before digging deeper into the neighbourhood’s nighttime charms.

More to explore

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