1. Fish Bank Tokyo
    Photo: Fish Bank TokyoFish Bank Tokyo
  2. Sézanne
    Photo: Four Seasons MarunouchiSézanne

18 best restaurants in Tokyo for date night

These romantic restaurants in Tokyo serve everything from ramen to seafood – and they're perfect for couples

Written by
Time Out Tokyo Editors
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Whether you're planning an impressive first date, an anniversary or even a special dinner for Valentine's Day, it can be hard to choose a place to eat in a city filled with so many top restaurants, bistros, sushi shops and more. From venues overlooking the sprawling Tokyo skyline to down-to-earth neighbourhood eateries, here's a list of restaurants to book for your next date night. 

RECOMMENDED: Get an indulgent treat at one of Tokyo's best chocolate shops

Hot date spots

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Kyobashi

You simply can't go wrong with a visit to this elegant Michelin-starred restaurant inside the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo. The view from Sézanne just adds to the experience as large windows look out onto the train tracks going in and out of Tokyo Station, with the skyscrapers of Marunouchi glittering in the background.

You'll be sure to impress your date in this beautiful marble-accented dining room. The omakase lunch and dinner menus are driven by seasonal ingredients sourced from producers from across Japan, so no two visits are guaranteed to be the same. The big highlight, though, is the Sézanne sourdough, made with Hokkaido corn that’s dried and turned into polenta plus a homemade yeast developed by the head chef.

  • Restaurants
  • Greek
  • Ginza
  • price 2 of 4

This branch of the award-winning contemporary Australian-Greek restaurant has a prime position on the top floor of Tokyu Plaza Ginza, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows offering a 270-degree view over the city. Exposed concrete and pared-down fittings lend a relaxed and modern feel to the space and there are marble tabletops and olive trees.

The highlight of the five appetisers is the magnificent saganaki cheese, pan-fried with honey, oregano and lemon juice. The main is an eight-hour slow-cooked shoulder of Australian lamb so succulent it’s unlikely to last eight minutes on the table, and a lemon-flavoured meringue pie creation ends proceedings in style.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Shibuya

Not shaken, not stirred, but swirled. Famed bartender Shingo Gokan’s latest venture is a particularly interesting one as it’s based around wine cocktails – hence the name Swrl. It’s a unique concept and methodology, and it shows. The first thing that hits you is the nose of the cocktails – they are unusually fragrant and aromatic, making them more well-rounded and dimensional.

But Swrl also operates as a restaurant, offering Latin American-influenced cuisine that's designed to evoke the flavours of different destinations around the world. You’ll find the classic tacos, carnitas and guacamole, but also bold and punchy flavours like grilled prawns with uni lime butter, roasted cauliflower, and spare ribs with Pedro Ximenez sherry, just to name a few. Settle in with your special someone and go for the six-course tasting menu at ¥6,050.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Looking for an arty date idea? Head to this innovative ramen shop inside Tokyo’s teamLab Planets. You and your partner can enjoy bowls of fully vegan ramen at several of the gallery’s indoor and outdoor digital art installations. Or if you're really just here for the noodles, you don’t have to pay the teamLab Planets entry fee to visit the restaurant.

The menu here is completely plant-based and features two exclusive bowls. One has a broth based on tea, kelp and shiitake mushrooms, while our personal favourite – perfect for romantic ramen-lovers – is the ramen topped with beautiful edible flowers.

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  • Restaurants
  • Yoyogi-Uehara

Whether you’re looking for somewhere for your first date or your 51st, Aelu is a great choice. A chic and modern but comfortable setting, it’s the kind of place you'll feel relaxed and at home – which can help if you’re on that first date. The menu is filled with French-Japanese dishes that celebrate seasonal local produce, all served on ceramic tableware from the adjoining pottery gallery. It’s fancy food at a friendly price. Sit inside, or if you’re your wine al fresco on the open-air terrace tucked off a Yoyogi-Uehara street. 

  • Restaurants
  • Yakitori
  • Roppongi

Yakitori is a popular street food in Japan, but Toriyo gives these casual grilled chicken skewers a gourmet upgrade. The yakitori here is served omakase style. Meals start at ¥4,200, which includes seven kinds of yakitori and a few egg-based dishes.

Incredible food is just one reason to bring your date here, though. The chic eighth-floor restaurant has a direct view of Tokyo Tower and the Roppongi skyline. The low lights create an intimate setting, making for a perfect romantic meal.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Asakusa

This intimate bar and restaurant is attached to the sustainable Tokyo Riverside Distillery in Kuramae. The slick single room that’s all copper fittings, polished concrete and pot plants is perfect for an evening date. All the distillery's gins (made from food waste) are on display behind the bar and in the cocktails, but the food is the real highlight, with plenty of small plates that are perfect for sharing. Most of the seats are at the large concrete bar, so if you want a more intimate spot, be sure to book ahead to get the small table 

  • Restaurants
  • Ginza

The 10th-floor of the iconic Shiseido building in Ginza is home to some of Tokyo’s most creative and elegant plant-forward dining. Both lunch and dinner are set menus, which can be vegan and vegetarian – or not, depending on your preference.

Chef Noda's appreciation for ingredients, combined with an understanding of umami and fermentation, ensures each dish is full of flavour – regardless of whether they contain meat and dairy or not. Noda’s signature dish is his award-winning jagaimo (Japanese potato) spaghetti, which is a textural extravaganza: tendrils of crisp blanched and crunchy fried potato in a dashi broth (non-vegan) or a koji-enhanced soy milk broth (vegan).

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Shiodome
  • price 3 of 4

Fish Bank wastes no time in taking your breath away. The restaurant has its own dedicated lift in the Shiodome City Center building and the restaurant interior doesn't disappiont.

The floor-to-ceiling windows present all of Tokyo under glass, while the high ceilings, elaborate crystal chandeliers and a glass-fronted wine room housing over 1,000 bottles are almost as impressive. There are plenty of fresh oysters to get you in the mood – consider pairing these unevenly sized beauties with a glass of crisp champagne.

  • Restaurants
  • Kayabacho

Here’s a fun way to enjoy your Valentine’s Day chocolates and sweets: at a dine-in dessert bar. The interior, which is a modern blend of chic and sleek, is bound to impress any date. Sit at one of the handful of counter seats and watch sweets being made by hand. The desserts are impeccably crafted morsels that blend tradition with modern flavours, such as Amazon cacao choux cream, mango and shiso mousse cake, and matcha-cassis financiers. The young owner, Keisuke Oyama, is an award-winning pastry chef who studied in France and worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants, including Sincere and Ristorante Aso. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Yotsuya-Sanchome

Terunari puts a creative spin on kaiseki by incorporating French influences that shine through in each and every dish. French- trained chef Kanichi Tokumoto runs the kitchen, working under chef Akihiko Murata of Terunari’s Michelin-starred sister restaurant Suzunari.

You can look forward to reinterpretations of classic Japanese dishes, such as a crisp monaka wafer sandwich filled with chicken liver pâté, and chawanmushi egg custard made more substantial with beef tendon and a hint of wasabi.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Nakameguro
  • price 1 of 4

Susumu Kakinuma was churning out perfect margheritas and marinaras long before Tokyo's current pizza boom started. The middle-aged chef spent a year eating his way around Italy's best pizzerias before returning to Tokyo and opening one of his own. 

The margherita here is a long way from textbook: only a slight smear of tomato sauce under the cheese, which is topped with vividly ripe tomatoes, basil and a hearty lashing of olive oil. The crust is as light and chewy as freshly baked ciabatta, with a dusting of salt that makes each bite worth savouring.

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For an indulgent date: Kitafuku Ginza
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Ginza
  • price 4 of 4

From the moment you remove your shoes to walk on the tatami mats to the moment you eat your final morsel of supple crab meat, Kitafuku is an exhilarating experience. A meal 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 – prepared and enjoyed in different ways, from boiled and charcoal-grilled to sashimi. If you’re squeamish, be warned: you’ll see your dinner alive moments before you eat it.

  • Restaurants
  • Ginza

Spice Lab is not your casual neighborhood curry joint – this is a high-end dining experience where India’s modern culinary landscape is blended with seasonal Japanese ingredients. Award-winning executive chef Tejas Sovani, whose experience includes a stint at Noma in Copenhagen, serves up plate after plate of exciting new flavour combinations. The set of regional street food snacks is sure to impress any date, and includes crisp samosa filled with spiced lamb, a delicate panipuri dumpling filled with a fragrant blend of ume, mirin, mint and lemon, and more. There are multicourse options ranging from four to ten dishes, and vegetarian, vegan and seafood-only menus are available. 

Spice Lab’s owner, who hails from Delhi, was inspired to bring high-end modern Indian cuisine to Japan – a style that’s making its mark in dining hotspots as far afield as London, Melbourne and Hong Kong. The venue’s award-winning executive chef is Tejas Sovani, whose experience includes a stint at Noma in Copenhagen. 

There are several course options available, ranging from four courses to seven at lunchtime and eight courses to ten courses on the dinner menu, with vegetarian, vegan and seafood-only options available. The menus change seasonally, rewarding repeat visits.

We recommend starting with a Mumbai Tonic from the restaurant’s impressive original cocktail list – a refreshing, herbal concoction of spice-infused gin, suze, house bitters and tonic. The bitter kick is the perfect palate cleanse before getting started on your meal. 

The kaleidoscopic range of ingredients on the menu is woven together with intuition and precision; the flavours aren’t tuned down to suit the local palate, but are refined and well-balanced. The plate of regional street food snacks is a highlight, with a crisp samosa filled with spiced lamb, shiso chaat (tempura) topped with tamarind chutney and pomegranate seeds, and a delicate panipuri dumpling filled with a fragrant blend of ume, mirin, mint and lemon. 

In autumn, there’s a wild mushroom and leek pilaf, served with buttery kulcha (flatbread) and a selection of condiments like smoky black lentils and garlic raita. Desserts include an amply spiced carrot cake on a bed of coconut tapioca, or baked yoghurt with seasonal fruit. Don’t worry if this sounds like a lot to handle – staff will guide you through the menu, offering extra contextual info about the dishes, adding a bit of humour and personal touch. 

Lunch ranges from ¥2,900 (four courses plus tea or coffee) to ¥7,200 (seven courses plus tea or coffee), while dinner starts at ¥8,800 (eight courses plus tea or coffee) and goes up to ¥14,300 (ten courses plus tea or coffee).

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Gakugei-Daigaku
  • price 2 of 4

Gakugei-Daigaku has boomed in recent years, with small, mid-range restaurants flourishing on the small streets just outside of the station. One of these is Atsu Atsu Ri Carica, a small natural wine bar-meets-inventive Italian gastropub. The owner, being part Italian himself, rolls with the Italian idea of what good food is: a few simple, quality ingredients, dressed up with the bare essentials to create truly memorable dishes.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Marunouchi

This modern dim sum bistro is the brainchild of famed restaurateur Alan Yau, who's best known for his restaurants Wagamama and Hakkasan in the UK. Located in the Marunouchi Nijubashi Building, Yaumay offers a well-curated dim sum menu that has both the classics and new creations; steamed favourites including shrimp har gao and siu mai feature alongside original items such as venison puffs, Peking duck dumplings and grilled ibérico jamón.

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  • Restaurants
  • Harajuku

In a charming old wooden house just around the corner from bustling Harajuku, Eatrip is a sanctuary of calm. Complete with a cobblestone path through a leafy garden to enter, this is the perfect location for a secluded romantic dinner. Owner and chef Yuri Nomura worked at renowned organic restaurant Chez Panisse in California; at Eatrip, her produce-driven, farm-to-table philosophy has a Japanese accent. You can expect dishes like seasonal vegetables with black bean hummus, and persimmon galette with roasted green tea ice cream. The open kitchen and dining space, plenty of candles and hanging foliage help build a cosy atmosphere. 

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