Oden at Samon1/2
Photo: Time Out Tokyo
Stock image of oden2/2
Photo: Leung Cho Pan/Dreamstime

Best oden restaurants in Tokyo

Oden is the ideal comfort food for the Japanese winter – get it at these top Tokyo restaurants

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
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Winter in Japan is a confusing time, with temperatures lurching from ice age to British summer and back again. It's a season when the thoughts of most Tokyoites turn in the direction of one guaranteed comfort food: oden.

Whether it’s a simple convenience store bowl or a pricier restaurant offering, there’s no better winter warmer than this classic Japanese comfort food, consisting of a variety of ingredients simmered in a soy broth. Usually spiced up with a dollop of mustard and sometimes served with a cup of warm sake, this subtle blend of flavours, combining soft fish cakes, vegetables, meat and dashi stock, is a perfect antidote to a frosty commute.

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Enjoy your oden here

Oden at Samon | Time Out Tokyo
Photo: Time Out Tokyo

Samon

Restaurants Nakameguro

Popular in its native Nagoya, Samon have placed an eye-catching (and oversized) oden pot outside – a stunt that surely lures in quite a few customers. Standing out with the way they cook their oden, Samon offer a mixture simmered in a chicken and vegetable stock noted for its full-bodied and rich taste. We'd definitely recommend having the daikon, which soaks up the stock beautifully, and the succulent chicken skewers – you'll thank us later. The Nagoya Cochin soft-boiled eggs are also rather impressive and well worth driving your chopsticks into. 

Kamata

Restaurants Japanese Shinbashi

Located smack in the heart of the salaryman bar-hopping circuit, Kamata offers a healthy antidote to all that drinking. Chef Kamata works magic with a range of ingredients including daikon radish, konnyaku, tofu and soft-boiled eggs with blood-red yolks. Individual items go for ¥200 a piece, making this a worthy year-round destination.

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味福あさの
味福あさの

Ajifuku Asano

Restaurants Japanese Hiroo

Home to numerous embassies, Hiroo counts among Tokyo's best neighbourhoods for dining out. One standout is the humble Asano, hidden away from the action just off the main shopping arcade. There are eight to ten varieties of Kyoto-style oden to choose from, including tamagoyaki omelette and vegetables in a clear, sardine- and chicken-based broth.

大多福
大多福

Otafuku

Restaurants Oden Asakusa

This long-standing restaurant, marked out by its hanging paper lanterns and well-maintained garden, has been in business since the Meiji era. It's no wonder Otafuku has lasted so long: the light soup has a delicate but complex flavour, while the selection of oden items includes unusual offerings such as makiyuba (rolled tofu skin) and shinodamaki (meat, vegetables and fish wrapped in a layer of deep-fried tofu).

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多古久
多古久

Takokyu

Restaurants Oden Ueno

This popular oden shop serves up a dose of nostalgia alongside its delicious stew: you'll spot the well-used oden pot and kantoko (equipment used for warming sake with hot coals) as soon as you step through the door. There are plenty of tasty items to choose from, including negima (skewered pink fatty tuna and leek) and chikuwabu (tube-shaped cakes of flour and fish paste), all of which have had plenty of time to soak up the flavours of Takokyu's satisfying but simple stew. And keep an eye out for the octopus motifs stamped on the beer glasses – hard evidence that the Japanese are suckers for a good pun…

尾張屋
尾張屋

Owariya

Restaurants Oden Kanda

If decision-making isn't your strong point, you'd be better off giving Owariya a miss. This 85-year-old restaurant has a whopping 30 oden items stewing in its sweet-tasting amber soup. We recommend starting off with the impressive 'cabbage maki' (ground pork and beef wrapped in a cabbage leaf) and taking it from there. But if you go for the oden, you'll probably end up staying for the atmosphere: the charming proprietress always makes sure her guests are well taken care of.

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神楽坂 恵さき
神楽坂 恵さき

Esaki

Restaurants Japanese Iidabashi

Be sure to make a reservation at this Kagurazaka oden spot: Esaki only has 16 seats. Enjoy a bowl of oden packed with chunky slabs of stewed buri (yellowtail), fat hamaguri clams and perfectly cooked soft-boiled eggs – or, if you’re feeling indecisive, give the oden moriawase assortment a try. Other offerings include a selection of fresh sashimi and some rather good ajitsumire (jack mackerel fish balls).

カッポウ イナガキ
Photo: Time Out Tokyo

Inagaki

Restaurants Japanese Kojimachi

If you like to keep your options open, stop by at Inagaki, which serves up a triple threat of oden soups: clear and simple Kansai style; rich, soy-flavoured Kanto style; and dark, miso-flavoured Nagoya style. While all three are simmered to perfection, our personal favourite has to be the Nagoya variety. Try it with soft beef tendons, konnyaku and egg, all of them steeped in the deep flavour of the soup.

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丸忠かまぼこ店
丸忠かまぼこ店

Maruchu-Kamabokoten

Restaurants Oden Tateishi

Maruchu isn’t all about oden – it also boasts a selection of European and Japanese wines, and a number of sides that are well worth exploring, including a selection of cheeses. Still, there's no doubt about what the main attraction is here. For a twist on a classic dish, go for the ‘Oden no Tomato’, made by stewing a whole peeled tomato in oden soup and adding a sprinkling of dried basil to create a delicious dish that’s rich, herby and warming.

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