tokyo rec's

Does anyone have suggestions for places to eat in Tokyo? I’ll be there for a couple days next month and would love to know some good low and high end places to check out.



For ramen, I always hit up Kyushu Jangara - there are several branches in Tokyo, but I always go to the Harajuku one. It’s pretty close to the exit of the Harajuku station on the JR Yamanote line. They specialize in Hakata style ramen - a really rich pork broth with thinner noodles. Order the #1 (they have an English menu if you ask). It has everything in it: Chashu pork, pork belly (buta kakuni), cod roe and a whole boiled egg. There will be a line out the door around lunch, but it moves pretty quick.

Sushi breakfast at Sushi Bun at Tsukiji. Get there EARLY. Google images of the shop sign.
Its lines are much smaller than the ones at dai and daiwa, but items are just as fresh and well prepared.

For ramen…that’s a big topic by itself. Everyone has preferences…browse specialist websites like:" onclick=";return false;


I went a couple years ago. You’re in for a treat.

Kyubei is a great sushi spot - we did lunch - better than Urasawa and about 75 per. If you do dinner, it is 4x that, but “better” cuts of the fish. I think it got a single Michelin star. We had reso’s at that place that doesn’t take foreigners, but had to bail, but you should go if you can get in Sukiyabashi Hiro. Dinner at Ryugin was awesome, sort of like Alinea meets trad. Kaiseki. If you go, make sure you request the Minus 90 (I think) Degree Apple for dessert.


Kyubei was one of the buyers of that ridic. expensive tuna at auction recently.

Sweet! Thank you for the suggestions. Has anyone been to sawada? I was reading about it here" onclick=";return false; and it sounds pretty great.

I’ll definitely be hitting up some ramen joints while I’m there!!

Also, don’t forget the “food court” at Isetan! Just a touch better than US food courts with Taco Hell and Orange Julius…Sadaharu Aoki macaron, and I think Pierre Herme to, Maison Du Chocolat has an outlet there too. And you can check out the hundred dollar melons.

Not sure what kind of gear you’re in to, but the Visvim store is pretty cool, with stuff we can’t get here, same for Neighborhood, Original Fake, Bounty Hunter, I think there may be a Supreme over there someplace too.

Envious MK.

IMHO Sadaharu Aoki makes some of the best macarons, pastries, and chocolates. Pierre Herme and Maison du Chocolat are in slightly lower tier.

PM Steve Doi, awesome guy who I visited with back in 05. He can steer you well.

Inakaya is a fun, somewhat touristy place for Robatayaki. The food is incredibly fresh, grilled in front of you and extremely tasty. The restaurant is a little hard to find. It is in Rappongi on a little alley near the Hard Rock Cafe. On the plus side it is also close to the Rappongi subway station if you are using the subway to get around.

If you get a hankering for pizza, seek out Savoy. There is more than one outlet of this restaurant and I can recommend the one in Rappongi. Small, pizzas cooked at high heat in a wood-fired oven. They only offer Margarita or Marinara. The restaurant is quite small. Go early if you can.


You’ve already received a lot of good advice from others in this thread, so please take the following in the “for what it’s worth” vein.

At the high end of the spectrum, Ryugin certainly fits the bill, as would any of L’Osier, Sant Pau, Quintessence or a host of others. If you’re here for fun and not work, you might try to fit in a lunch at one of the high end places, as lunches are a relative bargain.

Not in the same class as the afore-mentioned, but I also like Le Bourguignon in Azabu and Cote D’or in Mita. Bourguignon has a fairly strong wine list for such a small place (24 seats), including various Coche Dury bottlings (had the 2000 CC last time - infanticide but really delicious). Cote D’or allows BYO (call in advance) but also has a decent list. For something off the norm, Daigo in Atago is a real experience; Buddhist temple food of the highest order.

I think the recommendation to eat sushi at Tsukiji in the morning is sound from a financial perspective. Kyubei, Jiro, Kanesaka, etc. are all tremendous, but expect to pay somewhere in the range of 30,000 to 50,000 yen per in the evenings. Also, most places are omakase although they’ll adjust for allergies and religious preferences. I saw Urasawa mentioned in the comments; I’ve eaten at Urasawa a number of times with Japanese expat friends and we all agree that we can do better at most good neighborhood sushi places in Tokyo.

If you get tired of Japanese, you can drop into Cicada in Hiroo (quasi tapas place, allows BYO, has an interesting but overpriced list) and as noted above there are some great pizza places. I also like Incanto (Hiroo) for Italian (although I admit I’m swayed by the fact that they carry Miani on the wine list) or Vino Hirata (Juban). For slightly less upscale Japanese, consider Sasano near the Midtown complex (izakaya) or one of the various Matsugen branches around town (soba, but also other dishes).

That should keep you busy for a while. If you have specific questions, feel free to email me. Schedules permitting, perhaps we could arrange an off-line.

Hi Ryan.

I love, love, love Tokyo! Very cool place…

Lots of hidden gems and neat things to discover…our supermarket underneath where we were staying sold stuff like Petrus, Leflaive Chevalier, Rousseau Chambertin, Latour, Dom, Salon etc etc. Great food pretty much everywhere.

Fantastic restaurant and one of the best meals I have ever had…" onclick=";return false;

Only 2 tables, young husband and wife team who loved wine…we byo’d but with some difficulty, but just an amazing experience.

Make sure to check out the bathroom also…

Check out the amazing story about them here…" onclick=";return false;

An absolute must try also…The Molecular Tapas bar. Fantastic cutting edge food, great view on level 38…book well in advance, only 8 seats

Tapas Molecular Bar - Fusion Cuisini In Nihonbashi| Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo" onclick=";return false;

We had a sake flight that worked so well with the food also, very interesting and a real experience…

Go to the Tokyo fish markets and buy some amazing stuff…we had a nice kitchen in our apartment, and cooked a bit also as the produce is so amazing (and the wagyu is just so much better than anything we ever get).

Thank you for all the suggestions. Now I just need to book a cheap place to stay so I can blow all my money on food!!

I can not imagine you at a hostel :stuck_out_tongue:

Not the Four Seasons Charlie, but it is highly unlikely that I stay at a hostel. Never have in fact, but I hear cute young girls stay there, so maybe I should change my tune :stuck_out_tongue:

Relatively cheap hotel with decent English, near the main train station. Small, but very clean and modern rooms.
For a modern ryokan experience, Yoshimizu is pretty good.

I ate more than a few of the delicious Tonkatsu “sandwiches” which seem to be available everywhere, and are great, especially after a big night out…

I go to Tokyo on business almost every month and I have become addicted to Japanese fast food:

CoCo Ichibanya for curry.

Yoshinoya for gyudon (it is total crap in the US, though).

Good Ramen in many places. Currently I stay in Shinagawa and I go to a set of Ramen places that are tucked under the tracks on the Takanawa side of the station: go out the Takanawa exit and to your left, about 1/4 mile down the main street.

I also like donburi, particularly negitorodon. There are a set of donburi places just past the ramen shops at Shinagawa.

Does anyone know if Maru’s wine bar is still there in Roppongi? If so I’d highly recommend it. Good food and great wines for fairly reasonable prices.

+1. Homey comfort food. Luckily there a few good donburi places in the SF Bay Area. For “cooked” donburi, I tend to like the classic oyakodon (chicken and egg with various onions) or unajyu (unagi don). For raw, I like a sakedon…nothing better than super fresh, almost oily, raw salmon over rice.

Over the past five years, Japanese ramen has become quite a hit in the Bay Area. Several ramenyas open up each year…with a corresponding handful which fail each year. Sadly, the non-Japanese-owned ones tend to fail for a variety of reasons which doesn’t need to be explored in this thread. Even more sadly, even the chain/mediocre ramenyas in Tokyo would be considered great here. For example, Santouka (Japanese chain) opened a location here, and it’s now in general in the top five.

Santouka is probably top 5, but recently the noodles have been a bit ‘starchy’ for me. Maybe they don’t change the water enough?
The most absurd lines, but deservedly so, is orenchi. Probably best ramen shop in the bay area. (disclaimer, I know the chef and owner)

My Japanese and Nippon-phile friends also love Orenchi, but I haven’t made a visit yet. Long stupid lines too. Do they have a counter where solo diners can eat with less wait?

These days I’m generally lazy, so if I’m in the area, I’ll go to Ramen Halu (used to be undisputed #1) and snag a seat at the counter with no wait, or I’ll go to Kahoo. I’m not super fan of Santouka and their noodles either…but still a decent bowl.