Where to Eat in Tokyo
Collected by Yukari Sakamoto, AFAR Local Expert
With more Michelin-star restaurants—200—than any other city, Tokyo is an unrivaled culinary capital. It’s a good idea to have your hotel’s concierge make a reservation, though, because many top restaurants have only a few, very coveted tables.
Japan, 〒106-0045 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Azabujūban, 1 Chome−6−４ アニバーサリービル1F
Specializing in seasonal cocktails and with just eight tables inside, this quiet bar sits on a narrow side street in Azabu-Juban. There's no music, and Gen Yamamoto’s presence is more like a mixologist monk than a boisterous bartender. The...
Japan, 〒160-0023 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Nishishinjuku, 1 Chome−13−７ 大和家ビル 9F
Hiroyasu Kayama is both scientist and bartender at this bar on the ninth floor of an office building. Kayama has a collection of dried herbs, spices, and even bugs on the shelves behind the bar. The best seats are at the counter, where you can...
3-7-1-2, ３丁目-７ 西新宿 新宿区 東京都 163-1055, Japan
With its unusually high floor-to-ceiling windows offering one of the most spectacular views in the city, the New York Bar at the Park Hyatt Tokyo is consistently on the list of best hotel bars, and even had a starring role in Sofia Coppola’s...
1 Chome-1-１ Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8558, Japan
The Old Imperial Bar is an old-school Tokyo bar favored by some of Japan’s political and financial elite, who come for its demure and consistent service. The popular bar snack kaki pi—spicy rice crackers and peanuts—originated...
4 Chome-15-３ Jingūmae, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0001, Japan
Formerly Omotesando Koffee, Koffee Mameya showcases single-bean coffee from around the world. The standing-only shop is not conducive to lingering, but service is welcoming. The knowledgeable staff in pigeon-blue lab coats will help select a...
Japan, 〒104-0045 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Tsukiji, 2 Chome−12−６ SK東銀座ビル １F
Kiyoshi Kawasaki honed his latte art skills at Streamer coffee before opening this shop, located just minutes from the Tsukiji Market. The three-wheeled vehicles that deliver fish and other products throughout the historic market are called...
1 Chome-20-20-13 Jingūmae, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0001, Japan
American Bryan Baird makes some of the best craft beer in Japan at a brewery in Numazu, Shizuoka, with a few branches in Tokyo. The Harajuku Taproom is just off boisterous Takeshita Dori, packed with Japan’s kawaii youth and featuring...
3 Chome-18-7 Shibuya, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0002, Japan
Curry, one of Japan’s popular comfort foods, is a not-so-spicy dish served on a plate with steaming rice. When you walk into this popular eatery near Shibuya Station, you'll find a vending machine with the menu—decide on your order,...
Japan, 〒107-0062 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Minamiaoyama, 2 Chome−6, 港区南青山２丁目６−１５
One of Japan's most talented chefs, Yoshihiro Narisawa presents Japanese ingredients in a style he calls “innovative Satoyama cuisine,” which highlights the country's natural bounty. Narisawa works directly with purveyors to get the...
Japan, 〒160-0022 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−7−３ 丸中ビル 1F
Enthusiastic staff welcome diners to this tachinomi, a casual pub where there are no chairs, and diners eat and drink at high counters, usually overlooking an open kitchen. The specialty at Saisei Sakaba is cuts of meats and organs that are...
Japan, 〒150-0001 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingūmae, 2 Chome−3−１８ 建築家会館ＪＩＡ館
Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa’s modern Japanese cuisine is served in a playful and relaxed atmosphere. A large communal table takes center stage, and conversations with new friends fill the air. Fried chicken stuffed with seasonal ingredients and a...
3 Chome-12-12-10 Tsukishima, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0052, Japan
Tsukishima is a neighborhood best known for one of Tokyo’s local dishes, monjayaki. This casual dish is similar to Osaka’s savory okonomiyaki pancake but with much more liquid, making it great fun to cook. Diners are seated around a...
Japan, 〒153-0042 Tōkyō-to, Meguro-ku, Aobadai, 1 Chome−28, 青葉台1-28-9
While it might come as a surprise, Tokyo is known for its Neapolitan pizza. One of the great pizza makers in the city is Hisanori Yamamoto, whose restaurant is a short walk from Nakameguro Station. The tables are squeezed next to each other, but...
Japan, 〒151-0051 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Sendagaya, 3 Chome−63−１ グランデフォレスタ原宿
Afuri is a popular ramen chain with branches throughout the city in neighborhoods like Harajuku, Ebisu, Nakameguro, Roppongi, and Azabu-Juban. The signature bowl is chicken and dashi with yuzu shio, an aromatic citrus, and salt. Noodles are thin...
2 Chome-10 Kanda Awajichō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-0063, Japan
There are hundreds of soba shops in Tokyo, but Kanda Yabu stands out for its rich history and ambience. Aficionados recommend ordering cold noodles for dipping into the soy broth, all the better to enjoy the texture and aroma of the buckwheat...
5 Chome-5-１３ Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan
Walking into Kondo, the aroma of sesame oil fills the air. The master, Fumio Kondo, bends over behind the counter as he observes the tempura frying. Part of the pleasure of dining at a tempura shop is listening to the knives chopping the...
5 Chome-2-１ Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan
Udon, a thick, chewy wheat noodle, shines whether it is served hot or cold. TsuruTonTan has a few shops in the city, though the best views are from the floor-to-ceiling windows on the 10th floor of Ginza Tokyu Plaza. The udon noodles are served in...
2 Chome-3-１ Atago, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-0002, Japan
While most shojin ryori (Buddhist cuisine) meals are very simple, Daigo elevates such cooking to the level of kaiseki ryori, the multi-course haute cuisine that was long favored in aristocratic circles. Diners are introduced to an impressive array...
Japan, 〒153-0051 Tōkyō-to, Meguro-ku, Kamimeguro, 1 Chome−26−１ １０８
Wagyu katsu sando (beef cutlet sandwiches) have been around for a long time, but under the able hands of Hisato Hamada, the dish is hip and cool. The sleek, Instagram-friendly, stand-and-eat shop is in the trendy Nakameguro area along the Meguro...
Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, ４丁目2−１５ 塚本素山ビル B1F
Bird Land is a yakitori shop that shares the same subway basement space with two other famous restaurants: fifth-generation Nodaiwa and Sukiyabashi Jiro—yes, that Jiro. There is a brigade of staff behind the counter and a master who oversees...
Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 5 Chome−15−８ 時事通信ビル1F
Teppanyaki meets French cuisine at this elegant institution, the lobby of which feels like a museum filled with Art Nouveau pieces by Lalique and Émile Gallé. The first few courses are classic French dishes that have been elevated...
8 Chome-7-6 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan
High-end sushiya are often open only at night, but that's not the case for venerable Kyubey, on the Ginza periphery. Lunch there is popular and a great value, and reservations are required. Some sushi counters can be very stiff and hard to relax...
Japan, 〒107-0062 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, 港区Minamiaoyama, 5 Chome−6−２３ スパイラルビル5F
Sakurai Tea is a unique tea counter that offers a selection of Japanese tea and Japanese tea–infused spirits. Customers select a seasonal sweet, presented like jewelry in a wooden box, to pair with the tea. Smoky notes fill the air as ...
2 Chome-24-9 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0031, Japan
A traditional freestanding house in residential Nishi-Azabu is the unique setting for this tonkatsu shop where panko-encrusted cuts of pork are deep-fried until golden. Butagumi has a big selection of pork to choose from, almost too many. There's...
1 Chome-16-１１ Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0063, Japan
Fuglen is on a quiet side street a short walk from Shibuya Station, near Yoyogi Park. The interior of this hip coffee shop cum cocktail bar feels like a summer cabin in northern Minnesota, with wood paneling and Scandinavian pieces on...
3 Chome-26-１１ Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0022, Japan
Japan's fascination with flawless fruit is one of those aspects of the country's culture that surprises many visitors. A great way to indulge in it is with a fruit parfait or a glass of freshly squeezed juice at Takano Fruit Parlor. Just minutes...
Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 3 Chome−1−１ 国際ビル 丸の内仲通り
2 Chome-4-１ Nihonbashi, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 103-8265, Japan
Near Shinjuku Station you'll find Takashimaya Times Square, which includes the Takashimaya department store and a large branch of Tokyu Hands. The depachika, or basement food floor, at Takashimaya has some excellent food counters for sukiyaki and...
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