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11 Restaurants in Tokyo Not to Miss on a Trip of a Lifetime

Restaurants + Bars
by Suzie Dundas Jun 6, 2023

Tokyo’s food and restaurant scene is a diverse landscape shaped by centuries of cultural influences and traditions. The city is renowned for its exceptional culinary offerings, ranging from traditional Japanese dishes to international cuisine. Tokyo’s food scene is constantly evolving, with new restaurants and food trends emerging all the time. Even “budget” cuisine in Japan — what we may consider fast food or “gas-station food” — in the US is higher end, and even department stores in Japan have food courts serving fresh and thoughtful food.

Over the centuries, Tokyo has been exposed to a wide range of foreign cuisines, including Chinese, Korean, and Western styles. Today, the best restaurants in Tokyo are a blend of these international cuisines and traditional Japanese food. Of course, Japan’s island geography means it has the best sushi in the world, with a strong emphasis on creating fresh, simple, and flavorful presentations.

When it comes to exploring Tokyo’s food and restaurant scene, there are several neighborhoods that are particularly well-known for their culinary offerings. The Ginza district has some of the city’s most luxurious and high-end restaurants, including several of Tokyo’s Michelin-starred restaurants. This area is particularly renowned for its sushi restaurants, which offer some of the freshest and most expertly prepared sushi in the world.

restaurants in tokyo - people at izakaya

Tokyo has lots of fine dining restaurants and izakayas — small, usually affordable casual restaurants serving simple food to accompany beer and drinks. Photo: legend of Ryosuke/Shutterstock

Another popular neighborhood for food and drinks is Shibuya. Shibuya also has a vibrant late-night scene with everything from traditional izakaya pubs to trendy cocktail bars, plus lots of street food stalls and food markets. That’s where you’ll find the alleys known as the “Golden Gai,” known for row after row of tiny bars that sometimes fit no more than half a dozen people. If you want to go to Omoide Yokochō, similar to the Golden Gai but known more for food than bars, that’s closer to Shinjuku station.

These are the best 11 restaurants in Tokyo, whether you’re in the mood for something classic, something quirky, something creative, or something quick.

Where to find the best resturants in Tokyo

We’ve included the address below each restaurant, but here’s a map to make it easy to see what’s near your hotel or Airbnb.

The best Michelin-starred restaurants in Tokyo

Sukiyabashi Jiro


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If you ever saw the Netflix movie “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” then you know Sukiyabashi Jiro. It’s in the Ginza Neighborhood, and serves only omakase-style sushi (i.e. chef’s choice; there’s no ordering). It has three Michelin stars and is one of the most famous restaurants in Tokyo — but you can’t just make a reservation. Tables can only be secured through luxury hotel concierges, and usually have to be made months in advance. So you’ll want to contact the hotel, have them make you a reservation, and then confirm your rooms. That’s a tricky balance, as most hotels won’t make reservations for someone who hasn’t stayed there before. So it may take a few visits before you snag a table.

The tasting menu costs 55,000 Yen per person, or about $393.

  • Address: 4-2-15 Tsukamoto Sogyo Bldg. B1F, Ginza, Chuo 104-0061 Tokyo Prefecture
  • Takes reservations? Yes, but they’re hard to get



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Homage has two Michelin stars and served a delicious menu of French cuisine heavily influenced by its location in Japan. The menu is chef’s choice, with a fixed price: lunch is 14,000 or 28,000 Yen ($100 or $200) and dinner is 28,000 Yen. No children are allowed, and reservations can be made up to 90 days in advance. Unlike the restaurant above, you can make reservations yourself by emailing the restaurant via their online form. “He also continually adds touches of novelty and refinement that express the joy of food,” wrote the Michelin guide of the chef’s creations. “His dishes really do surprise with their creativity and looks.”

  • Address: 4-10-5, Asakusa, Taito 111-0032 Tokyo Prefecture
  • Takes reservations? Yes

Asagaya Birdland

restaurants in tokyo - yakitori izakaya

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If you want to check out Tokyo’s izakaya scene but aren’t keen on late-night street food, make a reservation for Asagaya Birdland. It’s izakaya-style food, elevated, and currently has a Bib Gourmant award. But the more formal restaurants owned by the same team, Bird Land Tokyo, has one Michelin star. So this is the hipper, more affordable version. Menu highlights include yakitori skewers and rice and noodle bowls. It’s about 20 minutes west of the Shinjuku area on public transportation.

  • Address: 3-37-9 Asagayaminami Pearlasagaya 1F, Suginami 166-0004 Tokyo Prefecture
  • Takes reservations? Yes

The best quirky restaurants in Tokyo

Tokyo is known for a unique, thriving cultural scene, and the restaurants in Tokyo are no exception. While the well-known “robot restaurant” closed, there are plenty of other unique options — some with pretty excellent food. Note that many themed restaurants in Tokyo are often popups, and restaurants that were once well-known, like the Alice in Wonderland Shinjuku Restaurant, Robot Restaurant, and Tokyo Ghost restaurant, came and went in a matter of years. If you hear about one that seems exciting, go while you can.

The Ninja Restaurant Tokyo

The Ninja Restaurant in Tokyo combines Japanese culinary traditions with theatrical entertainment. It’s in the Akasaka district and designed to resemble a secret ninja hideout, complete with hidden passages, trap doors, and other surprises. The menu focuses on Japanese dishes, including sushi, tempura, and grilled meats. But what most people go for is the theatrical presentation of the food. And the servers dress in ninja costumes, usually performing various “ninja” tricks and illusions throughout the meal. Diners are seated in ninja training areas.

It’s cheesy, sure, but it’s exceptionally fun, and the food is actually quite fresh and tasty. You need reservations, which anyone can make online.

  • Address: 2-14-3 Nagatacho Akasaka Tokyu Plaza 1 F, Chiyoda 100-0014 Tokyo Prefecture
  • Takes reservations? Yes

Cat Cafe Monta

cat cafe restaurants in tokyo

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Tokyo is known for being the home of cat cafes, and they’re just what they sound like. They’re coffee shops with light menus or vending machines where you’ll enjoy coffee alongside dozens of cats. So it’s definitely not for anyone with allergies.

The first cat cafe in Tokyo with Neko No Mise, opened in 2015. But if you want to grab some food while making a feline friend, head instead to Cat Cafe Monta. It has hot drinks and a light menu with pizza and pastries — which is unique among cat cafes as most don’t actually serve food. There are nine cats you can meet and play with, and there’s a relatively reasonably entry fee (which is common at Japan’s cat cafes). The entry fee starts around 200 Yen, or about $1.50. It’s closed on Tuesdays, and kids under age 11 aren’t allowed,  since the cats are pretty laid back and don’t like loud noises and active kids).

  • Address: 1-2-5 Hanagawa Tokyo 111-0033 Satellite Fuji Bldg 8F
  • Takes reservations? No

The best traditional restaurants in Tokyo

Japan has lots of traditional dishes – sushi, ramen, udon, gyoza, and more. Here’s where to go if that’s what you’re after.

Uobei Sushi

best restaurants in tokyo - sushi conveyor

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If you want great sushi at a low price – and want it delivered on a conveyor belt, no less – head to Uobei Sushi. In Tokyo, conveyor belt sushi is designed to be quick and cheap. You usually order on a touch screen and pay on your way out, so you can grab fresh sushi and be on your way in about 20 minutes. You’ll find them in train stations and department stores for that reason.

Of the many conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Tokyo, Uobei Sushi is one of the best. It’s the 14th best restaurant in Shibuya District (of more than 4,000). Single pieces of sashimi start around 100 Yen (about $.75) and an entire roll will run you a very non-staggering 600 Yen (about $4.30). Ramen starts around 400 Yen ($2.50). It’s always busy, but as you’d expect, the line moves quickly.

  • Address: 2-29-11 Dogenzaka 1f, Shibuya 150-0043 Tokyo Prefecture
  • Takes reservations? No

Karashibi Ramen

Just like in the US, ramen isn’t usually an expensive meal. But unlike in the US, ramen in Japan is usually flavorful, fresh, and spicy (no Cup-O-Noodles there).

If you want some of the best ramen of your life, head to one of the best ramen restaurants in Tokyo: Karashibi Ramen. It has a small handful of locations in the city, but the Chiyoda City location is the original (and the best). They make spicy, miso-based ramen (not tonkatsu) and there’s always a line, and usually a rather long one at that. But it’s a quick-dining place, with orders placed at a vending machine and food served just a few minutes later. Unfortunately, there’s no vegetarian ramen, but nearby T’s Tan Tan, also in Chibuya City, makes all-vegan ramen that’ll please even the most enthusiastic of omnivores.

  • Address: 2 Chome-10-9 Kajicho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 101-0044, Japan
  • Takes reservations? No

Warashibe Gyoza

restaurants in tokyo - gyoza

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Make reservations before heading to what seems like it should be a low-key gyoza restaurant, as it’s very, very popular. That’s probably because it serves only gyoza, specializing in more than 25 types of gyoza from the traditional to creative. Also popular here in gyoza fondue, which is decidedly not a traditionally Japanese dish — but it’s a cool, modern take on a classic. It’s near Kanda Station, also near Chiyoda City.

  • Address: 1‐14 Kanda Sudacho, Chiyoda 101-0041 Tokyo Prefecture
  • Takes reservations? Yes

Other can’t-miss restaurants in Tokyo

Sky Restaurant 634

best restaurants in tokyo - skytower

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Tokyo Skytree used to be the world’s tallest tower at 644 meters, or 2,080 feet, above the earth, and Sky Restaurant 634 sits on the very top floor. The round restaurant has spectacular views over the city, and two kinds of tables: regular dining tables, or teppan tables, where your multi-course meal will be cooked by a private chef at your personal grill. Teppan tables are set menus that start at 34,500 Yen (or roughly $240). Reservations are usually needed, but can be made just a week or two in advance.

  • Address: 1-1-2 Tokyo Skytree, Oshiage, Sumida 131-0045 Tokyo Prefecture
  • Takes reservations? Yes

Tapas Molecular Bar


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This highly rated restaurant is inside the Mandarin Oriental, which should give you a sense of the pricing. But if you don’t mind a steep bill, do your best to get a seat at the very popular restaurant, which seats only eight guests at a time. Dinner is a 13- or 14-course meal, and vegan and vegetarian options are available. Each comes with a story and an explanation, and is designed not just to be a treat for the taste buds, but to be visually interesting and unique, too. You can add wine or mocktail flights for an extra fee. Obviously, you need a reservation.

  • Address: 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi 38F, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, Chuo 103-8328 Tokyo Prefecture
  • Takes reservations? Yes

Burger Revolution Tokyo Wine Bar Roppongi

If you find yourself missing American cuisine while you’re in Japan, head to one of the best restaurants in Tokyo for burgers: Burger Revolution Tokyo Wine & Bar Roppongi. It has creative and traditional burgers. Choose from wagyu or kobe beef burgers, truffles and fancy cheese toppings, halal burgers, a customizable veggie burger, and more. Burgers and fries may sound like a boring thing to get in Japan, but there’s no beating around the bush: Burger Revolution is just really, really good.

  • Address: 5-9-22 1F, Roppongi, Minato 106-0032 Tokyo Prefecture
  • Takes reservations? Yes

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