What is your first thought when we talk about Japanese food? Sushi? Sashimi? Or Raman?
Tokyo ( 東京 ), the capital city of Japan with over 13 million population, this city gather people from all around the world, people come here for traveling, studying, working, experiencing and also food lovers come here to explore the taste that would bring them to the next level.
There are thousands of restaurants in Tokyo and I believe you can stay here months and months only for trying different foods.
To make it easier for you, here we pick the 10 must eat food in Tokyo and list it, hopefully, this will give you some ideas what food you shouldn’t miss when you visit Tokyo.
1. Akamaru Raman, IPPUDO ( 赤丸ラーメン, 一風堂)
IPPUDO Raman started since 1985, and in 1996 they brought out 2 symbolic Ramen “Shiromaru Motoaji ( 白丸元味 )” and “Akamaru Shinaji ( 赤丸新味 )”, as the business expanded, these two Ramen then became globe standard Ramen, where Akamaru Shinaji became even more popular among foreigners.
Akamaru Shinaji is served with IPPUDO’s original creamy tonkotsu broth added homemade fragrant oil and secret dashi plus the special blended miso paste, not oily and greasy, also with medium-thin straight noodles.
You can try the black oil mix with the spicy oil, which will bring the flavor to more different layers. Their hard work also let them received a lot of awards.
They now have many branches all over Japan so as overseas, we list two popular ones in Tokyo.
- IPPUDO Ebisu ( 一風堂 恵比寿店 )
Address: 1-3-13 Hiroo | Highness Ebisu, Shibuya 150-0012, Tokyo Prefecture (Shibuya, Harajuku, Ebisu)
Tel: +81 3-5420-2225
- IPPUDO Roppongi ( 一風堂 六本木店 )
Address: 4-9-11 Roppongi | 1F 2nd Odagiri Building, Minato 106-0032, Tokyo Prefecture
Tel: +81 3-5775-7561
2. TENDON, Kaneko Hannosuke ( 天丼, 金子半之助 )
This tempura on rice is an all-time favorite of many Japanese gourmands, especially at Haneko Hannosuke where they pick up the fresh seafood ingredients from Tsukiji market ( 築地市場 ) every morning, here you will have tempura of conger, shrimp, squid and soft-boiled egg with their secret sauce, it has reasonable price and really good value.
Regarding the birth of Tendon, people believe it was the end of the Edo period ( 江戸時代 ) in the 1830s’, as the price was really cheap like 3 cents back in the 18s’, it is really popular within the common people in Tokyo.
This comfort food even until today it still satisfies you with the amount and the taste.
- Tendon Kaneko Hannosuke Nihombashi ( 天丼 金子半之助 / 日本橋 )
Address: 1-11-15 Nihombashi Muromachi, Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Chuo 03-0022, Tokyo Prefecture
Tel: +81 3-3243-070
3. Mille Crêpe, HARBS
“What a kind of cake that fills your heart?”
When HARBS first started their business, this is the question they asked themselves and also is a concept that they want to deliver.
Personally, I love their fruits mille crêpe, fresh fruit with cream, sounds very common just like all other mille crêpe but you won’t find it over sweet in this one. It is also claimed to be a quintessential Japanese dessert. Also, as their cakes are all handmade on a daily basis that you can straight away taste the differences than the frozen one.
At HARBS they have a monthly menu which means you will taste different flavor by season, while the mille crêpe is recommended the must-try if you are here but other cakes such as the strawberry cake would also amaze you too!
Here we list two shops for you.
- Harbs Lumine Est Shinjuku ( HARBS ルミネエスト新宿 )
Address: 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Lumine Est B2F Shinjuku, Tokyo Prefecture
Tel: +81 3-5366-1538
- Harbs Roppongihills ( HARBS 六本木ヒルズ店 )
Address: 6-10-2 Roppongi | 1F Hillside, Minato 106-0032, Tokyo Prefecture
Tel: +81 3-5772-6191
4. Sanuki Udon, Mentsudan ( 讃岐うどん, 麺通団 )
Still think the Udon pack from your local supermarket taste delicious? Well, then you need to come here.
Don’t be surprised if you see a long queue outside the door and you are wondering why people would like to line up sometimes more then one hour just for a noodle soup, you should try it yourself.
Udon is very common food in Japan, one of the most popular and well-known is Sanuki Udon from Kagawaken, Sikoku ( 香川県, 四国 ).
In Mentsudan, the Udon noodle is freshly made in house every day, you also have options to select hot or cold for this perfect bounce texture.
One another to try is to order the Udon noodle in the broth and add as many tempura pieces as you like!
- Mentsudan ( 麺通団 )
Address: 7-9-15 Nishishinjuku | 1F Daikan Plaza Business Kiyoda Bldg., Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku 160-0023, Tokyo Prefecture Tel: +81 3-5389-1077
5. Sushi, Sushidai ( 寿司, 寿司大 )
Sushi has no doubt become the symbol of Japanese cuisine, eating sushi in Japan is also by far the most authentic and delicious place to be. Since you can find sushi everywhere around the world now, the place you don’t want to miss out is sushi from Tsukiji Market ( 築地市場 ) in Tokyo.
“How do we know sushi from a sushi shop that is absolutely fresh?” “Find the longest queue lining up in front of the shop.”
When you come to the market at 4.30, 5.00 o’clock in the morning and already seen a queue that would need you to wait for another hour or two, don’t walk away because your taste bud is going to love it.
Feel free to try any shop in Tsukiji Market that you like as they have tons of options but here we list the one that amazes us and we think the value is greater than the money you pay.
- Sushidai ( 寿司大 )
Address: Koto City, Toyosu, 6-chome−5−1 Tokyo Prefecture
Tel: +81 3-6633-0042
6. Shabu Shabu, Shabusen Ginza ( しゃぶしゃぶ, しゃぶせん 銀座 )
Have you ever tried hot pot before? If not, we suggest that you should try one of the Japanese style hot pot at least once and then most likely you would fall in love with it.
Shabu Shabu is the name for Japanese hot pot, unlike Sukiyaki ( すき焼き ) is mixed of soy sauce, sugar, mirin, shabu shabu is more similar to the Chinese hot pot with different flavor of stock, which is also considered instant hot pot, as the stock is boiled so all the ingredients can be cooked in no time especially thinly sliced meat.
The word “Shabu Shabu” actually is the sound emitted from the cooking ingredients.
Usually, sliced beef is served for the hot pot, and will have some Chinese cabbage, tofu, shiitake mushroom, and some other vegetables, typically you will have numbers of dipping sauce with it. But as this dish becomes so popular in most of the Asian country, different meats are served as people wish and so as vegetable dipping sauce would vary depending on the area too.
- Shabusen Ginza ( しゃぶせん 銀座 )
Address: 5-8-20 Ginza | Ginza Core B2F, Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo Prefecture
Tel: +81 3-3572-3806
7. Sukiyaki, Asakusa Imahan ( すき焼き, 浅草今半 )
As we mentioned before, Sukiyaki is a bit different from Shabu Shabu, the meat and other ingredients are slowly cooked and simmer at the table, it uses Japanese soy sauce, mirin, sugar to make the base and some of them will serve with the dipping sauce as well.
Raw egg also used in a dipping sauce and many people will only mix the york in it and cook the egg white.
Sukiyaki is more of Japanese nobemono style, you should miss it if you want to eat like a Japanese.
We list the restaurant that is more than 100 years, it is one of the most popular and authentic sukiyaki that you can find in Tokyo.
- Asakusa Imahan ( 浅草今半 )
Address: 3-1-12 Nishi Asakusa, Taito 111-0035, Tokyo Prefecture
Tel: +81 3-3841-1114
8. Oyakodon, Hinaiya ( 親子丼, ひないや )
Oyako ( 親子 ) in Japanese means “Parents-Children”, so oyakodon is literally made of chicken and egg on rice with onion.
It is a very common and simple donburi dish all over Japan, as the cooking method will leave the egg still a bit runny so the freshness matters!
At Hinaiya, you can taste the quality of the chicken and eggs which will make you understand why simple is the best!
- Hinaiya Kichijoji ( ひないや 吉祥寺 )
Address: 1-8-14 Kichijojihoncho | 2F, Musashino 180-0004, Tokyo Prefecture
Tel: +81 422-21-1788
9. Unadon, Kabuto ( うな丼, かぶと)
This is another Japanese rice dish with eel grilled on top, the cooking style is through kabayaki, and also preferred over a charcoal fire. There are many Unadon shops around Tokyo, Kabuto ( かぶと ) is voted the first place for Unadon, regular customers also like to ask the owner to recommend a special house menu for the day.
They make the eel so soft and tasty that you feel it just falls apart in your mouth. Because of the kabayaki method, it normally has eel fillets glazed in sweet soy sauce so it absorbs all the flavor, that also makes the taste unique that you wouldn’t have anywhere else.
- Kabuto ( かぶと )
Address: 2 Chome-53-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima City, Tokyo Prefecture
Tel: +81 3-3983-8608
10. Matcha Ice Cream, Suzukien ( 抹茶アイスクリーム, 寿々喜園 )
The last one is for Matcha ( Japanese green tea powder ) lover! I will never miss a matcha product if I have any chance! There is a lot of different type of Matcha dessert in Japan since it is a finely grounded green tea powder, you can simply just add some water and make it into a matcha green tea, pour milk in then becomes matcha latte, or make it a cake.
At Suzukien, you can find the richest Matcha ice cream in the world! There are seven levels of the richness for you to choose, level one is the most common and most of matcha ice cream that you can find would be about the same richness, level seven certainly is the richest one, you can taste the bitterness when you have a bite but not too sweet which is the one I really enjoy!
Don’t miss out if you are a big fan of Matcha like me! Really worth to try!
Address: 3-4-3 Asakusa, Asakusa, Taito 111-0032, Tokyo Prefecture
The enjoyment of visual and gustatory sense!
We all know Japan is a country that focuses on making things detail fine no matter where you go in Japan, so when you come to Japan one thing that you must do is to treat yourself thoroughly, gourmet is an art of food, is also for your sensory to enjoy!
If you have any questions please feel free to leave your message below and if you would like to know anything about traveling to Japan you are welcome to let us know too!
We are here to share and help!