The 15 Best Restaurants in Tokyo, Japan

the best restaurants in tokyo

During our 2023 trip to Japan, we visited Tokyo and Kyoto (see our post on the best things to do in Kyoto!), and had many incredible dining experiences. It feels like a distant dream now looking back, but we’re so grateful to have experienced it! We ate everything from street food, fish markets, konbini, small cafes, fast-casual, and some of the most luxurious fine dining spots we’ve experienced in any country. See below for a list of what we think are the best restaurants in Tokyo.

We used Google Maps (instead of Apple Maps) for its better data completeness in Japan, but it still took sleuthing and the help of locals to still find many of these businesses. It seems completely normal for both taxi drivers and business owners to have a business not be obvious despite having an exact map pin. So we tried to include some tips and landmarks in addition for you to find the restaurants below.

Note that the conversion rate of USD to Yen has already dramatically changed in the two weeks after we visited. We added some conversions in USD below at the rate of ¥ 135 to $1 USD that we paid, but it has changed to ¥ 147 as of December 2023. If you want more tips on how to plan a Japan trip, visit my post. For activities, check out my best things to do in Tokyo post. For a breakdown on my 12-day trip, check out my Japan trip cost post, too.

Fushikino ふしきの

Fushikino's crab course

Possibly one of my favorite dinners in Japan was at Fushikino, a traditional kaiseki restaurant in Shinjuku. Fushikino has one Michelin star and specializes in sake tastings created by its owner and sake sommelier Yusuke Miyashita. We were served by Sachiko Miyashita, who was also quite knowledgeable about Japanese history. I’m assuming Sachiko and Yusuke are related because they share the same family name.

Fushikino assorted autumn course

Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner with nine courses, and Fushikino lasts about 3 hours. I regret not partaking in the sake tasting, but we could see the experience from other diners at the bar who participated. Each course included a new sake cup and drink explaining where it was created and its tasting notes. 

Fushikino's pressed sushi

The meal itself was delicious. I especially loved the simplicity and elegant presentation of every dish. My favorite courses were the hassun (seasonal platter) and mushimono (which had steamed eggs with oysters). For dessert, Sachiko made fresh matcha. The only visible item from the counter was what seemed to be a traditional ladle and traditional pot of always-boiling water, ready to brew matcha. The owner was graceful and confident in using and serving from this, adding to a relaxing atmosphere.

I booked Fushikino through Pocket Concierge and paid for the 9-course kaiseki meal through the website. Finding this place took a lot of work, and our taxi driver dropped us off at the wrong location. We eventually found Fushkino tucked in between a smaller alley off the main street of Kagurazaka. It’s behind the building of Les Picolos cafe and on the third floor. 

Type of food: kaiseki, traditional Japanese
Price: $$$$ (¥ 22,000 / $150 USD pp)
What to order: 9-course kaiseki meal, sake tasting
Neighborhood: Shinjuku
Address: Google Maps 
Website | Tabelog 
Reservations: Pocket Concierge 
Neighborhood: Chuo City, Tsukiji
Address: Google Maps
Website | Tabelog 


ESqUISSE - shrimp course

I may never know why ESqUISSE is spelled the way it is, but I do know it’s a two-Michelin-star French restaurant which I absolutely loved. Located on the 9th floor of the Royal Crystal building in Ginza, it’s a prix fixe lunch and dinner menu ranging from ¥ 19,000-36,000 ($130-$245 USD) before additional wine pairings and other drinks. We were welcomed by a host who spoke several languages and guided us to our table. 

The entire dinner lasted around 2 ½-3 hours and was a 10-course meal–we were stuffed coming out of the restaurant. My favorite courses that night were the cheese plate, dry-aged sashimi, butternut almond salmon roe, sea urchin rouille, and parsnip coconut dessert. The menu is also written like a haiku, so it’s nice to see this little detail. A special treat was being sent off by the head chef Lionel Beccat, who thanked us for visiting the restaurant. 

ESqUISSE - dessert course

Since the restaurant is on the top floor of the building, you’re given a nice view of the Ginza skyline during your meal. I would recommend this for a lovely anniversary dinner or celebration. The dress code is classy, so dress up and enjoy your night. We reserved the restaurant on OpenTable and paid directly through the website. There were plenty of open spots a week before our trip. 

Type of food: French, Japanese
Price: $$$$ (¥ 40,000 / $270 USD pp)
What to order: prix fixe
Neighborhood: Ginza
Address: Google Maps
Website | Tabelog 
Reservations: OpenTable | Pocket Concierge

Azabujyuban Hatano Yoshiki 麻布十番 鮨 秦野よしき

chef Hatano preparing a sushi course

Trying to book a reservation for omakase in Japan can be quite tedious and frustrating, so I was pleased to be able to book Azabujyuban Hatano Yoshiki. This Edo-style sushi seats a small group of eight with two daily seatings (for lunch and dinner). 

I easily made reservations through Pocket Concierge for a group of three and prepaid through the website. We paid for additional drinks at the restaurant. It came to ¥ 33,000 ($225 USD) per person for 16 courses that included various fish and vegetables before drinks. My favorite pieces were the bonito with onion jelly, toro, uni, crab with roe, and tamago courses. At the end of your omakase, the chef will ask if you want more sushi; however, all three of us were incredibly full. 

Hatano Yoshiki course - tuna with marinated onion jelly

During dinner, we were served by three different hosts and the sushi chef, who made our sushi individually and explained each piece. The service was impeccable, and the servers wiped our table after every course and guided us to the bathrooms.

I really enjoyed watching him create the sushi for each dish. He seemed very friendly chatting with the patrons, and I just wish we spoke Japanese to join in on the fun. Some of the people dining also had allergies, and he accommodated them (though I’m not sure if this is typical). 

Type of food: sushi
Price: $$$$ (¥ 49,000 / $335 USD pp)
What to order: omakase 
Neighborhood: Azabujuban
Address: Google Maps
Reservations: Pocket Concierge | Omakase | TableCheck

Curry Cafe Sama 下北沢店

pork coconut curry at Curry Cafe Sama

Curry Cafe Sama was a quick lunch spot we liked after needing a mid-shopping break in Shimokitazawa. For only ¥ 1200-1600 ($14 US) per plate, you can choose from various curry and rice dishes like pork, chicken, veggie, coconut, and shrimp. You can also choose the spice level, how much rice you want, and any additional meat or veggies. 

We ordered the pork coconut curry and chicken curry plates. Both were delicious, and the meat was super soft, with the rice perfectly cooked. The chicken curry had a much lighter sauce and a good mix of veggies. It was very hearty and filling for such an affordable price. They promote a locally crafted beer at this store with cool designs that remind me of our brewers back home in southern California.

Type of food: curry
Price: $ (¥ 1200-1600 / $14 USD pp)
What to order: coconut curry with pork 
Neighborhood: Shimokitazawa
Address: Google Maps
Website | Tabelog 

Mister Donut, aka Misdo

Mister Donut's mochi donuts

Mister Donut, or Misdo, is the originator of the mochi donut that we love so well in the US. We’ve made our mochi donuts at home after trying out MoDo Hawaii, so of course, we wanted to try the original donut in Japan. Luckily, Misdo has plenty of locations throughout Japan, and I stopped by a store before shopping in Kappabashi. 

Mister Donut also sells traditional cake and yeast donuts, and seasonal donuts, but we were here for the mochi donuts. Each donut was less than $1 USD, and we tried the Halloween chocolate-covered mochi donut. The donut was not freshly made by any means, but it was still one of the best mochi donuts I’ve ever had because the texture was chewy, and the outer crust was crisp. They also sell coffee, too. 

Type of food: donuts and coffee
Price: $ (¥ 900  / $1.25 USD pp)
What to order: mochi donut
Neighborhood: various
Address: various

Gomei Akita Beef Teppanyaki 秋田牛鉄板焼き 銀座五明

Gomei Akita Beef - A5 wagyu course

Gomei Akita Beef Teppanyaki was one of our first meals in Japan, and it felt very special off the bat because the chef met us outside to guide us into the downstairs restaurant. The whole experience was excellent. The staff took us to our seats, took our coats, and got our drink menus. This was the first restaurant we visited with a fancy box on the floor for our purses and camera bag which they covered with a cloth to prevent potential spills. We later found out this caddy is common in fine-dining restaurants here. 

Gomei Akita Beef - preparing food on teppanyaki

This restaurant is known for its Kuroge Wagyu from the Akita prefecture. We even saw the lineage certificate from the beef we ate that night! As soon as we sat down, the chef introduced us to the different ingredients he was using that night and asked about any additions we wanted, like adding white or black truffles to the rice dishes. We opted for the steak prix fixe course and purchased this through Pocket Concierge for ¥ 21,780 ($150 USD) per person before drinks and additions. There are other sets, like a special course, which includes seafood and clay pot dishes or the chef’s omakase. 

luxurious truffle rice

The chef cooked in front of us the entire time, teppanyaki style. His cooking was on another level. He had excellent controlled and refined motor skills, creating a calm and serene visual cooking experience. Every item was moved gracefully, and even rotating and cutting mushrooms was performed precisely and confidently. You can tell he’s been doing it for many years (he later told us he’s been there for about eight years).

At the end, you get a unique little charm, and the chef walks you outside to give a blessing before you leave. A chef/employee sendoff was special to us coming from the States, but we later found out this custom is quite common in fine dining in Japan, which we love!

Type of food: steak, teppanyaki
Price: $$$$ (¥ 32,000  / $220 USD pp)
What to order: steak prix fixe
Neighborhood: Ginza
Address: Google Maps
Website | Tabelog 
Reservations: Pocket Concierge

A10 Ebisu

bar seating at A10 Ebisu

If you’re looking for a cool speakeasy that plays old-school hip-hop and R&B, A10 Ebisu is for you. The front door is disguised as a vending machine that will open easily if you know what you’re looking for, which leads to the basement stairs. Unfortunately, this isn’t for the heat intolerant because it is much warmer downstairs. 

The door opens to a hipster-looking small bar with records lining up the back of the bar and a DJ standing alongside bartenders making drinks. While we didn’t have a reservation, we luckily got seated within 10 minutes. In addition to the bar, there are a few tables and chairs for groups, which is nice.

We liked most of our drinks, like the Kekko-na Ote-mae-de, a matcha-based drink with gin and grape juice. However, we did not enjoy the Ben Fiddich Style Green Achar, a non-alcoholic green smoothie with masala and cumin. The service was nice, but we noticed it took a while to get water and our drinks–it was pretty busy during our visit. The cocktails were priced reasonably well at ¥ 1,200-1,900 ($8-13 USD) per drink. 

Type of food: cocktail speakeasy, music lounge
Price: $$ (¥ 4,400 / $30 USD pp)
What to order: Kekko-na Ote-mae-de
Neighborhood: Shibuya
Address: Google Maps
Website | Tabelog 
Reservations: TableCheck

SG Club

SG Club bar seating

SG Club was our first bar and reservation for the trip, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s ranked #14 in Asia’s 50 Best World’s Bar list and #36 in general on the 50 Best World’s Bar list. I’m really happy to get a reservation on TableCheck because many people were waiting outside for a seat. 

This bar is made up of three floors with different themes depending on the level. Overall, the SG Club blends Japanese and Western bartending styles and drinks. SG stands for two things: the owner’s initials, Shinko Gohan, and Sip and Guzzle. The main floor is called Guzzle, the bottom floor where we sat was called Sip, and the top floor is named Savor, a member’s only lounge. 

The interior is dim and intimate; the bar has nice lighting, and the decor is supposed to be about old-time American gangster clubs in the movies. The menu is extensive; if you’re hungry, there’s also a small snack menu of popcorn, cheesy cauliflower, and yakitori. 

Our drinks were tasty and unique. We ordered the piña colada Japonesa, Grandma’s apple pie, and whiskey nigiri. The pina colada was a clarified milk punch that I always enjoyed, and the apple pie was so good and strikingly reminiscent of one of my favorite desserts. The nigiri was interesting but so reminiscent of eating sushi with soy sauce and vinegar that I can’t imagine a scenario I’d actually want to drink this again.

Type of food: cocktail bar
Price: $$ (¥ 5,800 / $40 USD pp)
What to order: pina colada Japonesa, Grandma’s apple pie
Neighborhood: Shibuya
Address: Google Maps
Website | Tabelog 
Reservations: TableCheck

Rokurinsha 六厘舍

bowl of tsukemen at Rokurinsha

Rokurinsha specializes in Tsukemen ramen, which means you dip ramen noodles into a concentrated soup base. This restaurant is on the basement level of Tokyo Station and is a super popular spot. You’ll often see people lining up outside. Once in line, you can purchase a ticket from the kiosk at the front and show this to the host to get seated. There were maybe about 8 bar seats and 10-12 table seats–a tiny restaurant. 

If you don’t read Japanese, there’s an English option on the kiosk. It’s a small menu; their most popular bowls are the tsukemen and spicy tsukemen. We opted to add a marinated egg, too. The quality was pretty good even though this seems more like daily fare and not anything super fancy. I wouldn’t like to wait more than 20 minutes in line for this, but I would definitely return to if I was traveling through the station. It’s relatively cheap at about ¥ 740-1140 (about $6 USD per bowl). 

The restaurant is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., but there’s a half-hour break between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m., so make sure you don’t come during their off hours. We arrived around 9:00 a.m. and didn’t have to wait too long to get a seat. Note this place is cash only. 

Type of food: ramen, tsukemen
Price: $ (¥ 740-1140 / $6 USD pp)
What to order: tsukemen
Neighborhood: Marunouchi, Tokyo Station 
Address: Google Maps
Website | Tabelog 

Soba Stand そばうさ

soba bowl at Soba Stand

Soba Stand is a good choice if you need a quick meal in Chiyoda City. It was near our hotel, The Kitano, and we desperately needed a dinner that didn’t require hours of waiting in line or sitting during a prix fixe meal. Soba Stand is a cash only kiosk restaurant. There’s an English menu available, so just make sure to match the corresponding numbers on the kiosk with the physical menu.

Their portions are enormous for not too high a cost, about ¥ 1,000 ($6 USD) per bowl. The two of us got our own bowl and neither was able to finish. All the soba is cold; the only ‘hot’ options mean spicy on the menu! It’s a cute small shop that’s intended for quick eat-and-go situations since it’s standing only with all the seats facing outwards towards the wall, giving a sense of privacy if you wanna pop in and eat a solo meal quickly.

Type of food: soba
Price: $ (¥ 1,000 / $6 USD pp)
What to order: stamina mazesoba
Neighborhood: Hirakawachō
Address: Google Maps
Website | Tabelog 

Manneken マネケン

sweet potato waffle from Manneken

I first had Manneken waffles in Ginza on my first trip to Japan in 2012, and I loved it. I tried a couple of flavors and was hooked on the crispy and warm texture. This time, I visited the Manneken location in Yaechika Shopping Mall, the underground mall in Tokyo Station. It can be confusing to figure out how to access this, but we used Google Maps to figure out the location. 

Manneken assortment of waffles

Manneken specializes in Belgian waffles with plain flavors, chocolate-dipped flavors, and seasonal flavors like buttery sweet potato. It’s typically a tiny storefront with a display of waffles, and they will toast them up whenever you order. We tried the plain and buttery sweet potato. The sweet potato was a little less crispy in texture due to the ingredients, but both were amazing. Each waffle is about $1 USD, and it feels like a steal for something so fresh and high quality.

Type of food: Belgian waffles
Price: $ (¥ 150 / $1 USD pp)
What to order: plain waffle, seasonal waffle
Neighborhood: various
Address: various

The Matcha Tokyo 

The Matcha Tokyo - ice cream scoops, and iced matcha

After trying various types of iced and matcha ice cream throughout Japan, Matcha Tokyo is one of my favorite spots. I was a little wary because it seemed a little commercialized, but the quality (like many Japanese products) is top-tier, and they don’t skimp on service or their products. I especially love that they have certified organic matcha in different varieties like ice cream, matcha lattes, soft serve, hojicha, and cookies. 

Ironically, we only came to purchase The Matcha Tokyo matcha-making utensils, but we couldn’t help and ordered an iced matcha and ice cream. I love that the matcha bowls have spouts that make for easy pouring. We purchased a bowl, a whisk, and a whisk holder for about $48 (a steal if you’re from the US like we are, where bowls are typically $60+). 

The Shibuya location is in Miyashita Park on the 2nd floor. It’s a small stall where you order at the front and enjoy your matcha on a wooden seat. The Matcha Tokyo also has locations in other spots of Tokyo (Shinjuku and Ometasando), Hong Kong, and the Philippines. 

Type of food: Matcha
Price: $ (¥ 600 / $4 USD pp)
What to order: iced matcha, matcha ice cream
Neighborhood: Omotesando, Shinjuku, Shibuya
Address: Google Maps

Nana’s Green Tea ななや青山店

Nana's Green Tea parfait

This is the stuff parfait dreams are made of. We first had Nana’s Green Tea on Oahu when the location was still open; unfortunately, it closed, and now they’re only open in Tokyo and Seattle. Nana’s Green Tea is known for its parfaits filled to the brim with vanilla soft serve, matcha ice cream, crispy flakes, mochi, and pieces of soft Japanese sponge cake (castella). 

If you’re not big on matcha, they also sell flavors like hojicha with warabimochi and black sesame. I’m surprised to see such a large portion relative to other Japanese foods and desserts, with many people ordering a whole parfait.

If you’re not into dessert, Nana’s serves a full cafe menu of curry plates, rice bowls, salads, and pastries. At the Shinjuku location, the cafe is part of an indoor mall on the 8th floor. You need to order first and then are given a table number to wait for your meal. Since it’s part of a cafeteria, there are also many other spots to eat at.

Type of food: Matcha parfait and cafe 
Price: $ (¥ 1,000 / $6 USD pp)
What to order: matcha parfaits
Neighborhood: various
Address: Google Maps

Tatsumi 巽 パレスホテル東京 

Tatsumi chef plating tempura veggies

Tatsumi was the fanciest tempura we’ve ever had. This restaurant screams bougie, as it’s part of the Palace Hotel, and you’re instantly ushered into your dining area by a host wearing a traditional Japanese kimono. Like most Japanese restaurants, the service was impeccable. The host and chef at the bar served us the entire time. We later learned she was simultaneously waiting at three restaurants but never skipped a beat at our table. 

Tatsumi tempura shimp

The restaurant is very small, only seating six people, but we were the only party there, so we got to chat a lot with the chef and learned a couple of things about tempura. Before cooking, he prepped a nice-styled plate of veggies and fish. He showed us what we’d be eating and reasonable explanations for each. Some of my favorite dishes from this dinner were the tempura eel, tempura lotus, prawn heads, and ochazuke (a rice bowl poured over with tea). 

Tatsumi rice bowl with tempura mushroom and veggies

Since it was our anniversary, they were very sweet and got us a photo and dessert at the end of the meal. I initially thought they wanted to take a picture of us for the restaurant, but later, they gave us a printed photo on a card for our anniversary.

Like many places, they had someone walk us out of the restaurant. In this case, our waiter walked us to the hotel elevator and chatted with us outside for a while very cheerfully. She ended the walk out with an extended bow we saw, which lasted beyond our elevator doors closing. It was the most extreme bow or thank you we saw all trip and added to a very refined dining experience.

Type of food: tempura
Price: $$$ (¥ 11,000 / $76 USD pp)
What to order: prix fixe
Neighborhood: Marunouchi
Address: Google Maps
Website | Tabelog 
Reservations: TableCheck | Pocket Concierge

Sushi Itadori Bekkan 築地虎杖 別館

two pre-set meals being prepared at Sushi Itadori Bekkan

After an entire morning of touring both Toyosu and Tsukiji outer markets, I was super hungry even though we had light snacks. Unlike my first trip to Tsukiji market in 2012, I didn’t want to wait hours in line at Sushi Dai. After some quick searching, I found Sushi Itadori Bekkan on Google Maps. 

Finding Sushi Itadori Bekkan can be confusing, even using Google Maps, because it’s nestled between an indoor alley that houses a restaurant on the front and a store. The easiest way to find Sushi Itadori Bekkan is to find the sign for Unitora Nakadori and enter the alley through this entrance. Keep following the aisle until you reach a sign for Sushi Itadori Bekkan (there should be a stand with a menu) and bar seating. 

We arrived around 10:30 a.m. and only waited 20 minutes to get seated. They have a small menu of preset sushi. We ordered two 10-piece sets (named Kiwami set) with three toro cut rolls, which were the perfect amount of food. You get an array of fishes like squid, uni, and toro. The Kiwami set came in at ¥ 7,800 ($55 USD) and was reasonably priced for such good quality fish. If you’re not into sushi, there are chirashi bowls and sashimi. 

Type of food: sushi, seafood
Price: $$ (¥ 7,800 / $55 USD pp)
What to order: Kiwami set

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