If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet or watching travel shows, then you’ve probably heard all about the delicious food Tokyo has to offer! From sushi to ramen to pancakes, the city is renowned for having an array of amazing food to try out.
But, if you’re visiting the world city, what are your options for yummy eats, and where are some of the best places to get them? Never fear! We’ve put together a list of some of the most popular things to eat in Tokyo, and where to find them below.
Sushi: where to find delicious sushi in Tokyo
Sushi has come a long way since its beginnings as a fermented fish, salt and rice dish from the paddy fields. In modern times, sushi is a highly popular dish, with an enormous variety of different kinds being made and sold around the world. Although it does often contain fish, there are also vegetarian and vegan sushi options available, with ingredients such as tempura vegetable, tofu, and avocado. It can be kept as a long roll to eat on the go, or cut up to eat at a restaurant or sushi train establishment.
Sushi is the most widely-known Japanese food outside of Japan; a recent study by Trip.com found that 21.8 per cent of Americans associated Tokyo with food and the overwhelming top response of those surveyed was sushi. This means you’re probably already familiar with sushi, but eating it in Japan is something special.
Tokyo is famous for its sushi, but where do you go to get it? Well, it largely depends on your budget. For those looking to eat somewhere affordable, a sushi train chain such as Ganso Zushi may be a good option. The company has stores throughout Tokyo, so you should never be too far from one if you get a sushi craving while out and about!
For cheap sushi on the go, somewhere such as Uogashi Nihon-Ichi might be just your style (but please keep in mind this place doesn’t have seating!).
If you’re happy to fork out a little more for your Tokyo sushi experience, a place such as Matsue Ebisu might float your boat. At Matsue Ebisu you can watch the chefs prepare the sushi in front of you, with lunch courses starting around the ¥3,000 mark and working their way up to around ¥6,500.
The dinner option is “omakase” which means dishes that are selected by the chef, and starts at ¥10,800. Matsue is also located just two minutes from Ebisu Station, convenient for if you’re travelling around Tokyo on public transport.
Ramen: top places to eat ramen in Tokyo
Another dish popular in Tokyo is ramen, but don’t think of it as the college-student two-minute kind! Traditional Japanese ramen often includes a combination of meat, egg, broth, vegetables and handmade noodles.
There are many chances to score cheap ramen dishes in Tokyo. One popular place is Hidakaya. Offering a variety of dishes (they also do gyoza), and with more than 330 storefronts, Hidakaya offers travellers and locals alike affordable ramen, with a regular bowl starting at ¥390.
If you’re a ramen connoisseur, excited by the prospect of a top-notch noodle experience, there are also options of a higher price tag meal available within Tokyo. One such option is Nakiryu. Located just five minutes’ walk from Otsuka Station, Nakiryu is a Michelin-star-awarded ramen restaurant, serving a wide array of noodle dishes. It is popular though and wait times can be long, so if you choose to go, try to pick a time when fewer people will be hungry!
Pancakes: best places for pancakes in Tokyo
Possibly a slightly unexpected addition to the list, Tokyo has a large range of pancake options for your tasting pleasure. Fluffy pancakes (also sometimes called souffle pancakes) are incredibly popular in Japan, with many cafés dedicating their menus to the food.
Located in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Pluffy Cafe offers a range of fluffy pancakes and waffle sandwiches. The café runs off a seasonal menu, with items changing to reflect what is in season at the time. Another option is Yukinoshita which first opened up in Osaka, but has since opened a store in Tokyo. The company is particular about their ingredients, using non-pasteurised milk and free-range eggs for their creations.
Flipper’s also offers up a menu of fluffy pancakes, with the price of a pancake dish starting around the ¥1000 point. Featuring excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, the restaurant is ranked #54 out of 5,246 restaurants within Setagaya. Like all popular places, it’s recommended you head to Flipper’s during off-peak eating times in order to avoid large queues.
What to eat in Tokyo
Tokyo offers an incredibly wide range of foods, so once you’ve had your fill of sushi, ramen and pancakes, there’s a whole world of Japanese food out there to explore. But whatever and wherever you decide to eat in Tokyo, it’s sure to be delicious!