Where to Eat in Tokyo, Japan

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Tatemichiya

Tokyo, Japan

This basement establishment in Daikanyama gives the traditional izakaya – a Japanese pub – a sexy, grungy revamp. Opened by a punk rocker, the walls are plastered with posters of musical icons such as the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. If you’re lucky, artist Yoshimoto Nara will make an appearance and you can drink with him while he paints the walls.

Address

5-2-1 Tsukiji 30-8 Sarugakucho Shibuya-ku

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Pizza Slice

Tokyo, Japan

Step through the door and you’ve been teleported to a whitetiled restaurant in the East Village in New York. Great if you want a casual dining option before heading to the famous club Air across the street, which featured in the movie Lost in Translation. Order the deep-dish pizzas by the slice or whole to share.

Address

1-3 Sarugakuchou Shibuya-ku

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Ukai-Tei

Tokyo, Japan

Dinner here does come at a cost, with prices ranging between £70 and £130. A lunch will set you back somewhere between £40 and £70 per person. But you will walk out having tasted the best steak of your life. Experience real teppanyaki here, and you will never so much as utter the name Benihana again.

Address

5-10-1 Omotesando-Gyre 5F Jingu-mae Shibuya-ku

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Honmura An

Tokyo, Japan

A noodle-lover’s dream, this reasonably priced joint is a great crowd-pleaser. Order the hand-cut noodles with tempura or the thinly sliced duck. Reservations are recommended and make sure you check opening times on the website in advance – it is closed on Mondays and on select other days every month.

Address

7-14-18 Roppongi Minato 106-0032

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Narukiyo

Tokyo, Japan

You may have trouble navigating the Japanese-only menu – which changes daily depending on the produce – but have no fear, the enthusiastic staff are always keen to help and everything is excellent anyway. Make a reservation if you want to sit in the back, otherwise cosy up at the bar.

Address

2-7-14 Shibuya 150-0002

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Chopstick Café

Tokyo, Japan

Eclectic, stylish and cheap make for a winning combination. Order a forest-green matcha cocktail infused with vodka, and lots of tapas-style food to share. The menu will surprise you with its combinations like the tofu paired with toasted baguette and honey – and it’s all incredible.

Address

3-10-1 Shibuya MJ Building Shibuya 150-0002

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Beef Kitchen

Tokyo, Japan

A killer Japanese/Korean spot that serves up great beef at great prices. Not for vegetarians or anyone anti hip hop, as this is the only musical genre played to accompany your munching.

Address

2-44-8 Kamimeguro Meguro 153-0051

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Los Barbados

Tokyo, Japan

Los Barbados is a tiny, eight-seat bar on the outskirts of Shibuya run by a Japanese couple. Open from noon until 11.30PM, they serve up a diverse and vegetarian-friendly menu of African and Middle Eastern food, including falafel, couscous, mezze and brik (a Tunisian deep-fried pastry). You will often find that you are the only English speakers here – try not to feel to smug about it. Set back from the side streets of Shibuya, this place is very hard to find, so keep their number handy to call when you get lost.

Address

#104 41-26 Udagawacho Shibuya-ku

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Parlour

Tokyo, Japan

After walking through Roppongi or visiting the Mori Art Museum, the perfect place to refuel is Parlour, a delicious Singaporean-fusion restaurant in the back streets. It has a minimalist but warm feel and you can either sit by the bar or around a high table if you’re in a bigger group. There is an emphasis on wine, but if you aren’t interested the food speaks for itself – don’t leave without trying the sweet pork dish.

Address

Shiseido Building 8-8-3 Ginza

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Kaikaya

Tokyo, Japan

This restaurant serves only fish, all of which is exquisitely fresh, and is known for is its carpaccio and sashimi. Taking welcoming to a new level, when you enter the door you’ll be greeted with a chorus of shouts from the kitchen. Kaikaya is an under-the-radar jewel in Shibuya and, like many restaurants in Tokyo, easily overlooked – pay close attention to the address.

Address

23-7 Maruyamacho Shibuya 150-0044

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The Oak Door

Tokyo, Japan

The Oak Door, the award-winning restaurant in the Grand Hyatt, has a vast and delicious menu, top-notch service and the prices to match. Visiting DJs play in the bar and dining area almost every night of the week – it’s definitely worth visiting if you enjoy people-watching, as it’s almost always littered with Japanese celebrities.

Address

The Grand Hyatt Tokyo 6-10-3 Roppongi 106-0032

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Hainan Jeefan Shokudo

Tokyo, Japan

This chic little cafeteria is at the very southernmost tip of Roppongi Hills in the shadow of the Mori Tower.

Address

6-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku

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Warayakiya

Tokyo, Japan

Warayakiya is a restaurant specialising in a method of cooking from the Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku, and its distinctive smell hits you as you as soon as you walk through the door. Rather than grilling meat and fish over charcoal, the cooks use straw – which burns at temperatures of 900 degrees celsius. The cooking technique gives the food a rich and unique taste, something you can rarely find imitated outside Japan.

Address

6-8-8 Roppongi Minato-ku 106-0032

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Harmonie

Tokyo, Japan

Not to be mistaken for a typical French restaurant, Harmonie is run by a Japanese couple – the husband in the kitchen and his wife working out front.

Address

7-14-18 Roppongi, Minato-ku

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Teyandei Izakaya - CLOSED

Tokyo, Japan

As far as pubs go in Japan, this is undoubtedly the best. Teyandei serves unfussy small plates in a converted two-storey house with counter seating allowing you to chat to your neighbours as you dine or watch the chefs do their thing.

Address

2-20-1 Nishi Azabuo Minato-ku 106-0031

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Buchi - CLOSED

Tokyo, Japan

Izakaya bars can be found anywhere in Tokyo and also feature outside of Japan. Buchi Bar, however, is still one of the best. Their fried courgette is second to none and for meat lovers, the duck salad and lamp chops are a must. It can get very smoky in the restaurant but this does not dampen the fantastic atmosphere at all.

Address

9-7 Shinsencho Shibuya-ku

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Sushi Ichi

Tokyo, Japan

Sushi Ichi serves traditional sushi in the bustling area of Ginza. Unlike many sushi restaurants in Tokyo, the chef here speaks English, so it is nice to have the opportunity to chat to him while he prepares your food. Lunch is good value, but the dinner menu can end up being pretty expensive.

Address

3-4-4 Ginza Chūō-ku 104-0061

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Sushidai

Tokyo, Japan

This illustrious restaurant is set at the heart of the Tokyo fish market and is one of the best in Japan – no surprise that it's as famous for its queue as its eye-wateringly long queue. The only way to avoid the crowd is to go at 5am when the fish market opens and snatch one of the highly coveted 13 seats, although if that doesn’t seem realistic then it is still worth a wait.

Address

Tsukiji Market 6th Building 5-2-1 Tsukiji Chūō-ku 104-0045

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Sushi Inn

Tokyo, Japan

They mainly serve sushi here but their boiled fish shabu-shabu is our reason to visit. The chef will give you a constant flow of food – a good thing, especially when there is no English menu and no English spoken by anyone in the restaurant. Top-level culinary mastery is the reason behind high prices, so you may want to save this one for a special occasion.

Address

22-3 Sarugakucho Shibuya-ku 150-0033

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Nogizaka Uoshin

Tokyo, Japan

This seafood restaurant just outside the Roppongi midtown area is always packed. The rooftop lined with lanterns is perfect for drinks while the specialty on the menu is the noke sushi – seaweed rolls with generous toppings of sweet sea urchin, minced chutoro fatty tuna, ikura salmon-roe eggs and crab. Often served whole, it's exquisite both to look at and eat.

Address

9-6-3 2 Akasaka Minato-ku 107-0052

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Zauo

Tokyo, Japan

This seafood and sushi restaurant is fairly unconventional; tables are set in a large wooden boat surrounded by water and you're encouraged to fish for your supper with the rods and nets provided. It's a fun (albeit kitsch) way to spend the evening, but spoilsports can order directly off the menu.

Address

3-2-9 Nishi-Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku 160-0023

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Kushiwaka

Tokyo, Japan

The yakitori at Kushiwaka in Nakameguro is better than anything you will get from the street vendors scattered around Tokyo. It's very popular with the locals; book for an early sitting (the latest is 7PM) or you'll have to queue. It is worth visiting just for the tsukune, a type of chicken meatball which is particularly delicious.

Address

1-19-2 Kamimeguro Meguro-ku

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Café and Pancake Gram

Tokyo, Japan

Pancake restaurants are hugely popular in the Japanese capital, with new pancake-themed cafés entering the fray and vying to compete for the title of Tokyo’s fluffiest stack. Café and Pancakes Gram consistently gets voted top of the ranks for their lighter-than-air puds – but they’re only offered three times a day (11am, 3pm and 6pm) and you’ll need to get down early to beat the queues. There are outposts all over the country, with three branches in Tokyo.

Address

1-9-30-1F Jingumae Shibuya-ku 150-0001

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Tsuta

Tokyo, Japan

Tsuta hit the headlines in 2015 for being the first ramen shop in the world to receive a Michelin-star accreditation. At 1000 yen (£7), it seems Michelin-star dining comes cheaper than you might think. Salt, soy sauce and miso-based soups combine with noodles made on site to create a perfect umami hit. Like all good ramen bars, Tsuta has limited seating with just nine customers permitted entry at any one time. Luckily a ticketing system is in place, so guests customers can visit the restaurant from 7am onwards and collect a ticket for seating at a scheduled time later that day.

Address

1-14-1 Sugamo Toshima 170-0002

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Yakumo Saryō

Tokyo, Japan

Located in the quiet streets of Meguro, this unassuming restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in stylish surrounds. Breakfast is made up of traditional Japanese staples like miso soup, pickles, grilled fish and rice, while lunch and dinner are “kaiseki” (multi-course), exquisitely presented dishes of steamed, stewed, grilled, fried and marinated seasonal ingredients. The on-site Japanese sweets, prepared in front of guests, are not to be missed. The restaurant is open all day for tea and desserts, and at breakfast and lunch customers are welcome without reservations. Dinner is by invitation only – so try and make friends with someone who has visited this peaceful haven before.

Address

3-4-7 Yakumo Meguro-ku

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Sagaya Ginza

Tokyo, Japan

This upscale steak restaurant serves up a nine-course menu of creatively prepared wagyu beef dishes – but for us, the real showstopper is the eight-seater private dining room. Created in collaboration with digital installation artists TeamLab, book in for a surreal dining experience that combines motion sensors and projectors. As each course is placed on the table, scenes grow and move around them, reacting to the environment and the movements of guests. The result is an ever-evolving kaleidoscope of colour and light.

Address

Puzzle Ginza 6F 2-5-19 Ginza Chūō-ku 104-0061

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Misojyu

Tokyo, Japan

This lunchtime spot tackles the humble onigiri (rice balls with a filling of fish, meat or vegetables) and miso soup in industrial-chic surrounds. Located in Asakusa, not far from Sensoji and the bustle of the local markets, Misojyu is a comfy, mostly quiet pit stop with seating available upstairs. Combination sets of rice, soups and sides are available during the middle of the day. Try the tonjiru – a classic Japanese soup dish including pork and vegetables with a deep-flavoured miso base.

Address

1-7-5 Asakusa Taito City 111-0032