The Best Tokyo Food Tours & Restaurants that locals recommend!
Tokyo is one of the world’s top dining destinations with restaurants galore and plenty of diverse flavors. From casual standing sushi bars to a destination restaurant amid Japanese gardens, check out our guide to not-to-miss culinary delights in Tokyo.
Standing Sushi Bars
Lunch on the run takes on a whole new meaning at Tokyo’s standing sushi bars, where patrons can indulge in high quality and inexpensive sushi standing up. Why are these old school establishments still so popular? You can get a full meal at some standing sushi bars for between 600 and 1000 yen or between six and $10 US dollars, which in one of the world’s most expensive cities is a bargain. You’ll find good standing sushi bars at the Tsukiji market and in Shibuya.
Shibuya: Tokyo Food Tours
Known for its varied entertainment and the world’s busiest intersection, Shibuya has some of the most interesting food finds in Tokyo. You just have to know where to look. I enlisted a local from Arigato Japan Food Tours to show me top locals places, including where to get Okonomiyaki, otherwise known as Japanese pizza, and Kobe beef, streetside. I always recommend taking a food tour when you travel and this company that does Tokyo food tours is run by a women owned small business.
A destination in itself, Ukai Toriyama is set amid traditional Japanese gardens. Located in Western Tokyo’s Tama area near Mt Takao, this oasis of a restaurant specializes in charcoal grilled, skewered chicken, called yakitori, paired with menu items you might not find at your sushi restaurant at home, like carp sushi. Like many Japanese meals, the presentation and ingredients are a balance of colors, flavors and what’s in season.
To explore historic food shops, head to Nihonbashi, where Japanese sweets, traditional tea and dashi are just some of the interesting finds. The Nihonbashi Information Center runs tours in English for travelers. You’ll gain new insight into where to go and what to eat or buy to bring back home.
For traditional Japanese food with a modern flair, make a reservation at upscale Washoku Souten, located on the 36th floor of The Prince Gallery Kioicho. (Key O e Cho) Take in Tokyo night views while feasting on everything from fresh sushi to fried lobster in this elegant special occasion space.
Tsukiji Market (NOW CLOSED!)
To find some of the freshest seafood on the planet, head to Tsukiji Market, the world’s largest fish market, and explore. At this lively market, you’ll definitely see something you’ve never seen before. Restaurants, shops with all sorts of culinary tools, and diverse cuisine tempt locals and tourists alike and sushi for lunch or breakfast is a must.*
*This market has closed since the making of this video!