Top 10 Foods You Must Eat in Tokyo
Wow, where to begin? Tokyo is just one big jigsaw puzzle with every basement, penthouse floor, narrow alleyways and floors upon floors of great, delicious, exceptional food. I can’t list down the restaurant you must try in Tokyo, because we won’t reach the end of the line. I can guarantee the next restaurant a block away where you’ve just ate is serving something else better. Who can’t argue with this? After all, this is a city where it strives for excellence every minute of every day.
There’s not one restaurant where you’ll experience bad customer service. They put their manners and exceptional customer service above all others. And I am writing this while I am buzzed. This detail doesn’t seem to miss my floating, alcoholic mind. Not that you have ever figured it out by now. This is exactly where the magic happens. Pardon the typos, the grammar and the misfits, you grammar nazis.
But I am still in good condition to tell you that I’ve covered half of the Japanese cuisine you must eat in Tokyo. And I mean, really, really, really must eat. If it’s your first time in Tokyo, here is a list of top 10 foods you must eat in Tokyo. For second timers, who were lost during their first time in Tokyo, you’d be happy to know I’ve indicated a map to help you in your culinary journey. For seasoned Tokyo-ites, this list ain’t for you. Tokyo is the culinary mecca, the ultimate battleground to test the limits of your stomach, and the capacity of your culinary knowledge.
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Map: Top 10 Foods You Must Eat in Tokyo
What’s all the use for restaurant reviews without a map?
Where to eat Kushiyaki: Omoide Yokocho, Shinjuku
Kushiyaki means anything that is skewered and grilled. And you can find that no less than at Omoide Yokocho, also known as Piss Alley and Yakitori Lane. If you like eating grilled mushrooms, grilled chicken, grilled pork, grilled blood and just about anything that’s grilled – albeit, horomunyaki, Omoide Yokocho is the place for you to grab some along with a shot of sake.
2. MATCHA DESSERTS
Where to eat Matcha: Sadaharu Aoki, Dean and DeLuca
Matcha croissants and pastries are the heart of Tokyo’s crazy crazy love for desserts that has been westernized in nature. Just hit Sadaharu Aoki for these manju, yokan, and rakugan and you can never go wrong with them.
Where to eat Ramen: Ichiran
You cannot go to Japan without eating Ramen. That’s a sin. If you don’t read Japanese but you can see those colorful machines beckoning you to press them with little photos of bowls of ramen, it’s time for you to try them, and not be intimidated by the lady in a kimono. I’d recommend Ichiran or Ippudo as you can’t go wrong with these ramen chains.
Where to eat Tonkatsu: Maisen Tonkatsu, Butagumi
If Tonkatsu is your thing, then Maisen is your next best friend. Maisen is the bomb. Their Tonkatsu is absolutely the best, juiciest ever, with the right crunch created by that panko breadcrumbs. I hate Tonkatsu in general, but I’m now a believer in Maisen Tonkatsu. Yes, Maisen Tonkatsu only.
Where to eat Sushi: Tsukiji Market
Not just any sushi. You have to try sushi at Tsukiji market, even if you don’t wake up early enough to see the amazing tuna auction. Eating sushi at Tsukiji Market is the best thing that will ever happen to you. But then, if you can stretch your budget a bit, there’s always Tokyo’s abundant supply of Michelin Star sushi restaurants, such as Sushi Yoshitake. (in case Sukiyabashi Jiro will prove to be elusive for you.)
Where to eat Tamagoyaki: Marutake Tamagoyaki
People say that egg is the cheapest form of luxury, and you won’t disagree with me once you’ve tried the 100 yen Tamagoyaki being sold at Tsukiji Market. Fancy a breakfast omelette? These hot, sweet rolled grilled egg won’t disappoint you!
Where to eat Crepes: Marion Crepes, Harajuku
If you love Anime, Harajuku is the ultimate lane for you to spot Cosplay fashion. And don’t forget to grab the cutest desserts at Marion Crepes and Angels Heart at Harajuku, Takeshita Dori. Just don’t eat them while walking.
Where to drink coffee: Omotesando Koffee
In Tokyo, coffee is considered a very luxurious commodity. And when in Tokyo, there’s no place to experience zen, unassuming coffee luxury than at Omotesando Koffee, where their Iced Cappuccino and Iced Lattes provide the best thirst quencher any time of the year.
Where to eat Sukiyaki: Asakusa Imahan, Ningyocho Imahan
When in Japan, there’s no place to experience the best kind of beef there is, and that’s Wagyu beef. Whether it be yakiniku or sukiyaki, you can’t go wrong when in Tokyo. Asakusa Imahan’s has one of the best sukiyaki experiences there is, considering they’re a legend in this business.
Where to eat Takoyaki: Tenmatsu
Who doesn’t love Tempura? While you can’t really find Tempura widespread in Tokyo, when you find one, it’s best to eat Tempura in the land of Japanese cuisine. It’s overrated, but you just have to try it to find out how good it is.
There you have it, the top 10 foods you must eat in Tokyo. We missed on Takoyaki, Taiyaki, Yakiniku, Unagi, and Okonomiyaki which are really popular with everyone who loves Japanese food, but that’s for you to discover. (Plus I’m not a fan of Okonomiyaki. Someone has to change my mind about this!) Oh and please, don’t forget to try out Tokyo’s Depachika at Shinjuku’s Takashimaya or Isetann.
Your food trip lifesaver: SUICA
I highly recommend buying a Suica card when in Tokyo, because this IC card will help you navigate train systems without the hassles of understanding the train systems. Tokyo train systems are operated by so many train companies, that possessing a SUICA becomes truly a lifesaver.
Traveling to Tokyo? Here are some recommended articles for you:
From Hanami to Watering Holes, Here’s How to Spend 24 Hours in Shinjuku
Ultimate Guide to the Best Pocket Wifi Rental in Japan
Spend 7 Days of Summer in Tokyo
Things to Do Before Going to Tokyo (And Avoid Getting Lost)
15 Practical Tips Before Going to Tokyo
Where to Eat at Narita International Airport
Are you travelling to Tokyo soon? Which of these Japanese delicacies make you excited to eat? Share your thoughts on Candid Cuisine!