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What to Eat in Tokyo

If you consider Tokyo's large amount of restaurants (more than 160,000) combined with the number of prestigious dining awards the city holds (it boasts the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world), it's easy to see why Tokyo is considered by both chefs and culinary critics to be the foodie capital of the world. But numbers are hardly an accurate reflection of what makes Tokyo's dining scene so noteworthy. Experts say the country's quality of local ingredients, lax import laws (goods are brought in from Europe daily), immense dedication to culinary traditions (both to Japanese fare as well as to other global cuisines) and an aptitude for consistency are just some of the reasons Tokyo has garnered so many distinguished culinary titles.

Another way in which the Tokyo food scene stands out is the abundance of chefs that specialize in just one dish and spend their lives perfecting it. This is also referred to as a shokunin, or an artisan who dedicates themselves to the pursuit of mastering their craft. Jiro Ono is one of these. Chef and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro – a three-star Michelin sushi restaurant, and the focus of the "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" documentary – Ono has been making sushi since he was 9 years old. There are restaurants all over Tokyo with chefs specializing in ramen, tempura, yakitori and numerous other local favorites. To get a quintessential Tokyo dining experience, seek out micro restaurants that only have about 10 seats or tables (or less).

It's important to remember that sushi here is very different from what you'd find at home. Here, sushi, or nigiri sushi, simply features cuts of fish placed on top of rice. You will also find sushi traditionally rolled with seaweed, but with no extra frills aside from vinegar and wasabi.

Along with sushi, plan to chow down on ramen, tempura, udon noodles, miso and soba noodles – a traditional buckwheat noodle that dates back to the Edo period. You'll also want to sample sakitori, or charcoal-grilled chicken skewers, as well as unagi, or eel that is broiled, steamed, seasoned and then grilled. If you're after something more formal, treat yourself to kaiseki, a multi-course dinner of seasonal small plates. No matter what you eat, make sure to pair it with a beer. Japan is the seventh biggest beer consumer in the world. The biggest domestic makers in the country are Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo. And when it comes to dessert, seek out matcha-flavored anything.

Find the Best Restaurants in Tokyo

  • #1
    Honey Toast Cafe Akihabara
    #1 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 236 reviewsTripAdvisor (236)
    $ - $$ | Cafe
    1-1-10 Sotokanda 1F Pasela Akiba Marche Entertainment, Chiyoda 101-0021 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #2
    GINZA 300BAR NEXT
    #2 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 248 reviewsTripAdvisor (248)
    $ - $$ | Bar, Pub, Brew Pub, Healthy
    1-2-14 Yurakucho Murasaki Bldg B1F, Chiyoda 100-0006 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #3
    Bar Rhythm Akihabara Denkigai
    #3 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 253 reviewsTripAdvisor (253)
    $ - $$ | Bar, Brew Pub, International, Asian
    1-13-2 Sotokanda B1F Pasera Bldg., Chiyoda 101-0021 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #4
    Steak House Pound Akihabara
    #4 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 627 reviewsTripAdvisor (627)
    $$ | Steakhouse, Japanese, Grill
    4-6-7 Sotokanda 102 Kanda Eight Bldg., Chiyoda 101-0021 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #5
    Sakura Cafe Jimbocho
    #5 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 169 reviewsTripAdvisor (169)
    $ | Cafe, Pizza, Diner, Healthy, Canadian
    2-21-4 Kandajinbocho Sakura Cafe Jimbocho, Chiyoda 101-0051 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #6
    Kawai Maid Cafe & Bar Akiba Zettai Ryoiki
    #6 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 298 reviewsTripAdvisor (298)
    $ - $$ | Cafe
    3-1-1 Sotokanda 1F Obayashi Bldg., Chiyoda 101-0021 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #7
    Kyushu Jangara Ramen, Akihabara Honten
    #7 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 254 reviewsTripAdvisor (254)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Asian, Soups
    3-11-6 Sotokanda, Chiyoda 101-0021 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #8
    Karashibimisoramen Kikanbo, Kanda
    #8 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 213 reviewsTripAdvisor (213)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Asian
    2-10-10 Kajicho, Chiyoda 101-0044 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #1
    T's TanTan Tokyostation
    #1 of 257 Places to Eat in Marunouchi
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 573 reviewsTripAdvisor (573)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Asian
    1-9-1 Marunouchi Keiyo Street, Marunouchi, Chiyoda Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #10
    Akiba Zettai Ryoiki AD1912
    #10 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 86 reviewsTripAdvisor (86)
    $ - $$ | Cafe
    3-1-15 Sotokanda Hashikatsu Bldg. 2F, Chiyoda 101-0021 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #1
    Elio Locanda Italiana
    #1 of 64 Places to Eat in Kojimachi
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 296 reviewsTripAdvisor (296)
    $ - $$ | Italian, European
    2-5-2 Kojimachi, Kojimachi, Chiyoda 102-0083 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #12
    maidreamin Akihabara Idol Street Store
    #12 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 309 reviewsTripAdvisor (309)
    $ - $$ | Cafe, Japanese, Asian
    4-4-2 Sotokanda Kyoei-sotokanda-daiichi BLDG.4F, Chiyoda 101-0021 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #13
    Tonkatsu Marugo
    #13 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 194 reviewsTripAdvisor (194)
    $ - $$ | Japanese
    1-8-14 Sotokanda, Chiyoda 101-0021 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #14
    Andy's Shin Hinomoto
    #14 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 344 reviewsTripAdvisor (344)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Seafood, Asian
    2-4-4 Yurakucho, Chiyoda 100-0006 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #15
    Kiji, Marunouchi
    #15 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 240 reviewsTripAdvisor (240)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Asian
    2-7-3 Marunouchi Tokyo Building B1, Chiyoda 100-6490 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #16
    Chez Olivier
    #16 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 101 reviewsTripAdvisor (101)
    $$ | French, European
    4-1-10 Kudan Minami, Chiyoda 102-0074 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #17
    NINJA AKASAKA
    #17 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 1112 reviewsTripAdvisor (1112)
    $$ | Japanese, Sushi, Asian, Fusion
    2-14-3 Nagatacho Akasaka Tokyu Plaza 1 F, Chiyoda 100-0014 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #18
    Maruka
    #18 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 207 reviewsTripAdvisor (207)
    $ | Japanese
    3-16-1 Kanda Okadacho New Surugadai Bldg 1F, Chiyoda 101-0052 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #19
    Matsuya Honten
    #19 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 218 reviewsTripAdvisor (218)
    $ - $$ | Japanese, Asian
    1-13 Kandasudacho, Chiyoda 101-0041 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »
  • #20
    Motif Restaurant & Bar
    #20 of 8,878 Places to Eat in Chiyoda
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 157 reviewsTripAdvisor (157)
    $$ | French, European
    1-11-1 Marunouchi Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi 7F, Chiyoda 100-6277 Tokyo Prefecture
    Read More »

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