Tokyo Foodie Restaurant Mini Reviews


Where does a foodie eat in Tokyo?

In the spring of 2015, we visited Japan for the first time in many decades. Our original trip was set many years ago, but the tsunami changed everything. We finally got some time to visit a country that we really wanted to travel to and eat at.

How to use your iPhone in Japan with a prepaid SIM card

We have written up several reviews for high end restaurants that we would visit in a heartbeat. These are:

Here are some useful tips for other restaurants and markets that are either more casual or we cannot recommend as highly.

Tsunahachi Hoten – Shinjuku, Tokyo (Tempura) – Credit Cards are OK

Website – Trip Advisor

We definitely wanted to try real Tempura in Japan. This was our designated restaurant for that dish. A bit more touristy than what we wanted. The food was fine, but next time we would look for something that was not in a guidebook.

3-31-8 Shinjuku, Shinjuku 160-0022  +81 3-3352-1012 – Near Train Station

Ryozanpaku – Kyoto

A two Michelin Star restaurant in the northern part of Kyoto. We had the Visa signature concierge book any two Michelin Star Kyoto cuisine restaurant that had availability during the busy Sakura or Cherry Blossom season.

This restaurant is situated in a sanctuary with a large garden in the front. It was definitely in an experience, but we felt the food was not impressive.

5 Izumidoncho, Yoshidam Sakyo-ku, +81 75-771-4447  Kyoto Course: Y12000 Japanese yen per person Payment Method: Credit cards, cash – North of Kyoto Station

Breakfast at Tsukiji Dontaku – Tokyo Tsukiji Fish market 

The fish market is a mandatory visit for everybody. A foodie is smart enough to do research and avoid standing in a multi hour line for a sushi breakfast. How low profile is this place? It had ONE review on Trip Advisor as of July 2015.

This restaurant was located next door to the well known restaurants with multi hour huge lines IE:

  • Sushi Dai, Sushi daiwa, Sushi bun

The donburi rice bowls were ridiculously good and filled with fresh fish and uni. Best of all, there was no line. Don’t waste your time in line.

Save your precious time and dine once at a high end sushi temple. Remember it is not the freshness of the fish that makes great sushi, it’s the rice.

Chuka Soba Inoue  – Tokyo Tsukiji Fish market with no Lines

This popular Ramen spot was written up in the New York Times. It then popped up in every tourist bucket list.

The Ramen was good and the line was not too long, but a visit to Ramen street in the Tokyo Station will net you far superior Ramen.

4-9-16 Tsukiji

(03) 3542-0620

Open: 04:30 – 13:30

WebsiteNew York Times review

Sangendou – Shinjuku, Tokyo

An Izakaya restaurant near the Park Hyatt Hotel. Located in a high rise building and not very big. You should make reservation ahead of time. The prices are excellent and the food is spot-on. Be sure to try the horse meat.  A step up from Ippuku in Berkeley.

〒160-0023 Tokyo +81 3-3342-3105

Seryna –  Shinjuku, Tokyo

Our hotel recommended this nearby Shabu-Shabu restaurant on the 52nd floor of the Sumitomo Building. It has a great view and does need reservations.

The food is way over priced, but we did get a good Shabu meal in. Their prime Shabu costs Y8000, while the Kobe Beef Shabu costs Y16000. Incredibly expensive. There’s no reason to get the Kobe, the incremental difference is minimal. The sushi is a large step down from normal sushi temples. Someone please recommend a place that is half the price and just as good!

Skytree Tower – Tokyo Oshiage Station

Many tourists will visit this cool mega tower and wonder through the shopping mall. A couple must visit stores. The premium milk, ice cream store near the escalators.

The Food Marche Food Court on the second floor. This was much more casual and had more variety than the department store basement food courts elsewhere. It was a pain getting a table to eat at.

Other restaurants we researched but did not have time to visit

  • Daigomi Near Tokyo Station (Robatayaki) Cheese!Marunouchi 2-4-1, Marunouchi Bldg. 5F. 03-5219-7011 5-11pm
  • Mansei Shabu 7F 11:30~21:00 – Kanda Sudacho 2-21, Chiyoda-ku, tel. 0120 4129 01), located in Kanda just a short walk from Akihabara station.  South across river
  • Terasawa Soba – Kotobuki 2-10, Asakusa – there are several fugu or puffer fish restaurants nearby, prices are reasonable, we wish we went to one
  • Shinjuku Shabu – Niku-Mansei Shinjukunishiguchi Next to Train stationJapan, 〒160-0023 東京都新宿区西新宿1丁目1−2 Phone:+81 3-3343-0553
  • Imahan Shabu Shabu  Shinjuki – Times Square Bldg 14F (Shinjuku Takashimaya)5-24-2 Sendagaya Shibuya-ku, Tokyo- TEL:+81-3-5361-1871 11:00 to PM11:00

Have you visited Tokyo? Do you have restaurants that you recommend? Please leave feedback below


Restaurant Map:

Overall Rating: (Very Good 2.5)

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1 Comment

  • Michael in Burlingame
    August 28, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Lived there for 7 years. Go over 6 times a year.

    Tonkatsu- Meisen or Buta-gumi

    Southern Italian – Elio Locanda

    High end Mediterranean – Cicada

    Yakitori – Kushiwakamaru

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