Tokyo has more restaurants than any other city in the world, as well as the most Michelin-star rated. There’s plenty of places with great tempura or sushi, or to slurp a quick bowl of noodles, but make sure to treat yourself with a degustation at one of the world’s best.
1. Tsukiji Fish Market
At the top of the dining hierarchy is sushi – best eaten fresh from the Tsukiji Fish Market, where top restaurants shop for their ingredients. Customers queue up in the morning for hours at Sushi Dai, regarded by many as the best sushi restaurant in Japan.
2. Tokyo Ramen Street
With some people slurping it daily, ramen (a type of noodle soup made with pork or chicken) is one of Japan’s national foods. There are eight famous and different ramen shops on Tokyo Ramen Street in the basement of Tokyo Station. Rokurinsha is a favourite.
3. Ginza Yoshizawa
Though sushi is usually made with seafood, some restaurants also serve it made with Wagyu beef. Dishes featuring the melt-in-your-mouth meat are a must-try when in Tokyo. Ginza Yoshizawa has been serving sukiyaki and shabu-shabu dishes using the highest quality Wagyu for over 50 years.
Consistently appearing on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Chef Narisawa flawlessly creates each dish with imagination – and a little drama, with creations such as ‘Life and Death’, and ‘Gifts from Nature’. While it may not be cheap, the experience is priceless.
5. Nihonryori RyuGin
Also on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Nihonryori RyuGin in Roppongi has graced the prestigious roll of honour for many years. Scouring the markets each morning, Chef Yamamoto and his team prepare a daily-changing kaiseki (haute cuisine) of elegantly simple Japanese dishes.
6. Asakusa Sometaro
Another Japanese fast food favourite is okonomiyaki (savory pancake), made with an assortment of ingredients. Tokyo's oldest okonomiyaki restaurant, operating since 1937, is located inside a traditional wooden house in Asakusa. It’s great fun to sit on the floor and cook your own tasty creation.
7. La Rochelle
Fans of the TV show Iron Chef can experience the delightful "delacroix of French cuisine" Hiroyuki Sakai at his restaurant La Rochelle in Aoyama. Book well in advance. Or try the dishes of Chen Kenichi “The Szechwan Sage,” at Chen at the Cerulean Tower Hotel.
8. Usukifugu Yamada-ya
If you’re tempted to try puffer fish, or fugu, known as the-fish-that will-kill-you-within-two-hours-if-not-properly-prepared, this restaurant in the Minato precinct, awarded three stars in the 2015 Michelin guide, is a good (and safe) place to start. Their licensed chef is among the best in the world.
In the heart of Roppongi, Gonpachi is known as the 'Kill Bill Restaurant' as it was the inspiration for the fight scene in Quentin Tarantino’s famous movie and one of the great movie destinations of Tokyo. It serves tasty pub-style Japanese food with a twist.
10. Labyrinth of Alice
Quirky-themed restaurants are also a must-do in Tokyo for an insight into the peculiar Japanese psyche. This Alice in Wonderland-themed restaurant in up-market Ginza is sure to have you grinning like the Cheshire Cat. Very popular with Japanese women, with meals fit for a queen.