34 Great Restaurants in Tokyo

Where to Eat and What to Eat Around Tokyo

    When it comes to dining out in Tokyo, there is no shortage of variety. With en estimated 60,000 restaurants in Japan’s capital, there is something for every palate and price range, from the high-priced delights of Nobu Matsuhisa, to the cheap plates of bar room snacks you'll find in neighbourhood izakayas. To the delight of many tourists, dining out in Tokyo can be relatively affordable.

    Lunch is an excellent time to try new restaurants, as prices are typically half the dinnertime equivalent in exclusive areas such as Ginza and Harajuku. Lunchtime is also a great opportunity to join in the multiple queues which form all over the city for bento-boxes (lunchboxes packed with a selection of rice, vegetables, and shellfish). 

    1

    Yakitori Alley

    For a nice change from the bustling pace of Ginza’s shopping district, head for Yakitori Alley under the JR train tracks off Harumi-Dori. The many small yakitori stalls are housed in tiny old shops in old buildings that are slowly being renovated into more trendy outlets. Friday night is the best time to go to spend time with local Tokyoites, drink some well priced beer and sake and enjoy the succulent yakitori. It's a cool local experience and the grilled chicken sticks are delicious.

    Location: Under the JR train tracks off Harumi-Dori

    Open: Daily from 5pm (closed Sundays and holidays)

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    2

    Hinokizaka at The Ritz Carlton Tokyo

    For something really extravagant, head to the 45th floor of Ritz Carlton hotel and indulge in the Chef’s Special kaiseki which is dutifully served in a gorgeous 200-year-old tea house private dining room overlooking the Tokyo skyline. The remaining restaurant areas at Hinokizaka are equally elegant with counters for sushi, teppanyaki and tempura plus additional private tatami rooms. All menu items both traditional Japanese and more contemporary dishes are beautifully presented.

    Location: The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo 45F, 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, 107-6245, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10pm

    Phone: +81 (0)1-2079-8688

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    3

    Ninja Akasaka

    This fun izakaya restaurant is themed around the height of the ninja tradition. Interiors are decorated accordingly with a maze-like layout that adds to the dramatic appeal of this restaurant. The menu features classic Japanese bar snacks and sharing platters that are tasty and well prepared. With all the cloak-and-dagger drama of the ninja period, Ninja Akasaka is an ideal place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries or for entertaining business guests. Reservations are advised.

    Location: Akasaka Tokyu Plaza 1F, 2-14-3 Nagatacho, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 100-0014, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5pm to 2am. Sundays from 5pm to 11pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5157-3936

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    4

    Nidaime Tsujita

    The Nidaime Tsujita approach to ramen has people lined up for a seat at its 16 person counter at all times of day. The key to the appeal of this noodle join is in the soup, which is made from a special blend of seafood and pork bones, black pepper and citrus to achieve a uniquely smoky pork gravy. Order some ‘bancha’ tea to accompany the ramen and enjoy this unique flavour experience. Located in a short walk from Idibashi station, there's a constant flow hungry customers so you should expect a wait for a seat. 

    Location: 4 Chome-8-14 Iidabashi, Chiyoda, Tokyo 102-0072, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 9.30pm. Saturday–Sunday from 11am to 8pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5256-3200

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    5

    Mominoki House

    Giving regular English lectures on the benefits of macrobotic foods, Mominoki House restaurant owner/chef Yamada prides himself on serving wholesome foods in their simplest and most natural forms. The mostly vegetarian dishes are all created using organic ingredients, right down to the electronically iodized water used during preparations and are presented with miso soup and healthy brown rice served with toasted sesame seeds. The restaurant also offers organic beer, wine and sake.

    Location: 2-18-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 10.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3405-9144

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    6

    Sukiyabashi Jiro

    Visit Sukiyabashi Jiro for some really special sushi. This tiny restaurant with only 10 counter seats is located in the basement under a flourishing Ginza business building and has been a longstanding holder of 3 Michelin stars, distinguishing it as one of the absolute best sushi restaurants in the world! Prime ingredients are sourced from the market daily and are then kept in separate refrigerators at different temperatures to best preserve the freshness and delicate flavours. You will need to book well ahead to try this special restaurant. 

    Location: B1F. Tsukamoto Sogyo Bldg. 4-2-15, Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan

    Open: Monday−Friday from 11.30am to 2pm and 5pm to 8.30pm. Saturday from 11.30am to 2pm (Closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3535-3600

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    7

    Sushi Karaku

    Sushi Karaku is a clean, simple basement-level restaurant offering delectable Edo-mae sushi made by chefs who have a strong commitment to the traditions of Japanese food craftsmanship. With the best and freshest fish including tuna from Oma in the Tsugaru Straits area, choice sea bream and salmon Karaku sushi is mouth-watering. There is an English menu and the head chef knows all of his fish in English as well. Try to be seated at the counter for an interactive experience with the chef.

    Location: Nishi-Gobankan Bldg. B1, 5-6-16 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11.30am to 3pm and 5pm to 11pm. Saturday–Sunday from 11.30am to 9.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3571-2250

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    8

    Rengatei

    For more than 100 years, Rengatei has served its special variety of western influenced dishes including tonkatsu and omlette-rice. Hailed as the inventor of Japan's famous tonkatsu pork, fried foods are suitably well represented on the menu but there are a number of other well-proportioned dishes to choose from. You'll feel like you've stepped back into the 1920s when you enter this quaint and cozy restaurant. 

    Location: 3-5-16 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11.15am to 3pm and 4.40 to 9pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3561-3882

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    9

    Tempura Kondo

    Tempura Kondo is a Michelin-starred restaurant that's celebrated for its light, fresh, and crispy tempura. The owner-chef imports his vegetables from all areas of the country and then preserves them in ice to lock in their moisture. The tempura is lightly fried in the chef’s own special blend of sesame oil. Enjoy the delicious tempura at a counter table in one of the two small dining rooms and watch the chefs cook your tempura and serve immediately for the best flavour and texture. 

    Location: 9F, Sakaguchi Bldg., 5-5-13 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 10.30pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5568-0923

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    10

    Yasubee

    The tsukemenya noodles served at Yasubee are handmade and delicious, swimming in ‘dashi’ fish soup. Available in three sizes 220g, 330g and 440g, you will need to purchase a ticket at the vending machine when you enter then staff will seat you and take your order. Long lines at lunchtime signal a popular venue and efficient service sees the line moving quickly. In fact, many locals claim this is one of the premier noodle joints in Tokyo, especially for the price. You'll find at least 10 branches of Yasubee spread around the city. 

    Location: Orion Bldg.1F, 6-3-19 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, 107-0052, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11am to 2am

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3505-4211

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    11

    Sakura Tei

    Chilled out on the Harajuku backstreets, this okonomiyaki restaurant, popular with locals and celebrities, offers great prices and a unique, indie vibe. With groovy artworks and graffiti inspired wall art people come here as much for the ambiance as the great food and all-you-can-eat and drink menus. In addition to the great assortment of okonomiyaki varieties there is a good selection of side dishes and desserts. This is a good place to experience okonomiyaki for the first time as the restaurant provides English how-to instructions. The restaurant is very large but also very popular so reservations are recommended.

    Location: 3-20-1 Jingu-mae, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0001, Japan

    Open: 11.30am to 11pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3479-0039

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    12

    Omotesando Ukai-Tei

    Omotesando Ukai-Tei is a celebrated and ultra stylish restaurant that's famed for its excellent service, sumptuous food and their delicate mix of Japanese and western ambiance. One of the most well-known teppanyaki restaurants in the city, Ukai-Tei has gorgeous antique interiors and is run by a top chef highly trained in all the thrills and excitement inherent in teppan cooking.

    Location: 5F Omotesando Gyre, 5-10-1 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001

    Open: Daily from 12pm to 2pm and 5.30pm to 9pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5467-5252

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    13

    Kyushu Jangara

    Kyushu Jangara Harajuku is part of popular Tokyo ramen chain and is very popular with locals – the long lunch lines are clear evidence of this. Walking distance from both Harajuku and Meiji-Jingumae stations, it’s a great place to stop for a bite while shopping or partying around Harajuku. Our favourite ramen at Kyushu Jangara Harajuku is the rich tonkotsu flavour, but the menu presents a variety of toppings and soups and you can ask for free noodle refills.

    Location: 1-13-21 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10.45am to 2am. Saturday–Sunday form 10am to 3.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3404-5572

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    14

    Teppanyaki Hamayu

    Experience the thrill of real Japanese teppanyaki at Hamayu located on the 30th floor of The Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba hotel. It has views that stretch over Rainbow Bridge to encompass all of Tokyo Bay. Try to reserve a table with full views. The menu features the finest Japanese domestic beef and seasonal seafood for an experiential meal fit for special occasions.

    Location: 30F, Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba hotel, 2-6-1 Daiba, Minato, Tokyo

    Open: Daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5:30pm to 9.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5500-6606

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    15

    Gonpachi Nishiazabu

    Gonpachi Nishi-Azabu, on the corner of Nishi-Azabu Crossing, Gompachi presents a powerful interior décor and a small but excellent menu of yakitori, grilled fish, a number of soba varieties and an assortment of side dishes. There is spacious counter seating or a private tatami room with views over the harbour and a good list of wine and sake to match your order. The main dining room might be familiar to some: it was used in a famous scene from the movie Kill Bill and is busy and full of life. 

    Location: Nishiazabu, 1-13-11 Nishiazabu, Minato, Tokyo 106-0031, Japan

    Open: Daily from 5.30pm to 1am

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3599-4807

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    16

    Sarashina Horii

    With over 200 years’ experience serving some of the best soba in Tokyo, Sarashina Horii is a very well known soba restaurant in the Roppongi area. You can choose from 4 different types of noodles, but we recommend the sarashina-soba. These noodles are white because the restaurant uses only the inner soba seed rather than the entire seed as with other establishments. Soups are dry or mild and there is a crispy selection of tempura to accompany the delicious soba noodles.

    Location: 3-11-4 Motoazabu, Minato, Tokyo 106-0046, Japan

    Open: Thursday–Tuesday from 11.30am to 8.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3403-3401

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    17

    Keyakizaka at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo

    Innovative teppanyaki cuisine like foie gras with caramelized fruit or asparagus with orange-sabayon sauce made this a stand out for the Tokyo Michelin Guide. This swanky restaurant has seats clustered around the chef's station, who will prepare premium ingredients for guests. In addition to more innovative creations are the more traditional teppan dishes like premium steaks cooked to perfection on the iron hot plate. 

    Location: 4F Grand Hyatt Tokyo, 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, 106-0032, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-4333-8782

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    18

    Komagata Dojo Shibuya

    Visit this restaurant to try a rare delicacy called dojo, an eel-like fish called ‘loach’. Komagata Dojo specialises in dojo-nabe (hotpot stew), fresh loach simmered with seasonal vegetables into a rich, flavourful stew. The restaurant sticks with traditions and cooks the hot pot on a charcoal fire, just as they did in the Edo period. While dojo is the speciality, there are all the regular izakaya items on the menu too. The head chef represents the sixth generation of this successful family-run restaurant which opened more than 150 years ago.

    Location: 4F Renga Building, 1-5-9 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from from 11.30am to 10pm. Sunday and holidays from 11.30am to 9.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3464-5522

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    19

    Omoide Yokocho

    This tiny bustling alley is an interesting throwback to post-war Tokyo of the 1950s when a lively underworld of black markets and bars thrived along Shinjuku backstreets. Literally translated as Memory Lane, Omoide Yokocho is a small lane crammed full of tiny bars serving good, cold beer and sake and simple but tasty grilled chicken skewers called yakitori. The staff are friendly but don’t expect anyone to speak English, instead just point to the foods you wish to order and enjoy this very Japanese experience. It's great fun! 

    Location: 1-2-11 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: 5pm until late

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    20

    Tempura Tsunahachi

    Well established, Tempura Tsunahachi has been a favourite among locals for generations. With mostly counter seating you will be constantly entertained by the chefs preparing the various tempura items that you order. You can also just sit back and enjoy whatever the chef serves you; fish, prawns, clams, tofu and vegetables, all with authentic flavour and three dipping sauces for extra taste. Head to Tsunahachi at lunch for some excellent value lunch sets starting from little more than ¥1,500. This restaurant in Shinjuku opened in 1923, but there are now several more in high-end department stores across the city and a branch in Kyoto.

    Location: KDX Nakano Sakaue Bldg7F, 3-30-4, Honcho, Nakano, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11.15am to 10pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3352-1012

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    21

    Kushiage Hantei

    Of all the Ueno restaurants, Kushiage Hantei is a must. Housed in one of the few ancient buildings to survive the Great Tokyo earthquake of 1922 and WWII, it's extremely elegant and impeccably traditional. The 3-storey house has been declared a National Treasure and, as such, has been superbly restored and maintained. Serving kushiage, which is bite-sized delicacies served on sticks that are lightly fried in batter, the food is as elegant as the atmosphere; there’s no menu, just sit back and enjoy the procession of delicious offerings that will be brought to you and let them know when you’ve had enough.

    Location: 2-12-15 Nezu, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 12am to 2.30pm and 5pm to 10.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3828-1440

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    22

    Fucha Dish Bon

    Fucha Dish Bon is an elegant restaurant that serves fucha ryori, the all-vegetarian cuisine of Zen Buddhist monks. Brought to Japan in the 17th century, a fucha ryori meal is a careful balance of 6 tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, hot, salty and delicate – and 5 methods of cooking – raw, steamed, deep fried, grilled and boiled. Everything at Bon, the décor, the plates and bowls, the chopsticks, right down to the placement of nuts, fruits and flowers on the plate is aimed at creating harmony. Dinner sets cost from ¥5,000.

    Location: 1-2-11 Ryusen, Taito, Tokyo, 110-0012, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 12pm to 3pm and 5.30pm to 9pm. Saturday from 12pm to 9pm. Sunday from 12pm to 8pm. Last order is 2 hours prior to closing (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3872-0375

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    23

    Myojinshita Kandagawa Honten

    Visit Myojinshita Kandagawa Honten to sample delicious grilled eel (unagi) dishes at reasonable prices. Wild eel is often also available during the summer months. It's said that eating eel in the humid summer months is a cure for lethargy. The small restaurant’s décor is full of traditional Japanese touches and the service is typically Japanese in its diligence. Myojinshita Kandagawa Honten is popular among foreign visitors so it’s best to make reservations ahead.

    Location: 2-5-11 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Open from 11.30am to 1.30pm and 5pm to 9.30pm (Closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +81 3-3251-5031

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    24

    Nikusho Nakata Nishi-Azabu

    Presenting the highest quality beef from a number of Japan’s prime farms, Nikusho Nakata is a yakiniku specialist restaurant that takes meat seriously. They go as far as carefully selecting the salt that best accentuates the natural flavour of each variety. Coupled with a chic, classic interior, the Nikusho Nakata yakiniku experience promises a memorable evening. To add a bit of ceremony to the evening, some of the beef dishes are served with a small charcoal grill and cooked at the table. 

    Location: NK Aoyama Homes 1F 2-2-2 Nishi-azabu, Minato, Tokyo, 106-0031, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 6pm to midnight. Saturdays open from 5pm to midnight.

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5468-2911

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    25

    Aoyama Chojuan

    Chojuan is renowned for its soba noodles, served in a relaxed atmosphere.  By day, this shop serves its famous tempura and soba to crowds of businessmen. By night, it transforms into a stylish bar that serves delicious soba, popular with workers who enjoy some sustenance along with their shochu drinks. Try the anago-don, rice with eel, to experience the sweetness and rich flavour of eel or any of the tempura dishes to accompany the soba noodles.

    Location: 1F Watanabe Building 2-6-18 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 8pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3401-3619

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    26

    Sankame

    Serving superior Kansai-style Japanese food since 1946, Sankame is a restaurant popular with famous authors, businesspeople and politicians. Seasonal items including blowfish, trout and eel keep the menu dynamic while other favourites are available year-round. There is both an a la carte menu and a tasting menu if you can’t decide what to choose. For savvy travellers, you can try the exquisite seafood at a fraction of the cost at lunchtime.  

    Location: KN Building 1F, 6-4-13 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 12pm to 2pm and 5pm to 10pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3571-0573

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    27

    Sorano

    This attractive traditional Japanese restaurant specialises in excellent tofu dishes. Using home-grown soybeans, Sorano Shibuya produce their own unique tofu, then turn it into a number of interesting and delicious dishes like tofu sushi, a range of salads, and deep-fried tofu dishes. While tofu is the main attraction, the menu also offers a variety of chicken dishes and a great range of sake to accompany your meal. The good value prices and trendy ambiance are well suited to Shibuya. The restaurant is quite hard to find but its walking distance from Shibuya station.

    Location: 4-17 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Daily from 5pm to midnight

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5728-5191

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    Torafugutei

    This restaurant serves fugu fresh from the Kyushu region of Japan. The menu presents many tempting varieties of the blowfish, including hotpots, salads, congee and the obligatory fugu sashimi. Diners can pick their own live blowfish from a tank when ordering, then await the transformation into the tantalizing titbits of this truly exotic seafood. This is a great place to try the famous fugu fish for the first time.

    Location: 1F, King Bldg. 5-6 Maruyamacho, Shibuya 150-0044, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5pm to 1.30am. Sunday from 4pm to midnight

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3462-7929

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    29

    Inaseya AnAn

    In traditional izakaya style, all seating at Anan is hori-gatsu – that’s the ‘shoes off, sunken floor’ kind. The menu is heavy with chicken and tofu creations, but there’s also a good variety of traditional izakaya favourites like okonomiyaki, gyoza and takoyaki. A good variety of cocktails and wines are offered in addition to regional sake and shochu beverages. The staff at Anan Akasaka speak basic English which makes ordering quite simple and makes this restaurant a top pick if you’re staying nearby.

    Location: B1F, HK Akasaka Building, 5-1-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Japan

    Open: Monday–Thursday 5pm to 12.30am. Friday 5pm to 2am. Saturday–Sunday 4pm to 11pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5571-5880

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    Shunju Tameikesanno

    Enjoy nouveau Japanese cuisine at Shunju Tameikesanno, an attractive lounge and bar in Roppongi. Owned by celebrated designer, Takashi Sugimoto, the restaurant has a traditional setting with warm lighting coming from a range of ingenious fixtures and free-form paper lanterns that add a traditional and modern accent at the same time. The restaurant specialises in seasonal cuisine focusing on locally produced farm-fresh ingredients. You will find well-executed and attractive dishes that combine some western influence to modernist Japanese cuisine.

    Location: 27F Sanno Park Tower, 2-11-1 Nagatacho, Minato, 100-6127, Tokyo

    Open: Daily from 6pm to 11.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3583-2611

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    31

    En Akihabara

    Enjoy some unique dishes at En Akihabara, an upscale Izakaya chain known for its stylish and creative décor. The menu has all the usual izakaya items plus some very unique things like Kyoto salad topped with steamed pork or the cheese and sea bream spring rolls. The drinks menu includes a great range of beers, sake and shochu varieties. En is a lively place to enjoy a dinner with friends. 

    Location: 5F Atre Akihabara 2 Building, 1-9 Kanda Hanaokacho, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11am to 11.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5298-2796

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    32

    Ookamado-meshi Torafuku

    Enjoy the Japanese staple of rice to its highest quality at Torafuku, where a huge fireplace sits centre-stage turning out perfectly cooked grains for lunch and dinner. Bells signal when each new batch of Koshihikari – rice grown in Nagaoka of Niigata prefecture – is ready. For lunchtime, freshly made rice is served with side dishes and pickles. At night, the dinner menu features fresh fish and sake to accompany the shiny plump grains.

    Location: Lumine 7F, 1-1-5 NishiShinjuku, Shinjukuku, Tokyo

    Open: Daily from 11.30am to 11.30pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5766-2800

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    Yoinokuchi

    For a taste of traditional Japan, Yoinokuchi is situated in a beautiful Showa period building that features a graceful Japanese garden, and sliding doors so diners can enjoy the natural scene during their meal. The restaurant specialises in chicken hot pot known as tori nabe. It's a warm tasty dish with accents of home cooking. Lunch set specials are very affordable and while dinner is slightly more pricey, it's very romantic dining at Yoinokuchi at night with the garden lit up in soft lights.

    Location: 4 Chome-3-29 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan

    Open: Mon-Fri 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm. Saturday from 6pm to 11pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5575-7433

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    34

    Nakajima

    This Michelin-starred restaurant divides opinion, but there's no denying the seafood served at Nakajima is excellent. It's a traditional Japanese restaurant in Shinjuku that's packed at lunchtime with locals and visitors keen to take advantage of the excellent value lunch sets. Nakajima offers a great opportunity to sample Michelin rated food at budget prices, but it gets rushed! The deep fried sardines are a huge favourite. 

    Then, at night the prices return to the luxury bracket. The menu features regional food mainly from the Kansai region but innovative chefs including apprentices from prestigious cooking schools all over Japan, add their own creative flair to the menu.

    Location: Nichihara Bldg. B1, 3-32-5 Shinjuku, Tokyo, 160-0022, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 10pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3356-4534

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    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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