Tokyo is an incredible city that I have been fortunate to visit twice this year. My Chubby Hubby is one of the world’s biggest rugby fans and insisted that our first holiday be back to Korea and Japan to watch the Rugby World Cup. Whilst I don’t have much interest in the game itself, I was very happy to go along and continue eating my way around the city whilst my beloved watched some men throw a ball around a field. If you missed my Top 10 Tokyo Eats list the last time, then be sure t check that one out too!
1. Tonkatsu – On my last visit I didn’t get to eat Tonkatsu as I was here alone with my vegetarian friend. However this time I had the Chubby Hubby in tow, so we indulged in some breaded and deep fried pork. I managed to eat at two places, but Butagumi Shokudo in Roponggi was my favourite. We tried the Loin Set 1,980 JPY, and the Tenderloin Set 2,180 JPY. Me and my chubby hubby disagreed about which one was the best. I preferred the fattier loin cut, while he enjoyed the leaner tenderloin. So just get both and decide for yourselves.
2. Okonomiyaki – I have never had the Japanese savoury pancake dish before that you cook by yourself at the table but I certainly enjoyed it. We hit up this little spot called Sakura Tei in Harajuku which had plenty of menu options including meat, fish and veggies. We decided to go for a Vegetarian Okonomiyaki, and a Pork Yakisoba, sadly I don’t recall the exact price but it was around 1000 JPY per dish. The menu was completely in English, including all the how to cook instructions which made it a very easy experience, even for first timers like myself. It is very unique and the prices were great, perfect lunch or dinner spot for after you have explored Harajuku.
3. Yakitori – Another meat dish I didn’t really get to try last visit was the Japanese meat skewers known as Yakatori. We found a restaurant called Jomon which was close to where we were staying in Roppongi. Whilst it was full of expats we found the food to be spectacular. We ordered the Chefs Skewer Set: eight skewers for 1790 JPY, it had the perfect array of meats and veggies to try. Be sure to try the Deep Fried Corn 250 JPY too, it is incredible. The alcoholic drinks were fairly cheap at 500 JPY each too. Just be sure to go early and put your name down for a table as it gets very busy.
4. Sushi – Not being a huge fan of fish, I have never actually eaten sushi in Tokyo before, a crime I know. However on this visit I really wanted to make sure I had some. We headed to Tsukiji Fish Market to go get some. The old tuna auction market has gone but there are still enough food stalls and culinary shops around to make it worth visiting. We found an adorable little standing only sushi stall where we got a Ten Piece Set for 2000 JPY, some which I was even able to eat. They also did three piece daily special for 800 JPY.
5. Ramen – Probably the most famous Japanese food after sushi, I had big plans to get some Ramen, so we headed to Ramen Street inside Tokyo Station. The strip of shopping center restaurants offer all kinds of ramen, and has a handy map to explain where to get each type. We headed to one to get Tonkotsu 1100 JPY, the pork flavoured broth noodle while my veggie friend went to Soranoiro to get a vegetarian version 1100 JPY. There are lots of options here so I’m sure you will find a style to keep you happy.
6. Tamago – One of my favourite Japanese kinds of food is their amazing omelettes. When we headed to the Tsukiji Market fish market we came across a little stand called Shouro where they let you cook your own and then take it home for free. It was amazingly delicious and I would recommend you taking advantage of such a great opportunity.
7. Gonpachi – On our first night we headed to Gonpachi, a restaurant nicknamed “the Kill Bill restaurant” as it inspired the location for the big fight scene. It was the perfect place for a fun night out. The place has a very cool vibe about it, and an extensive menu of food and some very tasty cocktails. You can’t miss out on eating the Wagyu Beef Skewers, even if they do cost 1000 JPY each. Also notable dishes bacon wrapped veggies, fried rice, and the Spicy Moscow Mule.
8. Pizza – I didn’t plan on coming to Tokyo to eat pizza, but my bestie American Girl in Asia really wanted me to check out her favourite Michelin star pizza joint Pizza Studio Tamaki (PST) that is located around the corner from her apartment. The Italian pizza cost around 3000 JPY and have wafer thin dough which is cooked in bacon fat, which gives it a really salty and meaty flavour. It was top notch and a good option is you are craving something a little more close to home
9. Donut – Having lived in Korea for ten years, I have tried all their weird and wonderful desserts that Asia has to offer. So I wasn’t really interested in trying any of those in Tokyo. However I do enjoy a sweet treat now and again, so we hit up Good Town Doughnuts. We tried a couple of the different Donuts priced at around 500 JPY each. They were all tasty, but the best by far was their Bacon Maple Doughnut. Absolutely delicious.
10. Irish Beef – I know lots of you are not coming to Japan to eat Irish beef, you want Japanese, but for those who live in the city you will be very interested in the incredible John Stone steak being served up at the Steakhouse at the ANA Intercontinental Hotel in Roppongi/Akasaka. This Irish grass fed beef is among the best in the world and definitely worth a try if you have a hankering for some meaty goodness. It doesn’t run cheap with prices starting at 7300 JPY but it is a cut above the competition!