Tokyo is known as a city of unique experiences and it’s hard to choose a bad Tokyo restaurant. From three-Michelin star sushi to Robot restaurants, powerful Japanese whisky to romantic rooftop bars, there is no shortage of incredible rare adventures in Tokyo. We flew around the world to indulge our palates in these fine epicurean and cocktail experiences and these 10 best restaurants in Tokyo won over our hearts and our taste buds. Which one will be your favorite Tokyo restaurant?
There is no sushi chef in the world more celebrated than Jiro. The 91-year-old chef has been working in the sushi world for over 70 years. His passion shines through as he expertly crafts his 20-course Omakase menu, so delicious that it moved us to tears. This is a meal that’s worth flying around the world for. Sukiyabashi Jiro is by far the best Tokyo restaurant, hands down.
Bar High Five
No menu, no frills; only high-end original cocktails made to order based on your specific taste. The bartenders are highly trained, traveling from places like The United States, France, and The United Kingdom, just to get a chance to work at this esteemed bar. The way Bar High Five works is that you simply tell the bartender what type of drinks you like. Are you a whiskey girl or do you prefer gin? Do you like it spicy or sweet? Then, the expert bartenders whip up a unique, tasty, and delicious delight of a drink!
We trekked to Tokyo subway station to enjoy David Chang and Anthony Bourdain’s favorite ramen in all of Tokyo. This is a Tsukemen ramen restaurant meaning that the noodles are separate from the broth. The noodles at Rokurinsha are king. Simply grab the noodles, dip them in the broth, and slurp it up. We were such a fan of the noodles, we even ate them dry by themselves! For ramen lovers, this is one of the best restaurants in Tokyo.
As if Tokyo didn’t have enough Michelin-star restaurants, they now have a Michelin-star Ramen restaurant. Tsuta Ramen has multiple seatings, starting at 11 am through 5 pm, every hour on the hour. Arrive early, around 8 am, to reserve your spot at the restaurant. As you arrive, you’ll give a 1,000 Yen deposit (~$10) and you’ll be given a color-coated card for your reservation time. Even if your reservation isn’t until 12, arrive early to beat the rush. This 9-seat restaurant fills up quickly! The ramen wasn’t the best in our life, but the pork stood out as the star ingredient.
Tokyo Whisky Library
Japanese whisky is gaining in popularity and one of the best places to taste them all is at the Tokyo Whisky Library. Choose from a wide variety of local whisky’s (or foreign if you’d prefer – but you’re in Tokyo, so we recommend going Japanese) and light up a delicious Cuban cigar as you sip some of the finest whisky in the world.
Tsukiji Fish Market
There is no rest for the hungry in Tokyo. Arrive in the wee-hours of the morning to dine at Sushidai. The warmer the weather, the earlier you should arrive. While the restaurants don’t open until ~5:30 am, arrive around 2-2:30 am otherwise you’ll be standing in line for many hours, especially if it’s warm. In the winter months, you can arrive around 3-3:30 am. Don’t bother eating at Daiwa Sushi – it’s not nearly as good as Sushi Dai.
In a city filled with Skyscrapers, the Andaz stands the tallest of them all. You’ll come for the drinks and stay for the view. Visit the Andaz before sunset, grab a cocktail, and watch the skyscrapers come turn a warm golden colors as the sun sets over the Tokyo Bay. After the sun sets, the city turns on, electrifying the rooftops and buildings for as far as the eye can see. We recommend their signature cocktails or tea cocktails.
There are many Michelin-star establishments to choose from in Tokyo, but Ryugin is consistently rated as one of the best. Awarded a three-Michelin star for many years in a row, the meal at Ryugin is one of the best in the world. This 3-hour meal will have your taste buds twirling and your stomach smiling. We recommend pairing the meal with the sake & wine tasting.
While it may not have a Michelin-star or a difficult reservation list, it was some of our favorite ramen in all of Tokyo. With multiple locations around the city, Ichiran provides a rich, spicy broth in a no-frills environment. After ordering your ramen from a vending machine, you sit at an individual stall to enjoy your ramen. Note: This is not a restaurant to sit around and chat. However, it still needs to be included as one of the best restaurants in Tokyo.
Kurand Sake Market
Japan is known for its sake and one of the best places to try sake is at the Kurand Sake Market in Shibuya. Tucked away in a quiet tower near busy Shibuya, this sake market is known by locals as one of the best. Bring your own food (stop at a sushi market or 7-11 – seriously, the food at 7-11 is amazing) and order the all-you-can-drink sake menu.
I’m taking notes as we’re going to Japan next month. This is so helpful! Thanks for sharing.