Tokyo is the food paradise that every city hopes to become: where Jiro dreams of sushi, where ramen demands noisy slurping, where cocktails taste best 40 floors above the ground. Everything great about modern dining right this second, from masterful daily staples in brisk cafes to intricately plated twelve-course meals at intimate chef’s counters, was perfected in Tokyo a million years ago. Why put it off any longer? Book your tickets to Tokyo right now.
The magnificence of Tokyo’s dining scene is no secret: Food world megastars and Instagram superstars alike have all declared it the best place in the world to eat. What makes the city overwhelming is the same thing that makes it awesome (in the realest sense of the world): the dense, spiraling, mind-boggling urbanity of it all. No guide can offer more than a sliver of the city’s riches, famous or obscure, but Eater’s local experts will tell you where to find incredible pizza, affordable sushi, intense coffee, and hidden restaurants in historic alleys.
Convenience foods will buoy and delight you, but the real finds in Tokyo are the restaurants tucked away on the second floor of an apartment building, pouring American craft beer you can’t even find in America, or the cash-only sushi counters with eight seats, or the after-work yakitori joints firing skewer after skewer. On the plane home, those are the meals you’ll remember the most. Okay, also the ice cream you scarfed outside 7-Eleven — it’s really that good. Just like the rest of Tokyo.
What to do the minute you step off the plane
- Find culinary heaven in a department-store basement
- The best bowl of ramen in every neighborhood in town
- Cocktails just taste better 400 feet in the air
- Get ready for the convenience stores of your dreams
What does it mean to take a selfie with an owl? No trip to Tokyo is complete without a visit to a cafe filled with bunnies — or kitschy, neon-lit performers. But how much do we really understand what's happening? Emily Yoshida dives deep into tourists’ fascination with "weird" Japan, and finds the soul of the city.
Totally maximize your dining experience
- Find a great restaurant, no matter where you are
- How to snag Tokyo's most impossible-to-score reservations...
- ...and if you can't, here's where to find incredible mid-range sushi
- Don't be that tourist: The new rules of dining out in Japan
"Tokyo" is a verb, not a noun — and it’s relentless. Kee Byung-keun navigates his way through a single day of non-stop eating all across the city, and discovers an edible Tokyo in old-school coffee shops, department store depachika, and raucous izakaya.
Give yourself over to your obsessions
- Where to get high-end cocktails that are worth the price tag
- The pizza in Japan might be better than it is in Naples
- This city takes coffee seriously; you should too
- Tokyo's love affair with Paris is a beautiful thing
Sunshine Sento Sake
Skip work, bathe, drink a beer, repeat. Wondering what to watch on the plane? Whitney Reynolds finds the perfect armchair getaway in Sunshine Sento Sake, a Japanese TV show about the simple, exquisite pleasures of ducking out of the office to get a snack.
Get to know the city like a local
- Tokyo's shopping arcades are just so cool
- There are tons of amazing restaurants in Tsukiji — so skip the sushi
- A walk through one of the city's most beautiful areas
- Where to eat in the under-the-radar Tokyo neighborhood that time forgot
Your Tokyo dining atlas
- Where chefs like Niki Nakayama, Mike Bagale, Dominique Ansel, and Michael Tusk eat when they come to town
- The 38 essential restaurants in Tokyo
- Heatmap: Tokyo's hottest restaurants right this second
See more Eater travel guides:
Editors: Meghan McCarron, Matt Buchanan, and Helen Rosner
Project manager: Marguerite Preston
Copy editors: Cameron Allan McKean and Rachel P. Kreiter | Logo Illustration: Angie Wang
Contributors: Matt Buchanan, Michael Booth, Kee Byung-keun, Hillary Dixler, Melinda Joe, Tom Kretchmar, Daniel Krieger, Brian MacDuckston, Meghan McCarron, Cameron Allan McKean, Craig Mod, Mona Nomura, Ko Ransom, Whitney Reynolds, Yukari Sakamoto, Ko Sasaki, Robbie Swinnerton, Aoko Umi, Irwin Wong, Justine Wong, Emily Yoshida
Thanks to Sonia Chopra, Erin DeJesus, Hillary Dixler, Esra Erol, Missy Frederick, Brenna Houck, Craig Mod, Adam Moussa, Erin Perkins, Jenny Zhang, and Nicole Bae