In the Ueno area, just off the metro, I ran into a Hard Rock Café. I went in. The truth is it's pretty small, but it has all the same scenery as an average Hard Rock. It's an interesting place if you feel like changing up a bit with your food choices in Tokyo while listening to good music along with the belongings of some of the greatest stars of the music world.
This restaurant debunks the myth that Japan is expensive, especially eating in Japan. On the contrary, eating here can be much cheaper than in Spain and we're not talking about eating hamburgers or pizzas, but traditional, authentic Japanese food. If you're sightseeing in Japan and want to eat good food cheap, healthy and fast, this place is for you. The Ootoya is an economical Japanese food chain. Although there's a set menu, three or four new dishes emerge every few months. Here you can eat grilled fish, Japanese fish, breaded meat, soba or udon noodles, sweet vinegar chicken or pork, etc., all for less than 800 yen. Every entree comes with rice (you can ask for a larger serving), and miso soup. This restaurant is easy to find because the the signs are usually written with Latin characters (sometimes they're not, but in the picture you can see how they spell the name). You can find these restaurants all over Japan (and in Tokyo it's easy to stumble upon one) but if you want to find a specific location, its website (in Japanese)lets you see where the restaurants are by area.
If you travel to Tokyo and want to eat premium Tsunahachi tempura, I recommend this restaurant. There are several in Tokyo but I usually go in Shinjuku whch is about five minutes from the east exit. There is another on the top floor of the department store Takashimaya Shinjuku (exit South terrace). In case you are not aware exactly what it is, tempura is a Japanese food which originated in Portugal. It was first discovered by Portuguese Jesuits missionaries during the fifteenth century. It was a meal of vegetables and battered fish. Normally, on holidays or in evenings of public holidays, there is a big queue so it's best to go another day. Once inside, you can eat at the bar or on tatami. Although eating in Japanese tatami seems like a good idea, perhaps it is best to choose the bar because the idea is to eat the tempura as soon as it comes out of the oil, and you cannot do this in the tatami area. Also, if you eat at the bar you can watch them preparing the cooked food. In Tsunahachi there are several menus but the cheapest is called Tempura Zen and has a good range of things to try. It includes: 1) miso soup, rice and pickles. 2) A first batch of shrimp tempura two large and one type of fish, a mollusc and two green spears of asparagus 3) Anago. This is a small type of eel. 4) A mixed tempura with some vegetables and a lot of small shrimp.
In Tokyo you can find the restaurant where they filmed the fight scene between Lucy Liu and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Outside looks good, but as soon as you go in you can see the place that you saw in the film. It had a bar downstairs where you can watch the chefs cook from directly in front. But the best place is at the top where you can enjoy, in addition to food, a magnificent panoramic view of the whole place. The waiters shout all at once when someone asks for a special dish or when someone leaves. The atmosphere is second to none, but the prices are a tad more expensive than a traditional izakaya. Still, I recommend going, make sure that you're hungry and bring and camera for pictures!
In this beautiful Shibuya basement you can try ramen and tsukemen a la tonkotsu (pork bone).
In terms of price it's pretty good, about 5 euros for ramen and 7.50 for the tsukemen, and given the location, about 10 minutes from the Shibuya station and the famous Hachiko statue, you really can't complain.
In this place you pay a set price and you can choose the amount of pasta you want, and the largest size (Chou) is truly enormous. In each table there's a basket of hard-boiled eggs to put on the ramen and each one is about 40 euro cents.
For those who don't know, the main difference between the ramen and the tsukemen is that in the ramen the noodles go in the soup while in the Tsukemen they give you the soup and noodles separately and you dip the pasta in the soup. You can also choose whether you want it hot or cold.
I had already been there on my previous visit to Tokyo and I liked it but this time I was a bit more accustomed to japanese food and I have to say that this was my favorite restaurant of the trip. The Tsukemen is delicious and it comes with a spicy wasabi-type sauce but with a type of spice that you put in the proper portion the soup comes out delicious and so do the noodles when you dip them
If you don't want to put spicy stuff directly just in case, I recommend that you put it on a spoon, mix it a little and then dip the noodles on a spoon. It's more complicated and requires a bit of practice, that that's the best way to eat it.
I liked it so much, this time I went a whopping 4 times... hahaha. And even though I like to try new and different places, I liked this one so much...
It's delicious with a great ambiance and music!
Shirokiya is a chain of Japanese restaurants which mimic the style of traditional izakayas (a kind of Japanese pub) but with a more modern decor. The chain belongs to the Tokyo-based Monteroza company and has outlets all over Japan. The seating in the restaurants is on tatami mats and the food, while good, isn't exactly traditional Japanese. They do, however, have great Korean and Vietnamese dishes as well as some Western dishes like quesadillas and pizzas. It's a good option for eating out when you're with a group of people who all have different tastes.
Nakano B-kyuu is an Izakaya style restaurant (or a traditional Japanese inn) that can be found east of Nakano station [/ poi], so if you want to have something here you now know the nearest station.
It is small, but very cozy. The staff are very friendly, but don't expect any frills or fanfare from the decoration. It has two floors: the downstairs hosts the kitchen, the bar and a few tables, and the upstairs has the dining room with just half a dozen tables very close together. The food is in the style of a Japanese tavern (like yakisakana and yakitori).
Hatsu Tsubomi Shibuya is a restaurant located in one of the most crowded neighborhoods of Tokyo, just a five minutes' walk from the station. It's a traditional Japanese restaurant with truly beautiful decor: inside there's a small artificial stream with a Japanese bridge. The food is good, the service is wonderful, and price ranges from 20 to 30 euros per person.
The restaurant A Teppara is a Thai restaurant that you can find in Ebisu, Tokyo and just a 5 minutes walk from the West Exit of the metro stop. It's a bit hidden as it's on the basement floor, but to get there is really worth it.
The décor, without being anything out of this world comes with Thai music in the background and a variety of dishes and beers from the old Siam that we can have in this place. Even though the presentation and palate are a bit adapted to a japanese audience, I must admit that this is one of the best Thai restaurants I've been to outside of Thailand.
I was with a handful of Spanish people ve were living in Tokyo and they took me to a place in Shibuya. It is an absolutely fascinating restaurant. One of those where you have to remove your shoes upon entering, then you sit at a table almost on the floor and you get to eat traditional Japanese food. It was a delightful place.
This restaurant is of Shanghai origin and is a place to enjoy Chinese food that is more elaborate, a tea shop where you can find all types of Chinese teas. It is situated in the commercial center Loft of Shibuya and is a very nice place where in order to call a waiter, you have to touch a bell. I recommend the chahan with tea and the leechie ice cream It is a real splendid place where you can spend many hours chatting. It is very recommendable. They also have a Twitter account that is @chamate_s
Gyozas are dumplings made from rice dough that are normally filled with pork, but they can also be filled with veal or other ingredients.
In Harajuku you can enjoy really great cooked or fried gyozas at a very affordable price. On my first trip to Japan I wasn't able to try them there, and on this last trip, I could only go one day. I would have liked to have gone there many times. I also recommend trying the moyashi, a soy dish with minced meat and a special sauce. It is delicious.
The place is always packed and apparently at night it is fairly common to have to wait. We went for lunch and the tables were all occupied, but there was room at the bar.
If you are in the area, do not hesitate to eat there. A highly recommended place.
This is a restaurant that I stumbled upon and it was delicious. It's in the Akihabara neighborhood, and it stood out because it was crowded with villagers. You order at a machine (if you understand anything of course, otherwise you can play with it), then you take the ticket to the kitchen where they serve you. There is rice, and noodles, but all of it Japanese and delicious. In addition, it was very cheap. I would totally recommend it.
Noor Mahal is an Indian restaurant in Nakano-Ku near the Shin-Nakano metro station. It's small, but it's located on the first floor of a building so it's easy to find. They have a menu with a variety of fishes, but the all-you-can-eat buffet of soups, curries, and rices is your best bet. Tasty food, and cheap!
No visit to the Ghibli Museum is complete without stopping to eat at The Straw Hat Café, the museum restaurant. Decorated in the same style as the museum, eating there is truly an experience. The menu is not particularly varied but all the dishes offered are fresh and cooked with entirely organic ingredients. The pumpkin soup was scrumptious!
The fast food chain Yoshinoya is one of the most famous in Japan. The dish par excellence is the don, a bowl of white rice covered with strips of pork, beef, or eel. You can also choose fried chicken, or sets that include egg (raw or soft-boiled), soup and / or salad of cabbage with sauces. The quality of the food is nothing to write home about, as you'd expect from the prices: don with pork, medium size, costs just over 2 euros.
Kaisen Misakiko is one of those sushi restaurants with a conveyor belt of small dishes located in front of Shibuya Station. The dishes cost between 300 and 1200 yen, and you can order directly from the chef if you don't want to wait for the dish of your choice. You can drink as much green tea as you want for free. The beers are 600 yen, which isn't bad.