1. Sushisho Masa
This quaint, cosy little restaurant doesn’t have any fancy Michelin stars, cushy seats or black-suited waiters. It’s just top sushi chef Masakatsu Oka, 7-8 seats at the bar, and you. But if high-grade sushi at non-wallet-burning prices is what you’re looking for, then this is the place of your dreams. There’s no particular dish we are going to recommend, because everything is amazing. Be sure to make a reservation before you go!
Address: Japan, 〒106-0031 Tokyo, Minato, Nishiazabu, 4 Chome−1−15, セブン西麻布 B1F
Enjoy personalised attention from the chef at Sushisho Masa. Photo Credit: T.Tseng / Flickr
2. Umegaoka Sushi No Midori
Also known as Midori Sushi, this highly-popular and extremely-raved-about sushi restaurant is tucked away near the Shibuya train station – but you’re not likely to have problems finding it, because a long, permanent, snaking line-up of people will point the way for you.
Known for its affordability, Midori Sushi is a great place for those who need quality and quantity, because a mere few pieces of fish and rice just can’t fill you up. Its excellent location in the shopping district of Shibuya doesn’t hurt as well; you can grab an electronic queue number first, go on a quick shopping spree then return to get your sushi fix.
Address: Daikanyama Address Dixsept, 17-6 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0034, Japan
Affordable, fresh and delicious sushi awaits at Midori Sushi. Photo Credit: Andy Yeo / Flickr
3. Sushi Iwa
Michelin-starred sushi at non-Michelin-starred prices? Yes sirree! Sushi Iwa, run by renowned Chef Iwa, could be one of those super-exclusive sushi places that you might not be able to afford – there are no more than 6 seats in the restaurant, and you do not order off the menu; the chef decides what you will eat (but you’d be very happy anyway). You don’t have to break the bank for this meal, though. The restaurant is open for lunch, which comes at a reduced rate as compared to dinner.
Address: 悠玄ビル 1F, 6 Chome-3-17 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, Japan
Sushi Iwa offers 1-Michelin-starred quality sushi and sashimi. Photo Credit: takaokun / Flickr
4. Sushi Daiwa
Good things come to those who wait: if you’re one of those people who are willing to, then Sushi Daiwa could be your place. Located right smack in the renowned and bustling Tsukiji Fish Market, there’s no sashimi or seafood sushi fresher than this. Do note, however, that people start queuing for some of its delectable goodness from as early as 6am, so a wait of at least an hour should be expected.
When that unbelievably fresh seafood enters your mouth, though, you’d consider every second spent queuing worth it. Order ‘omakase’ – where the chef serves whatever he wants – to get the best of this experience.
Address: Japan, 〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chuo, 築地5-2-1
Experience fresh sushi like no other at Sushi Daiwa, located in Tsukiji Fish Market. Photo Credit: Bex Walton / Flickr
Also known as Ryu Sushi or Dragon Sushi, this is another savvy restaurant that took advantage of its proximity to the Tsukiji Fish Market to serve up super-fresh sashimi and sushi, with slightly shorter queues as compared to Sushi Daiwa. Again, ‘omakase’ is recommended here. Be sure to go early, as the restaurant closes fast – by the time 2pm comes, its doors are shut.
Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo 104-0045, Tokyo Prefecture
Get a breakfast of sea-fresh sushi at Ryu Sushi. Photo Credit: kikki / tenkai-japan.com
6. Ichiran Ramen
Customisable, vending-machine-ordered ramen – sound like some horrible mass-produced food that’s borderline toxic? People from around Asia swear by Ichiran ramen, though, and it’s time you found out why. These noodles (which aren’t produced from the vending machine really, you just select your choices and get tickets printed from the machine) are thin, springy and soaked in an inexplicably delicious, rich tonkotsu broth, with slices of meat and spices added according to your preference.
The soup of tonkotsu ramen is meant to be drunk, so be sure to finish it lest you waste the best part!
Address: 1-22-7 Jinnan | Iwamoto Bldg. B1F, Shibuya 150-0041, Tokyo Prefecture
Try a fragrant, steaming bowl of regionally-famous tonkotsu ramen. Photo Credit: Fabian Reus / Flickr
7. Mensho Taketora
All set for more ramen? Then mosey over to Taketora in the happening Roppongi district for some more warm, noodley goodness. Taketora ramen is differentiated from Tonkotsu ramen by its thicker noodles and a rich, gravy-like broth that you’re not expected to drink up (unless you get their miso broth, but give the house specialty a try for something more unique). The meal is hearty, delicious and altogether completely satisfying to both your taste buds and stomach. The decor of the restaurant is tres cool, too: you’d feel like you’re entering a thick bamboo forest, with a majestic tiger on the prowl.
Address: 3-14-14 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture
_After a day about town, head to Roppongi and indulge in a bowl of Mensho Taketora ramen. Photo Credit: Manone / Wiki Commons_
8. Sushi Zanmai
Big chain stores rarely dish up good fare, but Sushi Zanmai is an exception to that rule. A franchise with more than 40 branches in Japan, Sushi Zanmai is known for its extremely affordable but tasty sushi and sashimi, prepared expertly with fresh ingredients. If you’re on a shoestring budget but still want to enjoy Japanese gourmet cuisine without spending too much of your life in a queue, then Sushi Zanmai is perfect for you.
The main branch of Sushi Zanmai is, of course, located where you’d expect all good sushi places to be located: at the Tsukiji Fish Market. For night owls or party animals, though, go for Sushi Zanmai’s Shibuya branch – it’s open 24/7 so you’d never have to resort to instant noodles when your belly rumbles in the wee hours of the night.
Address: 4-4-3 Tsukiji, Chuo 104-0045, Tokyo Prefecture
Address: 34-5 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo Prefecture
Sushi Zanmai is the place for cheap, good, hassle-free sushi at all hours. Photo Credit: kennejima / Flickr
If budget’s not too big a problem for you, then Tokyo’s high-end restaurants are your playground – go crazy indulging your tastebuds in the finest foods this mighty fine country has to offer. But even if you have the yen in your pocket, don’t go chasing the Michelin stars; there are plenty of hidden, amazing little restaurants that you should discover.
One such place is Miyakozushi, a little sushi place tucked in Chuo that is widely regarded as the highest-rated sushi-ya that does not have a Michelin star. Because of that, you get the top-grade sushi and sashimi without the top-grade prices. How great a deal is that?
Address: 3-1-3 Higashinihombashi, Chuo 103-0004, Tokyo Prefecture
Try Miyakozushi’s Michelin-star worthy sushi and sashimi at amazing prices behind this door. Photo Credit: いずへい / b-shoku.jp
10. Rokurinsha Tokyo
So amazing is the culinary invention of ramen that there are many different ways of doing it, all of which are worth a bite (or bowl) or two. You know about Tonkotsu and Taketora ramen, but how about Tsuketemen ramen?
Never heard of it? Well it’s time you gave it a try at Rukorinsha Tokyo, located at Tokyo Ramen Street in the basement of the Tokyo train station. Unlike Tonkotsu or Taketora ramen, Tsukemen doesn’t come with soup – you’d get the noodles in one bowl, the soup in the other, and do the dipping yourself (that’s dip, not soak). The broth is a rich, savoury creation so flavourful it’s been described as a ‘life-changing experience’. Be warned, though, that Rukorinsha is a hit with both locals and tourists, so long waits for a table should be expected.
Address: 1-9-1 Marunochi, Chiyoda, Tokyo Prefecture
Rokurinsha Tokyo offers the most flavourful Tsuketemen ramen you can imagine. Photo Credit: Ry C. / Flickr