Tokyo, the most expensive city in Japan, has a lot to offer in terms of gastronomy. Delicious and luxurious food can be found in any corner. However, for second-time comers or even longer, these out-in-the-street restaurants can be a little repetitive at times. But fear not, because behind these shiny restaurants and bars, if you look carefully enough, are Tokyo’s hidden gems of over-the-top small, and cheap food vendors and stores, guarantee to make your trip to Tokyo memorable. Let’s explore the secret gastronomy inside Japan’s most bustling city.
Tokyo, Japan might be overwhelming at times. From the neon lights and bustling crowds nestled in popular attractions, you might even lost in the well-known tourist attractions that hide away the hidden gems of the city, which are only exclusive to the long-time comers or the locals.
Dive deeper into the streets of Tokyo, and you might find the finest gastronomy, from the locals’ customary food to dishes that are inspired by the land across the sea, fuming their alluring smells from places you would not normally recognize, or passed over without a second thought.
So get your Japanese ready, go off the beaten path, and prepare for an authentic, down-to-earth food experience from the truest of Japan’s hidden gems restaurants following Tokyo’s popular wards.
Shinjuku – Tokyo
Shinjuku is Tokyo’s busiest ward, well-known for its giant collection of entertainment, shopping, and business. As a result, there will be a lot of big-name restaurants that will make the following hidden gems harder to find.
If you don’t like waiting in lines, then this ramen shop is not for you. But lines and lines of locals, now that’s a different story. Smokey ramen is not uncommon in Japan, but this place has got a trophy for it. Head in and order their specials, with everything on it.
On the side of Shinjuku’s Memory Lane, a fancy multi-course small restaurant serving one of the best 1950s-styled no-frills head-to-tail eels in town.
Roppongi – Tokyo
This is one of the tourists’ favorite wards for nightlife activities and entertainment, offering a lot of bars, restaurants, and clubs for foreigners. However, there are still many locals’ favorite restaurants.
The ramen lives by its ethos: making ramen with the freshest of ingredients, with attention to little details. Serving unique Hakata-style ramen that never ceases to entice its customers.
Ginza – Tokyo
The Ginza is Tokyo’s most famous, luxurious, high-end, and upmarket shopping and dining ward. You will be surprised by how pricey Ginza’s shop can be, however, these lowkey restaurants may still offer fine food quality at reasonable prices.
Yomoda Soba Ginzaten
This sets up the saying that “Ginza doesn’t have to be about pricey eating”. Selling Soba in canteen-style soba and curry that is perfect for a quick and inexpensive meal.
Mugi to Olive
Appeared as a down-to-earth, simple dining shop, you will often have to wait for ten to fifteen minutes to get inside, however, it is worth the wait because this place offers ramen with toppings filled to the brim, their delicious shoyu ramen is the dish of the evening.
Shibuya – Tokyo
Shibuya is the center of youth and fashions. Setting up the trends for the entire city, what to wear, where to go, and what is the hottest activities currently. Yet, its most delicious native dishes are in old, traditional restaurants.
This is a perfect place for lunch after a tight morning schedule. The restaurant offers tasty, cheap teishoku lunch that opens all from the morning to afternoon. Big chunks of fish meat with mild soups, make up for a perfect lunch.
You can’t ever go wrong with yakitori, Tetsu restaurant is right by Shibuya Station. Most of the reviews show a preference for grilled skewers and drinks.
Akihabara – Tokyo
Tokyo’s Electric Town. Every electronic gadget and cultural feature that is famous all over the world can be found in this neighborhood. Popular cultures like anime, manga and other relevant products have been implemented in every shop and store.
Kare wa Nomimono
There are just so many colorful restaurants with animated decors, but somewhere in Akihabara, you may find a traditional, non-commercialized restaurant like Nomimino. Offering just a simple curry dish, and even though it’s not the prettiest dish to look at, its contents are out of this world. The Kare wa Nomimono serves voluminous plates of curry rice that’s pure comfort food on every level.