Japan is a country world-renowned for its culinary delights. Everything from food preparation to the presentation is done with perfection. Japan is obsessed with delivering a flawless dining experience, and by no means is this a bad thing.
One of the most popular areas in Japan for foodies is Tokyo. In fact, Tokyo has over 200 Michelin star restaurants scattered throughout the city. It is easy to see why world famous chefs such as Gordon Ramsey, Joël Robuchon and numerous others have established elegant restaurants in Toyko.
Sadly, many of us cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a single dinner. However, there are many restaurants throughout the city that offer amazing food at affordable prices.
Here is a little taste of some of the best restaurants in Tokyo that won't break the bank.
Yamato Raku is a relatively new restaurant in Tokyo that offers spectacular Japanese cuisine. Raku offers multiple types of tofu cooked in traditional ways and fresh sashimi.
The atmosphere of Raku is relaxing. The entire restaurant from the seats to the walls is covered with bamboo. The friendly servers wear colorful kimonos and serve many traditional Japanese dishes. Located in Shinjuku, it is in an ideal location for eating dinner before exploring one of the most vibrant districts in Tokyo.
Hands down my favorite food I had in Japan was the potato croquette from Teyan-tei.
They were one of the most addictive foods I have ever eaten. These perfectly spiced potato balls have a crispy battered shell with just the right amount of crunch surrounding a silky smooth center. Each order came with a creamy egg yolk as a dipping sauce. Although this sounds a little strange, the thickness of the egg yolk pairs flawlessly with the texture of the croquette.
After quickly devouring three orders, my body refused any more, but I would have happily eaten them all day. I loved the atmosphere of Teyan-tei as well. The restaurant itself is cozy with many little wooden dining nooks just big enough to hold a group of seven or eight people. It makes an ideal place for an intimate dinner with close friends.
One site you cannot miss in Tokyo is Nihonbashi Bridge. This bridge, first built in 1603 is considered the center of Tokyo. The five highways of Japan meet here, and even today all roads are measured from the central point of this bridge.
After visiting this historic site, walk a few blocks to Hounen Manpuku Resturant famous for its presentation of seafood and Japanese beef. Hounen Manpuku is also a good place to try traditional Japanese spirits like sake.
One thing I should tell you, I usually do not eat seafood. However, every bite enticed me to take another. The fish was fresh, juicy, and succulent. The food was presented in an enclosed wooden box that was separated into four little quadrants each containing its own tasty delicacies
Asakusa Okonomiyaki Sometaro is popular among locals but has become a hotspot for tourists as well. You can expect a long line out the door even during the frigid winter months, so it is a good idea to make a reservation. Asakusa Okonomiyaki Sometaro is known for its noodles, oysters and comfort food. The wooden building it calls home is quite old and adds an authentic feel to the entire restaurant experience.
Grocery store chains throughout Tokyo are a great place to try Japanese cuisine. Now you might be asking yourself why a grocery store makes a restaurant list. After walking in you will immediately understand why. The supermarkets offer the finest food and fruits I have ever seen and can create an amazing meal.
In many of these stores, you can find single pieces of fruit enclosed in plastic showcases making them appear as a work of art. The fruit here is not cheap, but it is money well spent. A friend in Japan once told me "I once bought a single strawberry for $10 at a supermarket, and it was completely worth it."
Tokyo had some of the most mouth-watering food I have ever eaten on my travels. The love and care these restaurants put into their menus is astonishing. Even the simplest meals felt like masterpieces. When visiting Tokyo, make sure to check out some of these restaurants. Just make sure to pack your stretchy pants.
What’s your favorite kind of Japanese food?
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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