Tokyo is the busiest capital of Japan that infuses a very great mixture of modern and traditional heritage. You can find tallest skyscrapers along with the most historic temples in Tokyo. This beautiful city not only combines the culture but also structures a very great combination of the best food in Tokyo. You will be surprised to see the variety in which you can suffice your hunger in Tokyo. As the stereotypical thoughts jump onto the noodles you can get much more than just noodles in Tokyo. Of course, you’ll be served with the best handmade noodles that are just super tasty but besides noodle dishes, there are a lot of foods to try in Tokyo that can reveal subtle intricate differences of Japanese cuisine and their skilful art involved in making the dish, not just regular but iconic. Here I have curated the top 12 foods of Tokyo that you must go through if you really wanna explore the flavours or entire Japan.
List of Must-try Foods in Tokyo
This is one of the famous dishes you can taste in the entire world under the title of Japanese cuisine. They own the biggest fish market (Tsukiji fish market) bringing in tonnes of fresh seafood from different parts of Japan. Sushi is a delicate fish which is eaten raw sliced by the skilled chef into thin slices and served over a roll of rice along with traditional Japanese sauces like soy sauce or wasabi. You can visit Sushi no Midori who serves one of the popular foods in Tokyo and have the top quality of sushi at a reasonable price. That means, you definitely need to make reservations or wait in line to dine at this restaurant.
This dish is perfect for all the passionate beef-lovers. As the aroma of any food makes it, even more, tastier and desirable this famous food to try Tokyo is cooked right at the table in a Japanese hot pot style (Nabemono) to make you experience every crunch and smokiness of the dish closely. Like most Japanese foods, Sukiyaki also has some cooking variations that are followed by different chefs but the core ingredients used in Tokyo include vegetables, tofu and Negi, all of which are added to the fresh beef slices and cooked in a clay pot right on your table. Later you can mix soy sauce, sugar and mirin to add different flavours according to your preferences.
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3. Ramen noodles
Right now your country might have already marketed the ramen noodles in any pattern which shows its popularity and fame all over the world. But the typical ramen noodles are made from wheat and are served in a meat or fish-based broth, often flavoured with soy sauce or miso, along with the toppings such as sliced pork, Nori, Menma, and scallions to bring out every delicious flavour. But this top food from Tokyo has already so many variations that you might find it hard to decide which one to take home. Just pick out a few from each section and try them out on your own. A lot of grocery stations in Tokyo have microwave sections where you can eat the package items at the store. Or you can visit Tokyo ramen street at Tokyo station or the Ramen museum at Shin-Yokohama station to get the best ramen noodles.
These noodles are made from buckwheat flour that sets them apart from any other noodles as you can experience the distinct flavours. This noodle has also been known as traditional Japanese food since the Edo period (1603-1868). There are lots of delicious famous foods to eat in Tokyo if you just keep following our food guide! Soba is taken with a soy sauce, called Tsuyu. You can have the sauce as a dipping along with cold soba, or boil the hot soba by mixing the sauce in it.
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This is one of the heaviest dishes that is going to ruin all your diet plans so be aware of it. Chanko Nabe was originally cooked for sumo wrestlers to accommodate their weight gain diet. But some weird person thought why can’t normal people eat like sumo wrestlers and here we are! This is one of the best foods to try in Tokyo. This cuisine basically comprises all the proteins you can mash up together in a hot pot dish made from chicken-based broth, vegetables, tofu and/or fish. In fact, the restaurants selling this dish are also usually run by ex-Sumo wrestlers. Sometimes, it is even served with rice and beer to increase the calories as it was not enough before!
Another high-end continental dish that you might have tasted before but how come you don’t try this at its birthplace? Sashimi is considered as a Japanese delicacy, regarded by Japanese chefs as the finest dish in informal Japanese dining. In essence, it displays every fresh, raw seafood or meat, thinly sliced and served with a soy sauce and other ingredients, such as wasabi or ginger – most commonly offered to showcase their famous foods from Tokyo that you can never forget. Traditionally, sashimi is recommended as a first course, ahead of something strongly flavoured while being ordered in restaurants.
This dish is similar to soba noodles, but these are made from wheat flour that are slightly more cylindrical than the flat ramen wheat noodles. As with soba, it can be served either cold or hot but people usually prefer it cold in local areas. The simplest hot dish for which foods of Tokyo have gained incredible fame among their slurpy cuisines is when udon is made in a broth, called Kakejiru which owns a variety of toppings can be added, like scallions or prawns. This particular udon soup is known as Kake Udon.
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This is a Japanese version of pancake that is filled with all sorts of things – mostly pork, shrimp or cabbage. You get an interesting and delicious topping of mayonnaise, sauce and dried seaweed over your dish. The name of this must-try food in Tokyo is translated as something close to “whatever you like grilled”, hence the multiple ingredients present in the dish are grilled at your table right in front of you. Sometimes, they let you try it too to prepare your own food. But better you leave it over the professionals as grilling might seem easy but burnt meat tastes very awful so trust me so don’t try if you feel completely unsure about grilling.
9. Yakitori (Grilled chicken skewers)
These are another grilled masterpiece you can buy in Tokyo at any street corner. This is one of the famous street foods in Tokyo that you must not miss. These are typically skewered chicken pieces cooked over charcoal grills to make the meat crispy outside and tender inside. Seasoning is either done by salt or with savoury tare sauce made from soy sauce, dashi broth, and vinegar. So, just like wasabi, be careful while spilling the tare sauce too much on your Yakitori to make it extra spicy. As instead of spicy it will become a life-threatening food for you that you can’t even smell.
This dish in Japanese translates to “fresh eel”. You can guess which popular food in Tokyo it is? Yes, it’s the eel which might at first you find it weird but the taste of it is much richer than chicken which is usually dry in texture. They are usually served like sushi placing their thin slices over the bed of rice, or Unakyu making up for dishes, such as Unadon. You might even find there’s a special day in Japan for eating unagi, that is the midsummer day of the Ox.
For all the fast food lovers here is your dish! Tonkatsu is a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet, or let’s just say Japanese schnitzel. It has been a working-class dish and a Japanese comfort-food staple for centuries. The mind-blowingly crispy texture on the outside while being juicy on the inside. You might not get any other top fast food in Tokyo besides this. It’s typically served with a sweet-savoury sauce, along with fluffy steamed rice, a cool pile of shredded cabbage and pickles or miso soup.
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12. Japanese Pastries
For all those who have been eagerly waiting for the desert just go for these Japanese pastries trust me these are awesome. And I think you won’t get this much variety in flavours anywhere in the world. Their flavour ranges from matcha green tea, cherry blossom, chestnuts, black sesame, yuzu, red bean, to Japanese sweet potato. For the savoury department of this incredible food in Tokyo, Japan, you’ll find fresh hot buns like curry pan (crispy fried bread infused with Japanese curry filling), melon pan (sweet bread having crispy biscuit crust), yakisoba pan (savoury noodles in stuffed in hot dog bun), and Anpan (a sweet red bean bun). Just don’t miss this delicacy of Tokyo.
Hope you enjoyed this delicious food tour of Tokyo that includes the popular foods of this city. Japanese take their food very seriously and prepare them with devotion and precision so it becomes so easy to customise your taste according to your preferences as they know what they are serving very well. Hence, you must explore their intricately prepared cuisines that hold way more splendid flavours than your regular pasta or spaghetti. Just try out an above-mentioned list of foods from Tokyo and comment if you have any more suggestions for our beloved travellers.