From the simple street vendors to the high-class restaurants, there is scrumptious food everywhere!
Tokyo is known for having tasty food and that tasty food comes from all over Japan. Each and every region is famous for some style of food, but it can all be found here in Tokyo. You can get seafood specialties from Hokkaido, fruit mixtures from Tohoku, miso katsu from Nagoya, okonomiyaki from Osaka, and ramen from Hakata. The list goes on and on and you could literally eat yourself to death in a whirlwind of food gorging and still have not tried everything.
While in Tokyo I suggest you obviously try only what looks appealing to you, but to be honest you’ll never know until you try it. And I’m not saying there is disgusting food here, just some stuff actually tastes awesome raw! Sushi is obviously just that, raw fish, but here you could also try raw chicken liver, raw gizzards, and raw chicken breast and the list goes on. And all of it is “oishii!” and safe.
OKONOMIYAKI and YAKINIKU
If cooked food is more up your alley there are actually two styles to choose from, have the restaurant cook it for you, or you can cook it yourself at the restaurant. Okonomiyaki and yakiniku let you cook your own food right at your table. You place your order for whatever looks or sounds good and after a few minutes here comes your order ready for you to cook. Yakiniku is very easy to do because it just consists of small pieces of meat you cook over a little grill at your table. However okonomiyaki is a bit trickier. It has the consistency of a pancake mixture but with some other stuff mixed in. Once on the grill you need to form it into a tight circle and will have to flip it over to let it cook on the other side. This can be tricky from a seated position, but if you are up to the challenge I say take it on, if not have the staff grill it for you.
One of my favorite Nagoya style foods is tebasaki (chicken wings) and they can be found at Yamachan. Yamachan is a chain of restaurants that serves as its main item tebasaki, but also has various other dishes found in Nagoya, such as miso katsu. The wings come in a variety of flavors, but black pepper is the best. Grabbing a few plates of wings, some sashimi, some miso katsu, and some cold beers makes for an awesome dinner!
Local and cheap Izakayas are another way to experience food from here. Izakayas usually have great drink specials and small plates of food that can be shared. I suggest going to the ones that are under 300 yen a plate. In Tokyo there is an izakaya chain called Kinnokura and they have plate pricing between 270 yen and 290 yen, depending on which one you go to. Most of them use an electric pad to order and feature and English menu so don’t worry about feeling lost.
If you feel more like you want a home cooked meal and a something that almost screams back home, I suggest hitting up a family restaurant, such as Denny’s, Gusto, or Saizeriya. And don't roll your eyes about the fact that I mentioned Denny’s. The Denny’s here is nowhere near what the Denny’s are in the states. The food is awesome! Another great fact about the family restaurants is that they have all you can drink soft drink and coffee bars. They range in price, but are usually around 300 yen, and that’s a great deal if you have eaten out in Tokyo before.
This list of food could go on and on, but I highly suggest breaking with the normal and stopping into a local restaurant or izakaya after your long day of sightseeing has finished. And if you end up with a group of people you don't know, shout out “umai!” after your first bite and you are sure to get a laugh.