Insider's Guide: 6 of Tokyo's Best Restaurants

Eat & Drink | Asia-Pacific | By Orsolya Kako

Every journey has a flavour, every place a taste. Whether it’s a Michelin-starred meal, a multi-course extravaganza or fresh fish at a seaside cantina, we believe you can’t really call yourself a cultural adventurer if you don’t embrace the local food and drink. In the first of our three-part Insider’s Guide to Tokyo, Trip Designer Orsolya Kako offers a few a few of her favourite Tokyo restaurants where you can do just that.

My Favourite Tokyo Restaurants

Owner Yoshihiro Narisawa’s self-proclaimed theme is “sustainability and gastronomy,” a popular sentiment these days, linking the diner with the natural world. Here you will find cuisine celebrating the richness of the Japanese environment while satisfying your healthy and fine-food cravings. The menu changes daily. Be sure to make reservations.

Tokyo RestaurantsTapas Molecular Bar, Mandarin Oriental Hotel
With only eight seats per sitting, the tapas bar at the Mandarin Oriental makes for a really fun, interactive evening with the chef. Only 8 seats per sitting.  Over the course of two hours, chefs prepare more than 20 plates of bite-sized delicacies right before your eyes. I did this and it was awesome!

Bird Land
Singular in its field, Bird Land is (as the name might suggest) a grilled chicken restaurant of the highest calibre. Winner of a Michelin star in 2010, this popular establishment is considered the gold standard in yakitori restaurants. Featuring Okukujishamo chicken—best known for its low fat content and springy texture—the menu has two recommended courses and an impressive wine list.

Tokyo RestaurantsRyuGin
With three Michelin stars and rave reviews, it’s no surprise that this was one of the most oft-recommended restaurants among Tokyo locals. Chef Seiji Yamamoto pursues what he calls the “possibility of Japan cuisine,” serving up traditional and authentic Japanese dishes.

Tokyo RestaurantsTokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai
Located adjacent to historic Shiba Park, a visit to Tofuya Ukai is like stepping back to the days of the Edo Period (1600-1868). The traditional architecture invokes the spirit of Japan, forged over thousands of years, while inside, guests can sample the food culture of Edo in the heart of one of the world’s most modern cities. Lovers of fine cuisine will enjoy the exquisite taste of specialty tofu dishes among lush Japanese gardens at the foot of Tokyo Tower.

Tokyo Restaurants Okame
If you are looking for a hole-in-the-wall local atmosphere restaurant that serves some of the best sushi in Tokyo, look no further. Great for your first morning in Tokyo when you cannot sleep due to jet lag. Head down early and check out the Tsukiji fish market first, and then feast on some of the freshest fish around—and I do mean early. The restaurant keeps odd hours: from 5 a.m. to  2 p.m.   Of course, in a city the size of Tokyo, amazing restaurants are legion. Check out a few more great selections on Luxury Travel Advisor.