“Food Heaven” is a real place and it’s called Tokyo! It’s not only the taste of the food that is amazing, it’s the quality, presentation, and creativity that manifests in every dish. It would take a lifetime to enjoy all the delicious food that Tokyo has to offer but it’s one I am most willing to give! Here are a few of the places you have to try when visiting Tokyo:
1. Ichiran Shibuya
Like most Ramen places in Japan, you place your order through a vending machine (Tip: bring cash!), and give your tickets to your waiter. Privacy adds to the ambiance of your dining experience here because you do not see your waiter as they serve you, and you are seated in your own individual stall. If you come with a group you are able to lift the dividers so you can enjoy the experience with your companions. Your order can be customized by choosing things like: how rich you want the flavor, how firm or soft you want the noodles, how spicy, etc. I can confidently say it was the best Ramen I have ever had the pleasure of eating!
2. Tonki Meguro
We were a bit overwhelmed when we first walked in to this casual tonkatsu restaurant because it was crowded, busy, and there was the language barrier so we did not really know where to go or how it worked. We figured it out by observing everyone else, and of course a little help from friendly staff and fellow restaurant patrons who observed our confused faces. The menu is simple and to the point with only two options (loin or fillet), and your tonkatsu comes with miso soup, rice, cabbage, pickled veggies, and green tea. Everything was SO GOOD. The tonkatsu was so tender and juicy, and the rest of the meal went with it perfectly. This was my favorite meal during my trip to Japan, and I wish we had visited more than once!
3. Nihonbashi Dashi Bar Hanare
We sort of ran into this place on our very first night in Tokyo and we are glad we did. They have a great menu with set meals and great ala carte options. The prices were decent and the ambiance was casual and trendy. We loved the karaage chicken!
4. Kit Kats-
This is a MUST try while in Japan. There are over 200 flavors! I found 6 flavors and did a video about them which you can watch here. By the end of the trip I managed to find two more: Melon flavor and Sake flavor. They also make great omiyage (souvenirs) to bring home for friends and family.
5. Tokyo Disney and DisneySea
I was in big trouble here you guys. When you combine the forces of Disney and Japan you get food creations that are not only delicious but also super kawaii. I mean they were almost to cute to eat! Almost. I tried my hardest to stick to my budget here but I caved in and bought everything. I just couldn’t resist.
- The popcorn. They have flavors like “soy sauce and butter,” “Curry,” and “milk tea.”
- Breads and pastries at the Sweetheart Cafe. Try the Mike Wazowski melon bread!
6. Family Mart, Lawson’s, 711
The convenience store food in Japan is far superior to quick, convenience store food in the U.S.A., or anywhere else I’ve visited. You can get good tasting, good quality food on the go for a great price. Towards the end of our trip, we were running low on money (I mean you would too after a day in Tokyo Disney!) so we frequented the Family Mart close to our Air Bnb. We were so thankful that we still could enjoy a decent dinner for two for under 2000 yen (about $20.00 USD).
7. Totti Candy Factory
I just had to get the “instagrammable” cotton candy. I should not have because eating the huge rainbow puff of sugar by myself made me sick but I have always dreamed of strolling down this street eating all the sugary delights while shopping for all the kawaii things. I have to say though that until the nauseated feeling I got from all that sugar kicked in, I was feeling pretty high! Make sure to give this place a try but maybe get a smaller version or share with someone!
8. Dominique Ansel Bakery Japan
I got to visit his bakery in New York City and I fell in love with the DKA, and of course the Cronut. I just had to see what his Japan bakery was like! It did not disappoint, and there were many “Japan only” pastries on the menu. I tried the “Paris-Tokyo,” (traditional Paris Brest with matcha ganache and a soft passion fruit curd), “Monaka Cookie,” (crispy monaka shell and a moist matcha financier cookie), and the “Mr. Roboto” (melon pan filled with a black sugar and Hojicha, roasted brown tea cream). SO GOOD.