Tokyo is so highly concentrated with restaurants, coffee stops and little hole in the wall food stalls that you would not ever have expected. It is so easy to miss the best and most noteworthy places due to the sheer amount of choice in Tokyo (not that it's a bad thing).
Below are a few key places for ramen, sushi and of course - coffee. It's an ever expanding list! Don't forget to click the name of the establishments, as it will link straight to their website.
Cafes, bakeries and sweet treats
A - Z cafe
Escape the hustle and bustle of Omotesando and visit a cafe of Yoshimoto Nara's artwork. Take a peek at the rooftop bar.
5F, 5-8-3 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku
akebono mochi shop
Small but perfect is how to describe this mochi shop and their Japanese confectionary. Tokyo's most famous mochi shop has been operating since 1948.
5-7-19 Ginza, Chuo
aOYAMA FLOWER MARKET TEA HOUSE
A beautiful tea house hidden behind a blooming flower shop. An instant favourite with earnest service. Here you'll find yourself time and space to enjoy Tokyo and nature's splendours.
5-1-2 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku
be a good neighbour
A new day starts here with a perfectly brewed coffee and humble message. Tea, scones and light buttery toast is also offered.
3-51-6 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku
A Japanese and European patisserie offering cakes, cookies, tarts and sweet spongey rolls. If you want to try a roll but not eat all of it, you can have a slice cut especially for you. Although, who could stop at one slice?
1-30-23 Inokashira, Mitaka
Cafe Kitsuné is a must visit, if not because the in-house baristas have been trained by Omotesando Koffee's Eiichi Kunitomo, then for the decor and fox shaped sugar cookies.
3-17-1 Minami, Aoyama
Best known for its animal donuts, Floresta offers organic indulgences if you're a little worried about your carb intake.
3 - 3, 4-14, Koenjikita
little nap coffee stand
Directly across from Yoyogi Park, Little Nap Coffee Stand will serve you an unassuming brew in a paper cup with a smile.
5-65-4 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Famed Rose Bakery carrot cake. Enough said.
6-9-5 Ginza Chuo
Sadaharu Aoki aims to create delicious but simple pastries with Japanese Flavours and French technique.
Santa Monica CREPES
With over one hundred flavour combinations and choices, Santa Monica Crepes and its neighbours down Takashita Street are no-brainers. If you are feeling especially indulgent, get double the whipped cream. One crepe is enough to put you into a sugar coma.
1-16-8 Jingu-mae Shibuya-ku
shiro-Hige Cream Puff Factory
My Neighbour Totoro cream puffs full of custard and cream and not to mention, so cute!
With beans from Indonesia, Brazil and Ethopia, this Single Origin Coffee Shop is sure to delight.
5 Chome-17-13 Jingūmae
Eight layers of soft serve in varying flavours including grape, soda, banana, matcha, chocolate and strawberry balance in a single cone at Nakano Broadway.
5-52-15, Nakano Broadway
Totti candy factory
Billowing cotton candy clouds of three colours and flavours are often bought from this cute and mega pink store in Harujuku. Cake pops and other sweet treats are also taken away in magical bags full of sugar.
16-1 Jingumae, Shibuya
Fast Food/Conbini Stores
That conbini life cannot be overlooked, particularly as Japa's seemingly understated convenience stores have some of the freshest, tastiest and cheapest food on offer. Here you can find juice, fresh fruit, karaage, icecream, onigiri, sushi, small bento boxes, dumplings and even steamed cakes in addition to your typical sweets and chips. Don't forget to swing by:
- Lawson's (There is even a Natural Lawson's selling organic products only and it's the best!)
- 7/Eleven (More than just an association with Krispy-Kremes)
- Family Mart (Also, any place that stores Muji products is an incredible place in my opinion)
For those that wish to experience a traditional multi-course degustation in Tokyo, Nihonbashi Yukari is the way to go.
Yuzu flavoured broth may seem unorthodox however it is a complete treat at Afuri for those citrus inclined. The noodles are top notch too.
1-1-7 Ebisu, Shibuya
Literally translating to "Lucky Adventurer", this small but popular shop specialises in tsukemen broth and regardless of what size bowl - be it small, medium or large, it will cost you all the same. Be prepared to want more.
2-14-3- Yoyogi, Shibuya
Tonkotsu ramen knows no bounds at Ichiran. Simple but delicious, this ramen restaurant covers the main staples and then some. Customise your sides, choose the way your noodles are cooked and if you'd like the green or white part of the spring onion.
1-22-7 Jinnan, Shibuya
Sure, Ippudo can be found in Sydney and Singapore, but it cannot be replaced for authenticity and quality as it stands in Tokyo. Pull up a seat, pick your side dishes and get ready to slurp hot and tasty ramen noodles in tonkotsu broth.
1-3-13, Hiro, Shibuya
Slices of marinated charshu pork, perfectly half-boiled egg still gooey on the inside and bamboo shoots sit in a beautifully arranged bowl every time.
Tsuta Ramen is the first and only Michelin starred Ramen restaurant in Japan. With rare blends of soy sauces, the shoyu ramen is deemed perfection. It is so popular that they now have ticket machines, so be prepared to get in line from 8am onwards if you're dedicated.
1-14-1, Sugamo, Tokyo
A change to the typical sushi conveyor belt, Genki Sushi delivers your food to you via trains. Just place your order through the touchpad.
24-8, Udagawacho Shibuya
Tsukiji's most famous sushi bar comes hand in hand with one hour waits and expertly cut sushi. The fatty tuna cannot be missed and the sweet soya is brushed onto each piece with the right amount of restraint.
4-16-10 Tsukiji, Chuo
Committed to perfecting the art of sushi - balance, taste and humidity, Sushi Kanesaka has not gained two Michelin stars for nothing.
8-10-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten
Jiro dreams of Sushi, so does Barack Obama and thousands of other die-hard sushi fans. Take cash and reserve in advance for a seat at the ten seat sushi bar of dreams.
Tsukamoto Building B1F, 4-2-15 Ginza
A three Michelin star sushi resutaurant innocently located in Roppongi may actually spoil your sushi tastebuds forever. Reserve at least four months out if you're dedicated. 1-4-5 Roppongi Minato
This home-made soba noodle shop is the perfect place to practice your slurping techniques, especially as slurping is seen to be a sign of pure enjoyment.
4-12-2 Meguro, Tokyo
Although Soranoiro has won awards for its chuka soba, many people tend to visit to test out the Special Vegetable Soba (Vegan), of which includes a healthy serving of carrot-based broth.
Fresh ingredients of your choice are presented to you prior to being coated in batter and fried. Tempura Masa (Tenmasa) uses a light oil and therefore the tempura has a particularly light and refreshing taste.
1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Anzu Ginza Mituskoshi
Tender, intense and flavoursome Joshu pork loin is served with the freshest and finest accompaniments, salads and rice. The loin is marbled, delicious and melts in your mouth.
A restaurant in the middle of a suburban neighbourhood, marked only by a crescent moon window will serve you arguably the best tonkatsu in Tokyo as it specialises in pork and pork only.
2-24-9 Nishiazabu, Minato
Crispy and textured, kimukatsu is a little different to your regular tonkatsu restaurant. Thinly sliced pieces of pork loin are layered on top of each other to make one regular cut of tonkatsu.
Incredibly well known in Tokyo for being a restaurant in a public bath house, Maisen Tonkatsu is also known for its succulent tonkatsu and light but crisp coating.
4-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
One of the few restaurants in Tokyo with seating where you can watch the chefs prepare your tonkatsu dish.
1-1-2 Shimomeguro Meguro
This self-serve restaurant offers a range of hot and chilled udon noodles among the numerous toppings (buffet style) on offer. Mentsudan is also particularly well known for their tempura, too.
For less than about $15 AUD, this fancy looking restaurant has all of your udon requirements covered. Fat, thing or medium noodles are cooked al dente. Note, English menus are not offered.
13-6-5, Ebisu Shibuya