A Memorable Food Tour of Tokyo That Barely Scratched the Surface

We ate so many specialties and can’t wait to return!

Anna (she/her)
9 min readMay 12, 2021


Photo by kofookoo.de on Unsplash

My family of four took a trip to Tokyo almost two years ago in 2019 and enjoyed visiting restaurants that specialize in only one type of food. It’s such a different experience compared to restaurants that offer a range of options like those we tried on our trip to Northern Italy. It was exciting to see how each Japanese restaurant has mastered its particular type of food!

Our ten-day trip included eight full days of meals in Tokyo (we lost a day in transit and then left early on the last day). We had such a fantastic trip that we’ve already decided our first post-pandemic international trip will be to return to Tokyo!

I always do a ton of research before arriving in a new city. Thus, I had a long “to-eat” list after researching places on Tabelog, an incredible Japanese resource for foodies visiting Tokyo as users include photos, reviews, and scores. Note that I linked to restaurants’ Tabelog profiles in English and listed the scores they had in 2019 when we visited. Anything scoring above a 3.5 is delicious and Michelin-starred places tend to be in the 4.0 range.

Yakiniku (grilled meat)

Our first seated meal was at Yoriniku (3.94 on Tabelog), a restaurant that specializes in yakiniku — grilled meat cooked at your table, which is very similar to the Korean BBQ experience.

We opted for the 10,000 yen (about $90 US) per person tasting menu and were amazed by the meats. The waitress grilled the meats at the table and would instruct us whether to squeeze lemon on it, dip it into a sauce or special salt, or eat it plain. We definitely plan to return to Yoriniku!

Ramen (thin noodles in broth)

Ramen is very popular in the U.S. and we regularly eat it here. Yet we were excited to try it in Tokyo. We had several ramen shops on our list but then stumbled upon one around the corner from our apartment. Menyayuusaku (3.74 Tabelog score) is a small shop where you order from a vending machine and then give the receipt to the wait staff. We enjoyed our bowls of Tonkotsu ramen (its broth is made with slow-simmered pork bones).



Anna (she/her)

9X Top Writer. Proud grad of CA public schools. Committed to justice & leadership development. Wife & mom of 2 girls & 2 big dogs. Love to eat almost everything