8 of the Best Restaurants in Japan

Japan has a rich food culture and a cuisine history that spans millenia. Food in Japan continues to be heavily influenced by its location in the world with access to a huge variety of fresh seafood. And with all the years of perfecting recipes it’s no surprise that Japanese food tastes so good.

As a tourist, it can be difficult knowing where to find the best food on your trip, particularly if you’re not familiar with the local dishes and delicacies. So here’s a list of 8 of the best places in Japan to grab a bite.

Kushinobo | Shinjuku
Flickr: kimishowota
Flickr: kimishowota

‘Kushinobo’ serves only ‘kushikatsu’ cuisine; in other words, small pieces of food which are deep-fried in a batter and subsequently served on a skewer. You order different types of food and they are brought to you item by item, then as you finish one ‘course’ the next one is brought out instantly. The food available to be deep-fried includes favourites, such as quail’s eggs, and asparagus among others. What’s more, the seating area and the table where the customers dine are at floor level, meaning that your legs are ‘underground’ – certainly something one doesn’t experience very often!

Website: Kushinobo

Irish Pub Kyoto | Kyoto
Flickr: Jirka Matousek
Flickr: Jirka Matousek

Serving what we would call ‘pub grub’ as well as a few traditional Irish favourites, the Irish Pub Kyoto is certainly something a little unexpected in this bustling Japanese city. Shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, chicken and chips, pizzas, pasta dishes and burgers are some of the meals on offer – and all for great prices too! That’s not all, the interior has a very traditional Irish feel to it, the hosts are very friendly and the whole atmosphere itself is welcoming. Definitely something to experience whilst on holiday!

Website: Irish Pub Kyoto

Kanidoraku Honten | Osaka
Flickr: svachalek
Flickr: svachalek

Specialising in seafood as well as traditional Japanese dishes, Kanidoraku Honten is especially famous for its crab dishes. Reviewers say that it is an expensive venue, however, most would agree that the quality of food and service is well worth the price tag.

Website: Kanidoraku Honten

Chiboeregansuebisubashiten | Osaka
Flickr: twicepix
Flickr: twicepix

Not only is the food here stunning, but it’s almost worth going just to tell others where you have been, in order to show off your native-sounding Japanese accent! According to TripAdvisor, Chiboeregansuebisubashiten is one of the best dining locations featured on their website, and over 5,700 have been reviewed. Serving Japanese cuisine, one can purchase and enjoy a full meal of excellent quality for between £10 and £20.

TripAdvisor Review: Chiboeregansuebisubashiten

Kaki-Tei | Hiroshima
Flickr: xiquinhosilva
Flickr: xiquinhosilva

In the historic city of Hiroshima is Kaki-Tei, a bistro famous for its oysters. These are served in many different ways, which we guarantee you will not have sampled before. Located on the bank of the river, who could refuse exquisite food whilst surrounded with exquisite views?

Lonely Planet Review: Kaki-Tei

Conrad Tokyo | Tokyo
Flickr: Justin Wise
Flickr: Justin Wise

For those with large wallets, step this way! Conrad Tokyo is one of Gordon Ramsay’s two restaurants in Tokyo and holds a Michelin star status (let’s be honest, we wouldn’t expect anything less!). Offering first-class city views and first-class dining, this is an experience you’d never forget. Dinner courses start (yes, start) at ¥15,000 (an eye-watering £99), so this would most likely be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion! ‘Cerise’ is Ramsay’s other restaurant, a brasserie which offers his top-notch cuisine at a more affordable price!

Website: Conrad Tokyo

New York Grill | Tokyo
Flickr: Jun Seita
Flickr: Jun Seita

For the homesick holiday-makers among you, or those who just cannot refuse a good burger and chips, the New York Grill brings the flavour of the USA to the 52nd floor of its venue. Prices are reasonable (roughly £30 for dinner) and if you are that desperate to give the Japanese traditions a miss for a night then the New York Grill is worth a visit.

Website: New York Grill

Uosue | Kyoto
Flickr: Herry Lawford
Flickr: Herry Lawford

Uosue is known as one of the best-valued restaurants in the area, offering healthy and traditional food. Lunch starts at ¥1050 (£6.95) and dinner at ¥3990 (£26.42), so definitely the place to be if you wish to sample traditional Japanese food without worrying about spending all your holiday money in one go!

Lonely Planet Review: Uosue