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There is no shortage of good food in Shinjuku. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing lunch spot or a place to empty your savings account, there’s no doubt you’ll be well on your way to eating well after reading this. Japan has truly mastered the art of meticulous yet simple dishes that will always pique your curiosity for all its delicacies. If you’re not the most adventurous eater, don’t worry, as many of these options are crowd favorites. Itadakimasu!
The first is an excellent soba shop called Kyourakutei. Soba is a noodle made from buckwheat, and this shop specializes in soba noodles. While it no longer has the Michelin star rating it once did, it’s still a profound experience. However, one of the things that earned that star early on was their fresh ground noodle service, as they have their own grinding wheel. Michelin may mean an extraordinary dish, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can get a meal of their special noodles, tender and sliced duck meatballs, rich soup, and delicately fried tempura for a reasonable price.
2. Menya Musashi
A very popular chain in Tokyo that originated in Shinjuku, Menya Musashi is a 10-store chain that has an established presence in the ramen scene. The richly aromatic noodle soup contains a combination of chicken, pork and fish broth. This deep flavor is accompanied by a bevy of standard but refined toppings like pork belly and a boiled egg. They really captured the essence of ramen and are a must try.
Website: Menya Musashi
If you like to fry, you will surely like this place. The soba place can serve up a nice piece of tempura with the noodles, but the hallmark of this place is the tempura. A favorite among Kabuki performers, athletes, and other celebrities, Tempura Tsunahachi offers an unforgettable Tempura experience at an affordable price. Most specialty shops have a somewhat limited menu, but this place has a good selection of things to do with tempura, including eel, a variety of vegetables, miso, and a variety of salts.
Website: Tsunahachi Tempura
A man with a plan: Agezuki’s chef has been searching for the perfect fried pork chop for 28 years. The pork is rare and comes especially from Miyazaki. His calculated approach of cutting meat into sizes to compensate for shrinkage, combining different types of lard, as well as using high and low temperatures really come together in a delicious way. Don’t miss out on this jointed delicacy!
5. Blow it up
Another ramen shop like Musashi, Fuunji is a trendy shop that specializes in tsukemen, which is a type of ramen that serves the broth separately so you can dip the noodles in. The broth is usually much thicker and full of flavor, almost like a sauce. The main chef has no formal training in ramen, but rather well versed in Italian cooking. The shop is very popular and receives many tourists, but nevertheless it is a true destination for all ramen lovers.
Keep it simple in this Yakitori dip! A little hole in the wall serving up fresh and tasty grilled chicken skewers. With a pop and fun atmosphere in the alleys of Shinjuku’s red light district, this place is sure to be a tasty and vibrant memory. And if you like that kind of atmosphere, be sure to visit Golden Gai and Omoide Yokocho, these are neighborhoods that are home to similar establishments. The prices are very reasonable at only a few hundred yen per skewer and in a good variety.
7. New York Grill
Enjoy fine dining on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt hotel. The only thing better than the incredible view of the city is its varied and luxurious menu. If you are a wine connoisseur, you should expect the widest selection of American bottles in Tokyo. If you have the pocket for fine dining, this is the place you can’t miss.
Website: new york grills
Another fine yet Japanese cuisine option, Kappo Nakajima hits home with its excellent selection of traditional dishes. One very important thing to keep in mind: Lunch is the time to go if you’re on a tight budget and a loose schedule. They don’t take reservations, which leads to long lines, but you can get a tasty meal for less than ¥1,000, while dinner will set you back over ¥10,000. Rest assured, dinner time is a much more relaxing and elegant experience, but just as tasty.
Website: Shinjuku Kappo Nakajima
9. Jingisukan Yoichi Shinjuku
For all lamb and mutton lovers out there, this is the place for you. Try Hokkaido, the northern region of Japan, at Jingisukan Yoichi. A Mongolian dish named after the warlord Genghis Khan, the meat is grilled in a pan and served with a dipping sauce. This particular restaurant regularly flies its meat in from Australia to maintain its impeccable quality.
Website: Jingisukan Yoichi Shinjuku
10. Kagurazaka Ishikawa
How was this place discovered? Speaking of humility and minimalism: the exterior of this place is nothing more than a simple wooden corridor with a single light. But inside there is a three Michelin star establishment that will blow your mind. This opportunity to eat Kaiseki (several courses) should not be taken on a whim; reservations are absolutely necessary. Since it’s not cheaply priced, opt for the counter seats for the best experience. Don’t worry about the actual nature of the food, just trust them…you won’t leave anything on your plate anyway!
Website: Kagurazaka Ishikawa
There’s so much great food in Tokyo that no matter where you go, it’s always a good time! Don’t forget to take photos, share with friends and say “gochisosamadeshita” after you finish!
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