High-quality delicious food is not rare in Japan. You can find it almost anywhere. Different cities offer varieties of dining experiences ideal for gourmet enthusiasts. These are often frequented by gastronomes and food journalists who enjoy world-class cuisines and food tours. However, if you’re looking for the best places to eat gourmet food on a budget in Tokyo, then you should try these 4 restaurants!
Tsukiji Fish Market (築地場外市場) is one of the largest and busiest markets in the world. It has long been a favorite destination of people who experience jet lag. It is said that no visit to Tsukiji is complete without having a sushi breakfast.
Among the few popular sushi shops that often have lines is Sushi Dai. It claims to have the very best sushi which is definitely worth the wait. They serve fatty sushi at the beginning of the course so customers can immediately eat rich sushi after queuing for a long time. The restaurant’s motto is to serve fresh and seasonal fish wherever its origin may be. Picking fresh fish is also believed to establish a stronger relationship with the fish wholesaler.
Sushi Dai’s restaurant space is really small so waiting for your turn for up to 2 hours is normal. On weekends, it might stretch to 3 hours of waiting. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, it is worth the wait as the food is delicious and you also get the chance to watch the chefs prepare your food right in front of your eyes.
A standard Tenchou Omakase Set (店長おまかせセット) costs 4,000 yen. It consists of 9 sushi pieces which have been carefully selected by the chefs. This is one of the patrons’ obsessions as it feels like sushi is melting in your mouth. The restaurant has a relaxing atmosphere wherein you can also talk to the chefs while they are preparing the food. This makes the food taste great and also makes the restaurant quite famous.
If you’re a fan of eel dishes, then kaiseki IMAI is the place for you. The restaurant has a calm and composed dining atmosphere to help customers savor authentically prepared eel dishes. Eel has been a well-loved dish by people in Japan since the ancient times and is often served with tare sauce. The flavor of the eel changes with the season.
The restaurant carefully selects eels from trusted suppliers across the country. Every ingredient used in preparing the food comes from the best in the region every season. Clients are provided with a special place of their own, as well as great hospitality. In order to balance everything, the food, seasoning, and ambiance have all been taken into consideration.
Guests can enjoy a quiet, dining experience with the restaurant’s calm and spacious interior. A popular dish on their menu among foreign people is the Tokusen Unajuu (特選うな重), which costs 3,300 yen. The restaurant has free Wi-Fi and also offers coupons or vouchers from time to time.
Sumibiyaki Benibana is a restaurant located in Ginza (銀座) which offers Japanese food made with fresh chicken. It is a famous izakaya (居酒屋) where you can also enjoy liquor and fresh seasonal food with your friends. It is owned by a veteran chef who has been in his career for over 30 years.
Fresh whole chickens are shipped to the restaurant from Iwate and are dressed in the kitchen. These are used to make yakitori (焼き鳥 – grilling of chicken over charcoal until it loses its fats) and other various dishes. It is said that even guests who don’t like chicken will rave about the delectable food offered in the restaurant. For a set of 5 yakitori skewers (Omakase Gohon – おまかせ5本), you will just be paying 1,200 yen. Their chicken dishes are served moist and tender.
Apart from chicken, the restaurant also serves fresh fish such as sashimi and fish stews, which is possible owing to its close location to the Tsukiji Fish Market. You may dine in private rooms so you can relax, unwind, and take your time. You may also book the place as a reception for parties. However, only one booking is available per day.
One of the best places serving fried seafood and vegetables in the country is Tempura Hachimaki. This is a well-established restaurant which has been in business for 85 years. Since tempura is a popular dish in the country, the restaurant started providing it at a reasonable price. From then on, they became popular because of the crispiness, juiciness, and original blend of their tempura with rapeseed and sesame oil.
Apart from tempura, the restaurant also serves donburi (丼) or Japanese rice bowl dish. One of their tastiest and affordable meals is Anago Ebiten-don (穴子海老天丼), which provides a thick long eel in the bowl as part of the dish and is accompanied by shrimps. Their tempura dish, on the other hand, goes perfectly well with the sweet and spicy sauce and white rice. If you’d like to have a lovely dining experience that won’t take much of your budget, you can avail of the 3,500-yen course for you to enjoy both sashimi and tempura.
You can also enjoy the interior atmosphere of the restaurant as it had been designed in a retro style. An English menu and an English-speaking staff are available. The place is just a 3-minute walk from Jimbocho (神保町) Station.
These 4 restaurants are just some of those offering gourmet meals for less than 5,000 yen, as well as great services that are highly rated. It is a little bit difficult to find high-quality food at an affordable price, especially in the city of Tokyo. Try savoring every restaurant’s atmosphere as you explore different delicious Japanese dishes. Have a unique dining experience as you get to explore the different flavors and ingredients of Japanese cuisine which are gastronomically good for you. Just do not forget to make reservations, especially for popular restaurants, so you don’t waste so much time queuing or waiting in line.
Gourmet enthusiasts, this is the chance for you to dine in style while exploring sumptuous and high-quality food without spending so much money!
・100 Things to Do in Ginza, the Most Glamorous and Stylish District in Tokyo, in 2018!
・30 Things to Do in Tsukiji, Home to the Biggest Fish Market in the World, in 2018
・Hungry but on a Budget? Here Are 5 Affordable Restaurants in Tokyo