Asia Destinations

Where Are the Best Places to Eat in Japan?

In this post I will share some of the best places to eat in Japan! Let me show you the best way to eat your way through Tokyo and Kyoto.

Pasta to Eat in Japan

I was not expecting such good Italian food in Japan! It was late at night, and we were looking to eat something that was simple and quick. The Excelsior Cafe in the Ginza neighborhood of Tokyo was the perfect place.

The Black Bolognese Pasta with Truffle Oil was so delicious. The sauce was seasoned well, and the pasta was the perfect texture. A cafe serving Italian food was definitely an unusual place to eat in Japan. (The other pasta in the picture is seafood pasta. My sister said it was very good.)

They also serve cafe foods such as beverages and desserts.

Excelsior Cafe Address: Japan, 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo City, Ginza, 7 Chome−8−7 1F・2F GINZA GREEN

Department Store Food in Japan

One great thing about Japan is that there are places to eat everywhere. This has a slight disadvantage, because if you find a place that is good, you may not find it again. So definitely take good notes and keep your phone location on.

This was the case with the Matsuzkaya Department store in Ueno, Tokyo. I discovered it at a random subway stop. The basement of the store is full of individual counters selling foods of all kinds. Some foods are packaged and ready for gifting. Others are hot and ready to be eaten.

The meat skewers at one particular counter stood out to me. The woman at the counter was very friendly. (One things I noticed was that most of the employees at the counters were senior citizens. That’s very different from the U.S.) Torijin is the Romanized form of the shop I went to.

Matsuzkaya Department Store Address: 3 Chome-29-5 Ueno, Taito City, Tokyo 110-8503, Japan

Eat Steak in Japan

Inikari Steak is a chain of steak restaurants. There was one located close to my VRBO in Tokyo. This was in the Toshima neighborhood.

There were plenty of steak and chicken options. The staff was beyond friendly. So much so that myself, my sister and our friend all purchased food from there different times.

Inikari Steak Address: 1 Chome-17-2 Kitaotsuka, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0004, Japan

McDonald’s in Japan

McDonald’s is not at the top of my favorite foods in the U.S. That’s totally different when I’m in Asia. The quality of food is so high when you’re competing with the rest of the great food in Japan.

I was excited to eat my beloved shrimp burger. I fell in love with it in South Korea and hadn’t eaten it since 2019. (It’s called a Shu Shu burger there.)

In Japan it is called the Ebi Filet burger. It’s identical to the South Korean version. The burger is a minced shrimp patty with pieces of whole shrimp throughout. It is topped with a delicious sauce.

The McDonald’s in Japan have actual McCafe bakery items. The macarons were good. I also tried the muscat (Green Grape) milkshake, which was very refreshing.

L’Occitane Cafe in Japan

At the heart of the Shibuya Crossing (In Japan it’s known as the Shibuya Scramble.) in Tokyo, is the L’Occitane Cafe. The skincare brand L’Occitane has a store on the first floor and a cafe on the second and third floors of a building in this popular tourist area.

The dessert sampler I had included a jelly dish designed after a new skincare serum. The other items in the sampler were chocolate cake, crème Brulé and a small layer cake. Everything was very delicious with the perfect amount of sweetness.

L’Occitane Cafe Address: Japan, 〒150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Dogenzaka, 2 Chome−3−1, Shibuya Ekimae Bldg., 2-3

Convenience Store Food in Japan

Convenient stores are the perfect place to get a quick bite to eat on the go. I purchased pizza buns many times throughout Tokyo and Kyoto. They are a bread bun filled with tomato sauce and cheese. Rice balls were also available, and they came in many different varieties. The one pictured is Soy Sauce & Broth flavor.

My favorite convenience store item was the sweet potato waffle. The seasonal theme while I was in Japan was sweet potato. So, many places offered special sweet potato themed foods. The waffle I had was filled with sweet potato flavored cream and tasted delicious. Seasonal themed foods should always be on your list of things to eat in Japan.

You can’t talk about convenience store food without including instant ramen. This ramen was different from any I had eaten before. The outside photo showed a piece of pork. Guess what was inside the package? It was an actual piece of dried pork. This was in addition to four or five other seasonings.

The Best Ramen to Try in Japan

Instant ramen is good, but one of the best things I ate in Japan was ramen that was made to order at a restaurant. I had never heard of Tsukemen noodles before, and Ginjo Ramen Kubota was the best place to try them.

These noodles are served cold and come in a bowl separate from the broth. You don’t pour the broth over the noodles. Instead, you dip the noodles into the broth. For the whole experience, including the whole process of buying the noodles, check out my Kyoto Hidden Gems post.

Ginjo Ramen Kubota Address: 563-2 Nishimatsuyacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8326, Japan

Burgers in Japan

Last, but definitely not least, is the Mar Burger at Mar Cafe. I am not a burger person, but this comes in second, after the Tsukemen ramen, as my favorite thing I ate in Japan.

The burger included two different sauces and fried avocado slices. I had a side of fries that were fried and seasoned to perfection. This restaurant was a recommendation from the YouTuber Sundai Love. I wholeheartedly give this place my stamp of approval. It’s difficult to find, so check out my Kyoto Hidden Gems post for detailed directions with photos.

Mar Cafe Address: Japan, 〒600-8029 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Nishihashizumecho, 762 京栄中央ビル 8F

Have you ever been to Japan? What was your favorite place to eat in Japan? If you want to visit Japan one day, is there anything on my list that you want to try? Let me know in the comments. 


  1. No…Ive never been to Japan… But when I do eventually go…I’m looking for the sweet potatoe waffle and the avacado fries…

    Thanks for another interesting and yummy looking post.

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