For much of the last decade, Tokyo has held the world record for the most Michelin-starred restaurants within a city, beating even Paris. Here are nine of our favorite restaurants where you’re sure to get a high-quality dining experience.
Since opening in 2003, the kaiseki restaurant Ginza Kojyu has exceeded all expectations with its fresh seasonal menu, 60 different wines, Shizuoka-brewed sake and shōchū. Savor the authentic Japanese flavors over multiple courses. The three-Michelin-starred venue is particularly small and is renowned for its value for money, so booking in advance is highly recommended.
Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-chome 4-8 Carioca building 4F, Tokyo, +81 3 6215 9544
This three-Michelin-starred restaurant is tucked down a tangle of alleyways in a friendly neighborhood of Tokyo, a location that is so baffling staff insist on finding and escorting lost customers to the restaurant. This friendliness continues within, as exceptional service and a relaxing atmosphere complement the food. Ishikawa is worth hunting down for its Sabo alone.
World-famous chef Joël Robuchon places an emphasis on his absolute love for food, cooking and eating —an ethos evident in the dishes he creates. Meticulous about the finer details as well as the overall creative process, he succeeds in making every one of his international restaurants personal and individual, providing the customers with his dynamic take on French cuisine. Having been awarded three Michelin stars, it is an unmissable experience when visiting Tokyo.
Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-1, Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0062, +81 3 5424 1338
Head chef Seiji Yamamoto ensures his restaurant ‘pursues the possibilities of Japanese cuisine’. Yamamoto values creative cuisine that stimulates each sense, so much so he insists customers avoid wearing strong perfumes as it may interfere with the overall dining experience. Yamamoto’s reputation has led to him lecturing at various academies and expositions worldwide, sharing his passion for Japanese cuisine. Nihonryori RyuGin pioneers a progressive approach to Japanese food, combining this with an authentic dining experience.
Usuki Fugu Yamadaya
Specializing in fugu (Japanese for pufferfish), the restaurant is renowned for creating unforgettable dishes with this potentially poisonous fish. Head chef Fumie Yamada has undergone a three-year apprenticeship and 10 years of training, making it one of the safest places in Tokyo to eat this potentially lethal delicacy. The fugu sashimi, sliced with expert precision, is not to be missed.
4 Chome-11-14, Nishiazabu, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture 106-0031, +81 3 3499 5501
No two dining experiences at Quintessence are ever the same. Customers are given a contemporary French menu selected by the chef which changes daily according to the availability of ingredients at the local market. Quintessence prides itself on its “cuisson”: a unique process of “low-temperature long-time roasting” which releases the best extracts from the meat.
Kanda’s minimalist interior is the perfect setting to allow diners to focus on the quality and intensity of the many dishes placed before them. With a modern twist on Japanese cuisine, the restaurant is small and intimate, with customers often finding themselves chatting to the head chef. Care and attention is carried out in every element, characterized by the restaurant’s impeccable service. The anago sushi and the shark’s fin rice are not to be missed.
3-6-34 Moto Azabu, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture, +81 3 5786 0150
The restaurant respects the harmony, balance and traditional concepts behind sushi. The master chef stands directly in front of the diner, separated by a counter exactly two chopsticks wide (this is thought to preserve the balance between chef and diner). It is on this counter that the master chef creates sushi, which must be consumed by the diner within thirty seconds. The restaurant understands the value of properly made and consumed sushi, and even provides guidelines on sushi etiquette. Sushi Yoshitake provides a unique fusion of culture, tradition and cuisine worthy of the three Michelin stars it has been awarded.
104-0061 Tokyo Ginza, Chuo-ku, 8-7-19 Tin Dragon Building, 3F, +81 3 6253 7331
This three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Azabu Yukimura blends traditional kaiseki with contemporary twists and ambitious presentation. Signature plates include mouthwatering combinations of lightly steamed sea urchin with lobster broth jelly and flying fish roe, all enjoyed within the minimalist interior of the restaurant.
Yuken Azabu.10 Building 3F, 1-5-5 Azabujuban, Minato-ku, +81 3 5772 1610