Tokyo has the most Michelin stars for a reason: food is exquisite and extravagant here. You can’t blame it on the local culture that seeks perfection and balance in every plate, not to mention the freshest and choicest ingredients available at the city’s vibrant local markets.
Jiro – Epicurean’s Restaurant with No Ref
This tiny restaurant is a testament that size does not really matter, and for a restaurant, a ref does not matter as well. With three Michelin stars, this intimate and exclusive restaurant focuses on their food above anything else. Diners don’t come there for the ambiance because décor is irrelevant there, but for the food – and my, the food is heavenly.
Mikawa Zezankyo – Secret Spot for the Best Tempura
Eating the world’s finest tempura under a huge fedora has never been so delightful. At Mikawa Zezankyo, chef Tetsuya Saotome does a one-man kitchen show serving nine diner at a time. But this chef is so good at what he does that people line up and wait for their turn – to taste Chef Saotome’s tempura masterpieces.
Nodaiwa – The Endless Eel Search Ends Here
There’s something about freshwater eels – they’re aphrodisiacs and actually flavorful. But while eel dishes have plebeian beginnings, at Nodaiwa, they get the royal treatment as the chef turns them into a meal fit for kings. The restaurant’s chef is the fifth-in-line of renowned Japanese chefs that only use wild eels over cultured ones. Unlike the first two epicurean restaurants, though, Nodaiwa is spacious enough to hold a banquet.
Fureika – Outstanding Chinese in the Midst of Japan
There are tons of excellent Japanese restaurants all over Tokyo and the entire Japan, but this one especially caters Chinese cuisine patrons. Diners never leave disappointed because Fureika offers the best of Cantonese and Shanhainese cuisine as if they’re teleported to the great giant in a second.
Kanda – Michelin-Star Awarded Contemporary Japanese for Eight
Yes, Kanda may be the smallest fine restaurant listed here since it only has one wooden counter that seats eight. However, its contemporary seasonal dishes are so gastronomic that all eight seats are always taken. Advance reservation is necessary to get a slot.
These are just five of the best epicurean restaurants in Tokyo. While there are others of equal standing, feel free to start with this list.