Whether it’s because of the flashing bright lights or the enormous crowd day in and day out, Shibuya is the kind of place that draws you into the circle and you just find yourself enjoying every moment of it. If you’re looking for something, it’s likely you’ll find it in here. This youth-oriented place is surrounded by cutting-edge fashion districts, old and new record shops, trendy bars, and of course, endless dining options to choose from. You can always walk around and visit high-end restaurants that serve some of the most popular and best Japanese dishes in town or if you’re looking for hole-in-the-wall cheap thrills that don’t break the bank and leaves you with a happy tummy, there’s always the trusty food stalls you’ll find in the streets.
Eating in Shibuya doesn’t have to be expensive. There are a lot of Shibuya street delights ranging from the takoyaki to yakitori to sweet endings brought to you by melon pan ice cream, taiyaki, and chewy dangos. After all, food is found everywhere in the city. Just a little walk in the street corner and you’ll probably find the cheapest tempura and okonomiyaki dishes. Here is the list of street food you can enjoy while in Shibuya.
Shibuya Street Food: Takoyaki
There is a lot to choose from in the list of favorable and delectable Shibuya street food but if you’re looking for something familiar and close to home, you might want to start off with a good serving of takoyaki. Considered the hype of all street food in Japan, takoyaki is also known as octopus balls. They actually originated in Osaka prefecture. These scrumptious golf-sized octopus balls are made with pancake-like batter with green onions and while it’s cooking in specialty-made rounded metal trays, a piece of octopus is placed in the middle. They are cooked to perfection with just the right amount of crispiness on the outside and light and gooey on the inside. Often served in rectangular cartons, takoyaki is topped with Japanese mayonnaise and a sweet sauce that perfectly blends with the savory flavor of the takoyaki. Takoyaki can be found everywhere in the streets of Shibuya. An order of six usually costs 260 to 600 yen.
Shibuya Street Food: Okonomiyaki
Shibuya can be a maze sometimes because of the many streets and tall skyscrapers but it’s the kind of place you’d like to get lost because you find hidden gems along the way. One of the things you can find in the bustling streets of Shibuya is delicious servings of okonomiyaki. Not only does okonomiyaki is one of the easiest and accessible dishes in the city but it’s also one of the cheapest ones. It’s almost a throw-everything-you-have type of dish where it’s pan-fried until it’s crispy and golden brown. A typical okonomiyaki is made with shredded cabbage, a protein of your choice which can be slices of pork, beef, or seafood and other ingredients such as cheese or other shredded vegetables. It’s really up to you! Most food stalls offer two styles of okonomiyaki: Kansai style and Hiroshima style. You’ll also find another type of this dish called negiyaki where it uses green onions instead of shredded cabbage. An order of okonomiyaki usually costs 300 to 700 yen.
Shibuya Street Food: Yakitori
Yakitori, on the other hand, is the best companion for your ice cold beer. Though it was originally made with chicken pieces, yakitori has been evolving throughout the years. Now, you can have a beef yakitori which can choose between Wagyu or Kobe beef, pork yakitori, and even vegetable yakitori. Put your protein on the skewers, pop them on the griller, and voila! You have your delicious yakitori in no time. You can find yakitori being sold in the streets but if you fancy hole-in-the-wall type of place, head on to an izakaya which is found everywhere in the city. Yakitori is also perfect for your sake. An order of yakitori usually costs 150 to 200 per stick.
Shibuya Street Food: Melon Pan Ice Cream
If all the walking and shopping exhausted you and you want to cool down and have something sweet to munch on, well, Shibuya streets got you covered. To start off, a sweet serving of melon pan ice cream will do the trick. Visit the shop literally called World’s Second Best Freshly Baked Melon-Pan Ice Cream to have this amazing sweet. While melon pan is very delicious itself, melon pan ice cream takes it to another level. It will give you a complex experience as it is crunchy, fluffy and melty at the same time. This must eat food will cost about 350 yen.
Shibuya Street Food: Dango
If you like it sticky, sweet, and just the right bite size pieces, then dango is the one for you. it may be a dessert to some or a savory one to others, dango will always be close to everyone’s heart. Made with rice flour, dango is usually found during festivals. They are put on skewers, grilled just until it has grill marks and usually served with a sweet teriyaki glaze. Though the combination of chewy mochi balls with teriyaki glaze sounds strange, it actually works. Because of the way it’s cooked, it has a smokey yet delicate flavor to it. What’s nice about dango is that it’s easy to carry around and you can gobble it all right away. It’s pretty cheap, too! An order of dango usually costs 110 to 150 yen.
Shibuya Street Food: Taiyaki
Another delicious treat is taiyaki. Taiyaki is mostly popular with kids because of its fun shape. This cute little sweet dish is made with a waffle batter which is cooked to a specialty made fish shape iron tray and is filled with red azuki beans. Variations for fillings like chocolate, hazelnut, cheese, or sweet potato are also found in different food stalls. Though the filling can burn your tongue, taiyaki is best eaten while it’s hot. These cute sweets will cost around 100 to 300 yen.
Next time you’re in Tokyo, don’t forget to shop and eat amazing street foods in this remarkable lively city that is Shibuya.
Looking for a local guide to discover the street food in Shibuya? Join our Shibuya Street Food Hunt Tour!
She’s cooking and baking for her family and friends. She finds grocery shopping therapeutic, always takes the longest time in the Asian section and debates with herself whether she needs that extra pack of instant ramen. A lover of sweets, she dreams of owning a patisserie and publishing her book but most of the time, she’s just really thinking of what to eat for breakfast the next day.