Whether you’re on a business trip or traveling for pleasure in Japan, there’s always a good chance you’ll stumble or stay for the night in Shinjuku. While its known for being a paradise for drinkers, it also offers a lot in the culinary world. There’s always a street or a corner dedicated to the best Shinjuku food out there. It’s a place where you can find great eats ranging from everything cheap yet delicious to grand Michelin restaurants that will make you feel like you’re standing on top of the world.
Being one of the busiest hubs in Japan, there’s always a hustle and bustle in the area but it’s almost impossible not to find something great to eat. Whether you’re craving for something or just want to try new delicious finds, Shinjuku probably has it all for you. Shinjuku food can range from classic servings of hearty bowls of ramen, glorious pieces of tempura, golden fried servings of tonkatsu, and of course, the lovely and colorful arrangements of sushi. The best way to find these great eats is by walking around the area. You’ll always discover something on your way to somewhere and street foods are popular in Shinjuku as well. Once inside your preferred restaurant, you’ll probably hear the chef having conversations with his guests, diners slurping their ramen loudly and proudly and sharing smiles and laughter over skewers and dumplings. Food will always be the common denominator to everything and Shinjuku food is something you shouldn’t miss when you’re around the area.
Best Restaurants in Shinjuku
One of the best things about Shinjuku is that it’s home to many restaurants which cater to varying ages of people. From children to adults and locals to tourists, you’ll always find yourself looking at the menu and already feeling full. There’s always a different take on Shinjuku food that most people find great and magical and if you’re not yet convinced to take a culinary walk in the busy yet colorful streets of Shinjuku, here are five great restaurants for you to try.
- Ramen is one of the top favorites in the Japanese culinary world and Menya Sho (7-22-34 Nishi-Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo) may be the best ramen shop you’ll ever stumble on when you’re in Shinjuku. This simple ramen-ya offers their best selling shio ramen, which is a salt flavored base soup. The lightness of the broth, which is chicken, not only soothes the soul but also increases the appetite. It’s the perfect meal to start or end the day.
- Tsunahachi (3-31-8, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022) has been making delicious, golden fried tempura dishes for almost ninety years and counting. Their tempura is sold as set meals. All set meals include assorted pieces of tempura ranging from ebi (shrimp), vegetables, and fish. Rice and miso soup are included in the meal. What’s amazing about their tempura is that it’s light and greaseless. It’s good for those conscious about their health.
- If you like something filling and fried, a good serving of tonkatsu from Katsukura (Takashimaya Times Square complex, 14F, 5-24-2, Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0051). The meal already includes rice which can be refilled, shredded cabbage, miso soup, and pickled vegetables. You can choose between rosu (pork loin) or hire (pork fillet) for your tonkatsu. The great thing about their tonkatsu is that it’s leaner, softer, and fattier. You can also upgrade your tonkatsu from basic pork to higher quality at a very reasonable price.
- Sushi Rosan (3-14-1 Shinjuku Shinjuku Tokyo) not only serves one of the best sushi dishes in town but also at very reasonable prices. With its convenient location (just a few feet away from Shinjuku Station), this sushi-ya offers a wide range of sushi dishes that will surely fill your heart and tummy. Though walk-ins are entertained, it’s much preferred if you’ll call ahead of time for reservations because it can get crowded during lunch and dinner time.
- To cap off the meal, a dessert or two will do the trick and in Sadaharu Aoki (Isetan department store, 3-14-1, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022), you’ll find yourself in awe as you dive into the sinful desires of your heart with their one of a kind dessert dishes. It’s the perfect fusion of French and Japanese delicacy. Imagine sinking your teeth in the sinful matcha croissant or matcha éclair which are all crowd favorite. You can also find traditional Japanese sweets from manju (buns with red bean paste) to yokan (jellied desserts). Their desserts just have the right of sweetness and are all perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.
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.