I’m not even gonna front, I planned my Tokyo itinerary around food. I had a long list of things I wanted to eat within the 5 days I spent here. Although I didn’t get to everything on the list, I still ate enough to have a full blown food baby at the end of the trip.
Here’s a list of (most of) the food I devoured in Tokyo.
Nagi is a special little ramen spot nestled in Golden Gai.
Golden Gai is a mini neighborhood within the city of Shinjuku with six tiny streets and a dozen tiny alleyways. The area is tucked away in the bustlin’ streets of Shinjuku, and they say it’s the remnants of what the city used to look like in the past before Shinjuku became a giant entertainment district. It’s a unique and fascinating hood that somehow miraculously survived and didn’t get bulldozed off the map from the city’s redevelopment.
This entire area hums to its own rhythm, and wandering around this area is almost like entering a whole new world. It truly comes alive at night, as you can begin catching the night crawlers head to their regular bars and restaurants once the sun goes down.
We were one of the early birds, as we managed to arrive to Nagi right on dinner time at around 5:30 PM.
Luckily, we were only third in line so the wait wasn’t so bad.
We waited in line in this tiny alleyway right around the corner of the entrance. It wasn’t long until people started flocking over.
You order your meal, sides and drinks with this little vending machine before you sit down at your table.
To be transparent, we were pretty disappointed after our ramen meal at Nagi… Both my sister and I could not even finish our bowls. The broth in the ramen as well as the dipping sauce were way too salty, the meat was mediocre, and the overall taste was just not up to par. In terms of taste, the only part I enjoyed were the texture of the noodles in the ramen and the boiled egg.
The overall experience of eating here was fascinating and one-of-a-kind. It sucks to admit this but in terms of taste, it’s not very difficult to find better ramen in Tokyo.
An introvert’s ideal place to eat a damn good meal is no doubt at Ichiran. The ramen here is sOooOO much better than Nagi’s, and it’s quite the experience as well.
You don’t have to say a single peep from when you enter the restaurant to when you leave. You order your ramen with a piece of paper and pen, and soon enough your ramen will be right in front of you.
BTW, I know your mama may have taught you that slurpin’ your noodles is rude. But in Japan, if you don’t slurp yo noodles, it’s almost equivalent to saying that the ramen isn’t good enough. So slurp slurp slurp.
In terms of taste, I think this was one of the best meals we had in Tokyo and it wasn’t even a restaurant we looked up beforehand. We were roaming around Shimokitazawa and got so hangry, we ended up stopping at a random restaurant.
We honestly just got enticed by the food display.
The omelette rice – or “omurice” was bomb. The egg was perfectly cooked – super fluffy and soft. The curry on top was also bangin’. They also have a salad bar and it was nice to eat some veggies after all the junk food we’ve been indulging during the entire trip.
They don’t have an English menu, we had to point at the photos to order our food. Honestly, I also have no idea what the name of the restaurant even was. But I truly don’t think you could go wrong with omurice anywhere in Japan.
Sis and I both agreed that UOEBI was the best food experience in Tokyo. I loved dining here. It was pretty cool and futuristic ordering food on a screen and having it tossed to you via a conveyor belt. It’s 2017 now, why can’t we have more of these?
The sushi itself was OK and good for the price. It wasn’t super duper fresh – everything on the menu was about $1-$3. I’m not a picky eater at all so it was good enough for me. If you’re a sushi snob, it probably wouldn’t be your favorite of places. I still can’t get over the fact that there was a dude next to me that ordered a plate of french fries!!!
CONVENIENCE STORE FOOD
Ya’ll, this may sound silly but no lie… Japanese grocery stores has the best takeaway food. The Seven Eleven egg sandwiches that are only a dollar is the best sandwich I ain’t never had. And the onigiris. And the bento boxes. And everything else. Don’t even hesitate to try the cheap foods in the convenient stores, it tastes way better than anything you can have for this cheap in the States.
I think I had something from the grocery store at least once a day. We usually grabbed breakfast at the local grocery store, and for our last meal we did a grocery haul and shamelessly had a picnic spread outside.
Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 1 Chome−9−30
Fluffy AF pancakes in Japan are a must. I wouldn’t shut up to sis about how I absolutely NEEDED to eat this before leaving Tokyo. It was incredibly fluffy, airy and the texture was slightly similar to a souffle. Basically, it was like eating a cloud. It melted in my mouth. These pancakes are everything I expected it to be plus more.
I don’t know how else to describe this but all I know is that I would do a lot of unforgiving things to have this again.
CREMIA SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM
Cafe Shibuya is not the only spot that serves this delectable soft serve ice cream. Cremia seemed to be almost everywhere in Tokyo with the price starting from 500 Yen. I promise on everything I love that this ice cream is not just any ordinary ice cream. It has a strong milk flavor, and not only is it the creamiest ice cream of all, but the cone is what makes it so special.
The cone is not a regular waffle cone, but it’s actually made with langue de chats – the thin sweet cookies everybody and their mama loves.
If you’re going to eat ice cream in Tokyo, this is the one to try.
Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, 渋谷区神宮1−7−1 CUTECUBE原宿
This croquant chou cream pastry from Zaku Zaku has a crispy outer coating with sweet chou cream inside. Zaku Zaku literally means “crunchy” in Japanese and this is the dessert they’re best known for. (I heard their ice creams are also bomb.)
It’s best to eat this pastry right away, because if you wait a little to try it the outer part won’t be as crispy.
Just a heads up, the Harajuku location is right on Takeshita Street so the line for these desserts can get pretty long. There are other locations at the Shinjuku Station East Exit and the Kamata Station.
There are a lot of things I loved about Tokyo, but I must admit that the food is indubitably one of the main reasons why. Putting this together made me want to go back ASAP just to eat.
Thanks for reading!