Eating in Tokyo

Tokyo Travel Blog

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Tokyo is the international hub of Japan, so it's not surprising that the city has every kind of international cuisine available.  In fact, it seems that there are more Western and international eateries than Japanese nowadays. 
I think Japan is hard to beat in terms of food.  You can get the best of everything, from sushi to pasta to Indian curry to pad thai.  It's the attention to detail and quality of ingredients that make the difference.  Honestly, I've never had a bad meal in Japan.  I bet even the biggest tourist traps are pretty good! 
No matter what, DON'T settle for the familiarity of McDonald's!!!!!!!  Their teriyaki burger is NOT that great. 
Although Tokyo has a reputation of being expensive (it sure can be), you can get delicious food for cheap if you know where to go. 
Weekday lunch plates are common at many restaurants and are only about 1000-1500 yen ($9-14).  They typically include a small appetizer, choice of main course, a dessert, and a drink.  Usually there is a sign outside that lists their lunch deals. 
The underground markets of major train stations (Shibuya, Ginza, Shinjuku..) have an incredible selection of groceries and fresh prepared foods.  You can buy fresh sashimi, yakitori (skewered chicken), onigiri (rice balls), kimchi, Chinese dumplings, fresh baked bread, and salads all in one place.  This is where the locals stop by to buy their groceries or pick up a quick dinner, so you know you're paying standard prices for reliable delicious food.  Just walking through these sprawling markets is a mind boggling cultural and culinary experience!!!  Watch out for little grandmas trying to get past you, they are quite fiesty and will bully you out of the way! 
And lastly, do not underestimate the glory of 7-11!!!!!!!  7-11, Family Mart (where LA's "Famima!!" comes from), Sankus, Lawson, these are all 24 hour convenience stores that have reached the epitome of the word "convenience."  If you're a traveler in a financial pinch, these combinis (Japanese nickname) will take you under their wing.  I'm convinced you can survive on the ubiquitous combinis, it just has everything!  Actually, I'm convinced you can't survive without a conbini in Tokyo.  It's a way of life. 

With that said, if you want to truly experience Japan in all it's culinary loveliness, it's worth it to splurge and have a truly memorable meal. 

**EDIT: DO NOT eat Mexican food in Japan.  For some reason this is the one cuisine the Japanese cannot figure out.  How hard is it, really?  One time I went to a Mexican restaurant in Harajuku for a friend's birthday and our tacos had this spagetti meat-sauce as the taco meat.  So weird.. 

sybil says:
wow, train stations and markets. who knew? great blog. i will have to tab this for when i visit.... someday. :D
Posted on: Apr 05, 2008
smuffygt says:
This is going to help a ton when I go there in 08!
Posted on: Dec 04, 2007
ctjevans says:
Yah, 7-11 is amazing there. They even have decent bento boxes & sushi! Yop and mochi were great salvation snacks a few times when I war low on fuel and the restaurants were closed or I didn't have time to stop at a restaurant. Japanese food is the healthiest and my favorite of any country I’ve visited.
Posted on: Nov 06, 2007
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