It’s always difficult to find good recommendations on where to eat in Tokyo (or even Japan for that matter) on the internet since for most part whatever you Google comes from the views of tourists who got their information from other tourists so most of the time you wind up going to places that are either hugely overrated, or simply not worth the time and effort
It doesn’t help too that most Japanese provide information in their native language so you can hardly find anything decent from the locals on the web if you are a non speaker. So I figured I would come in handy since I’ve been staying in Tokyo for a while and I pretty much enjoy going to places where tourists hardly go.
I’m hoping that my posts will be useful to people who want to know the best places to eat in Tokyo, that are frequented by locals.
The basic rule is not to be intimidated to go into any place even though there are no English menus! The Japanese people are pretty friendly and will do their best to understand what you want even though most can’t speak much English. You could always show them this blog post too if you don’t fancy a bout of (mis)communication.
I’ll introduce 2 ramen spots today in Yoyogi, a nice little town that has a surprisingly decent number of restaurants. You can easily take the JR Yamanote line and alight at JR Yoyogi station or Kita Sando station of Fukutoshin line, though you have to walk a bit for the latter option.
Ramen Tokita (CLOSED)
This ramen shop located right next to JR Yoyogi station uses prawn based broth, pretty unique considering most shops commonly use pork or fish as the base. The soup is pretty rich and thick, and you can taste the prawn with each spoonful of soup.
Noodles are springy and the char shu (sliced pork) is huge. Portion is pretty decent and enough for one full sized adult like me.
Like most ramen shops, simply buy the ticket and pass it on to the chef. Like most ramen shops too, the menu is in Japanese but you can ask the staff for help so it shouldn’t be a problem, or you could say “Osusume nan desu ka?” which means “what is your recommendation?” in which he would likely make this for you but of course don’t fault me if he doesn’t !
If all else fails just tell him you want Ebi Ramen and you should be good.
Expect to pay less than 900 yen for a bowl of ramen here.
〒151-0051 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Sendagaya, 5 Chome−20−１２−1f 平和ビル
Take the East Exit, it’s near the burger shop Burger Base.
This nondescript ramen shop actually serves up pretty good fare even though reviews on Google are not the best. I found the pork soup base rich and tasty, somewhat reminding me of a poor man’s version of Ippudo.
The noodles are thin and springy,ingredients plentiful and the overall taste warm and hearty. You won’t find many tourists here for sure but I’ve been here twice already and both times it didn’t let me down.
They have shoyu (soya sauce), shio (salt) versions as well as a black garlic one (like Ippudo) but I think
Ticket machine is in Japanese but I believe they have an English menu, and it shouldn’t cost you anything above 1,000 yen.
〒151-0053 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi, 1 Chome−32-10, 代々木ラックビル１階
Take the JR West exit, it’s next to First Kitchen burger and very near to the police station.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:30am – 4:00am
+Rich soup base that bears some resemblance to Ippudo Ramen
+Usually not crowded
-Slightly pricy for ramen