Shinjuku, the bustling heart of Tokyo, is a shopping haven for tourists visiting the city. But what if you're looking for a satisfying meal before or after your shopping spree, or even a quick bite along the way? Wondering where to go?
Well, we've got you covered! We've rounded up a list of must-try culinary delights in Shinjuku, including all-you-can-eat BBQ, cozy izakayas, flavorful hot pots, and slurp-worthy ramen spots.
And the best part? You can even reserve online in an instant. As an exciting bonus, we'll introduce new dining hotspots that have opened their doors in 2023. Now, you won't have to worry about finding a great place to enjoy a meal when exploring Shinjuku, morning or night!
Main Image: KKDAY, PRTIMES (Yakitori Mikado / SUSHIEBISU / Saryou Okuman Hanare / Nikuya no Daidokoro))
Must-Try! Where to Eat in Shinjuku
Grilled Meat and Hot Pot Restaurants
Shinjuku boasts an abundance of eateries that revolve around meat-focused cuisine, making it a popular destination for those with a carnivorous appetite.
You'll find renowned yakiniku grilled meat restaurants like Rokkasen, Jojoen, and Tokori, alongside nabe hot pot spots like Merino and Onyasai, all offering feature premium wagyu and authentic domestically raised Japanese beef in their dishes.
And there's a variety of other options too. From top-ranking favorites like Tonkatsu Wako and Tonchinkan, where you can relish crispy pork cutlets, to iconic set meals like the fried beef cutlet at Motomura, meat enthusiasts are in for a treat in Shinjuku.
All-You-Can-Eat and All-You-Can-Drink
Shinjuku, bustling with a constant flow of people, offers a plethora of dining options that provide satisfying all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink menus. From familiar choices like yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) and shabu-shabu hot pot to izakayas, pizza, pasta, desserts, and more, there's something for everyone.
The yakiniku spots that tourists particularly enjoy often feature premium all-you-can-eat options for high-quality wagyu beef. For groups of friends or travelers seeking a bang for their buck, these opportunities for delightful feasting are truly not to be missed!
Izakayas: Japanese Pub Delights
When the night falls and you're looking for a place in Shinjuku to gather and chat, the top recommendation has to be an izakaya! Shinjuku is teeming with a multitude of izakayas, often clustered around Shinjuku Station and extending to Shinjuku Sanchome Station.
Popular Japanese pub chains include Isomaru Suisan and Torikizoku, to name just a couple. Additionally, areas like Omoide Yokocho and Shinjuku Golden Gai offer a unique experience with their small, individually owned izakayas tucked away in narrow alleys.
These spots exude a nostalgic Japanese atmosphere, making them a favorite not only among tourists but also among local residents who unwind with drinks and conversations after work.
Ramen Shops: Noodle Nirvana
Shinjuku is a treasure trove of top-tier ramen shops, with a plethora of renowned shops calling it home. For instance, internationally recognized names like Menya Musashi and Ramen Nagi with their distinct dry-style ramen, and the rich shrimp-flavored broth at Gonokami Seisakusho, all originate from Shinjuku.
Then there are the gems like Fuunji ramen, the unique sea bream and clam ramen at SOBA HOUSE Konjiki-Hototogisui, and the refreshing salt-based ramen at Ramen Kaijin, just to name a few. The list is endless!
What's noteworthy is that many of Shinjuku's ramen shops remain open late into the night and even early morning. Shinjuku's working professionals often visit these ramen spots for a late-night snack after work, and for tourists, they present a fantastic evening dining option as well.
Cafés and Dessert Delights
With a bustling business district and numerous department stores, there's no shortage of cafes and dessert shops where you can sit back and relax in Shinjuku.
Some of these establishments are particularly well-known, like HARBS, popular for its fruit and cream layered cakes, the New York breakfast haven Sarabeth's, the traditional Japanese mochi spot Oiwake Dango, and the coffee enthusiast's pilgrimage sites like Blue Bottle Coffee and Sarutahiko Coffee.
These venues don't just provide a comfortable space for locals to unwind with coffee or tea amidst their busy lives, but also offer a unique taste experience for tourists looking to take a break and treat their taste buds to something new.
Dining in Shinjuku: Recommended Area Highlights
1. Around JR Shinjuku Station
JR Shinjuku Station is a must-visit for foodies and shoppers alike. With shopping malls and department stores radiating from the station, the array of dining options seems endless. Notably, the abundance of yakiniku restaurants is evident, including favorites like Jojoen, and Tokori.
The incredibly popular yuzu ramen spot Afuri is located on the B2 floor of LUMINE 1, while the rich shrimp sauce-dipped noodles from Gonokami Seisakusho and the dipping noodle shop Fuunji are all within a 10-minute walk from the station.
Iakayas (Japanese pubs) and newly opened trendy eateries are also abundant. If you're short on time and still want to find a place to eat, rest assured that you can easily find a restaurant of your choice close to the station.
Izakayas and Ramen Shops:
New Culinary Delights Around Shinjuku Station in 2023
Exquisite Japanese Shaved Ice at Saryou Okuman Hanare: Embracing the Concept of "Once in a Lifetime"
Saryou Okuman Hanare is a shaved ice shop established by Yasumasa Era, famous in the world of Japanese shaved ice. Each seemingly simple bowl of shaved ice is meticulously crafted to cater to individual preferences in terms of texture, sweetness, and aroma.
The menu includes flavors like roasted green tea, strawberry milk, Uji Kintoki (sweet red bean and chestnut), and the "Okuman Matcha Sundae," offering a variety of delectable treats. Not only do they look amazing, but the flavors are also unforgettable. The original Saryou Okuman shop opened in Shinjuku in June 2022, while the second branch, Saryou Okuman Hanare, debuted at the South East exit of Shinjuku Station on May 29, 2023.
Saryou Okuman Hanare茶寮 億万 はなれ
- Address B2 Kirin Building, 3-36-2 Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022
1-minute walk from the South East Exit of JR Shinjuku Station
Hours: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM (Last Order: 6:30 PM)
*Hours subject to change
Located in the basement floors of Keio Department Store Shinjuku, the department store's food market underwent a complete renovation and reopened on May 25, 2023.
With this revitalization comes a lineup of remarkable shops, including the well-established fruit cake specialty shop Ginza Sembikiya, the popular toast shop Ginza Nishikawa, and the century-old Parisian dessert brand ANGELINA.
Additionally, there's the tendon (tempura rice bowl) spot Kaneko Hannosuke that led the way in late April and the seafood sushi shop Hanayoshi, among others, for a total of 14 establishments that will surely satisfy your cravings.
・New York-Inspired Café & Stylish Lifestyle Boutique: DEAN & Deluca Shinjuku NEWoMan Store
Situated on the 2nd floor of Shinjuku NEWoMan, right by the Shinjuku Station South Exit ticket gates, DEAN & Deluca is a brand originating from New York. The café offers a rich American-style coffee experience, while their made-to-order pulled pork sandwiches are highly tempting. Opened on June 12, 2023, they have a comfortable seating area and serve limited-time menu items and products. Whether it's breakfast or a late-night snack, it's a perfect spot for those who enjoy stylish food and lifestyle goods.
DEAN & DELUCA Cafe NEWoMan ShinjukuDEAN & DELUCA カフェ NEWoMan新宿
- Address NEWoMan Shinjuku 2F, 5-24-55 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Hawaiian-Inspired Café: Pacific BAKE HOUSE at LUMINE EST Shinjuku
A branch of the well-known ocean-view café Pacific DRIVE-IN in Shonan Shichirigahama, Pacific BAKE HOUSE infuses its urban jungle location with a Hawaiian vibe with an intentionally tropical touch to its menu. For instance, they've enhanced the original "Parfallo" milkshake with unique flavors such as coffee & Australian walnut, blueberry & coconut cheesecake cookie, and banana & passion fruit. It has quickly become popular among young locals since its March 23, 2023 debut, often hosting a bustling crowd over the weekends.
Pacific BAKE HOUSEPacific BAKE HOUSE（パシフィック ベイク ハウス）
- Address 1F Lumine Est Shinjuku, 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Tokyo
Hours: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
2. Kabukicho & East Shinjuku Area
About a 5-minute walk from the East Exit of Shinjuku Station, you'll arrive at the buzzing Kabukicho area. This area is full of tourist landmarks like Don Quijote and the Godzilla Hotel, and the izakaya-lined Shinjuku Golden Gai is also there.
Because Kabukicho is a vibrant city that never sleeps, you'll find numerous performance-focused entertainment restaurants in the vicinity. The Robot Restaurant, which attracted many foreign visitors, was also located here, although it's now closed. The area is also home to many yakiniku and shabu-shabu restaurants. Notably, Ramen Nagi, well-known for dry-style ramen, is tucked away in a narrow alley within Kabukicho.
Since its opening in April 2023 in Shinjuku Kabukicho, Tokyu Kabukicho Tower has garnered immense attention. The second-floor dining and gourmet area, Shinjuku Kabuki Hall-Kabuki Yokocho, has a retro neon aesthetic with immersive audiovisual performances.
The venue houses 10 establishments that offer soulful dishes from various regions of Japan, including rice bowls, ramen, skewers, dumplings, and alcoholic beverages. Adding to the appeal, it's open from 6 AM to 5 AM the next day, making it an almost 24-hour destination!
This hamburger and taco restaurant located next to the entrance of Tokyu Kabukicho Tower opened on April 14th. The interior features high ceilings and large floor-to-ceiling windows, creating a stylish, open atmosphere. Signature dishes include the "KABUKI Burger," made with a 100% wagyu beef patty and vegetable tempura, as well as the "Miso-pickled Fish Taco," which incorporates Japanese flavors into Western vegetarian cuisine. This blend of Japanese ingredients and international dishes harmonizes well with the Kabuki theme while maintaining a modern, fashionable ambiance. It's a truly intriguing and refreshing concept.
Tokyu Kabukicho Tower東急歌舞伎町タワー
- Address 1-29-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0021
Hours: Vary by shop
Kabukicho Sushinjuku, which opened on February 12, 2023, is a trendy izakaya specializing in creative sushi dishes. The restaurant's signature dishes are genuinely refreshing and innovative.
For example, they offer the "Ebi Caviar Battle," in which a crab shell holds a combination of egg yolk, shrimp, crab meat, caviar, and salmon roe on a rolled sushi, and the indulgent "Thick-cut Seared Toro" featuring richly fatty, enticingly seared tuna belly. These innovative sushi creations, never seen before, astonish diners with visual and taste sensations!
Kabukicho Sushinjuku歌舞伎町 スシンジュク
- Address Hasegawa Bldg. 1F, 1-11-5 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0021
Monday to Saturday, and National Holidays: 5:00 PM - 5:00 AM
Sundays and National Holidays: 1:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Indulge in Exquisite Delights at Wagyu Yakiniku Yaku Niku Alley
The exceptional quality of Wagyu beef needs little introduction, but even the offal of Wagyu is a true delicacy! Wagyu Yakiniku Yaku Niku Alley opened its doors on July 1, 2023, highlighting its direct purchase of whole cows from the acclaimed, top-rated Japanese Wagyu brand of 2022, Kagoshima Black Beef. They offer a rare assortment of Wagyu offal along with the highly esteemed delicacy "Thick-cut Wagyu Diaphragm" delicacy. This is an opportunity to experience the exquisitely delicious and sought-after Wagyu offal that captivates the taste buds of many locals!
Wagyu Yakiniku Yaku Niku Alley和牛焼肉やくにく路地裏
- Address Bunkaro Building, 1-21-2 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0021
Lunch: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Last Order: food 2:30 PM, drinks 2:30 PM)
Monday to Thursday, Sunday, and National Holidays: 3:00 PM - 11:00 PM (Last Order: food 10:00 PM, drinks 10:30 PM)
Friday, Saturday: 3:00 PM - 4:00 AM (Last Order: food 3:00 AM, drinks 3:30 AM)
3. Nishi-Shinjuku Area
About a 5-minute walk from Shinjuku Station's West Exit, you'll find the Nishi-Shinjuku area. This zone is home to both the Toei Oedo Line's Nishi-Shinjuku Station and Tokyo Metro's Nishi-Shinjuku Station, surrounded by numerous office buildings.
Alongside well-known yakiniku restaurants like Rokkasen, there's a diverse range of izakaya and ramen options. Notable spots, including the popular ramen shop Menya Sho, known for its chicken-based broth, and the well-liked izakaya chain Isomaru Suisan can also be found in this area.
Izakayas and Ramen Shops
SUSHIEBISU is a trendy and affordable sushi restaurant brand that offers a variety of reasonably priced options. For instance, you can enjoy three pieces of nigiri sushi with black vinegar for as low as 299 yen. Their "Premium Sushi" made by skilled chefs, is also available starting at 299 yen per piece, making it very budget-friendly. In addition, they offer many creative dishes that are both delicious and Instagram-worthy, like layered sushi with generous amounts of salmon roe, sea urchin, and premium raw beef, all priced at only 980 yen (excluding tax). The West (Nishi) Shinjuku branch opened on January 11, 2023.
- Address Nishimura Building 1F, 7-10-10 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Monday to Friday: 4:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Saturday, Sunday, and National Holidays: 12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
In recent years, Korean cuisine has gained immense popularity among young people in Japan. Lucky Soul, with its original location in Shinbashi, opened a second branch in Nishi-Shinjuku on April 20, 2023, after a year of preparation. Here, you can enjoy authentic Korean-style grilled pork belly along with dishes like cheese and flying fish roe bibimbap, grilled pork belly topped with shrimp and cheese, various flavors of Korean pancakes, and Korean-style rice rolls. The restaurant's modern, trendy ambiance adds to the experience, making it feel like a culinary trip to Korea while still in Japan.
Korean Pub Lucky Soul Nishi-Shinjuku韓国大衆酒場 ラッキーソウル 西新宿
- Address 2F Bresten Nishi-Shinjuku, 7-11-17 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 105-0004, Japan
Hours: 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
4. Shinjuku Gyoen Area
The Shinjuku Gyoen area is a famous landmark in Shinjuku, located about a 7-minute walk from Shinjuku Station. Shinjuku-gyoemmae Station and Shinjuku Sanchome Station are also nearby for convenient access.
In this area, you'll find mostly non-chain restaurants, and while the overall atmosphere here is quieter compared to the central parts of Shinjuku, you can still discover typical dining options like yakiniku and hot pot restaurants.
The Michelin-starred ramen shop SOBA HOUSE Konjiki-Hototogisui and the shrimp-flavored ramen specialist Tsukemen Goshin Seisakujo are also located near Shinjuku Gyoenmae. During popular dining hours, it's common to see long lines forming outside these restaurants.
Recommended Restaurants in This Area
5. Minami-Shinjuku Area
The area known as Minami-Shinjuku is located to the southwest of Shinjuku Station and can be accessed by walking from the Central West Exit and New South Exit of the station.
While this area used to be less lively compared to the bustling East and West sides of Shinjuku, it has become increasingly vibrant over the past decade due to urban development projects in Shinjuku.
The opening of the Shinjuku Bus Terminal "Busta" at the New South Exit of Shinjuku Station has further contributed to its growth. The fashionable shopping complex NEWoMan located in conjunction with the bus terminal also features a variety of dining options, making it convenient for both casual snacking and planned dining outings.
In addition to the popular Blue Bottle Coffee, the New York-based burger joint SHAKE SHACK, and the renowned Hong Kong-style dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan, many well-known eateries have chosen to set up shop around the New South Exit of Shinjuku Station, attracting both tourists and locals alike.
These establishments have enriched the dining and gathering options for those frequenting the Minami-Shinjuku area. It's safe to say the area will continue to welcome more newcomers, offering even more choices to explore and enjoy.
6. Others: Shin-Okubo and Yoyogi Area
Just up the line from JR Shinjuku Station is Shin-Okubo Station, Tokyo's renowned epicenter of Korean pop culture. It's brimming with many Korean restaurants, especially adored by Japan's younger generation. From thick-cut Korean pork belly barbecue to cheesy dak-galbi chicken stir-fry and string cheese hot dogs, you'll find an array of options that instantly transport you to Korea!
In the opposite direction, Yoyogi Station is close to two urban oases, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Meiji Shrine. The streets in this area are tranquil and elegant, offering a stark contrast to the surrounding urban cityscape.
Near the station, you'll discover restaurants and spots that exude Japanese uniqueness, like the famous Japanese set meal spot Ohitsuzen Tanbo, the retro and nostalgic Hobo Shinjuku Norengai, and Osaka's trendy crab haven Ikanimo.
Recommended Restaurants in This Area
Never Go Hungry in Shinjuku - A Plethora of Culinary Delights
In Shinjuku, you'll never have to worry about going hungry! The area is filled with a wide variety of culinary delights, including well-known Japanese barbecue restaurants, popular ramen shops, and affordable sushi restaurants. No matter what type of cuisine you're craving, you'll find it here!
Many of the recommended restaurants in Shinjuku allow online reservations, so consider making a reservation in advance to avoid long waits on the day of your visit.
*Please note that the information provided in this article is accurate as of June 2023. For the latest updates, please refer to the official websites.
Recommended Shinjuku Food Tours
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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