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Cheap Food in Tokyo

Updated: May 30

There are so many places to eat in Tokyo that showcase the city's diverse culinary landscape, and most of them don’t have to break the bank. Check out these 6 cheap eats in Tokyo on your next visit.


Torikatsu Chicken Shibuya

Blink and you will miss this place! Torikatsu Chicken has a red awning and white sign with the only English word “chicken” on the street post (see my picture) that marks the entrance to this gem. Go down the stairs and you will find a small wrap-around bar with seating for about 8-10 people at a time in front of the entire kitchen. They offer different set menus with 2 or 3 options for meat and vegetables. I ordered the pork and eggplant tempura. It comes with a large bowl of rice, some other fresh veggies and their barley tea. You can watch them cook everything fresh to order and it’s like being inside someone’s kitchen. We loved every minute of this experience. We had two plates of food for 1600 Yen ($10.62 at time of conversion). Cash only.


Niboshi Ramen Nagi - Shinjuku Golden-gai Honka

We arrived our first day and were ready for a quick dinner nearby and an early bedtime. We searched for some top-rated spots in our Shinjuku area and found this wonderful gem. We realized later that Niboshi Ramen Nagi has won multiple awards and there was a line of people down the alleyway waiting for their own bowls of ramen here. The line moves fairly quickly even though there are only 12 seats in the upstairs restaurant (you must climb slightly steep, red-lit stairs to reach the restaurant on the second floor). They only offer half a dozen ramen bowls and everything is served within minutes of ordering. They are famous for anchovy-paste broth, giving the dish a salty, briny flavor. It’s unlike anything I’ve eaten before, and I definitely slurped up every last bite.  We had 2 big bowls of ramen for 2600 yen ($17 total at time of conversion). Cash only.

Tokyo Tsukemen Rokurinsha (Tokyo Station)


Want to order a meal by vending machine? Rokurinsha is one of the most famous Ramen shops in Tokyo, and there is often a line (I waited 40 minutes). Note: if there is a longer line, wait until the staff direct you to order from the vending machine so your noodles won’t be cold. Located in the Tokyo Station on Noodle Street (underground shopping area), you order your food at the machine, pay (cash only) and receive your receipt. Then you stand in line and wait until a seat is ready. The Tsukemen noodles are thick with rich broth. I ate my so quickly I forgot to take a picture! Noodle bowls are 1000-2000 yen.



Okonomiyaki Teppanyaki Asakusa Tsurujiro

One of my favorite Japanese dishes (that most places don’t get right) is okonomiyaki. When you come to Tokyo, you should be sure to include this dish on your list! I really enjoyed this restaurant in Asakusa because you get to dine (upstairs) in traditional Japanese way with your shoes at the door and sitting down low. Depending on your order, you also get to make the food yourself (but if you don’t feel confident enough, they will help you). They have a basic English menu.


Jiromaru Akihabara A5Wagyu Standing BBQ (Wagyu Yakiniku Jiromaru)

Looking for A5 Wagyu beef but on a meatloaf budget? Check out Jiromaru Standing BBQ restaurant in Akihabara. They offer amazing selection of beef, including sample plates with a little of everything. Just do it! We ordered a sampler platter to start and realized (after we ate it) that we loved the tongue the best! Don’t psych yourself out over labels, just order and try something new. We ordered a few more a la cart beef options, as well as a small array of vegetables to put on the grill and a couple of drinks and spent less than 5,000 yen (about $32 at time of conversion) for two people. What a (budget) treat!

Street Snacks at Shenso-ji Shrine

You can make an entire meal from all the street vendors along Nakamise Dori pedestrian shopping street before Shenso-ji Shrine. Sample fried pumpkin balls, ice cream and various fruits. Try many different Japanese snacks, like Kagetsudo or Tokyo Curry Pan for small bakery items or croquet style bites. You can find almost anything snack-sized along this street.


You can certainly have a budget-friendly dining experience in Tokyo. Each of the above will provide bold flavors and cheap eats. These are some of the best cheap restaurants in Tokyo. Enjoy!

And check out my post on the best things to do for Tokyo in 2 Days!


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May 28
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

EVERYTHING sounds so good!!

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