Tokyo has a large number of dining options, from cheap fast-food chains to Michelin-starred restaurants, from traditional Japanese-style restaurants to stylish international cafes. And yet many people still struggle to find nice places. In this post, we will be talking about ways of finding cafes and restaurants in Tokyo. Nothing crazy or too innovative but many people are not aware of them. Let’s go!
One of the easiest ways to find a new restaurant or cafe is by using Instagram hashtags. You can type the area name and the word “cafe” and see what you get. This hack should work both in English and Japanese, but obviously, there will be many more options in Japanese. For example, try typing “Akasakacafe” or 赤坂カフェ and see what you get. This works not only for cafes, using this tip you can also search for lunch options (area name in Japanese + the word ランチ) or for dinners (area name + the word グルメ). Even if you are looking for a specific type of food, you still can search it by area, for example, 六本木ハンバーガー (Roppongihamburger), 渋谷コーヒー (shibuyacoffee) or more general 東京スイーツ (tokyosweets).
Instagram is a great tool for finding dining spots that look interesting and photogenic. However, many times the post will not include information about the quality of the food. Hence, it is not recommended to make your choice based only on the photos. Try to see the Google or Tabelog (Japanese restaurant information and review website) reviews, and then decide if you really want to visit the place that caught your eye.
Instagram was created as a photo platform. Therefore even today a nice photo is one of the most important aspects when posting there. Many people will go to instaworthy cafes, while many older, less photogenic places might remain undiscovered. If you are looking for hidden spots, open Google Maps on your phone, choose an area, and focus on it. Then in the search line write “coffee”, “pizza”, “udon”, “sandwich”, etc, and see what you get. You will get pretty much an infinite number of restaurants and cafes. Now you can organize by distance, rating, open/closed right now, and more. If you are not going right now or found too many places you like, we recommend pinning and saving some of them for future opportunities. You can save the places directly in the Google Maps app, and even write a memo, explaining why you saved this location.
If you are looking for information about the newest spots in Tokyo, you can search on Google for the following 新規オープン + area name in Japanese. The first website in the results will be Tabelog, open it and see the upcoming openings by date. By going to new cafes and restaurants, you yourself later can introduce these places to others on IG or Google Maps. By the way, just like with IG hashtags, also on the Tabelog website you can look for the restaurants by typing the area and what you want to eat (渋谷ラーメン (Shibuya ramen)).
These are the simplest ways to find eateries in Tokyo. We hope it helps!