Tokyo is well known for its enviable foodie scene, boasting numerous Michelin-starred restaurants and a wealth of specialist sushi restaurants and tiny ramen joints that are guaranteed to get your mouth watering. The city also has an amazing variety of street food on offer, which is perfect for those times when you want something delicious to eat on the go. Low in price but high in flavor, Tokyo street food is a tasty window into another side of Japanese food culture. Getting hungry yet? Here are nine of the top locations to sample Japanese street food in Tokyo.
Here are nine of the best spots to check out if you're wondering where to find street food in Tokyo:
Also known as Ameyoko, Ameya Yokocho (literally "candy store alley") is a bustling market street in Ueno. Historically, it was the site of a black market where residents could buy American goods, but now it’s a great place to shop for everything from clothes to cosmetics. Plus, there’s plenty of street food to enjoy!
Experience one of the most unique local traditions by heading to a candy shop and buying a bag that the staff fill up with random sweets and treats for just ¥1000. If you prefer something savory, try the rich and juicy A5 wagyu beef menchi katsu (ground meat cutlet), which is an absolute bargain at ¥400.
Ameya Yokocho Access Info: Ameyoko is a short walk from Ueno Station and Okachimachi Station on the Yamanote line, and Ueno-Okachimachi Station on the Oedo subway line.
Join the Ueno Food Tour to explore the best spots in Ameyoko and the Ueno Park area are with a local guide!
Tsukiji Fish Market dates all the way back to 1935 and was once the largest wholesale fish market in Japan. The inner market moved to Toyosu in 2018, however, the outer market still has around 300 shops and restaurants to discover. It’s the ideal spot to try fresh, seafood-based street food such as melt-in-your-mouth sashimi, seafood bowls brimming with fresh fish, and tamagoyaki egg rolls that are packed with shrimp and have just a hint of delicious sweetness.
Tsukiji Market Access Info: Tsukiji Market is a short walk from Tsukiji Shijo Station on the Oedo subway line and Tsukiji Station on the Hibiya subway line.
Having managed to survive the World War II air raids undamaged, the historic Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street oozes traditional charm. It also used to be home to many cute street cats, so this Tokyo shopping street has adopted the maneki neko (lucky beckoning cat) as its unofficial mascot – see if you can spot all seven statues as you tuck into all the yummy Tokyo street food during your visit!
Don’t miss the hasami-age renkon (meat sandwiched between two slices of crunchy lotus root), unique cat-shaped fuku nyan-yaki versions of taiyaki cakes, and an unusual Japanese street food dessert of chocolate-covered, chewy dango dumplings.
Yanaka Ginza Access Info: Yanaka Ginza is a short walk from Nippori Station on the JR Yamanote line.
Harajuku is not only the best place to go for unique fashion and creative subcultures, it’s also home to some of the best street food in Tokyo. Here you can find the most Instagrammable snacks, including cookie dough milkshakes, ice cream cones shaped like adorable animals, sodas served in lightbulbs, and a crispy, towering "tornado potato" spiral flavored with soy sauce and butter.
For something really eye-catching, try the rainbow cheese toast filled with bright, multicolored gooey cheese that stretches enticingly as you pull it apart or take a bite.
Harajuku Access Info: Harajuku Station is on the JR Yamanote line, and the Meiji-jingu-mae subway station is just a short walk away.
Our tour guide Gizem knows all the best spots for the most Instagrammable food and photo-op spots in Harajuku. Join her for an Instalicious Food Experience in Colorful Harajuku!
Jizo-dori Shopping Street in Sugamo is affectionately known as "Grandma’s Harajuku" because many of its stores are aimed at older generations. Sugamo is also a great location to try some traditional Japanese street food such as fried and candied sweet potatoes, crispy rice crackers, and a more unusual moist, pancake-like variety of senbei rice crackers. Be sure to sample the local speciality, shio daifuku, which is a unique salted mochi that’s super fluffy, with a saltiness that perfectly balances the sweetness of the red bean paste inside.
Sugamo Access Info: Jizo-dori Shopping Street is a short walk from Sugamo Station on the JR Yamanote and Mita subway lines.
Nakano is a hub of otaku culture, especially in the Nakano Broadway shopping complex which is filled with manga, anime, and memorabilia stores. Among these, you’ll also find some tasty Tokyo street food to keep you fuelled as you browse.
Tuck into imagawayaki pancakes filled with fluffy sweet potato, or deep-fried karepan (curry bread) that's perfectly crispy on the outside and deliciously doughy on the inside. For your Japanese street food dessert, treat yourself to an eight-flavor, kaleidoscopic ice cream tower from Daily Chico.
Nakano Broadway & Nakano Sun Mall Access Info: Nakano Sun Mall starts by the north exit of Nakano Station on the JR Chuo line and Tozai subway line, and Nakano Broadway is a five-minute walk along the arcade.
This nostalgic Sunamachi Ginza Shopping Street in Tokyo's shitamachi (downtown) area boasts 670 meters of stores selling everything from traditional Japanese sweets and tea to yummy street food. It's a wonderful spot to sample authentic eats such as freshly-fried kakiage (mixed tempura), soft steamed buns packed with meat and vegetables, and red date chimaki. This consists of sticky rice wrapped in a bamboo leaf with a stewed red date filling that’s deliciously sweet and syrupy.
Sunamachi Ginza Access Info: A short bus ride from Kinshicho Station on the JR Sobu line and the Hanzomon subway line.
At an amazing 800 meters long, Musashi Koyama Shotengai Palm is the longest covered shopping street in all of Tokyo. As well as clothing, electronics, and stationery, you can find plenty of mouthwatering Japanese street food here. Some of the most famous treats include fluffy anpan bread from Komine Bakery, which are filled with different textures, colors, and flavors of sweet bean paste. Musashi Koyama is also a fantastic spot to try juicy grilled yakitori chicken skewers, a perennially popular Tokyo street food that all meat-eaters have to try when they visit Japan.
Musashi Koyama Shopping Street Access Info: At the east exit of Musashi Koyama Station, on the Tokyu Meguro line.
Said to be Tokyo’s longest shopping street at 1.3 kilometers, Togoshi Ginza Shotengai was actually built using bricks from the high-end Ginza district after the latter was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. The classic Tokyo street food to sample here is breaded potato croquettes, as well as rich and juicy menchi katsu cutlets. Don’t miss the unique oden croquettes, which are mouthwateringly crisp on the outside, beautifully fluffy on the inside, and incorporate the dashi flavor of the oden broth.
Togoshi Ginza Access Info: A short walk from Togoshi Ginza Station on the Tokyo Metro Ikegami Line and Asakusa Line.
Hopefully, this post has given you some inspiration about where to eat street food in Tokyo, and the sort of delicious treats you’ll find when you visit them! This is only the tip of the iceberg, so be sure to keep an eye out for all the other amazing street food this city has to offer.