Japanese people love eating (who doesn’t?) and while you’re traveling in Tokyo, we strongly recommend that you try tabehoudai, all-you-can-eat in Tokyo. Tabehoudai, a word that comes from taberu (“to eat”) and houdai (“as much as one likes”), is basically an all-you-can-eat buffet where you pay a set price and can eat as much as you like. Tabehoudai is also referred to as baikingu (the Japanese pronunciation of "Viking"), which was inspired by the Swedish Smörgåsbord (buffet). It's a long story, but basically "Viking" was easier to say than "Smörgåsbord" so the Japanese just went with that.
Many tabehoudai restaurants in Japan serve Western-style food such as pasta, pizza, and the like. However, you can also find restaurants which serve all-you-can-eat wagyu, hot pot, yakiniku, skewers, or desserts! Usually, there is a time limit for all-you-can-eat, ranging from 1 to 3 hours. There’s also nomihoudai, the counterpart of tabehoudai, which we've covered Nomihoudai: The Best Places for All-You-Can-Drink in Tokyo.
Here are some great restaurants offering tabehoudai in Tokyo, from all-you-can-eat hot pot to lunch and dessert buffets!
For yakiniku (Japanese barbeque), shabu shabu, and sukiyaki made with the highest A5 grade wagyu, Ganryujima in Ginza should be your go-to restaurant for all-you-can-eat in Tokyo. Hot pot dishes like sukiyaki and shabu-shabu are usually served during the winter to keep your hands and belly warm in the cold weather, but at this tabehoudai restaurant, you can have it any day of the year. While high-quality black beef is expensive in the market, here at Ganryujima, you will be able to taste some of the best slices of black beef at a very reasonable price. Serve it up with vegetables fresh from the farm and you’ll find out why the customers keep coming back. Ganryujima is located on the 5th floor of Pacific Ginza Building.
Popular for having a healthy menu that can accommodate many dietary needs, at Daichi no Okurimono Ueno Shop you will find scrumptious dishes ranging from traditional to creative, made with 100% organic ingredients. People can choose from the buffet, including the salad bar which is stocked with fresh vegetables and fruits and the dessert bar which serves soft serve ice cream and cakes, as well as various types of drinks ranging from tea to brandy. Even vegetarians and those with nut allergies enjoy all-you-can-eat in Tokyo at Daichi no Okurimono Ueno, as dishes are clearly labeled in English as well as Japanese.
Yakiniku Gen-Chan, is a charcoal-grilled yakiniku restaurant in Shinjuku. Open nearly 24-hours per day, you can get your grill on at any time of the day or night, picking your favorite cuts of meat to cook up right at the table. Have a tabehoudai course of sizzling all-you-can-eat A4 ranked meat and all-you-can-drink (nomihoudai) together for just ¥3,480 yen for women and ¥3,980 for men. The course includes over 70 dishes, so your tastebuds will never get bored! There is also a special A5 kuroge wagyu beef all-you-can-eat course for just ¥5,980, and a course for super rare cuts of A5 wagyu for ¥7,980. For more restaurants in Tokyo that are open 24/7, check out the Best 24-Hour Restaurants in Tokyo.
For those who don't want to shell out the cash for premium wagyu beef, but still want to enjoy the Japanese yakiniku experience, come to Gut’s Soul. The cheapest all-you-can-eat yakiniku course, which includes 25 dishes, will only set you back ¥1,380 (¥1,490 with tax) for 90 minutes of gluttony. Or go for the ¥3,650 (¥3,940) option which includes all-you-can-drink along with all-you-can-eat steak and tacos!
If Korean food is your thing, then Spicy Spicy is the place to go. It lives up to its name where they offer a wide range menu of well-loved spicy Korean dishes like the ever popular bulgogi, chapchae, jeon, and bibimbap. Pile up your plate with these and have yourself some free-flowing soda drinks. They over a budget buffet lunch every weekend so might want to go here as early as possible since people line up fast.
Bread fanatics, Sandog Inn's all-you-can-eat in Tokyo is calling. This isn’t your typical bakery, offering a tabehoudai lunch buffet so customers can get their fill of sandwiches, pastries, and other baked goodies. Established in 1918, Sandog Inn uses the freshest seasonal fruits and veggies and carries a wide selection of soups and beverages so you can hydrate while you load up on carbs.
What’s great about DinaGyang Dos is that they change their menu daily so every day is a surprise for those people looking for buffet restaurants. Everything is carefully selected from seasonal to traditional ingredients and the menu stretches from offering Japanese and Western-style dishes. So you can have your tempura and miso soup with risotto or yakitori and okonomiyaki with your pasta, strange combinations that most people find really interesting. Salad and desserts are also offered here.
Ordering and eating seafood and sushi can get expensive, but at Numazu-ko, you can take your tastebuds under the sea for reasonable prices, with all-you-can-eat seafood for around ¥1,200. And for such a wide variety of seafood, like octopus, salmon, and mackerel, it's definitely worth every yen. Aside from seafood, they also have skewers and customized donburi meals. Affordable and delicious, this place is the paradise for seafood lovers.
Who can resist a serving of fried chicken or better yet, perfectly fried, crispy and juicy Japanese karaage? A classic staple of izakaya food, score some of this fried goodness at Shuko Chiichi, which specializes in serving an all-you-can-eat karaage feast that comes with 12 different dipping sauces. Pair your karaage with side dishes like rice, eggs, tofu, and miso soup.
Moyan Curry makes curry from scratch using 23 different types of spices, stewing it for over two weeks. There are several types of curries available from beef, pork, and vegetables and when poured over rice, you’re instantly going to be addicted to the complex, mouthwatering flavors. From 11:30-3:30, Moyan Curry's all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is for just ¥1,000. The spread includes Beef Stew Curry, Simmered Pork Back Ribs Curry, Red Hot Level 20 Spiciness Sauce, Nishi Shinjuku Style Tandoori Chicken, salads, dessert, coffee, and more! Moyan Curry has locations in Nishi Shinjuku, Kabukicho, Shinbashi, and Shibuya, to name just a few.
Give in to the sweet temptation of dessert. At Bittersweets Buffet in Lumine EST Shinjuku, you’ll find yourself in a wonderland of desserts ranging from cakes, cupcakes, macarons, and soft-serve ice cream. You’ll also find cold desserts like trifle and pudding. Pair it with free-flowing drinks like coffee or tea and you’re good to go for this sweet-filled buffet of all-you-can-eat in Tokyo. Though dessert is the main attraction to this buffet, they also offer savory dishes to give yourself a little break from the sugar.
Ready to drink 'til you drop? Check out these nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink) spots in Tokyo!