Giant slabs of sushi. Flaming bowls of shaved ice. Blue ramen. Ghibli-inspired cream puffs. And the cutest latte art you've ever seen. These are just some of the "viral foods" you can find in Tokyo: unusual (but tasty) treats that are taking TikTok and the like by storm.
Tokyo is a city of comfortable contradictions—we love the way that traditional and modern coexist so harmoniously here; how you can find both the most exquisite omakase sushi and the weirdest toast on the planet. In the name of balance, why not stick a few of these eye-catching eats on your to-savor and to-post list?
14 Must-Try "Viral" Food Experiences in Tokyo
Go on. Jump on the bandwagon.
- Giant sushi
- Gold-leaf ice cream
- 10-yen cheese bread
- Rainbow cotton candy
- Ghibli cream puffs
- 2D coffee and cake
- Mega-size gyoza
- Blue ramen
- Magical cocktails
- Flaming shaved ice
- Ridiculously cute latte art
- Rainbow toast
- String ice cream parfait
- The Japanese pudding that broke the internet
1. Giant Sushi
If you're into sushi, but it's never enough, you need to take a seat at Wakasa Sushi in Mitaka. Shell out a few thousand yen notes and you'll receive an assorted platter of nigiri that is WAY bigger than regular sushi.
Lifting each piece to your mouth with chopsticks is the first challenge; polishing off the whole selection is the next one!
2. Gold-leaf Ice Cream
Feeling fancy? This soft serve is the thing for you. Covered in real, edible gold leaf, it is a literal taste of wealth. Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture is actually the place known for this shiny treat, but you can find it in Tokyo too, at Kinpaku Sweets in Asakusa.
3. 10-yen Cheese Bread
An old favorite among Japanese folk, this gooey cheese-filled bread in the shape of the 10-yen coin makes for a fun and photogenic snack. There are stores across the country, but to find the best of the best in Tokyo, you'll need to ask an expert (hint: us).
4. Rainbow Cotton Candy
You might have spotted it in photos of Harajuku: this rainbow cotton candy is big in both the popular sense, as well as size—it's bigger than your head! In addition to the iconic "Harajuku Rainbow", the Totti Candy Factory serves up other color combinations, as well as heaps of other sweets.
Try it: Get your hands on some rainbow cotton candy as part of the Kawaii Food Tour in Harajuku.
5. Ghibli Cream Puffs
For fans of Studio Ghibli, a trip to Tokyo isn't complete without a stop at Shirohige's Cream Puff Factory near Shimo-kitazawa. Here, you can meet—and eat—Totoro cream puffs to your heart's content. If that doesn't fill you up, there is pasta on the menu too.
6. 2D Coffee and Cake
Ever wondered what it would be like to exist in a comic? The 2D Cafe in Shin Okubo will give you an idea. Everything, including the food, has a two-dimensional appearance, and the cafe's color theme is black and white.
It all makes for amazing photo opportunities, but the coffee, cakes and pastries are delicious, too.
7. Jumbo Gyoza
Fans of gyoza—Japanese dumplings—will want to pop into Kagurazakahonten in Iidabashi for a meal that, well, might just make them pop. This restaurant is known for its unreasonably large gyoza: one jumbo gyoza is said to be the equivalent of 100 regular gyoza (which they have on the menu, too).
Other jumbo items on the menu include ramen and fried rice. Finish your jumbo meal in under an hour and it's free, but be warned—no help is allowed!
8. Blue Ramen
Tuck into a bowl of chicken noodle ramen with a difference: the light and clear soup is a delicate blue hue. Kipposhi in Shibuya serves up a range of different chicken noodle bowls, in colors ranging from blue to muscat (topped with the namesake), peach, pink, soy-brown and more.
They also do a line of creamy chicken ramen and sea-bream ramen, as well as limited-edition seasonal menu items.
9. Magical Cocktails
If you're after an absurdly fancy sundowner, Bar Centifolia in Azabujuban should be your next port of call. This place is known for the beauty of both their drinks and their interior.
Sit down at the sleek wooden bar and let the bartender whip you up something special. If you're lucky, it'll come shrouded in a cloud of smoke, glitter and other elements of magic! One thing to note—you'll need to book in advance.
Explore other unusual Tokyo bars on the exclusive Members Only: Sips & Secrets in Ebisu tour.
10. Flaming Shaved Ice
At an unassuming little cafe near Kichijoji Station, you can order a very unique kind of of kakigori—a shaved, flavored ice dessert—one that comes in flames.
You read that right: this kakigori gets set alight, creating a visual spectacle that simmers down into a delicious dish of mousse, cookies and the like, beneath the icy exterior. Cafe Lumiere also offers a full food and drink menu.
11. Ridiculously Cute Latte Art
If you think you've seen good latte art, think again. The kitties, dogs and other creatures that grace the top of your coffee at Reissue in Shibuya will blow your caffeine-powered mind. Choose from 2D or 3D art, and watch your favorite animals and anime characters come to life. Cat bus cappuccino, anyone?
12. Rainbow Toast
Another big name in the cheesy bread game is Le Shiner in Harajuku, where you can bite into a rainbow when you order a grilled cheese sandwich. Their appropriately named Rainbow Cheese Sandwich is the lunch of choice for all the cool kids in central Tokyo.
Here's a tip: have a friend snap a pic as you pull the sandwich apart—then dig into that colorful goodness both offline and on. The shop does rainbow soft serve too, if you're after dessert.
13. String Ice Cream Parfait
Chacha Futatsume in Asakusa is known for their special string chestnut ice cream: an epic ensemble of finely laced matcha deliciousness around ice cream, adzuki paste and sponge cake. It's not that well known among visitors, yet, but it will be soon!
14. The Japanese Pudding That Broke the Internet
Hekkelun is a little mom 'n' pop (now grandmom and grandpop) shop in Toranomon that's been in the coffee and pudding business for half a century. Their jumbo pudding, or purin, has taken the internet by storm—and yes, it really is as delicious as it looks. They also do simple sandwiches, if you feel like something savory.
Bonus: See where to try the viral Japanese raindrop cake, "mizu shingen mochi".