The 6 Best Restaurants Near The Tsukiji Market
Originally, the Tsukiji Market should have been moved to Toyosu within the last year. The various expectations of the rights and interests over its move has been mixed and the situation has been completely frozen. Now, that things have come to this pass, it is doubtful even whether or not it will really move. The tax, we, the Tokyo citizens have paid would be wasted. It is honestly disgusting.
However, since the stalemate which the authorities have produced is someone else’s problem, the Tsukiji Market itself has been exciting every day with foreign tourists at its center. The nearby restaurants both inside and outside the Market have been bustling with many consumers.
To myself, Tsukiji Market is a familiar place where I worked from early morning during every Christmas season as a part time worker while I was a high-school student. Among the many restaurants which are standing, “looking very attractive”, I believe that I know well which one of them is the shop which you really should visit.
If you are a stranger in Tsukiji Market, it could be enjoyable to visit around all the roadside stand gourmets regarding the atmosphere which draws one in without any prior information, but for the repeaters who have visited there more than twice, they must want to draw attention to a shop which surely offers delicious food.
Not only Tokyo, but in many other cities, the restaurants in which you can enjoy really delicious food are the ones which not the visitors but the locals often eagerly visit. So, I’ll introduce the truly noted shops loved by the Tokyo locals to gourmets who want to experience the Tsukiji as a connoisseur.
The most popular restaurant in the Tsukiji Market is “Sushidai”. Their foods are really delicious in their own way and it is a sushi-shop which provides excellent cost for its performance. However, is it worth eating after 3-4 hours waiting in the freezing cold air? The answer is NO for the locals.
Instead, the cooks who finished buying-in or the business workers in the area go to “Takahashi” for the very best fish.
The person who has been keeping the shop with an 80-year-history is the young 3rd generation. Originally, the shop used to be the specialist of monkfish, so it is no doubt that the “monkfish pot” in winter is very delicious. Besides, the seasonal fish which are bought-in with the good judgement which has been going on from generation to generation are all super delicious.
My standard course is drinking beer with sashimi (raw fish) and anago(conger eel) as a relish first and then finish it off with the boiled fish and rice. The bottled beer which is chilled with ice in an old style has exceptional taste.
It is the shop only for the locals, so they can’t correspond in English which is rare for a restaurant in Tsukiji. That’s a little problem, but the workers at the shop are basically very kind. There aren’t any problems in ordering, if you memorize 3 words, such as “sashimi (raw fish)”, “anago (conger eel)” and “Osusume no Nizakana ( recommended boiled fish)”.
#2 Turret Coffee
After wondering about the Tsukiji Market for some time, you’d like to have a break over a cup of coffee, wouldn’t you?
So, many sightseers go to the Starbucks near the Tsukiji Honganji Temple, but the local gourmets pass it and they are drawn into the Turret Coffee which is 2-30m ahead. (Inside the shop, the Tsukiji symbolic trolley, “Turret” is placed for their customers’ seats.)
The shop owner is a professional who worked for a Starbucks for a few years and brushed his skill up at the representative Tokyo urban coffee shop. “Streamer Coffee”.
The shop’s proud Latte full to the rim in a mug cup is the perfect match with the bitter Espresso and the mellow milk. They have several types of pastries, such as cookies and pound-cakes to go with the coffee, but I’d like to choose the Japanese sweet, “Dorayaki (two small pancakes with bean jam in between) which melts in the mouth and the aromatic smell of Espresso will blow off your fatigue from the trip straight away without any doubt.
#3 Tonkatsu Yachiyo
As you know, the Tsukiji Market deals with fresh fish, but among people who work there, some of them want to eat something apart from raw fish, as the reaction to their daily business. Under this circumstance, there are unexpectedly, many restaurants which offer “fried food” in Tsukiji Market.
This “Yachiyo” is the best one among them. The shop owner is proud of buying-in the same high quality fish as the ones at sushi shops.
The fresh fish which are fried in the blended oil with the lard (pig fat), the tallow (cow fat), and the salad oil has an aromatic smell and provides the full stamina! As it is a meal which gives you the energy to work off the day, there are a lot of fans among the business workers in its neighbouring area.
The local foodies target Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays when the restaurant’s proud limited menu, the “chashu(roast pork)-egg” is offered. The marriage of melted cooked chashu and the half-boiled egg is a sheer delight to taste. If you luckily visit “Yachiyo” during those 3 days of the week, please don’t forget to order one!
This restaurant is not familiar to overseas visitors, but due to the exposure from the Japanese Media, this Italian restaurant, Paradhizo is highly noted and popular with the Tokyo locals.
The colorful appearance of the shop doesn’t match the street in Tsukiji and people at a glance hesitate to enter the shop, but their real ability to satisfy is guaranteed. It is only natural, if you consider the origin of this restaurant. It is the vintage restaurant as a Japan Branch of “Lo Scoglio” which is in Amalfi in Italy.
My regular menu is the “linguini with today’s shellfish and cherry tomatoes”. As well as might be expected of a restaurant in Tsukiji, the pasta is full of fresh shellfish, such as blue mussels, scallops, basket clams, Manila clams and hard clams. The sauce absorbed in the flavor of the shellfish is really, really good.
I would like the foodies who want to enjoy the delicious seafood in Tsukiji to the full to visit Paradiso and taste the firm shellfish Italian food without being bound by the “Japanese food”.
Speaking of Tsukiji, people firstly think of “kaisen-don (bowl of rice topped with seafood)”. So, both inside and outside the Tsukiji Market, many restaurants offer “kaisen-don”. The Tokyo Table Trip confidently recommend “Kashigashira” as a restaurant which offers the best quality of “kaisen-don”.
The owner who has an experience of working as a broker in the past buys-in fish with high quality. At lunch time, in spite of whether it is week-days or week-end, the small restaurant is full of the locals.
The highly recommended one to overseas visitors is “Tsukiji Jogai-don” in which the 2 bowls are piled up. The 2 up and down bowls are set with more than 20 different kinds of fish and shellfish like gems.
It is the “kaisen-don” with the No.1 impact in Japan.
Because of its difficult location which is on the underground, the foreign visitors are few in number and it could be a less well known place in Taukiji which has been one of the best sightseeing spots in Japan. If you are a foodie who will want to enjoy the Tsukii No.1 kaisen-don with your eyes and palate to the full, you should go there!
Around the Market, the restaurants and the shops, featuring the “seafood” are jostled together, but if you walk 10 minutes further, there is the closely contested district of “buckwheat noodle (soba)” shops.
In the town, the variety of buckwheat noodle (soba) restaurants, such as a long-established one with a 100-year-history, a stand-up soba bar, featuring low prices and a tavern-styled one are standing side by side, but the highly recommended one is “Narutomi”.
When all is said and done, the attraction of this shop is that you can enjoy the peaceful “drinking in the broad daylight” with the delicious Tempura as a relish. The light fried crispy vegetables and fish are just right to go with the well chilled Japanese sake.
Of course, the crucial soba is great. The thickly cut soba noodles with strong aromatic flavor of the seeds of soba are filling and are suitable for the finish of the meal.
Soba is apt to be kept away by foreigners as a difficult food, but I’d like you to enjoy it with Japanese sake at “Narutomi” without any pre-conceived ideas about the difficulty.
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