Tokyo Table Trip

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Tonkatsu, fried pork cutlet, is a staple of common Japanese foods to rival the likes of ramen, sukiyaki, and curry.
While it tends to be grouped in with other affordable everyday foods, it actually is also a spectacular example of "simple but profound" Japanese cooking.
This article will introduce our top 10 recommended tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo that are sure to leave you just as satisfied as any 3-star Michelin restaurant.
Be sure to give this a read before visiting Tokyo!

#10 Marugo

GLUTTONさん(@popopopo25)がシェアした投稿 -

This super-popular tonkatsu restaurant is located in Akihabara, which has few outstanding restaurants, and customers line up waiting to be let in as soon as it opens at 11:30.
It is an older restaurant, soon to be celebrating its 50th anniversary, but the carefully maintained interior doesn't give off any sort of "old-fashioned" vibes at all.
The tonkatsu made by the owner, who trained at the famous Suidobashi restaurant "Katsukichi," is characterized by its light exterior achieved by frying for a long time at a low temperature.
When you bite into their most popular dish, the "Special Pork Loin Katsu (1850 yen - rice and miso soup sold separately), the delicious umami from the juices of the thick slice of pork overcomes you.
It makes for the perfect match for the thick, sweet sauce.
The customer service is also top notch; if you finish off all of the cabbage served with the tonkatsu, you will be politely asked "How was it?" and given seconds.
Marugo hits all three key points of flavor, atmosphere, and service, making it one of Tokyo's world-famous restaurants.

★Marugo
Address: 1-8-14 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Access: 4 minutes on foot from the JR Yamanote Line and Keihin Tohoku Line's "Akihabara Station" (Electric Town Exit)
Phone: 03-3255-6595
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:30-15:00
[Dinner] 17:00-21:00
Budget: 2,000-2,999 yen
Closed: Mondays, as well as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Tuesdays of the month

#9 Tonkatsu Aoki Ginza

Breaker Zhengさん(@breakkker)がシェアした投稿 -

This popular tonkatsu restaurant uses pork from "Hayashi SPF" brand pigs, which are fed grains and raised without antibiotics.
Their tonkatsu is characterized by its brown crispy exterior from frying in hot oil for a short period of time.
We recommend the "Special Pork Loin Katsu Set (2000 yen)," which is sure to be bursting with sweet fat, and the "Special Pork Fillet Katsu (2000 yen)," with the umami of the pork deliciously condensed into the meat.
Tonkatsu Aoki is a great place to enjoy the full potential of "Hayashi SPF" pork in a popular restaurant!
In 2018, the restaurant opened a third location in popular tourist destination Ginza.
This new location makes it easy to enjoy some delicious tonkatsu while you're out sightseeing.

★Tonkatsu Aoki Ginza
Address: B1F 8-8-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Access: 6 minutes on foot from JR Yamanote Station's "Shimbashi Station" (Ginza Exit)
Phone: 03-6264-6866
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:00-15:00
[Dinner] 17:00-20:00
Budget: 2,000-2,999 yen
Closed: Mondays, Sundays

#8 Agezuki

...さん(@yousuke1224)がシェアした投稿 -

This popular tonkatsu restaurant is located in Kagurazaka, Tokyo's leading gourmet town that is home to Michelin 3-star restaurants such as Japanese restaurants "Ishikawa" and "Kohaku," and established unagi restaurant "Ishibashi."
Their signature dish, "Special Pork Loin Katsu (2322 yen)," is made with "Shima-Buta" brand pork from Miyazaki Prefecture. The restaurant's owner, who has spent 30 years focused exclusively on tonkatsu, says that it is the most delicious pork out of all the varieties he has tried.
Enjoy both the deliciously aromatic fat of the pork and the umami-rich lean meat together.
As Agezuki is one of Tokyo's most popular restaurants, there is always a line for both lunch and dinner. Expect to wait for around 30 minutes when visiting.

★Agezuki
Address: 3-22-7 Koyama, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Access: 4 minutes on foot from JR Chuo Line's Iidabashi Station" (West Exit), 5 minutes on foot from Toei Subway Oedo Line's "Ushigome-Kagurazaka Station"
Phone: 050-5869-3916
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:30-15:00
[Dinner] 17:30-22:30
Budget: 2,000-2,999 yen
Closed: Tuesdays, every 3rd Wednesday

#7 Mochi Buta Tonkatsu Taiyou

jeenattさん(@jeenatt)がシェアした投稿 -

This highly skilled tonkatsu restaurant located in a back alley of a shopping district is always packed with local customers.
It has been featured in Michelin's Bib Gourmand for 3 consecutive years, starting in 2015.
Their signature dish, "Premium Pork Loin Katsu Set (1800 yen)," is carefully crafted by the quiet owner using "Mochi-Buta" brand pork. It may look standard at a glance, but once you take a bite you're sure to be impressed by its subtle flavors.
After the texture of the meat and the delicious umami of the fats are gone, a surprisingly light lingering flavor for tonaktsu remains.
Be sure to try this quality tonkatsu with salt for seasoning rather than sauce.
Unusual for a tonkatsu restaurant, you can make reservations for lunch on weekdays.
If you want to visit but avoid the wait, be sure to make a reservation in advance.

★Mochi Buta Tonkatsu Taiyou
Address: 3-22-7 Koyama, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Access: 8 minutes on foot from Tokyu Meguro Line's "Musashi-Koyama Station"\
Phone: 03-3831-2351
Hours: [Lunch] 11:30-14:30
[Dinner] 17:30-20:00
Budget: 1,000-1,999 yen
Closed: Mondays, Fridays

#6 Ponta Honke

t_taka_1008さん(@t_taka_1008)がシェアした投稿 -

This long-standing tonkatsu restaurant has a passionate following of fans even today.
Most customers order their specialty, the "Katsu Curry (2700 yen)."
The moist, quality pork is packed with delicious fatty juices, and when fried in a secret lard blend that includes beef tallow, the resulting tonkatsu is delightfully fragrant.
Once you bite into the crispy exterior, the sweet aroma of the pork spreads through your mouth with the juices - it's enough to make you want to laugh with joy!
While the relatively higher price may be off-putting to some, tonkatsu lovers should absolutely try this unmatched restaurant at least once.

★Ponta Honke
Address: 3-23-3 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: 2 minutes on foot from JR Yamanote Line and Keihin Tohoku Line's "Okachimachi Station" (South Exit)
Phone: 03-3831-2351
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:00-14:00
[Dinner] 16:30-20:00
Budget: 3,000-3,999 yen
Closed: Mondays

#5 Tonta

GLUTTONさん(@popopopo25)がシェアした投稿 -

This formidable tonkatsu restaurant is talented enough to split the popularity of "Narikura," located in tonkatsu hotspot area Takadanobaba.
While it's tucked away in a lonely area without any other restaurants nearby, when lunchtime rolls around, a line can form as early as 11:30.
Their tonkatsu is fried in low-temperature oil over a longer period of time, resulting in a characteristic light brown exterior and a pleasantly light but crispy texture.
The most popular dish is their "Special Pork Loin Katsu Set (2160 yen)," fried to a beautiful medium with a still rose-pink center.
If you try the tonkatsu plain without any other seasonings, you'll be able to enjoy the slight sweetness of the high-quality pork.
For additions to the miso soup included with the set meal, you can choose from pork and vegetables, freshwater clams, and wakame.
This is a habit-forming quality tonkatsu that you'll end up wanting to eat every day if you're in the area.

★Tonta
Address: 3-17-8 Takada, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Access: 5 minutes on foot from JR Yamanote Line's "Takadanobaba Station" (Waseda Exit)
Phone: 03-3989-0296
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:30-13:30
[Dinner] 18:00-21:00
Budget: 2,000-2,999 yen
Closed: Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays

#4 Sugita

t_taka_1008さん(@t_taka_1008)がシェアした投稿 -

This famous tonkatsu restaurant is located in Asakusa, a popular tourist destination in Tokyo.
The second-generation owner, the son of the restaurant's founder, works hard to continue his family's legacy.
Their signature "Pork Loin Katsu (2100 yen)" features a meticulously made but appetizing light-brown crust, made using a clever two-pot hot-oil cool-oil technique from the original owner.
The lean and fatty parts of the meat mingle beautifully in your mouth, and the thinly-cut tonkatsu is light and decidedly quality. It's definitely a dish that anyone can enjoy.
The set meal is luxurious, served with glossy rice and salted miso pork soup that serve to accent the star of the dish, the umami-packed tonkatsu.
Sugita truly is the embodiment of what a tonkatsu restaurant should be.

★Sugita
Address: 3-8-3 Kotobuki, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: 5 minutes on foot from Toei Asakusa Line's "Kuramae Station" (A5 Exit)
Phone: 03-3844-5529
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:30-14:00
[Dinner] 17:00-20:30
Budget: 2,000-2,999 yen
Closed: Thursdays, some Wednesdays

#3 Nomotoya

のもと家の特撰厚切りロースかつ定食240g 出てきた時分厚すぎて笑ってしまった〜 開店の20分前に行ったけどもう並んでてびっくり。でも開店と同時に座れた ソースじゃなくて茎わさびとお醤油で食べるの。 鹿児島県産の豚さんジューシーで美味しかったなぁ〜 満腹満腹満腹 ソースや塩も置いてあるからいろんな味で楽しめる! 一緒に出てきた豚汁も格別でした〜 女性の方はノーマルロースかつ定食をお勧めします(笑) 量が! . #のもと家 #とんかつ #ロースかつ定食 #ランチ #お昼ごはん #lunch #浜松町 #大門 #鹿児島県産 #六白黒豚 #お腹いっぱい #ごちそうさまでした

nomさん(@nompeace)がシェアした投稿 -

Located in the vicinity of Tokyo Tower, Nomotoya is a popular up-and-coming tonkatsu restaurant.
While its location on the 2nd floor of a shared building is rather inconvenient even for a tonkatsu restaurant, it still sometimes builds up a long line of businessmen who work in the neighborhood looking for delicious katsu around lunchtime.
If you do stop by, be sure to visit their specialty dish, the "Special Pork Loin Katsu Set 160g (2100 yen)."
It's typically eaten with the invigorating combination of sweet soy sauce and wasabi.
Nomotoya's owner honed his skills in an established Japanese restaurant, and the tonkatsu he makes using the best "Kurobuta" pork absolutely melts in your mouth.
The crispy exterior makes for the perfect pairing with the high-quality pork loin.
If you're stopping by with a healthy appetite, we recommend adding on their perfectly-cooked fried shrimp (450 yen each) as an additional topping.
If you're hoping to avoid the line, try visiting at dinnertime rather than at lunchtime.

★Nomotoya
Address: 2F 2-3-7 Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Access: 7 minutes on foot from JR Yamanote Line's "Hamamatsucho Station" (North Exit)
Phone: 03-6809-1529
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:30-14:00 (Saturdays are lunch only)
[Dinner] 17:30-20:30
Budget: 2,000-2,999 yen
Closed: Sundays

#2 Narikura

Narikura is an iconic tonkatsu restaurant whose name is known across the globe.
It has even maintained a steady rating as "Japan's #1 tonkatsu restaurant" on Tabelog for the past few years.
The high appeal of Narikura's tonkatsu lies in its lightness.
One of their most popular dishes, the "Special Pork Loin Katsu Set 250g (2900 yen)," is cooked in low-heat oil, which results in juicy tonkatsu with only excess liquid cooked out of the meat.
The delicious, high-quality fat of the pork melts in your mouth, and when you bite down it's almost as if the meat is about to fall apart.
Be sure to enjoy the light, subtle flavors of this tonkatsu without any extra seasonings.
While it is a high-price set meal, costing almost 3000 yen, you're sure to be satisfied with the delicious and refined flavors of the tonkatsu.

★Narikura
Address: B1F 1-32-11 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku,Tokyo
Access: 1 minute on foot from JR Yamanote Line's "Takadanobaba Station" (Toyama Exit)
Phone: 03-6380-3823
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:00-13:30
[Dinner] 17:30-20:00
Budget: 2,000-2,999 yen
Closed: Thursdays, Sundays

And the #1 Spot Goes To...

backrollさん(@backroll)がシェアした投稿 -

The #1 tonkatsu restaurant that we here at TokyoTableTrip would like to recommend to you is the incredibly talented "Maruyama Kippei."
The unique concept utilized by the chef, who is said to have had an epiphany at the famous restaurant "Aoki," is that "fat is life for pork."
We recommend their signature "Rib Roast 250g (no rice - 2400 yen)," which fully displays the delights of pork fat, for first-time customers.
Other restaurants can't even come close to the flavors achieved at Maruyama Kippei thanks to its use of "Hayashi SPF" brand pork, aged to draw out even more of the pork's potential.
The true highlight is the half-cooked fatty portion, which becomes one with the the fragrant exterior when you take a mouthful; it is indescribably good.
While the tonkatsu here is thick, you can happily clean your plate without feeling stuffed, perhaps thanks to the high quality of all ingredients used.
Maruyama Kippei is located about a 10-minute walk from Akihabara Station, a popular sightseeing area.
The owner-chef is a bit rough around the edges, but despite that, this is a must-visit famous restaurant in Tokyo with plenty of merit.

★Maruyama Kippei
Address: 5-20-8 Asakusabashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: 12 minutes on foot from JR Yamanote Line and Keihin Tohoku Line's "Akihabara Station"
Phone: Private
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:00-14:00
[Dinner] 17:30-19:30 (Saturdays only)
Budget: 2,000-2,999 yen
Closed: Sundays

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localtaste

Update on Maruyama Kippei: The wait is almost over. the new shop will be opened On July 26th under the same name near Kanda station about 3 minutes by walking.

over 1 year ago

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amy

Hi sorry to hijack, does anyone have an update review of the new Maruyama Kippei?

Narrowing my tonkatsu options down. I've been to Tonta and Narikura (before head chef moved to new location). I will be returning to Tonta, and would like to try a different shop.

Thanks in advance.
A

11 months ago
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Eric Yu

The Pursuit of Food Perfection | https://thepursuitoffoodperfection.wordpress.com

Hi Amy,

Please refer to this article - https://tokyotabletrip.com/en/418

Maruyama Kippei is the best option for high temp frying tonkatsu style, so highly recommend that you go!

Let us know how you find it.

11 months ago
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

amy

Hi Eric, thanks for this, I missed this post.
It looks like Ill need to make an choice or try have three (incl Tonta) . Im also looking at either Taiyou or Marugo too.
Personally prefer low temp frying.
If enough I had enough time to try more.

11 months ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Are you maybe hitting up the more old school places, like Tonki? Much nicer atmosphere than most. I also have maybe a sentimental favoritism towards Maisen.

If you go to Marugo, please be aware that a line starts forming quite early, and doesn't move as fast as you'd like... especially so cold outside in the winter. I sat on the ground floor counter, though they might move you upstairs. The kitchen was rather charming looking, in an old fashioned way. They seem to cut the pork to order. It isn't as serious as say, Narikura, in sourcing unusual pork, and modern techniques. Seemed like just everyday good food. One thing I liked, is they don't make you feel rushed to eat and get out. Hence, probably why the slow line.

11 months ago
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

amy

@menchikatsu
Thanks for your message. Ive had a look previously at Tonki but am not sure I will like their batter as much (who knows i may be wrong, but i will try it next time on a longer trip hopefully in the future!) . As above im really interested in low temperature frying and the ethereal batter achieved by Tonta (which is why im so adamant on returning there, even though I loved narikura too).

Would you say half an hohr before opening time is good for Marugo? Have you been to Taiyou too?

I still can't make up my mind whether to try Maruyama Kippei, Taiyou or Marugo. Looks like i can only have a max of 2 meals as tonkatsu sadly!!

11 months ago
Aaue7matqgoedt2djbnm6rfozv 4nbxranpl82 xmwsm s50

Eric Yu

The Pursuit of Food Perfection | https://thepursuitoffoodperfection.wordpress.com

I don't want to hate on Tonki (atmosphere is great, watching all the staff work like a drone of bees is cool in itself) but the tonkatsu there is pretty ordinary. It's home-style tonkatsu (and can be relatively easily recreated at home), which has it's time and place. But unless you are a Japanese local, Tonki will likely draw on an empty food memory and thus a good recommendation for tourist.

30 mins is enough for Marugo on a non peak day. You may want to err on the side of caution on a weekend etc.

And given your low temp preferences, the logical order would be Marugo, Taiyou then Maruyama. However, as a self confessed low temp fanatic, I actually like Maruyama more than Marugo and Taiyou. I think Maruyama's execution is so good that you should try it regardless of which side of the fence you sit on. And who knows, maybe after Maruyama you won't believe in fences anymore

11 months ago
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

amy

Exactly my thoughts Eric - I make tonkatsu at home, and since I'm coming all the way to Tokyo I want to be able to eat phenomenal tonkatsu, as opposed to a good/decent tonkatsu!

I think you have swayed me to try out Maruyama Kippei - would you say get there for 30 minutes early before a queue forms? I'll put Marugo next if I have any spare meal slots on this trip!

Can't wait!

Thank you for your advice!

11 months ago

guest

Hi Saito-san,

Does Ponta Honke still have the Katsu Curry (2700 yen). I can't find it on the menu, and haven't seen it in any photos online either?

Thanks!

over 1 year ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

They tend to not offer Katsu Curry, now.

over 1 year ago

tanseaway

Apparently Maruyama Kippei will reopen this year... Have you heard any more news about this?

over 1 year ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

There was some information about them looking for property to to aim to reopen in January, but there have been no further updates at present.

over 1 year ago

guest

This is D.

Saito San have you read this news?
https://takadanobaba.keizai.biz/headline/134/

over 1 year ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Unfortunately, "Narikura" ceased operations on March 23rd.
(Apparently, the owner, Mr. Mitani, is in poor health)
It seems like from April, his disciple will be succeeding the restaurant at the same location with the same name,
and we will likely be able to continue enjoying good-quality tonkatsu.

over 1 year ago

guest

Dear Saito San

Maruyama Kippei has closed down.

almost 2 years ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Yes, closed for good.

almost 2 years ago

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