10 Best Restaurants in Shin-Okubo, Tokyo’s Koreatown

Food & Drinks in Tokyo
Writer's Profile
Writer’s Profile

Misty Fujii is a Canadian who moved to Osaka, Japan, in 2019 and married her Japanese sweetheart. In 2022, they had a baby and moved to Fukui for the clean country air. She is a DJ who teaches English part-time and writes to share Japan with the world. She gets excited about collecting vintage vinyl records, food from all countries, travelling, and renovating her traditional Japanese house.

This post may contain some affiliate links. When you click through and make a purchase we may receive some commission, at no extra cost to you.

Korea is closer than you think! Only one stop away from Shinjuku, Shin-Okubo, Tokyo’s Koreatown, is about more than just bibimbap and bulgogi (although both are legendary here). It’s a dining district that is anything but ordinary! Take your pick from sizzling Korean BBQ, delicious dak galbi, and unexpected culinary surprises to make your tastebuds do the Gangnam Style. Think bubble tea so good it’ll make you kawaii squeal, melt-in-your-mouth fried chicken, and a pulsing K-pop soundtrack to keep things interesting!

Ready to embark on a flavor adventure unlike any other? Grab a bib and prepare to discover the 10 best restaurants in Shin-Okubo. 

1. NeNe Chicken

Alpha, CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED via Flickr

NeNe Chicken is South Korea’s fried chicken king, boasting over 1300 locations worldwide, with 3 right in Shin-Okubo! It’s the ultimate pit stop for authentic Korean flavors, only steps away from Shin-Okubo Station. Forget bland birds; this spot serves up addictive sweet & spicy Yangnyeom and crunchy Nene Kinpa with a sweet & spicy kick. NeNe Chicken is always buzzing, but fear not; takeout is an option, too!

Website: NeNe Chicken

2. Shijan Dak Galbi

If you’re craving fresh, authentic Korean flavors bursting with herbs and spices, head to a specialty shop that knows its stuff. The wait might be long, but trust us, it’s worth it! You’ll feel like you’re starring in a K-drama when you enter the charming old Korean-style house. Plenty of lively chatter and spicy chicken stir-fries await, ready to burn your belly without leaving much of a dent in your wallet. 

Website: Shijan Dak Galbi

3. Sul bing Cafe

Dick Thomas Johnson, CC BY 2.0 DEED via Flickr

Sul bing comes straight from Busan to Shin-Okubo, and it’s the “it” spot for bingsu bliss. You’ll find mountainous mounds of Korean shaved ice smothered in wildly-delicious flavors like strawberry cheese melon and Oreo chocolate. On top of that, there’s a whole variety of tasty desserts, perfect for a sugar fix! These Insta-worthy masterpieces are as scrumptious as they are stunning, perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth and social media feed. Plus, with two floors and big windows, Sul bing’s a cool and unique cafe for your whole group. 

Janine, CC BY 2.0 DEED via Flickr

Instagram: @sulbingjapan

4. Delica Ondoru

Speaking of your whole group, Delica Ondoru is an excellent option for a feast for you and your crew! Delica Ondoru throws a mini-banquet party for four or more! You get two hours of sizzling meats, an avalanche of yummy side dishes, and even dessert, all at a wallet-friendly price. But don’t worry, solo travelers and duos, Delica Ondoru’s got you covered, too, with a massive à la carte menu. Delica Ondoru has two locations within walking distance, with one open 24/7! That means you can pre-game your nighttime Shinjuku adventures OR indulge after a night of exploring.

Website: Delica Ondoru


Are you looking for food with a K-Pop soundtrack? LUNA’s got music videos blasting on big screens, youthful energy buzzing in the air, and a menu perfect for sharing. The vibe is young, fun, and totally Korean, fueled by affordable BBQ, sushi twists, and every imaginable drink. Think cheap & cheerful eats perfect for budget-savvy foodies. And for a different vibe (and menu!), check out the adjoining LUNA cafe.

Instagram: @luna_shinokubo

6. 2D Cafe

Wendy teoderCC-BY-SA-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever dreamt of stepping into a real life manga? Look no further than Shin-Okubo’s trippy cafe-meets-optical-illusion! This mind-bending cafe is all black and white and looks like a 2-dimensional piece of paper. Imagine plush chairs disguised as sketches, fake flower pots painted on the walls, and colorful desserts that pop against the monochrome madness. Forget boring cafes; this one’s an Instagram dream! Choose between a rainbow of bubble tea flavors, from pineapple to tomato (yes, you read that right!), and when you need a sugar rush, dig into the Korean shaved ice or try some 2D cake. This Seoul-born concept has taken the world by storm, and if social media is any judge, it’s easy to see why!

Instagram: @2dcafe_shinokubo

7. Tonchang

Tonchang is a legendary BBQ joint that was the first in Japan to serve samgyeopsal. Decades later, they’re still sizzling up mouthwatering feasts across Japan. The vibes are young and fun, with music that’ll get your head bopping. However, even if you’re not a party animal, their kimchi fried rice and samgyeopsal alone are worth the visit! Their commitment to quality ingredients and culinary tradition translates into mouthwatering meat selections and an extensive array of banchan, the delicious side dishes that complete the Korean barbecue experience. Plus, it’s super close to Shin-Okubo Station, so there’s no need for a marathon walk to get your BBQ fix.

Website: Tonchang


Don’t be fooled by the Italian-sounding name because Tomato takes home-cooked Korean comfort food to a new level, winning over young Korean students and even K-pop celebrity sightings! Their signature dish is samgyeopsal, the holy grail of Korean BBQ. Prepare for sizzling pork belly goodness with an all-you-can-eat option for adventurous eaters. They’ve even got stews that’ll warm your soul, sizzling hot pots, and savory chijimi pancakes. While it might not be fancy, Tomato’s authentic flavors and cozy atmosphere means it tops plenty of “best of” lists for Shin-Okubo adventurers.

Website: TOMATO

9. Saemaeul

Craving yakiniku so good it’ll transport you to Seoul? Skip the plane ticket and head to Saemaeul for legendary Korean BBQ! This authentic chain lives up to its name, “New Village,” by bringing fresh flavors and generous portions. Sizzling meats are served with a parade of side dishes, and you’ll see why this is the top choice for Korean customers and Korean food fans. Watch as your table morphs into a miniature food market overflowing with kimchi that packs a punch, pickled delights that tickle your taste buds, and enough variety to satisfy even the most adventurous eater. Lines can get long on the weekends, but it’s well worth the wait. 

10. Cafe on

Cafe on is a K-Pop paradise disguised as a café. It’s got it all from giant screens blasting your fave music videos, walls adorned with celeb autographs, and even the chance to request a song! But Cafe on isn’t just about the visuals. Order the Moppan, a mountain of fried chicken, cheesy rice cakes, cheese balls, and a cheese pork cutlet, all on one plate. Need something sweet? They’ve got adorable bear-shaped bingsu that is as photogenic as it is delicious. Keep your eyes peeled – you might spot a K-Pop star sipping their bubble tea next to you!

Instagram: @cafeon

So there you have it – your ultimate guide to conquering the culinary delights of Shin-Okubo! Which restaurant will you head to first?

Japan Wonder Travel Food Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are traveling in, our knowledgeable and friendly guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo where you will have the chance to try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake along with your friendly English speaking guide! 

tsukiji tour

Shinjuku Bar Hopping Tour: Experience Tokyo’s Nightlife in Izakaya
Check out the best spots in Shinjuku while bar hopping through the lively and vibrant area. Try some delicious local food and drink as you explore the narrow yet photogenic alleys that the town has to offer. Experience Japanese izakaya culture and drink in Shinjuku like the locals!

Explore Nishiki Market: Food & Culture Walk
If you’re looking to learn more about the culture and the local cuisine of Kyoto, this is the perfect tour for you! Take part in this Kyoto food and drink tour and explore the 400-year-old market and the surrounding areas.

Follow us on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and TikTok for more travel inspiration. Or tag us to get featured!

Happy traveling!

Other articles you might be interested in


Food & Drinks in Tokyo
Sponsored links
Share this article on your social media
Copied title and URL