10 Best Restaurants in Ueno

Food & Drinks in Tokyo
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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.

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Culture, nature, and culinary delights intersect in Tokyo’s Ueno district. It’s easy to lose yourself in Ueno Park’s lush greenery or explore the treasures within the museums here. From the bustling Ueno Zoo to the serene Shinobazu Pond, there’s an abundance of activities to work up an appetite. 

As the sun sets and your cravings awaken, join us on a journey through the 10 Best Restaurants in Ueno, promising flavors that mirror the diversity and dynamism of this vibrant Tokyo neighborhood. Whether you’re in the mood for sushi, BBQ, curry, or more, Ueno has everything you could possibly want. Let’s dig in!

1. Ueno Ichirin

Ueno Ichirin is an izakaya that offers creative Japanese cuisine, and the restaurant beckons with private rooms for an intimate dining experience. With over 50 types of sake alongside beer and wine, the libation choices are as diverse as the menu. Make sure to try the cheese dak galbi, where sweet and spicy bites of crispy fried chicken is dipped in melted cheese. If that doesn’t make your mouth water, they have plenty of other dishes from local delicacies to izakaya mainstays like yakiniku.

2. Hyakumangoku

Let your tastebuds guide a culinary journey at this traditional edomae sushi restaurant tucked away in an alley, cherished by those in the know. Every morning, they hunt for the freshest fish from the Tsukiji Market to your plate. The skilled artisans craft each piece precisely, ensuring a taste of the best seasonal seafood. The restaurant’s smooth Japanese cypress counter adds a touch of elegance to your dining experience while tempting sake snacks remind guests that this is not just sushi; it’s next level. 

Website: Hyakumangoku

3. Inshotei

tiarescott, CC BY 2.0 DEED via Flickr

In the heart of Ueno-koen Park, Inshotei promises a Kyoto-inspired culinary journey with spectacular park views. Nestled in Ueno for over 140 years, this timeless eatery synchronizes with the evolving landscapes and seasons of the park. The menu offers soy-based multi-course kaiseki and succulent chicken delights like sukiyaki, steamed salad, and grilled variations. Still, it’s the stunning views that draw guests. The picturesque communal area, adorned with large windows overlooking the park, transforms evenings into magical moments, especially during cherry blossom season when the trees radiate under soft night lights.

Website: Inshotei

4. Uguisudanien

lazy fri13th(CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), via flickr

Discover yakiniku nirvana at a restaurant where Tokyo’s finest grilled delights meet affordability. Wondering how to spot a top-notch joint in Japan? Just follow the locals. They’ll lead you to Uguisudanien, where the restaurant’s charm lies in its budget-friendly aura and mouthwatering menu. From the coveted special rump to the egg gukbap and the thick-cut harami, your taste buds are in for a sizzling treat. Anticipate a challenge snagging a reservation, but once you do, you’ll understand why this spot is the talk of the town. 

5. Tesshin

Savor the epitome of Japanese Black wagyu beef at Tesshin’s Ueno Branch, where teppan-yaki transforms this culinary treasure into a masterpiece. The Kuroge Wagyu Steak, a delightful grilled creation lightly sizzling on an iron plate, showcases the rich flavors of Japanese Black wagyu. Served in true Japanese style with salted kombu and wasabi, this dish perfectly balances fantastic taste and is reasonably priced. Whether seated at the cozy counter or a private room, Tesshin offers a comfortable atmosphere in which to relish these culinary delights.

6. Tonkatsu Yamabe

Indulge in tonkatsu perfection at Tonkatsu Yamabe, with two Ueno branches just minutes apart. Both locations boast unbeatable prices without compromising on quality. Their signature 2-centimeter thick cutlets, deep-fried to golden brown perfection with a coarse breadcrumb coating, offer a delightful crunch. Set menus include shredded cabbage, rice, miso soup, pickles, and mustard, providing a complete and satisfying tonkatsu experience. Drizzle your cutlet with tonkatsu sauce and a hint of mustard for the ultimate flavor fusion.

7. Yabu Soba

Naotake Murayama, CC BY 2.0 DEED via Flickr

Established in 1892, Yabu Soba is a hidden culinary treasure tucked away in a quiet alley off Ameyoko Shopping Street. With a discreet elegance, the restaurant stands out among the colorful establishments, drawing both locals working in Ueno and curious foreign tourists. The scent of authentic handmade soba noodles wafts from the first floor, where customers can witness the chef’s meticulous craft through a glass partition. Savor the firm and flavorful thin noodles made from Hokkaido buckwheat, accompanied by a soup stock from carefully chosen dried bonito flakes and honjozo soy sauce. Yabu Soba offers a true soba experience hidden in plain sight.

Website: Yabu Soba

8. Sakaeya

At Sakaeya, you won’t miss the words “Curry Shop” and “0 Minutes Waiting Time” as they pop in white against a sizzling red backdrop. In just 30 seconds, your plate is graced with a steaming blend of rice and curry, proving that this spot is the real deal. The restaurant flies under the foodie radar for quick, affordable, and nourishing Japanese curry. Popular with busy office workers, this is a perfect quick stop for anyone on the go who wants a filling and soul-satisfying meal without spending a lot of time or money. 

9. Kamadoya

Kamadoya Ueno is a unique Japanese culinary experience that feels like relaxing in a traditional Japanese-style house. Tucked in private rooms, the atmosphere exudes tranquility. The menu features Japanese-style dishes crafted from meticulously chosen ingredients directly sourced from their production areas. Indulge in the day’s fresh fish recommendation, prepared to your liking; whether sashimi, grilled, stewed, fried, namero, or nigiri sushi. The kotatsu-style seating ensures an exceptionally comfortable dining experience, making it easy to lose track of time in the comfort here.

Website: Kamadoya

10. Ramen Ippudo 

Savor the unbeatable richness of Hakata-style ramen at Ramen Ippudo, a culinary sensation celebrated nationwide. A short stroll from Okachimachi station, this ramen paradise near Ueno transports you to the first Ippudo, born in 1985 in Fukuoka. Famed for crafting authentic Tonkotsu Ramen, they specialize in a velvety pork broth topped with a dash of fiery red paste. Ippudo’s tonkatsu ramen has earned its title as “the most famous tonkatsu ramen shop in the country,” creating a legacy of unforgettable flavors that captivate ramen enthusiasts across Japan.

Website: Ramen Ippudo

Where do you want to dig in first? And for the ultimate food tour, catch up with Japan Wonder Travel – experts in all things Tokyo!

Japan Wonder Travel Tours in Tokyo

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

Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private 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!

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