Mao Goto is a Japanese freelancer who was born in Hayama, Kanagawa prefecture, and raised in Tokyo. Since 2016 she lives in the Taito Ward, home to a lot of Japanese culture hotspots such as Asakusa, Akihabara, and Ueno. She has been interested in the field of English education in Japan and got her Master’s degree in March 2020. A lover of photography, travel, sweets, and cross-stitch. Contact her via Facebook.
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If you are looking for a gourmet experience in Tokyo, one of the must-try dishes on your gastronomic exploration of Japan is udon cuisine. Tokyo in particular is a city that combines traditional Japanese cuisine with modern food culture, and is home to numerous unique udon restaurants. Discover the diverse udon scene in Tokyo, featuring traditional establishments in charming alleyways and modern, sophisticated restaurants in the downtown area. From long-established shops to innovative approaches by young chefs, this article presents a curated list of 10 highly recommended udon restaurants, showcasing the rich tapestry of udon culture in the bustling metropolis.
1. Udon Shin
Udon Shin is a specialty restaurant that takes the time and effort to serve freshly cut and freshly boiled udon noodles without any compromise. They give visitors the best udon experience possible and do not leave the udon cut or boiled. The time and effort they put into their udon is directly reflected in the flavor and texture of their udon. They choose premium ingredients for their udon, utilizing those recognized as the most fitting. This commitment ensures the creation of exceptional noodles during the noodle-making process. This leads to the deep satisfaction and depth of flavor that you feel the moment you put the noodles in your mouth. Why not try the owner’s special udon noodles?
Official Website: Udon Shin (Only in Japanese)
2. Udon Maruka
Udon Maruka is a very popular udon shop in Jimbocho that has captivated the taste buds of many udon fans. Once you experience the taste, you will understand why they are praised as the best in Tokyo. The restaurant’s reasonable prices are also a great point for those on a budget, with a wide variety of dishes priced around 500 yen, making it easy to enjoy a luxurious experience. The glutinous texture and deep flavor of the noodles enhance the appeal of Udon Maruka and will definitely satisfy the taste buds of the customers.
3. Udon Yamacho
Udon Yamacho and its store in Ebisu, is an udon restaurant with a beautiful location nestled along the Meguro River. Here, you can enjoy udon noodles with authentic dashi broth made by Yamacho Shoten, which boasts over 100 years of history in Osaka’s Kuromon Market. The restaurant offers a diverse lineup of udon noodles, with 17 different varieties available. The sincerity that goes into each and every bowl of udon and the aroma of the fine broth will captivate your taste buds.
Shodai is an unusual type of udon-restaurant located in Ebisu. You can enjoy a unique udon experience that is different from regular udon. Surprisingly, the udon is covered with a white mousse, making it look like a sweet. However, the surprise hidden in the bowl is unleashed the moment you eat it. Underneath the white mousse is a rich curry udon soup. At first, the appearance may deceive you, but once you take a bite, you cannot help but marvel at its deliciousness. The perfect combination with the mousse enhances the flavor of the udon and will make sure to surprise all guests.
Official Website: Shodai (Only in Japanese)
5. Hanayama Udon
Gourmet foods filled with regional flavors are spread throughout Japan. Among them is Hanayama Udon, an udon shop that originated in Gunma and is spreading its charms to Tokyo. Using luxurious Gunma-grown wheat, the noodles are handmade with a soft texture and firmness. With each bite, you can feel the flavor of the wheat and the excellent craftsmanship put into the udon. The ingredients they carefully select enhance the taste of their udon noodles. Himokawa Udon (ひもかわうどん) is also offered as a part of this process, and is characterized by its wide noodles. Gunma’s famous udon can be easily enjoyed in Tokyo.
Official Website: Hanayama Udon (Only in Japanese)
Daitsune, located in Ginza, Tokyo, is an udon restaurant opened in February 2010 by a grocer that has been in business since the Edo period. The store’s specialty is that it uses dashi broth made from carefully selected natural ingredients, without only natural seasonings. The soup stock, which is made from kelp, dried bonito flakes, and other bounties of nature, offers a pleasant cup with a gentle flavor. The “Avocado Udon” is particularly popular. The avocado garnished in the center of the udon makes its spectacular presence known. The combination of traditional Japanese udon and fresh avocado will surprise anyone who eats it.
Official Website: Daitsune (Only in Japanese)
Sanukiya, located in Koenji is an udon specialty restaurant that connects with the local climate and offers the finest udon noodles. Sanukiya uses local farm products to both contribute to the local community and provide great taste. The restaurant also offers a rare type of udon using whole wheat flour. Its texture and flavor are different from regular udon.It is a unique style of udon to enjoy with blue cheese as dipping sauce.
Official Website: Sanukiya (Only in Japanese)
8. Sanuki Udon Iwai
Sanuki Udon Iwai, located in Jujo is, as the name suggests, a very popular udon restaurant. Here, the owner continues to make noodles every day in order to offer the finest cup of udon. The udon noodles created by the owner, who was trained in Kagawa Prefecture, the home of udon, are truly imbued with the spirit of Sanuki. Tempura toppings are another attraction of this restaurant. The wide variety of tempura blends perfectly with the udon broth, doubling the pleasure of eating it.
9. Sato Yosuke Ginza Inaniwa Udon
Located in Ginza, Tokyo, Sato Yosuke Ginza Store specializes in Inaniwa Udon, a specialty of Akita Prefecture. Their main store is located in Akita Prefecture, and what you can enjoy here is a superb bowl of firm Inaniwa Udon noodles, which is infused with Akita’s beautiful nature and traditions. The Sato Yosuke Ginza Store also has a gift corner where you can purchase dried Inaniwa udon noodles and other products from Sato Yosuke Shoten. The items are ideal as souvenirs for when you return to your home country, and you can give the taste of Akita to your loved ones as well.
Official Website: Sato Yosuke Ginza Inaniwa Udon
Shimada is a curry udon specialty restaurant with a retro atmosphere located in Omotesando. Its curry udon soup is characterized by an exquisite combination of well-balanced spices and chicken broth. One sip will soothe your soul with its deep flavor and aroma. The mild taste will make you feel relaxed.
In this article, we have carefully selected 10 recommended restaurants in Tokyo that serve excellent udon and introduced their charms, but is there any udon restaurant you want to visit? As a place where history and modernity, tradition and innovation intersect, this city is home to a wide variety of udon restaurants that please a wide range of people, from food connoisseurs to those tasting udon for the first time. Why not experience the charm of udon in all its diversity and enjoy a moment of aromatic broth and heartwarming food?
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