Japanese curry is not like Indian or Southeast Asian curry - it’s an entire genre in its own right. At its worst, it’s thick, one-note, and too salty, like it came straight out of a store-bought curry roux mix. But at its best, it’s a gloriously flavourful, umami-packed sauce with gently spicy depths – all without setting your mouth on fire. There are probably as many variations as there are stars in the sky!
The most popular "1 Day’s Worth of Vegetables” curry, with two stewed chicken drumsticks alongside. - image © Florentyna Leow
Curry is universally loved by Japanese people, and it’s also one of the most comforting, inexpensive meals around. Tokyo has thousands of curry restaurants, and we’d be hard-pressed to list all of them – you could spend several months eating curry for every meal and still not even get through half the city!
These are just a few of our favourite curry restaurants. They’re reasonably priced, delicious, and easily accessible. Give them a try on days when only a hot curry will hit the spot!
- Mokubaza (Harajuku; budget)
Mokubaza’s keema curry is the heavenly holy trinity of stewed meat, melted cheese and egg yolk. It’s a great way to fill up while exploring Harajuku or Shibuya.
- Mi no Ringo (Harajuku; budget)
Mi no Ringo’s keema curry is saucy, soul-warming, and spicy - a perfect lunch break on a chilly autumn day in Harajuku.
- Mandara (Jimbocho; budget)
Jimbocho is famous for two things: bookstores and curry. After book shopping in Jimbocho, fortify yourself with some fabulous keema and chicken curry at underground Indian restaurant Mandara.
- Chantoya Coconut Curry (Jimbocho; budget/ moderate)
Chantoya Coconut Curry in Jimbocho looks like your average gorgeous Tokyo cafe, but it serves some fabulous coconut curries. If you’re in a hurry or just want to eat at home instead, they have a take-out window and delivery options.
- Karē wa Nomimono (Akihabara; budget)
Curry rice isn’t pretty, but it is soulful and immensely satisfying. Karē wa Nomimono in Akihabara serves voluminous plates of curry rice that’s pure comfort food on every level.
- Hinoya (Akihabara; budget)
For a gut-busting, deeply flavourful plate of curry rice, look no further than Hinoya in Akihabara. A single meal might smash your calorie count for the day with toppings like cheese, deep-fried pork, and buttered corn – but it’s so good that you just won’t care!
- Joto Curry (Akihabara; budget)
Japanese-style curry rarely gets better than Joto Curry. Head over to the Akihabara outpost of this beloved Osakan curry chain for a hearty plate of curry that’s sure to blow you away.
Best Tokyo Restaurant Recommendations
- Best Restaurants in Tokyo
- Best Sushi in Tokyo
- Best Kaiseki/Kappo/Other Haute Cuisine in Tokyo
- Best Izakaya in Tokyo
- Best Ramen in Tokyo
- Best Soba in Tokyo
- Best Udon in Tokyo
- Best Tonkatsu in Tokyo
- Best Teppanyaki in Tokyo
- Best Tempura in Tokyo
- Best Wagyu in Tokyo
- Best Unagi in Tokyo
- Best Yakitori in Tokyo
- Best Pizza in Tokyo
- Best Curry Rice in Tokyo
- Best Soup Curry in Tokyo
- Best Teishoku and Donburi in Tokyo
- Best Vegan/Vegetarian in Tokyo
Where Are These Places Located?See these places on the Truly Tokyo Google map:
- Open the Tokyo map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals. Check my guides to arriving at Narita Airport and at Haneda Airport.
- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with a Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world