Japanese cuisine has a number of fabulous noodles worth eating when you’re visiting the country. Soba, or buckwheat noodles, is one of the most popular around.
Tenseiro soba at Fukudaya. - image © Florentyna Leow
While they’re most familiar to overseas diners in their slender, mottled brown form, there are in reality many different styles of soba. Soba noodles can be thin and smooth, or rustic and a little chewier, and everything in between.
Best of all, you can find soba specialists at all price points. From the cheap and cheerful to the refined and expensive, there’s a restaurant for everyone! Any of these soba restaurants are sure to hit the spot when you’re out exploring Tokyo.
- Fukudaya (Shibuya; budget to mid-range)
A narrow back street in Dogenzaka houses some of the best soba noodles in Shibuya - a great lunch between all the shopping.
- Teuchi Soba Matsunaga (Harajuku; budget to mid-range)
For high-quality soba noodles in quiet, relaxed surroundings, Teuchi Matsunaga Soba is a great choice when you’re in the Harajuku area.
- Soba Bar & AN (Akasaka; budget to mid-range)
Whether you’re looking for a delicious and casual lunch, or sake snacks to go with your soba noodles, Soba Bar & AN in Akasaka has something for everyone. You must try the ramen-style hot soba noodles!
- Honmura-an (Roppongi; mid-range)
For a slow lunch of soba in serene surroundings, try Honmura-an in Roppongi. It’s an oasis of calm amid the chaos of Roppongi.
- Yomoda Soba Ginzaten (Ginza; budget)
Ginza doesn’t have to be all about pricey eating. Yomoda Soba is a down-to-earth canteen-style soba and curry operation that’s a great choice for a quick, inexpensive meal.
- Suju Masayuki Raku (Tokyo Station Area; budget to mid-range)
Soba restaurant Suju Masayuki Raku near Tokyo Station doesn’t go in for refined slurps. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but their rustic, unabashedly hearty noodle bowls are sure to win some folks over.
- Kanda Matsuya (Kanda; budget to mid-range)
At this long-running soba stalwart in Kanda, you'll slurp up delicious buckwheat noodles in old-fashioned, unpretentious surroundings. Don't expect a lot of fanfare - it's all about the noodles and little else.
- Kanda Yabu Soba (Kanda; budget to mid-range)
Kanda Yabu Soba is one of Tokyo’s oldest soba restaurants, and it’s still serving up a taste of old Edo today. Don’t forget to try the seasonal specialties when you visit.
- Okinaan (Ueno; budget)
Hearty soba in an atmospheric, local noodle joint that’s just a stone’s throw from Ueno Station.
- Namiki Yabusoba (Asakusa; budget)
For soba in Asakusa, there are few better places to visit than Namiki Yabusoba. The highlight is its flavorful, concentrated dipping sauce - it’s sure to be a novel experience for those already familiar with soba.
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Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
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- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
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