Hokkaido soup curry might be one of the greatest Japanese culinary inventions of the last few decades. It’s exactly as it sounds - a thin soup flavored with Indian spices and herbs, packed with meat (optional) and vegetables, served with rice on the side.
Special Chicken & Vegetable Soup Curry with Crispy Grilled Cheese @ Dominica. - image © Florentyna Leow
In a land famed for its lack of spices, soup curry is an explosion of spice, heat and flavor. Most importantly, there’s a heavy emphasis on vegetables you don’t see in most casual dining options in Japan, making soup curry a lighter, healthier option when you have a curry itch to scratch.
The only caveat to soup curry? The broths are invariably meat and fish-based, so it’s not a vegetarian-friendly dish. But barring dietary restrictions, if you want a variety of cooked vegetables when eating out, soup curry is the delicious and reliable option.
- Dominica (Tokyo Station area; budget)
Dominica’s soup curry is a fine example of the genre - spicy and hearty, generously portioned with meat and vegetables in equal measure. It’s no wonder this Kyobashi restaurant is so popular with local office workers!
- Audrey (Jimbocho; budget)
Few districts in Tokyo are better than Jimbocho and its environs for curry. And when it comes to soup curry in the area, Audrey is the joint to hit up. Their pork bone and vegetable bowl is like a hug for your stomach.
- Ganesha (Shimbashi; budget)
Located a 6-minute walk from Shimbashi Station, Ganesha is a cozy soup curry eatery that’s a firm favourite with local office workers. Join them for some of the area’s best soup curry!
- Shanti (Harajuku; budget)
For good soup curry packed with vegetables and spices, we like Shanti in Harajuku. We also love that it’s a little less crowded than most places in the area, and that you won’t have to queue for hours!
- Soup Curry Kamui (Akihabara; budget)
Fancy your soup curry with a dose of kawaii? Soup Curry Kamui in Akihabara is the place to go. You get anime-style artwork on the walls, and the waitresses are decked out in maid costumes on the weekends. It’s a novel treat, that’s for sure!
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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
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- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals.
- 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
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
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