While tonkatsu isn’t necessarily a Tokyo speciality, this city takes its food seriously, so it’s only natural that it’s home to some astounding tonkatsu restaurants. All of the following restaurants serve great renditions of this dish, and none of them will break the bank!
Hot, crispy breadcrumb batter encasing slices of moist pork loin @ Fukuyoshi - image © Florentyna Leow
Tonkatsu refers to a dish of breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets. Usually, you have a choice of fillet or loin. It’s pretty straightforward, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring - sometimes the best things in life are just that simple. At its best, you’ll bite into a crispy breadcrumb shell encasing tender meat and a layer of fat that melts in your mouth. In Japan, it’s often served with a tangy brown tonkatsu sauce, a dash of karashi mustard, or salt. Heaps of shredded cabbage, a plate of rice, and miso soup round off the meal.
- Agezuki (Shinjuku; budget to mid-range)
Who doesn’t like breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets? At Agezuki in Kagurazaka, the chef has been making tonkatsu for the last three decades - and has pretty much perfected the art of tonkatsu.
- Maisen (Harajuku; mid-range)
Located in an old converted bathhouse near Omotesando Station, tonkatsu specialist Maisen has devotees lining up for its spectacular tonkatsu. Expect to pay a premium for quality, and decide for yourself if it’s worth the wait.
- Fukuyoshi (Harajuku; budget to mid-range)
Looking for tonkatsu in Harajuku? Skip the queues at Maisen and visit Fukuyoshi instead - a charming mom n’ pop shop with tasty pork cutlets.
- Tonki (Meguro; budget to mid-range)
A true Tokyo institution, tonkatsu specialist Tonki in Meguro has been serving tasty deep-fried pork cutlets since 1939. Old-school traditions don’t get better than this.
- Butagumi Dining (Roppongi; mid-range)
Craving a quick meal in Roppongi? Head to Butagumi Dining - a casual tonkatsu restaurant taking this B-grade cuisine staple to heavenly heights.
- Tonkatsu Marugo (Akihabara; mid-range)
On a side street in Akihabara is this sedate-looking tonkatsu restaurant. But don’t let Tonkatsu Marugo’s unassuming exterior fool you - this restaurant serves some of the area’s best tonkatsu, and has queues to match.
- Yabaton Tokyo Ginzaten (Ginza; budget to mid-range)
There’s no need to visit Nagoya for miso katsu. Yabaton serves up this Aichi prefecture specialty of rich miso sauce-drenched fried pork cutlet at their Ginza outpost.
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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
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online with Klook 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.
- 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
- Get esssential travel insurance for Tokyo – World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)