17 Best Street Food in Tokyo You Should Not Miss!

Street Foods in Tokyo | FAIR Inc

Trying out the best street food in Tokyo is one of the most enthralling things to do during your trip.

A shop stand or stall is commonly known as Yatai in Japan. It is a wooden cart on wheels, equipped with kitchen appliances and seating that can be transported and set up in the early evening on pedestrian walkways and removed late at night or in the early morning hours.

So, if you are a street-food lover, here are the 17 street food that you should not miss when touring around the busiest city in the world. These are budget-friendly and the best on-the-go food. Where can you buy them? Read on!

Best Japanese Sweets Street Food in Tokyo

1. Ningyo-Yaki (Doll Cake)

(Ningyi-Yaki) | FAIR Inc

毒島みるく, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Doll Cakes are sweets in which the batter, made from flour, eggs, and sugar water, is poured into a mold and baked. There is also a sweet filling in the middle that has a variety of flavors, including red bean paste, custard cream, and chocolate. Also, it comes in various shapes and sizes and character forms, such as Doraemon, Hello Kitty, and more.

For example, Taiyaki is a fish-shaped cake while Imagawayaki is spherical shapes are a traditional Japanese pancake. Unlike the classic pancake, it is crispy outside and comes with a sweet filling.

You will for sure enjoy the food culture of Japan by tasting the traditional Ningyo-Yaki. Don’t forget to capture it before you’ll take a bite.

Typical Price:  500 JPY (for 7)

Where to buy it?
    • Narita Airport
    • Haneda Airport
    • Chubu Centrair
    • Souvenir shops in Tokyo
    • Tokyo’s popular tourist attractions

2. Harajuku Crepes

Street Foods in Tokyo (Harajuku Crepes) | FAIR Inc

Corpse Reviver, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Photogenic! Or you can probably say it is one of the most Instagrammable snacks in Tokyo. Crepes are said to be an “exemplary representation of Tokyo’s most vibrant and eccentric neighborhood”.

This is what has come to be known as the “Japanese crepe”, a rolled-up version of the French classic in which a very generous amount of various fillings is added. Having a crepe is a must-do thing in Harajuku. Who would want to miss this?

Typical Price: 200-500 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • Harajuku area – Marion Crepes or Santa Monica Crepes

3. Choco-Banana

Well doesn’t this look fun to eat? A chocolate-coated banana dessert covered in colorful sprinkles is indeed a must-have treat in Tokyo. On the other hand, this delicacy is something anyone else can simply create. There is almost a lot of available recipes online. But if you can find vendors who sell this street food delight, you can have a taste for starters.

Food stall vendors offer this snack in various kinds of chocolate – from milk chocolate to white chocolate. What chocolate flavor would you prefer?

You can also make this fun dessert at home with your kids (if you have one).

Price: 200 JPY

*If you have a hard time finding vendors that sell chocolate bananas in Tokoy, Fukuoka is one of Japan’s cities where this is well-known.

4. Matcha

Matcha is a world-known fine ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. In fact, the traditional Japanese served it during a ceremony that embodied a meditative spirituality.

But today, matcha has been used in different ways – from ice cream gelato, KitKat, doughnuts to frappes, and even beer. And actually, there are multiple shops to try out various matcha flavored food and drinks in Tokyo that are off the street.

Typical Price: 200-350 JPY

Where to buy?
    • Nanaya Aoyama
    • Shibuya City, Tokyo
    • Suzukien Asakusa
    • Taito City, Tokyo 111-0032

5. Daigaku Imo

Street Food in Tokyo (Daigaku Imo) | FAIR Inc

Ocdp, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sweet potatoes are one of the best Tokyo street food options. But when chopped into chunks, deep-fried, and glazed with caramelized sugar or honey, it can be utterly irresistible.

Served hot with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds, it’s cheap, nutritious and delicious.

Typical Price: 700 JPY (400g)

Where to buy?
    • Chibaya, Asakusa (residential area)

Japanese Food on a Stick Street Food

6. Tamagoyaki

Tamagoyaki is a type of Japanese omelet, which is made by rolling together several layers of the cooked egg then served on a stick. It is usually seasoned with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce often prepared in a rectangular omelet pan called a makiyakinabe.

With a slightly sweet taste and custardy texture, tamagoyaki is well-loved amongst the Japanese children and adults alike. For this reason, it can often be found in bento boxes, and it is traditionally served either for breakfast or as a sushi topping.

However, you don’t have to visit Japan to have a taste of their version because how Tamagoyaki is being prepared is all over the internet. You can easily cook it and even have fun making your version.

Typical Price: 100 JPY

Where to buy?
    • Marutake
    • Tsukiji’s Jōgai
    • Outer Market

7. Menchi Katsu

Menchi Katsu is a hambagu (Japanese-style Salisbury steak) that’s breaded in panko breadcrumbs and then deep-fried. Simply speaking, this western-style Japanese food is a ground meat cutlet (a combination of beef and pork) cooked with sautéed onions. It’s a snack known to be tender and juicy even on the first bite.

Although Menchi Katsu is already delicious on its own, to add up the fun, it may be served with tonkatsu sauce. Indeed, another food you can create from home with recipes that are searchable online.

Typical Price: 220 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • Satou Steak House

8. Mitarashi Dango (rice flour dumplings)

Street Food (Mitarashi Dango) | FAIR Inc

Ocdp, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

After being grilled over charcoal, typically, three to four dumplings are served on a bamboo skewer with a gorgeous coating of sweet and gooey soy sauce glaze.

Mitarashi Dango is one of the best cheap eats in Tokyo! Have a taste of the complimenting sweet and salty experience, and this bite-sized goodness might just become a new street food fave.

They’re a year-round snack, with different varieties being more popular according to the given season. Most go well with green tea.

Typical Price: 100-150 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • Temple areas in Tokyo

9. Ikayaki

“Ika” means squid, while “yaki” means grilled.

A whole, entire squid served straight off the grill on a stick and gently flavored with sweet soy sauce. This can be an appetizing meal simply cooked and coated with soy sauce. But the natural taste of the sea serves you a surprisingly flavorful experience.

Typical Price: 170-500 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • Local wet markets
    • Tsukiji Fish Market
    • Outer Market area

10. Yakitori

(Yakitori) | FAIR Inc

Ocdp, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yakitori can be translated to “grilled chicken,” from the Japanese words yaki (grill) and tori (chicken). Its preparation involves skewering the meat with Kushi, a type of skewer typically made of steel or bamboo. After, they are grilled over a charcoal fire. During or after cooking, the meat is typically seasoned with tare sauce or salt.

You can find Yakitori everywhere in Tokyo. Either way, they’re a street food classic and must not be missed!

Here are the popular types of Yakitori:

  • Negima
  • Mune
  • Momo
  • Sasami
  • Tsukune
  • Tebasaki
  • Reba
  • Hatsu
  • Sunagimo
  • Bonjiri
  • Torikawa

Typical Price: 100-200

Where to buy it?
    • Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho (Memory Lane\Piss Alley)

Famous Healthy Street Food in Tokyo

11. Onigiri

We can’t forget sushi, of course! But how about a snack related to our all-time favorite?

However, larger than sushi, this iconic Tokyo food usually comes in a triangular form. It has a thin layer of crisp seaweed wrapped around a tightly packed mouthful of rice, often with a savory filling on the inside.

The best on-the-go snack!

Typical Price: 100-250 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • You’ll find onigiri shops inside railway stations and convenience stores around the city.

12. Okaki (rice crackers)

These super-crunchy rice crackers can be eaten on the spot or taken to go as they have a long shelf life. Some are soaked in soy sauce, while others come wrapped in seaweed. Shapes vary as well.

It has also spicy versions that come coated in red pepper and a Nure Okaki version known as wet rice cracker, the Tamagosenbei, or the Takosenbei.

Typical Price: 200-300 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • Sendagaya wood 3-37-16 | 3-33-9
    • Sugamo, Toshima-Ku |  1-13-4
    • Asakusa, Taito-Ku |  1-9-13
    • Azabujuban, Minato-ku

13. Tempura

One of Japan’s most world-renowned delicacies! The golden perfection comes in many mouth-watering forms; there’s the classic Shrimp Tempura, other seafood varieties, and even vegetable tempura.

It is a batter-coated, deep-fried snack super thin, super light, crispy and incredibly flavorful. That is why you should not miss this one of the best street food in Tokyo, Japan.

Typical Price: 100-150 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • Shinjuku food markets

14. Takoyaki

Tokyo food Takoyaki | FAIR Inc

Alaric Favier, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The name translates as “octopus fried,” but that doesn’t fully describe the treat. These balls of batter are filled with green onions, ginger, octopus, and tempura pieces, and are then finished in the frier. It is often topped with a spiced, savory sauce and fish shavings.

Takoyaki is available outside Japan and can also easily be made at home. But was it more exciting is to try this food at the place where it was first introduced.

So don’t forget to taste the authentic Takoyaki sold in the streets of Tokyo.

Typical Price: 400-600 JPY (good for 8 pax)

Where to buy it?
    • Gindaco, Tokyo

15. Oden

Oden is the best comfort food and the perfect antidote to those cold wintry nights in Tokyo. It refers to a wide assortment of stewed ingredients, from fish cakes to tofu, from meat to vegetables, cooked in a rich, flavorful dashi-based broth.

Oden is custom-ordered so you get to pick and choose exactly what you want. Prepare to be incredibly warm and incredibly satisfied!

Typical Price: 100-300 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • Maruken, Suisan

16. Shoyu Ramen

Shoyu Ramen of Japan

Guilhem Vellut, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We can’t also miss out on having street food Ramen, right? So, you might find an eatery, withstanding tables on the sidewalk, serving awesome-looking blanching yellow noodles in steaming hot soup with four slices of pork, some leek, and sprouts to garnish, lastly, raw minced garlic on top.

Price: 650 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • Chuka Soba Inoue/4-9-16 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan

17. Yakisoba

“Fried buckwheat” is a Japanese noodle stir-fry dish. Although soba means buckwheat, yakisoba noodles are made from wheat flour and typically flavored with a condiment similar to Worcestershire sauce.

The dish first appeared in food stalls in Japan during the early 20th century, and up til now, it is a trend on the streets aside from well-known restaurants.

Typical Price: 350-700 JPY

Where to buy it?
    • Asakusa (near No.6 exit, shopping street)

These are just 17 of the must-try street-foods that are budget-friendly and worth tasting, but actually, there’s a lot more to discover in Japan, particularly Tokyo. Most of such can also be made at home when you get bored during the long quarantine situation. When you try the recipes to one of these, you might feel like your in Japan even from home. But the better experience awaits for you only in Japan.

FAIR Japan provides useful information (for work and study) about Japan. 

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