The Basic Shinjuku Food Guide: A Must-Eat List for First-Timers

Shinjuku Food Guide: A Must-Eat List!

You’ll be drooling for more by the end of this mouth-watering article.

Longed after by many as a travel destination and known as Tokyo’s central entertainment, shopping, and business hub, it’s safe to say that Shinjuku is a bustling place. This is, of course, thanks in part to the Shinjuku station. Otherwise known as the busiest train station in the world, it caters to an average of 3.5 million passengers in a single day!

Connectivity isn’t an issue, that’s for sure. How about food? What are some of the best things to eat there? If you’re scouring the web and trying to compile your Shinjuku food list, we’ve got you covered. From world-famous french toast to grilled pork tongue, here’s what you have to eat when in Shinjuku.

1. Adventurous pork yakitori at Torishige

Image credit: たかなし

When in Shinjuku, night is just as happening as day. Even if you’re more of an early bird, it’s wise to stay up just to experience the nightlife. Izakayas (informal Japanese pubs) are abundant here, and when mentioning izakayas, yakitori (grilled skewered meat) are bound to come into the picture, for they both go hand-in-hand.

Image credit: みるみんく

For many, the best place for yakitori in Shinjuku is Torishige. The incredibly popular establishment doesn’t just serve up any yakitori either. They specialize in out-of-the-ordinary cuts of meat, with pork and beef being the focus of their menu. Fair warning, though: The menu might be all-Japanese, and you might not even know what you’re ordering if you don’t read (or speak) Japanese. But be it wagyu, offal, tongue or even raw pork (yep!), have faith that everything on the menu is bound to be mind-blowing.

2. Shio ramen at Menya Sou

If you’re on the hunt for a good bowl of Ramen, you need not walk far. Just six minutes walking distance from Shinjuku station lies Menya Sou. Famed for their shio ramen (salt ramen), the seemingly simple dish is made incredible with well, incredible ingredients.

For their legendary soup, Menya Sou uses local chicken bones, tail, and carcasses along with their hallmark blend of French, Italian, and Mongolian rock salt.

Though salt ramen might sound less complex compared to other options like miso or tonkotsu (pork bone), the soup here doesn’t disappoint when it comes to flavour — even despite it’s unassuming, clear color!

3. Fresh udon at Shin Udon

Forget the pre-packed stuff. When in Shinjuku, go for the real deal! Shin Udon serves up fresh udon made from scratch Every. Single. Day. The noodles are boiled only upon ordering, so it’s almost as if you’re eating them straight from the pot.

You might think that simplicity would be key here, but you’d be wrong. Shin Udon’s most famous dish is their signature carbonara-style udon. Warm udon without soup is combined with a raw egg, parmesan cheese, butter, black pepper and get this — a giant strip of freshly fried bacon tempura!

4. Tonkatsu Ochazuke at Suzuya Shinjuku

Aside from being ramen central, Shinjuku is also known as a haven for tonkatsu (deep-fried breaded pork cutlet) lovers. At the highly-rated Suzuya Shinjuku, they’ve taken a slightly different route from your usual rice and shredded cabbage affair.

Suzuya is one of the few places where you can get Tonkatsu Ochazuke, or hot tea poured over tonkatsu and rice. You’re first served a sizzling hot plate of sliced tonkatsu below a pile of tender stir-fried cabbage. Eat half of it with white rice first, then pour in hot tea on top the remaining half and savor everything together!

5. French toast at Cafe AALIYA

Image credit: Cafe AALIYA

For french toast like you’ve never tasted before, head on over to Cafe AALIYA, which has garnered a name for itself among tourists and locals alike for their decadent french toast. The insanely thick, fluffy slices of soft bread are fried to buttery perfection and served either sweet or savory.

For the savory option, the french toast comes with a refreshing salad, paired with a surprise dressing! That’s right, one unique aspect of their menu is their alternating salad dressing, so you never know what you’re going to get. For sweet tooths, chose to get yours with a variety of ice cream, fresh whipped creams, and syrup!

6. Fruit parfaits at Takano Fruit Parlour

Shinjuku’s most sought-after desserts come in the form of fruit parfaits at Takano Fruit Parlour. The cafe is located inside Shinjuku Takano, a specialty fruit shop that’s over 130 years old! The desserts are a way for the shop to feature their best, seasonal fruits in the most delectable way possible.

shinjuku food list

Image credit: Takano Fruit Parlour

From kaleidoscopic parfaits to dainty fruit sandwiches, the entire arsenal of Takano’s desserts here includes generous portions of high-quality Japanese fruit. Just the place to go to for a girls day out!

So what are you sinking your teeth into first when you get to Japan? Don’t forget to consult this Shinjuku food guide!

Also read: Best Areas to Stay in Tokyo: Shinjuku, Ginza, Shibuya & More

About Author

Shen Lee Ng
Shen Lee Ng

A world record holding powerlifter and wannabe patissiere, Shen currently spends her days as a social media manager, English teacher and content (the fun stuff) and copywriter (the drab stuff). Her only goal before she starts the treacherous journey that is college is to inspire those around her and to eat as many as opera cakes as possible.

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