It’s a well-known fact that Japanese cuisine is one of the best in the world! From fresh sushi to mouthwatering ramen, these Japanese staples have now become international favorites. But Japanese cuisine is not just about those two delectable dishes. If you dive deep enough, you’ll be able to discover even more incredible food!
One of those Japanese dishes you just have to try is yakiniku! What is yakiniku, anyway? Yakiniku literally refers to “grilled meat.” It’s a style of cuisine that involves cooking delectable bite-sized meat pieces and vegetables over a flame of wood charcoals to give them that nice earthy char. Think of it as Korean BBQ but with a distinctly Japanese twist!
The 14 Best Yakiniku Restaurants in Tokyo
As yakiniku is one of the most popular cuisine in all of Japan, it can be overwhelming to pick which restaurant to go to. Don’t worry because we’ve compiled 14 of the best yakiniku places in Tokyo! Each restaurant serves high-quality yakiniku while offering their own unique twist.
- Jambo Hanare
- Yakiniku Futago 17th St.
- Nikutei Futago Shinjuku
- Yotsuya Ushiko
- Han no Daidokoro
- Yakiniku Like
- Jimbocho Shokuniko Center
- Nikutei Futago Hongo
1. Jambo Hanare
Up first we have Jambo Hanare, a staple when it comes to yakiniku cuisine! With four restaurants all over Tokyo, Jambo Hanare has captured the hearts of meat-loving people from all over. They first opened in the residential area of Edogawa almost three decades ago. Now, their newest branch in Hongo is still attracting a following.
If you manage to grab a seat, then you’re in for a treat! Jambo Hanare offers unique dishes: lightly broiled wagyu sushi cooked in genmaicha which is green tea with roasted brown rice, noharayaki which refers to a big slice of sirloin marinated with Jambo Hanare’s “secret sauce” and served with a raw egg, and extra-thin shabu-shabu-like beef slices!
2. Yakiniku Futago 17th St.
From New York to Tokyo, we bring you Yakiniku Futago 17th St.! As the flagship store of this international company, Yakiniku Futago 17th St. just outside of Ginza is the perfect place to have an amazing yakiniku experience. Catering to both professionals and families, this high-end establishment is all about providing an elegant atmosphere and of course, delicious dishes.
If you’re visiting Yakiniku Futago 17th St., we definitely recommend trying out their course meals. Each dish is designed to pair well with the restaurant’s own selection of wine and champagne, providing a truly gourmet experience for its patrons.
If you’re still skeptical about the caliber of this restaurant, then let us remind you that Yakiniku Futago patented their very own “owners beef system,” a highly detailed process involving the selection, drying, and aging of meats to get the maximum amount of flavor.
3. Nikutei Futago Shinjuku
In the heart of one of Tokyo’s busiest districts, you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see such a serene and peaceful environment. But that’s what Nikutei Futago Shinjuku does best! Located in the hustling and bustling Shinjuku district of Tokyo, Nikutei Futago prides itself on its calming ambiance with private or semi-private dining options and a cozy interior.
But of course, the star of the show is the amazing selection of food. With a very meticulous process of ingredient selection, Nikutei Futago offers Ota and Sendai wagyu hailed from different prefectures all over Japan. They also use pot-cooked Fukubo Shoten rice which is preferred by none other than Michelin-starred establishments.
With over 80 dishes on their menu, Nikutei Futago is sure to provide a luxurious and oh-so-satisfying dinner experience!
4. Yotsuya Ushiko
If you’re looking for amazing premium A5 wagyu beef but are not willing to splurge a lot of money, look no further than Yotsuya Ushiko! This yakiniku restaurant is located in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Established by the famous Wagyu beef wholesaler Fujinawa Co. Ltd., here patrons get first access to the most prized Wagyu cuts from around the country–all at reasonable price points!
From a la carte dishes to multiple-course menus, this restaurant caters to everyone. They’re also famous for having a Korean-style menu that combines unique characteristics from each cuisine to form a unique dining experience.
Yakiniku is a huge cuisine that includes all the different kinds and cuts of meat. At this Ichigaya staple, you can sample more than just the standard steak available in some yakiniku restaurants!
Nakahara specializes in high-quality yakiniku meat such as kuroge wagyu also known as Japanese Black Cattle. These cattle are native to Japan and prized for being extraordinarily buttery and tender. Another one of Nakahara’s specialties is the wagyu tongue which the chef himself cannot help but describe as “legendary.” The smooth thin texture packs a flavorful punch that will definitely make your experience worthwhile!
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6. Han no Daidokoro
Remember when we said yakiniku is similar to Korean BBQ? Well here at Han no Daidokoro, that cannot be more evident! It’s a Korean-style yakiniku restaurant that combines the best part of each unique cuisine. Located just a few minutes from the busy Shibuya station, Han no Daidokoro has definitely become a lunchtime staple.
Han no Daidokoro is unique because they purchase the whole A5 rank Yamagata beef instead of just purchasing by cut. This means you can taste all the different parts of Wagyu beef–especially the unusual ones that other restaurants won’t even dare to try!
And the best part? Here at Han no Daidokoro, a full yakiniku lunch costs relatively cheaper without compromising the quality of the meat. What more can you ask for?
7. Yakiniku Like
Like other BBQ cuisines, yakiniku is designed to be shared by a group bonding over a communal dining experience. Platters of meat and vegetables are served for you to take turns cooking over one shared grill.
But what about the solo diners? Don’t they deserve a taste of yakiniku heaven, too? Here at Yakiniku Like, solo diners are given the same amount of respect just like every other yakiniku patron. They offer budget-friendly meals designed to be consumed by one person alone–complete with side dishes and a solo grill!
The cheapest set clocks in at ¥790 (~$5) and comes with quality yakiniku cuts, rice, seaweed soup, kimchi, and your choice of condiments. Make no mistake, though–the cheap price doesn’t mean it’s cheap quality! Yakiniku Like offers a high-quality dining experience without breaking the bank.
Do you like Japanese beef? If yes, make sure you read our last post about the best Wagyu restaurants in Tokyo!
Up next we have one of the most popular yakiniku restaurants in all of Japan–and for good reason! Yoroniku is prized for its signature “silky beef,” a once-in-a-lifetime experience everyone deserves to enjoy. They’re also well-known for their wagyu beef sushi. While many other restaurants offer this dish, it’s said that it originated right here in Yoroniku itself!
Located just a 10-minute walk from the Omotesando Station, Yoroniku is a beloved Tokyo staple. Because of its popularity, it can be a bit difficult to get a seat, so we advise you to reserve a table in advance if you can!
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We can’t talk about Yoroniku without also mentioning its sister restaurant, Namaiki! While Yoroniku offers a high-end and classy dining experience, here at Namaiki you’re allowed to just sit back, relax, and enjoy delicious food in a casual environment. And the best part? It’s also cheaper than its counterpart!
Namaiki boasts prime cuts of high-quality wagyu and beef tongue–grilled tableside directly by the accommodating staff. Aside from the mouthwatering barbecue, Namaiki’s raw meat dishes are also a must-try! From beef tartare to Korean-style yukhoe, we definitely recommend getting a memorable bite.
As a dessert or palate cleanser, we also recommend the kakigori, a tall shaved ice dessert that’s refreshing and sweet all at once. It’s a fan favorite for a reason!
On the other side of Japan is Kobe, a city on Osaka Bay famous for its signature Kobe beef. Valued for its unique tenderness, flavor, and marbling, Kobe beef is highly sought after from all over the world. But lucky for you, you don’t have to go all the way to Kobe to sample this delicacy!
Right here in Tokyo is a yakiniku restaurant that specializes in Kobe beef: Ikuta! Located just a 2-minute walk from the JR Yoyogi station, Ikuta is famous for having some of the most delicious and authentic Kobe beef you can find in the city.
We especially recommend coming in during lunchtime to get high-quality meals at an affordable price point.
Read More: The Different Types Of Wagyu Beef
Next up we have another Shinjuku favorite: Rokkasen! Here you can find different kinds of top-quality beef. Rokkasen specializes in “Matsuzaka beef” and “Black Hair beef,” two premium kinds that are known for melting in your mouth as soon as you take a bite.
Proving its popularity with both local and foreign patrons, Rokkasen was even awarded a “Certificate of Excellence Award” by TripAdvisor back in 2015! It’s a beloved Tokyo staple that is sure to provide a top-notch dining experience.
12. Jimbocho Shokuniko Center
If we’re talking about high-quality meat at affordable prices, then we can’t miss talking about the Jimbocho Shokuniko Center! At just ¥950 (~$6), you can have an all-you-can-eat yakiniku experience! This lunchtime deal is especially popular as it allows you to sample all kinds of different high-quality meat at a budget-friendly price.
Jimbocho is known as a town full of businessmen from different companies, and the Jimbocho Shokuniko Center is one of their favorite lunchtime spots. But aside from the salarymen, you can also see a long line of young people waiting for their turn at this restaurant–proving it’s truly one of the best yakiniku spots for everyone!
Kintan is yet another yakiniku staple located in the Akasaka area in Tokyo. At this restaurant, you can have both premium dining experiences for special occasions or a more casual meal depending on your mood. Kintan also has relatively lower prices compared to other yakiniku restaurants in the area.
While famous for being a top-notch yakiniku spot, here at Kintan you can also enjoy meat in a variety of other ways such as steaks or shabu-shabu style. You won’t get tired of exploring their extensive menu and grabbing a bite of each delicious dish!
14. Nikutei Futago Hongo
We’re rounding off this list with yet another branch of the popular Nikutei Futago chain of restaurants. This branch offers a sophisticated atmosphere centered around yakiniku. At Nikutei Futago Hongo, they uphold the philosophy of iki and incorporate it into the dining experience–that is, to live, breathe, and value sophistication!
With warm hospitality, a cozy ambiance, and a carefully curated menu of delicious wagyu delights, Nikutei Futago Hongo is one of the top yakiniku restaurants for a reason. With over 80 different kinds of dishes, we’re sure there’s something for everyone! You can also choose between grilling your own food or having one of the accommodating servers do it for you.
We hope you enjoyed our detailed guide to the best yakiniku restaurants in Tokyo! Which one are you most excited to try?
Nowadays, yakiniku comes in all shapes and forms as inspired by different cuisines and cultures all over the world. But it will always remain a beloved Japanese staple. No matter which restaurant you choose, we’re sure you’ll have an amazing and one-of-a-kind experience!