Indomitable Eats: A Guide to the Oldest Restaurants in Tokyo | Dining

Recent restaurants pop up across Tokyo every single day, but these time-tested restaurants keep bouncing back to serve a number of the most interesting food in Tokyo. The Tokyo air raids, fires, earthquakes and generations of householders… these restaurants have been serving their staples to hungry Tokyoites for hundreds of years.

Kanda Yabu Soba $$
When considering the quintessential dish of Tokyo, it could be heretical to not place Kanda Yabu Soba’s kamo-nanban soba on the shortlist. The wealthy duck slices and springy buckwheat noodles boast rare symmetry, providing a dining experience that’s been nearly unrivaled in the town for 142 years. Nonetheless, Tokyo almost lost this mecca of summertime delights when a hearth swallowed the historic constructing in 2013. Over a 12 months passed before fears that the soba icon would never return were put to rest with a brand new constructing across the river from Akihabara. While the space could also be more modern now, Kanda Yabu Soba remains to be serving superior noodles, accompanied by distinguished servers who roam the dining hall singing out orders in a haunting, warbling soprano. Their harmonies— like their soba — resonate well beyond the partitions of the restaurant, enriching the town it has served for greater than a century. 

2-10 Kanda Awajicho Chiyoda-ku
3 min. walk from Kanda Station

Sakura Nabe Nakae $$$
Let’s get one thing straight: sakura nabe just isn’t a flowery hotpot of cherry blossoms and tri-colored dango just like the name would suggest. It’s horse meat — horse meat sukiyaki to be specific, and there’s just one place in all of Tokyo that’s been doing it since its inception: Nakae. Sakura Nabe Nakae, now 117 years old, used to exist amidst a row of comparable establishments within the legendary Fujiwara district of Asakusa until the Great Kanto Earthquake of ’23 burned all the community to the bottom. Nakae then moved to Minowa, where — in an incredible stroke of luck — it was the neighborhood’s sole survivor of the Tokyo air raids. Today, Nakae is an ancient face in an already well- weathered ward. Its seniority has received recognition from the local government, and its kitchen remains to be the authority on each horse sashimi and the restaurant’s namesake dish, sakura nabe. 

1-9-2 Nihonzutsumi, Taito-ku
9 min. walk from Asakusa Station

Komakata Dozeu $$
Komakata Dozeu has seen so much because it opened for business in 1801. Yes, 1801! Asakusa’s Edo-era’s evolution into an entertainment district, several massive earthquakes and a world war. Along the way in which, it burned down time and time again, each fire only leading to the rebirth of the identical restaurant serving the identical thing: dozeu. These small little pond loaches were the food of the working class and the taste of summer at the peak of the Edo era. Rice field staff would catch the eel-like creatures at the tip of their shifts and carry them home where they became meager family meals. At Komakata Dozeu, this tradition lives on. Accompanied by mounds of negi and a bowl of sweet, earthy miso soup, the tiny fish are simmered tableside over a picket box stuffed with smokeless binchotan charcoal. Each bite is a taste of history.

1-7-12 Komagata, Taito-ku
2 min. walk from Asakusa Station

Toritoh is an oyakodon dive tucked away within the sprawling maze that’s the Tsukiji Outer Markets. The remnants of the world’s most famous fish market might look like an odd place to search out a stellar chicken, egg and rice bowl restaurant, however the joint’s legacy predates the market itself. Toritoh is definitely an antenna shop of a chicken and duck wholesale company of the identical name that’s been in operation since 1907. The town’s premier purveyor of poultry used to hawk its produce at Nihombashi Uogashi, Tsukiji Market’s forerunner. When the market moved, Toritoh moved with it — one in all the one chicken wholesalers to accomplish that. Today, Toritoh pays homage to the corporate’s original Meiji-era restaurant and serves only a small collection of dishes in its steamy, cramped quarters, none of which stray removed from the inspired classics. 

4-8-6 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku
4 min. walk from Tsukiji Station

Yoshinoya $
Yes. Yoshinoya. The gyudon titan’s origins will be traced back to the Nihombashi fish and vegetable market in 1899. From opening day, it has had a singular focus: beef on rice. While times have modified and the menu has ballooned in scope, the chain still serves the identical dish that began all of it. No amount of disaster, natural or man-made, has been in a position to stop Yoshinoya’s monumental march to fast food royalty. Forget for a moment that they’re, the truth is, full-service diners: Yoshinoya and all of its gyudon slinging rivals serve food that’s each faster and cheaper than anything you’ll find at a Western chain. They’ve also been doing it far longer. Began by Yoshinoya, gyudon shops have grow to be beacons of utility for all who seek each satisfaction and reflection at a moment’s notice. Their pace reminds us of our progress. Their value reacquaints us with the past.

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