Tokyo is a special type of foodie paradise, where a culture of freshness and seasonality reigns supreme. And this mantra doesn’t just ring true in traditional Japanese cuisine — international dining rooms across the capital pride themselves on authenticity: Italian restaurants make Napoli-style pizza and Vietnamese eateries have outstanding spring rolls.
So, if you’re sick of sushi and not a fan of udon noodles, fear not: in this mega metropolis, you can eat your way around the globe without leaving the city limits.
British: Captain Cook
A quirky little café in Tokyo’s trendy Hiroo district, this English-themed eatery serves high-quality modern British fare, a nice change from the greasy meals found at some of the city’s other pubs.
Pull up one of the dining room’s mismatched chairs and peruse the extensive menu for flavorful offerings, such as British-style curry, Scotch eggs, excellent shepherd’s pie and a traditional afternoon tea service complete with petite cakes and puddings.
For something different, try the protein-packed Shakespeare’s Globe, a whole bacon-wrapped avocado stuffed with a poached egg.
Azure 45 is known for its decadent wine-paired menus that feature the best of Japanese ingredients in classic Parisian plates. For example, you might savor Scottish blue lobster with Morioka apple, Japanese Hokkaido venison and housemade pâté, all in one sitting.
Simple sky-blue décor and crisp white tablecloths let you appreciate the exquisite presentation of each dish — Azure 45 is popular with food photographers for its artistic plates — and they really do taste as good as they look.
Chinese: Star Hill
An elegant black-and-white restaurant tucked inside Four-Star The Capitol Hotel Tokyu, this chic fine-dining venue serves classic Chinese cuisine expertly prepared by chef Noboru Kobayashi.
In addition to staples like sweet and sour pork and cashew chicken, you’ll find a range of specialty seafood — don’t leave without trying one of the sublime abalone, crab or prawn preparations. And be sure to finish your meal on a sweet note with quintessential Chinese desserts like mango pudding.
If you can’t decide what to order, opt for the Star Hill Original Course tasting menu to sample a little bit of everything.
A pleasant change of pace from the local kebab shop, this upscale restaurant offers stylish surroundings with modern Moorish décor, dim lighting and a breezy overwater lounge and terrace.
The extensive menu includes specialties such as roasted calamari stuffed with prosciutto and herbs, Moroccan lamb tagine, Spanish cheeses, Greek moussaka and rare Turkish pastries for dessert.
A unique lineup of wines features varietals from Greece, Lebanon, Morocco and Spain — ask the staff which bottle will best complement your meal.
Modern Peruvian fare is always on tap at this colorful Harajuku eatery. Exotic and spicy
à la carte favorites include chupe de langostinos (spicy shrimp soup), escabeche de chita (fried seabream marinated in red onions and vinegar) and arroz con pato (baked duck served over black-beer-cooked rice).
Order up causa rellena for one of the most Instagrammable (and comforting) plates in town: a layered dish of Hokkaido yellow and vibrant Peruvian purple potato encasing a creamy chicken filling.
For the full experience, belly up to the bar, order a cocktail (a staple pisco sour is a good place to start) and the tasting menu.