Tokyo is a great place to get a filling meal for ¥1,000 or less. But stretching the purse strings to ¥5,000 opens up a whole new world of flavor. Here are some of the best restaurants around Tokyo where you can treat yourself to a special meal for ¥5,000, give or take a few coins.

We cover a range of different foods, from sushi to shabu-shabu, vegan fried chicken, and more, with information on how to book each restaurant. We recommend the lunchtime course menus for maximum value, but we’ve included a la carte options, too. Do note that prices are approximate.

1. Shabu-shabu at Merino Shinjuku


Photo by byFood / Merino Shinjuku

Shabu-shabu is a fun way to indulge in the rich flavors of Japanese beef. It’s where you receive a shared hotpot for the table, and dip thin slices of meat into the soup to cook it lightly. Something that makes Merino Shinjuku stand out, though, is that it also offers lamb, a meat that is relatively hard to come by in Japan.

¥5,000 at Merino Shinjuku will get you roughly two plates of meat and a side from their a la carte menu. But the best way to get bang for your buck is with a two-hour tabehodai (all-you-can-eat) course, which includes a choice of meat, vegetables, and udon noodles. Their lamb shabu-shabu tabehodai course is available for ¥4,550. But go that tiny bit over our ¥5,000 budget to add on a nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) option, and you’ll have two hours of meat and alcohol for ¥5,100 per person.


Reservations are not required but are recommended, especially on weekends. Book Merino Shinjuku.

2. Vegan cuisine at Ain Soph. Journey

From ¥1,400
Vegan and vegetarian, with gluten-free options

Photo by byFood / Ain Soph. Journey

While vegan restaurants certainly exist in Tokyo, they can be a bit hit or miss. Ain Soph. has a few branches around Tokyo, with Journey being their branch in Shinjuku. The light and airy atmosphere, combined with their colorful plates of plant-based food, makes it popular with both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Their menu uses Japanese ingredients, but takes inspiration from different international cuisines, resulting in fluffy pancakes, flavorful pastas, and creamy curries. A lunch plate here goes from ¥1,400, but they also have course meals, like their Heavenly Pancake Course for ¥3,200. Even their dinner three-course meals go from ¥4,620. If ordering individually, we recommend their Hayashi Rice and a side of vegan karaage (which is gluten free, for bonus points).


Reservations are not required, but are recommended for groups. Book Ain Soph. Journey.

3. Sushi for lunch at Imakoko

Top-quality sushi

Photo by byFood / Imakoko

Sure, you could grab a few plates of sushi at the nearest conveyor-belt sushi spot for super cheap. But when you want something special, to treat yourself, receiving your sushi like luggage at an airport ain’t gonna cut it.

Imakoko is the furthest from that. It has beautiful platters of seasonal sushi, inspired by the chef’s home region of Noto. Each piece of fish is delicately prepared and paired with just the right little accent to bring out its best flavors. While this expertise doesn’t come cheap, with dinner starting from ¥10,000, you can have the Lunch Course for as little as ¥5,400. At the time of writing, the Lunch Course included over 20 dishes.


Lunch is by reservation only. Book on byFood or via the restaurant website.

4. Pork tonkatsu at Fujiki Ningyocho

Bone-in tonkatsu

Photo by byFood / Tonkatsu Fujiki Ningyocho

Tonkatsu is a type of deep-fried, breaded pork, usually served with shredded cabbage and rice (not to be confused with tonkotsu, a type of ramen). Normally, this is a relatively simple meal and is served in casual restaurants with a comfortable, homely vibe.

At Fujiki Ningyocho, the vibe is not what’s different, it’s the meat. Often, restaurants in Japan will take their ingredient-sourcing to new levels, which is exactly what has happened here. Fujiki Ningyocho uses pork from Ibaraki Prefecture to serve their special “Honetsuki Tonkatsu” (bone-in tonkatsu). This has gained it some internet fame for looking like a tomahawk axe.

The weighty 300g of meat with shredded cabbage costs ¥2,400 by itself. But you can order a set meal complete with rice, sides, and a drink for ¥3,800, which is great value. There are also smaller cuts, as well as deep-fried beef, if that’s more your thing.


Reservations are not required but are recommended, especially on weekends. Book Fujiki Ningyocho.

5. Japanese beef at Rogama steak arcanum

Special wagyu beef

Photo by byFood / Rogama steak arcanum

Steak may not need an introduction, but Rogama steak does. A Rogama is a type of traditional oven that can be costly to make and requires skilled chefs to use properly. That’s why you won’t find Rogama steaks easily. But this special type of roasting, when done properly, ensures even cooking on all sides. That means a crispy crust, but juicy and umami-packed interior. Here, they also used a specially-chosen type of wagyu beef known as Tamura wagyu, known for its melt-in-the-mouth texture.

Despite the skills and facilities needed, Rogama steak arcanum has made it their goal to offer this steak at affordable prices. We are cheating slightly with this one, as their cheapest steak option is ¥6,000 for their lunch short-course meal, which comes with 130g of Rogama steak. But we think it’s worth that extra ¥1,000. If you want to go all out, their dinner courses range from ¥10,000¥35,000.


Book the lunch short course on the restaurant website, or explore other menu options on byFood.

6. Tempura at Nishiazabu Uoshin

Nishi Azabu
¥2,200¥4,400 and up
Top-quality tempura

Photo by byFood / Tempura Uoshin Nishiazabu

If you want the feeling of exclusivity without paying top dollar, Nishiazabu Uoshin is the place to go. With just eight seats, you get a close-up view of every dish being made. Each piece of tempura is fried to crispy perfection.

The restaurant has its roots as a fish wholesaler. To this day, they use their extensive knowledge of sourcing and preparing seafood to create the tastiest tempura they can. Their simplest lunches, called tendon, are a bowl of rice with a selection of tempura piled on top, and start at just ¥2,200. But their more luxurious lunch course — which we recommend — starts at ¥4,400. Dinner courses start at ¥10,000.


Reservations are required due to limited seating. Book Nishiazabu Uoshin.

7. French cuisine at Noura

From ¥2,640
Casual French classics

Photo by byFood / Noura

While French food can be eye-wateringly expensive in Tokyo, Noura (pronounced noh-urah) takes it down a notch. The eatery is located right behind its parent restaurant, the Michelin-starred Hommage. A Bib Gourmand location itself, Noura uses classic French techniques too, but in a more casual and feel-at-home setting.

Meals include classics like steak frites, quiche, and onion soup, and are available for as little as ¥2,640 a la carte — a genuinely surprising price for French food this good in Tokyo. Their cheapest three-course meal is ¥3,500, while dinner courses start at ¥8,800.


Reservations are recommended. Book exclusive courses on byFood, or make a general reservation on the restaurant website.

Other places to eat

Still hungry? If you’re looking for more recommendations on where to eat in Tokyo, here are some of our all-time favorites:

  • Ramen in Tokyo: There are so many different types of ramen, even within Tokyo. Here are a few of the prime spots, listed by type.
  • Sushi in Tokyo: Sushi can actually be one of Tokyo’s most affordable dishes! These are some of our team’s top picks.
  • Tempura in Tokyo: Get your crispy fried fix at these popular tempura spots.
  • While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information — including prices — is subject to change.

    Ask our local experts about Tokyo

    Get our Tokyo Cheapo Hacks direct to your inbox

    Watch this next