Tsukiji Market Cheap Eats

Tenfusa

Tenfusa

Nakaya

Nakaya

Toritoh

Toritoh

Toyochan

Toyochan

There are so many great places to grab a cheap and delicious bite at Tsukiji Market. And don’t worry if you can’t stomach raw fish first thing in the morning. Most of these places open early in the morning and close after lunch.

Here is a short list of some of my favorites:

  1. Tenfusa 天房 is famous for long anago filets and shrimp that have been deep-fried tempura-style are placed on wide bowl of steaming rice. This is drizzled with an umami-rich sweet soy sauce and served with a side of pickles.  Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #6 (03-3547-6766). http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/24_tenfusa/index.htm (Japanese – with good photos)
  2. Nakaya 仲家 for donburi. Donburi are bowls filled with rice and topped with sashimi. Get the luxury bowl of uni, toro, and ikura, or if you are in the mood for something cooked, grilled or simmered fish over rice. Tsukiji 5-2-1 building #8 (03-3541-0211). http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/46_nakaya/index.htm (Japanese – with good photos)
  3. Yoshinoya 吉野家 is a popular fast-food chain famous for its gyudon, thin slices of beef cooked with onions and a sweet soy sauce are ladled over a bowl of rice. A branch of Yoshinoya is in New York City on 42nd Street. The first shop in the chain dates back to 1899 and was located near Nihonbashi. It moved here to Tsukiji with the move of the market. Tsukiji 5-2-1 Building #1 (03-5550-8504). www.yoshinoya.com/shop/tsukiji/index.html  (Japanese)
  4. Oomori 大森 is a curry shop, its signature dish is ½ curry and ½ gyudon. In business since 1923, the restaurant only seats 5 people at the counter. Tsukiji 4-8-7 (03-5565-3704)
  5. Yonemoto 米本喫茶本店 has been serving coffee since 1960. www.yonemoto-coffee.com. Tsukiji 4-11-1 (03-3541-6473).
  6. If you are craving ramen, head to Wakaba 若葉. Wakaba has been making ramen for 50 years with a 2nd generation cook. Tsukiji 4-9-11. (03-3546-6589).
  7. Nakaei 中栄 is a 4th generation shop serving up curry and beef hayashi. Tsukiji 5-2-1 building #1 (03-3541-8749). http://www.nakaei.com/
  8. There are many standing bars for food along Shin-Ohashi Dori. Here you will find hormone don (grilled offal over a bowl of rice) at Kitsuneya きつねや, Ramen at Inoue 井の上, soba at Jindaiji Soba Maruyo 深大寺そばまるよ. Tsukiji Donburi Ichiba 築地丼市場 runs 24 hours and the grilled tuna cheeks is juicy and meaty.
  9. Toritoh 鳥藤 is a 4th generation shop serving grilled chicken over rice. There is a large blue noren with red and blue writing to the left of the entrance. Their retail shop is just around the corner. Tsukiji 4-8-6 (03-3543-6525). www.toritoh.com (Japanese)
  10. Toyochan 豊ちゃん is a yoshoku restaurant famous for its omuhayashiraisu (ketchup flavored rice surrounded by a juicy omelet and topped with a beef stew).  Other popular yoshoku dishes include katsukare-raisu (tonkatsu and curry served over rice) and kanikurokke (creamy crab croquettes). Tsukiji 5-2-1 building #1. 03-3541-9062. http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/11_toyo/#04 (Japanese – but great photos)
More information on Indo Curry Nakaei.
Orimine Bakers is a great little bakery minutes from Tsukiji Market.
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Food Sake Tokyo reviewed by the ACCJ

Food Sake Tokyo

Food Sake Tokyo

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, a glimpse into a city’s soul is no doubt through her cuisine. Chef, sommelier and Japan-certified shochu advisor Yukari Sakamoto’s book, “Food·Sake·Tokyo,” offers a tasteful insight into Tokyo’s gastronomic galaxy that is sometimes hard to navigate even for locals. Released last month and written from the perspective of an America-based Japanese person, “Food·Sake·Tokyo” will heighten the culinary sensitivities of any tourist in Japan, making for a more full-flavored visit.

Extensive lists of seasonal fruits, vegetables and fish are recommended—with a special section on the best catch of the season for sushi. In the “Food” section the author offers instruction on sushi etiquette: Making a slush out of your soy sauce and wasabi will inadvertently cause it to lose its aroma, while at the same time insult the chef, explains Sakamoto—yet it is not too uncommon to see born and bred Japanese do just that.

“Food·Sake·Tokyo” gives pithy and up-to-date introductions to the essence of over a dozen districts of historical and culinary significance in Tokyo, with a sprinkling of useful tips and interesting observations from the author’s own dining experiences. (For example: Don’t ask what you’re eating at a naizo ryori/horumon, or offal cuisine, establishment until after you’ve savored and swallowed the tasty morsel!)

Even long-term foreign residents of Japan will find the lexicons of food categories and dining etiquette in the book extremely handy. For any expat who has ever wondered what the proper name is for your favorite choice of oden, this book lists them all, from age boru (ball-shaped deep fried fish cakes) to yaki chikuwa (fish paste shaped into a cylinder and grilled).

Foreigners can also impress the locals by applying the appropriate onomatopoeic description of food sensations—from atsu atsu ramen, neba neba natto to puru puru tofu—a list of which is thoughtfully provided.

Sakamoto’s sommelier and shochu advisory acumen sparkles in the excellent “Beverages” section with vivid descriptions of the tastes and textures of various teas, sake and shochu, as well as tips on which areas produce the best types of each. A helpful list of antenna shops, or shops selling regional goods, allows tourists and Tokyoites alike to purchase products usually distinct to a particular region.

Rounding up the easily digestible tome, peppered with delightful food photography, Sakamoto recommends a couple of culinary itineraries within Tokyo, day trips from Tokyo and culinary souvenirs to reminisce about the flavors of Japan.

“Food·Sake·Tokyo,” published by Little Bookroom (www.littlebookroom.com/foodsaketokyo.html), is available on
Amazon Japan for 2,608 yen via this web link: http://bit.ly/dlVGUQ

This review by Ching-Li Tor first appeared in the American Chamber of Commerce Journal:

http://accjjournal.com/food-sake-tokyo/