Eating in Tokyo
I realised pretty quickly that a closet vegetarian like myself is going to have to plan a little bit more than expected in Tokyo, certainly for the main meals. Having said that, even my vegetarian 'Egg McMuffin' came with ham!
I eat meat, just not much and only some meats. So there's no good just pointing at something that looks nice but then to find it's lamb.
For breakfast, I did find myself seeking out places where they served western options and we loved Sarabeth's so much we went back there on the last day, a travel tradition. Another favourite was the pricier Bills, an Australian place with 12th-floor views (refreshingly, they don't build sky high in Tokyo) and the most unusual eats. I loved the Coconut Toast and the Sweetcorn Fritters and I'm on the look out for both in the UK. Both of these places have queues, more so at the weekend, so it's best to go early. That's how we discovered a quiet Sunny Cafe; I didn't want to queue in the already simmering morning sun for brunch.
I was four days into my Tokyo adventure before I had noodles. FOUR DAYS! I'd have them more often at home, or at least once a week! I'm not as crazy on the thick Japanese noodles or having them in soup so it took a little longer to find a good variety. I could have eaten them every day so this was a shock. In the end, I tucked into a bowl twice in nine days and made a stir fry as soon as I landed back in the UK. Both noodle fixes were from food courts, one an amazing shopping centre out in Odaiba that was open late on a Sunday evening and the other an office/shops complex in Roppongi Hills, one of the huge entertainment areas.
Conversely, we ate well at two Indian cafes, something I never do in the UK. Although I would if we had more cafes than just full-on restaurants. I also picked up snacks at the wonderful Sitaara deli situated in the most wonderful food hall in Isetan department store. The beloved got his fix of sushi, which after 9 days in Tokyo, I still don't got along with. Of course, we had a Thai meal, one of my favourite choices, quite early in the trip too.
The burger, which I only turn to when I'm too hungry to look for anything else, was best in Freshness Burger. We arrived here thoroughly exhausted with aching feet and extra appreciative of both the welcome and the seat before we even received the well-presented burgers. This was the better chain although we tried Moss Burger too. We generally found the every-day priced eats regularly. It was only coffee that proved pricey!
We got into the habit of bringing a pastry home for morning coffee in the hotel room. There are great pastry shops everywhere, including in Muji cafes, but my nostalgia for all those years of visiting Dean & Deluca in New York meant that was my favourite place to call in of an evening. Being able to enjoy them while watching the world unfold outside made for a joyous start to a day in Tokyo.
You can read about our spectacular afternoon tea at Aman Hotel here