5 Top Gyoza Restaurants in Tokyo for When You Really Crave Japanese Dumplings
Perhaps you're a connoisseur of Japanese cuisine and the term “gyoza” is already near and dear to your palate, or maybe you just discovered these delicious dumplings and are curious to know more about them. Whatever the case, if you're planning on eating gyoza in Tokyo, the number of spots to try these tasty treats can be overwhelming! Fear not, however: today we will be exploring five of the top gyoza restaurants in Tokyo.
Feb 20 2020 (Nov 13 2020)
What Are Gyoza?
Commonly known in English as dumplings or potstickers, gyoza are a type of dumpling made by containing vegetables and meat in a flour-based wrapper. Originally from China, they evolved some unique features after making their way to the land of the rising sun and are now a popular food in Japan. The quintessential Japanese variation of this dish is known as "yaki-gyoza", or fried dumplings, while other varieties include steamed dumplings "sui-gyoza", or the equally delicious deep-fried kind called "age-gyoza".
Before we jump into things, it should be noted how we made our selection of gyoza restaurants. The choices here in this article are based on the following criteria: price, location, quantity, popularity, and, of course, taste! Of course, this list is subjective, so take the suggestions made here with a grain of salt (or perhaps a dash of soy sauce!).
1. Taste Michelin-Recognized Greatness at Okey
This Chinese restaurant known for its gyoza has been awarded the Bib Gourmand Award three years in a row (2018 - 2020) by the world-famous Michelin Guide.
The gyoza are handmade and the recipe behind their success hasn’t changed since Okey’s opening in 1954. An order of gyoza here will only cost you a very reasonable 600 yen! Another great thing about Okey is that you can get their famous gyoza to go, which is not always an option at other gyoza places, and even order their delicacies online for home delivery within Japan.
2. Fill Your Belly at Ginza Tenryu
Japanese food is lauded for its delicious and subtle blend of flavors, but some visitors may find themselves wanting just a bit more portion-wise. This is certainly not the case with Tenryu!
Known as Tokyo’s original jumbo-size gyoza restaurant, Tenryu offers up to 8 supersized dumplings (each one roughly double the size of regular gyoza) for just 1,100 yen! Crispy, delicious, and oh so jumbo, Tenryu is a great choice when you're hungry and craving gyoza! Reservations are only needed for the restaurant's course menus, so as long as you're stopping in just for gyoza, there shouldn't be a need to book in advance.
3. Wing It at Gyoza Bou Chohakkai!
Chohakkai serves up great gyoza, some of which come in a way you won’t find just anywhere. Hanetsuki, or “wings attached”, gyoza usually come in batches of six and are all connected to each other with a crispy flour batter. These are a visually striking and delicious way to feed your dumpling obsession, all for just 580 yen. Delicious boiled dumplings with a shrimp filling are also available for 640 yen.
Although not in the center of Tokyo, Chohakkai is conveniently located right around the corner from Asagaya Station (six stops from Shinjuku Station on the Chuo Line), making access fairly easy. It is possible to make a reservation for 4 or more people by calling their phone number (03-3398-5527). Chohakkai doesn’t have a website and the staff may not speak English, but it's worth applying your survival Japanese skills for the wonderful taste!
4. Eat Like a King at Gyoza no Ousama
With a few styles of gyoza to choose from, including fried, steamed, or deep-fried, Gyoza no Ousama or “The King of Gyoza” is a great place to stop by for a taste of all kinds of dumplings.
Located in Asakusa, one street over from Nakamise-dori, the famous shopping street leading to Sensoji Temple, it's easy to find Gyoza no Ousama. Look for its bright yellow sign and the line that usually forms before it opens!
Pricewise, it is hard to beat the King. At only 440 yen for six dumplings, Gyoza no Ousama is a place you might find yourself ordering seconds or thirds! Reservations can be made by calling ahead (03-3841-2552), but only in Japanese.
5. Soak Up the Atmosphere at GYOZA IT.
GYOZA IT. is a newcomer to the gyoza scene in Tokyo. Having opened in 2017, this restuarant is only open for a limited time with a pre-determined closing date in 2022. This specialty gyoza restaurant was opened with the goal of introducing tasty dumplings to tourists in the lead-up to and wind-down after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The interior is decked out in gyoza-themed items like gyoza-shaped light fixtures. The staff is also multilingual, with 15 languages spoken here, including English!
As a gyoza specialty restaurant, there are a variety of unique dumplings you can try, including the duck meat gyoza, the pricy but decadent Matsuzaka beef gyoza, and the gorgonzola and honey-topped gyoza, to name a few.
No matter which you decide to visit, all of the options we've covered today are sure to satisfy your craving for delicious gyoza. If you're finding it hard to choose, why not consider each location and how you might be able to work it into your other sightseeing plans for the day? Check out the following linked articles for ideas and activities you can do that are close to the great restaurants in this article.
- Gyoza Bou ChoHakkai: 50 Things to do in Shinjuku
- Okey: 6 Ways to Enjoy the Tokyo Dome
- Ginza Tenryu: 50 Things to do in Ginza, Tokyo
- Gyoza no Ousama: Ultimate Guide to Asakusa Tokyo
- GYOZA IT.: Try Visiting a Japanese TV Station in Asakusa
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.