9 Recommended Lunch Spots in Asakusa from Traditional Cuisine to Stylish Cafes!
In Asakusa, a town that’s always bustling with tourists, there are restaurants of all types. Although it’s a place that still retains the atmosphere from old Edo (the former name of Tokyo), it has no shortage of stylish cafes and Western-style restaurants. Among those, here are 9 restaurants that are particularly recommended for lunchtime.
Nov 27 2018 (Sep 09 2020)
1. Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku [Asakusa]
Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku is the oldest onigiri (rice ball) shop in Tokyo, having been first established in 1954. They are proud of the high-quality taste of their rice, fillings, and seaweed. The deliciousness of their products is in a different league to the onigiri you would normally buy at convenience stores and supermarkets!
Not only are the ingredients important, but so is the way that they’re shaped. The onigiri here are formed not too firmly and not too loosely, so they don't crumble and yet still have a gentle texture. There is also plenty of filling in the middle!
The inside of the shop has counter seats where you can see ingredients ordered from all over Japan lined up right before your eyes. You can enjoy an authentic Japanese lunch with a set that includes tofu miso soup and daikon (white radish) pickles.
2. Mugitoro Main Branch [Asakusa]
At Mugitoro Main Branch, you can eat mugitoro, which is a dish comprised of sticky grated yam on top of mugi-meshi (barley cooked with rice). During lunchtime on weekdays, the shop has all-you-can-eat mugitoro and side dishes for the great value of just 1,000 yen.
The carefully grated yam has a considerably thick, viscous texture, and goes well with the mugi-meshi that is lightly seasoned with dashi (broth). With the cheap price and delicious flavors, there is a queue lined up even before the shop opens for lunch on weekdays.
There’s a big window from which you can gaze at the Sumida River and Tokyo Skytree. Looking at the beautiful scenery while eating will surely make the food taste even more delicious.
3. Yoshikami [Asakusa]
Yoshikami is a long-established Western food restaurant with a history of over 50 years. It’s also famous for its unique catchphrase that roughly translates to, “Sorry it’s so darn delicious!” Here, you can eat lovingly made Western-style food made from carefully selected ingredients.
Yoshoku (Western-style food developed in Japan) has a gentle flavor that goes extraordinarily well with rice. In addition to dishes like steak, stew, and pasta, there are also menu items unique to Japan, such as omurice (ketchup rice wrapped in an omelette).
Since there is no division between the customer seats and the kitchen, you can see into the kitchen from your seat. Watching the bustling cooks working in their small space will make the time you spend waiting for your food pass in the blink of an eye!
4. Restaurant Kamiya [Asakusa]
In Asakusa, there is a famous bar called Kamiya Bar, which opened over 100 years ago. Restaurant Kamiya is located on the 2nd floor of the same building which houses Kamiya Bar and serves Western-style food. Most of the menu items are reasonably priced at less than 1,000 yen. There is also an assorted dish where you can enjoy a variety of items on a single plate.
They have a varied alcohol menu as well, which they serve from lunchtime. If your alcohol tolerance is high, you should definitely try the brandy-based Denki Bran cocktail invented by Kamiya Bar’s founder. The alcohol strength is 30%, and when you drink it it feels like electric currents are running through your body!
There is a kind of retro atmosphere that you can only get from such a long-running establishment. At the entrance, there is a display of food samples made of wax, and the beautiful colors and the likeness to the real dishes is really worth seeing.
5. Cafe Meursault [Asakusa]
Cafe Meursault is a stylish cafe that is situated along the Sumida River. The lunch menu, which is available from the time that they open until 2 PM, has dishes like risotto, green curry, and quiche. At this cozy cafe, you can sit back, relax, and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
From the terrace seats, you can see Tokyo Skytree and the coming and going of yakatabune (traditional Japanese houseboat) on the Sumida River. The shop windows are quite large, letting customers fully enjoy the beautiful scenery from safely inside on cold days.
The lunch portions are a bit small, so if it’s not enough, why not order some cake? The diverse cakes that they offer are all made from scratch at the shop, and they put special care not just into the taste but also the appearance.
6. Junkissa Mountain [Asakusa]
In Japan, “Junkissa” was the name used for cafes that didn’t sell any alcohol. These days, shops with that name tend to have a retro atmosphere and are popular among various age groups. Junkissa Mountain is one such place in Asakusa.
The food menu has sandwiches, spaghetti, and more. The spaghetti is served on an old-school aluminum plate! No matter the dish, all the food here is appealing for having simple and rustic flavors. Be sure to try their signature item, cream anmitsu (cubes of agar agar jelly topped with cream, sweet red bean paste, and fruit).
This shop’s newest speciality item is the Skytree Parfait. The parfait, which is tall and thin like Tokyo Skytree, has plenty of fruits and whipped cream. It’s quite hearty which makes it great for sharing.
7. Sekai Cafe [Asakusa]
There are many people with dietary restrictions, like vegetarians or Muslims, who have difficulty finding restaurants in Japan. Sekai Cafe, which opened in 2014, is a cafe that offers a menu with various options, including vegetarian and Halal.
They use ingredients that are additive-free and organic, and have allergy warnings clearly displayed. The menu is also written in English and there are English-speaking staff. They even have individual prayer rooms, leaving nothing to be desired. They’ve created a favorable environment where anyone would feel comfortable.
The customers at the restaurants are of a variety of nationalities. There are photos of past visitors on the restaurant walls, and it seems that customers get along quite well with each other.
8. Musashi [Asakusa]
Musashi is recommended for those who feel like, “I’m finally on vacation so I want to splurge!” It’s located on the 26th floor of the Asakusa View Hotel and offers a lunch buffet.
The menu has a selection of various dishes including pizza, pasta, Kyoto-style side dishes, Chinese food, and more, including dishes that the chef makes right before your eyes. You just might eat too much without realizing!
From the window on the 26th floor, you can look down at the Asakusa townscape. They serve alcohol from noon so it will be nice to drink while you look at the beautiful scenery. The window-side seats are popular, so making a reservation is recommended.
9. Asakusa Rox Matsuri-yu Kanpai [Asakusa]
This is a hot spring facility close to Asakusa Station where you can gaze at Tokyo Skytree while submerged in a bath. If you’re hungry after your bath, then be sure to stop by the Japanese restaurant Kanpai. They have everything from a snack menu to a proper, filling menu available.
There are many exemplary Japanese dishes available like ramen, sushi, soba, ten-don (tempura rice bowl), and more. There are also set menu options like a ten-don with soba set, or a sushi with soba set, so even those who want to try many things at once will be satisfied.
Along with the restaurant, there are a number of other rooms in the facility where you can relax and pass the time. Since you can stretch out your legs and dine on a tatami (straw mat) floor room, you might end up staying longer than you’d planned.
These are some restaurants where you’re not only guaranteed great food but also a fun atmosphere. All of these places would not only satisfy your appetite, but also provide points of interest on your sightseeing. By all means, give one of these places a try and have a wonderful lunch in Asakusa!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.