Tokyo is filled with excellent food options and amazingly some standouts are chain restaurants. Here is our Top Five Restaurant Chains in Tokyo, which factors in price, quality of food, and overall experience.
5. Wara-Wara (笑笑 田町芝浦店)
Wara-Wara is located all over Tokyo and it’s a perfect spot for groups to get a drink-on without harming the wallet. The menu is your basic izakaya (Japanese-style pub) fare, with some surprise offerings like pizza, Korean dishes, and pickled eggplant. They have a non-smoking section, but like most Tokyo restaurants expect to smell like an ashtray regardless. Wara-Wara’s awesomeness stems from its reasonable pricing, nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink), and tabehoudai(all-you-can-eat) deals. Nomihoudai deals start as low as ¥1,000 for 2 hours!!! There is a ¥300 seating fee added to that, but that includes an appetizer.
Address: Tokyo, Toshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-36-8, 3F
Address: 3-12-2 Shibaura Minato Tokyo 2F
4. Ganso Zushi
Ganso Zushi is a kaiten-zushi (conveyer belt sushi) chain that serves up affordable and delicious sushi without pretense. Not much to say about it other than it’s found throughout Tokyo, it’s cheap, and for the price it’s fantastic. The usual kaiten-zushi rules apply, with color-coded plates signifying the sushi’s price and quality.
Address: 160-0023 Tokyo Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, 1-15-5
Address: 150-0043, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Dogenzaka 2-29-14
Nabezo features all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu and sukiyaki for just ¥1,980. They also have a good nomihoudai deal as well. There are 5 soup broths to choose from, US beef or pork from Chiba, and something like 20 veggie options. Another spot to just cut loose with friends or family and get a strong buzz while you warm your belly with nabe love. kimchi broth is highly recommended.
Address: 6F BEAM Shibuya 31-2 Udagawa-cho Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0042
Address: 8F Humax Pavillion Minami Ikebukuro 1-21-2 Minami Ikebukuro Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-0022
Yaki niku (grilled meat) is a magical thing when done right and Taijuen does it exceptionally well for a chain restaurant. For about ¥2,000 a person, various quality cuts of meat are gradually served along with numerous sides and a salad choice. The vibe is good for dining with clients from work or a nice date with someone special; still casual, but not a rowdy or dirty place. Usually they give you drink coupons after you pay in order to entice another visit. The meat quality is really good, hence the number two ranking.
Address: 4-27-10 Taishido 2F , Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Address: 2-8-8 Kitazawa , Setagaya , Tokyo
Ramen is king in Tokyo and Afuri reigns supreme in the restaurant chain choices. Afuri ramen is light, complex, and very interesting. They put yuzu (sour citrus) in their broth! You have 2 choices for flavor, shio (salt) or shoyu (soy) and a couple of side options like the yummy chashu (pork cut) rice bowl. The vibe in their stores is simple, with a slight touch of young/hip accents thrown in for good measure. Hipster haters do not need to worry though, a regular Joe approach to making good ramen is their mantra and the clientele is varied. Faux hawks and beards won’t be surrounding your ramen experience. Prices are pretty standard for quality ramen and you order from the ticket machine. Afuri is essential for ramen lovers and foodies alike.
Address: Tokyo , Shibuya-ku, Ebisu 1-1-7 117 Building 1F
Address: Tokyo Setagaya-ku Sangenjaya 2-12-11
Worst Restaurant Chains
Here are a few of our least favorite restaurant chains. These places tend to upset the stomach and leave one feeling dirtier than a businessman passed out in a gutter on Saturday morning.