Contrary to popular belief, curries were not invented in Japan. It was introduced by British during the Meiji Era, and Japanese found it to their liking. In fact, even today curry is one of Japan’s most iconic dish. It has undergone years of tempering and gave birth to different curry recipe and flavors.
Almost all households have their own curry recipe, and all of them is guaranteed to make you say oishii (delicious)! Japanese curry is always accompanied by rice and hence the term “curry rice” was born. Some say that curry is an “almighty dish” because you can add anything and it will still taste good. Whether you prefer to add chicken, pork, beef, seafood, vegetables and even fruits to your curry, it would still be edible.
Here are the 10 restaurants in Tokyo where you’ll find delicious curry.
1. Bondy (ボンディ)
Bondy might be a bit hard to find because the entrance is located at the second floor of second hand bookshop in Jinbocho. But, that’s the least of your worries. You should be prepared to wait in line because they don’t accept reservations. Their delicious and generous serving of curry is one of the reasons why this place is very popular. A bit pricey but it’s definitely worth it!
Address: Kanda Old Books Centre 2F, 2-3 Kanda-Jinbocho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
Website: http://bondy.co.jp/web/ (Japanese Only)
2. Yoshida Curry (吉田カレー)
Yoshida Curry is a small curry restaurant that has a very good reputation. Even though they only have 7 seats available at a time, people still go there to enjoy their spicy, sweet, or spicy and sweet mix curry. They also have many kinds of topping menu such as fried cheese, natto, fried onion, or keema curry, that will satisfy your curry craving.
Address: 3-8-2 Amanuma, Suginami, Tokyo
Website: http://yoshidacurry.com (Japanese Only)
3. Ethiopia (エチオピア)
Ethiopia is one of the famous curry restaurants in the book town Jinbocho, which is the famous district for curry restaurants. The name of the restaurant came from the Ethiopian Coffee which used to be on the menu and loved by the customers at that time. Feel free to try their assortment of curry dishes with varying levels of spiciness.
Address: 3 Chome-10 Kanda Ogawamachi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.ethiopia-curry.com/index.html (Japanese Only)
4. Hongokutei (本石亭)
Hongokutei is all about Indian style curry. If you’re not that good when it comes to spicy curry, you better come prepared. Sweat beads will appear on your forehead as the spicy flavors take its effect. Even though it’s a bit spicy, you will without a doubt appreciate its taste.
Address: 4-4-16 Nihonbashihongokucho Chuo Tokyo
5. Kyoeido (共栄堂)
Kyoeido is a gem hidden in the basement of the Sun Building in Kanda. They don’t specialize in Japanese or Indian curry, but their very own Sumatran curry. The thick, rich and lightly spiced curry (beef, chicken and pork varieties) was well liked by the customers and the reason why this place became popular.
Address: Sun Bldg B1F, 1-6 Kanda-Jinbocho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo
Website: http://www.kyoueidoo.com (Japanese Only)
6. Kirakutei (喜楽亭)
Kirakutei is a restaurant that serves curry rice, and their most popular dish is their hamburg curry. The hamburg curry tastes good and would be a good alternative if you want to try something different from the usual curry recipes that you often encounter on the many curry restaurants in Tokyo.
Address: 3-30-5 Ikejiri Setagaya Tokyo
Website: http://www.bistro-kirakutei.co.jp (Japanese Only)
7. Yakuzen Cury Jinenjo (薬膳カレーじねんじょ )
Yakuzen Curry Jinenjo is located in Yanaka and many people say that it is home to one of the best curry (if not the best) that they had ever tasted in Tokyo. So what is their secret? It’s none other than 11 Indian spices, 8 Japanese vegetables, and 6 Chinese Herbs. The rich and thick sauce will give you an aftertaste that is worth its prestige and would definitely give you a good first impression.
Address: 5-9-25 Yanaka Taito Tokyo
8. Manten (まんてん)
Manten serves affordable and delicious curry that will make you and your wallet happy. It also comes with a cup of coffee (Yes, curry + rice sounds good?) and would probably make you raise an eyebrow or two if you’re not used to seeing it. In any case, this well-known restaurant has been around for quite some time, and the locals prefer to have their curry with a cup of coffee (at least within the premises of Manten).
Address: 1-54 Kanda Jinbocho Chiyoda Tokyo
9. Shinjuku Nakamuraya Manna (新宿 中村屋 Manna)
Less than a 3-minute walk from the JR East exit of Shinjuku station, Shinjuku Nakamuraya is a haven for curry lovers and is said to be the first restaurant to ever serve Indian style curry in Japan. Their most recommended dish is the chicken indo curry (Indian style curry) and you have the option of controlling its spiciness. They also have some traditional dishes like omurice and hamburg steak.
Address: Shinjuku Nakamuraya Building B2F, 3 Chome 26-13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://www.nakamuraya.co.jp/location/restaurant/004.html (Japanese Only)
10. Kyobashiya Curry (京橋屋カレー)
Kyobashiya Curry became very popular in the past few years. They select ingredients like spices, herbs, salts, oils, vegetables, and rice very carefully. For example, they use garlic from Aomori Prefecture and gingers from Kochi Prefecture. Another notable point of this shop is that they offer gluten-free curries. Their flavorful curry would make everyone addicted.
Address: 3-chome-4-3, Kyobashi, Chuo City, Tokyo
Website: https://peraichi.com/landing_pages/view/kyobashiyacurry2006 (Japanese Only)
11. Curry Kusamakura (curry 草枕)
Curry Kusamakura is conveniently located near Shinjuku-Sanchome Station. It's a perfect place to stop by after strolling Shinjuku Gyoen Park. They try to make healthy curries by using lots of onions and fewer oils. The owner was a backpacker, and he learned the recipe when he traveled in middle eastern countries, south to eastern Africa, India, Nepal, and many other Asian countries.
Address: 2-chome-4-9, Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo
Minoringo is a hidden gem in Harajuku. Not many people think of having curry in Harajuku, but this is a must-visit place if you want to have something delicious while strolling the city. They try not to use oil as much as possible and cook with only fat from meat. Their signature menus are chicken curry and keema curry. If you are not sure which one to choose, order "Minoringo Special" because it comes with both flavors. Locals like to add melty cheese topping. Try it if that's your interest.
Address: 1-chome-22-7 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo
Website: https://www.minoringo.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
All information in this article is as of May 2017
Thumbnail image is from Flickr