Tonkatsu, deep-fried pork cutlet, is one of the most beloved “western style” Japanese food.

Tonkatsu is a common home cooked meal but since it’s sometimes bothering to prepare deep fried dish at home, and also, tonkatsu was originally invented at a restaurant called Rengatei in Ginza, today there are many restaurants that specialize in tonkatsu. Tonkatsu is becoming a popular Japanese food in overseas as well, that you can sometimes enjoy in Japanese restaurants in your home country. How about tasting some REAL tonkatsu in tonkatsu specialized restaurants?

In this article, I will introduce my suggestions for 10 restaurants that you are able to visit in Tokyo.

1. Marugo (丸五) in Akihabara

This classical tonkatsu restaurant is located fairly close from electric town of Akihabara, but it’s definitely one of the most famous tonkatsu restaurant in Tokyo.

Their tonkatsu, with over 40 years of history, have lots of fans. It’s not unusual to find lines in front of the restaurant. Meat is very juicy and its coated by high quality crispy batter. There are several ranks of tonkatsu in the menu, but go for the most expensive “toku rosu katsu (特ロースカツ)“, special loin katsu. You might feel too much to pay for tonkatsu, but definitely worth it. You can add rice, miso soup, and pickles and make it a set meal.

Access:
5min walk from Akihabara station

Address:
1-8-14, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Hours:
11:30 – 15:00 (L.O 14:50), 17:00 – 21:00 (L.O 20:20)
Closed on Monday and first, second, third week of Tuesday

2. Maruyama Kippei (丸山吉平) in Akihabara

Maruyama Kippei opened in 2012 but became one of the famous tonkatsu restaurant in just 3 years. You will have to buy the ticket first with the machine. (There are no English translations)

Their speciality is tonkatsu with fatty part of pork, so go for “Ribu katsu teishoku (リブロースかつ定食).” You can add lemon and wasabi if you tell the owner when you give the tickets. Rice and miso soup come together.

Access:
5min walk from Kanda station

Address:
29 Kanda-Toyama-Cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Hours:
Tue to Sat 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Holidays are announced on the Facebook page

Website:
https://www.facebook.com/maruyamakippei

3. Isen (井泉) in Ueno

Isen was established in 1930 and is a pioneer of "soft-type" tonkatsu. They claim that their tonkatsu can be cut with chopsticks, and you really can! The soft and easy to chew tonkatsu is making Isen unique from other tonkatsu restaurants. Isen is also the inventor of famous katsu-sand, which is a sandwich putting tonkatsu between bread. You should have both tonkatsu and katsu-sand if you have a chance to stop by Isen!

Access:
2min walk from Ueno-Hirokoji Station

Address:
3-40-3, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Hours:
Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. - 8:50 p.m.
Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 8:50 p.m.
Sunday & Day before holiday 11:30 a.m. 8:30 p.m.
Closed on every Wednesday, Year end & New Year holidays

Website:
https://gurunavi.com/en/a226600/rst/

Find more tonkatsu restaurants in Ueno: 9 Hearty Restaurants to Enjoy Tonkatsu in Ueno

4. Niimura Honten (にいむら本店) in Shinjuku

Niimura Honten has been around in Shinjuku Kabukicho for more than 50 years. Their signature has never changed since then; the soft fillet tonkatsu. They use Kagoshima black pork, which is said to have light fat, thin muscle fiber, and great texture. Enjoy the right softness and sweetness of the pork fat at Niimura Honten. The restaurant is open until past midnight, which makes a great spot to stop by anytime during the day.

Access:
3min walk from Seibu Shinjuku Station

Address:
1-23-10 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Hours:
Mon to Sun 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 a.m. the following day

Website:
https://gurunavi.com/en/b178000/rst/

Find more tonkatsu restaurants in Shinjuku: 10 Best Tonkatsu Restaurants in Shinjuku for your Deep-fried Craving

5. Ponchiken (ポンチ軒) in Kanda

Following Marugo in Akihabara, Ponchiken is another tonkatsu restaurant on the Michelin guide. They order special panko for the tonkatsu and carefully select the pork to make the most delicious tonkatsu in Japan. They blend corn and sesame oil to make the crunchy texture. Ponchiken's tonkatsu requires more than 10 mins to prepare because they cook in a low-temperature oil to make the juicy texture. Their tonkatsu after all the work tastes amazing, and you will never be able to forget.

Access:
2min walk from Awajicho Station

Address:
2-8 Kandaogawamachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Hours:
Mon-Sat 11:15 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Closed on every Sunday

Website:
https://www.ponchiken.jp/ (Japanese Only)

English Website:
https://gurunavi.com/en/ge4u100/rst/

6. Bairin (井泉) in Ginza

Bairin is said to be the first tonkatsu specialized restaurant that was established in Ginza. The history of Bairin began in 1927. The founder came up with bite-size tonkatsu, which is a standard style of tonkatsu today. They serve Kurobuta (Berkshire pig) tonkatsu and also katsudon - the tonkatsu on rice cooked with eggs. They also offer deep-fried shrimp for those who don't eat pork.

Access:
5min walk from Ginza Station

Address:
7-7-10, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Hours:
11:30 a.m. – 8:45
Open 7 days a week (exvept January 1)

Website:
http://ginzabairin.com/en/

Find more tonkatsu restaurants in Ginza: 10 Best Tonkatsu Restaurants in Ginza that You'll Love!

7. Imakatsu (イマカツ) in Roppongi

Imakatsu is one of the best tonkatsu specialized restaurants in the Roppongi area. Their signature menu is sasami-katsu, chicken breast strips katsu. People often consider chicken breast strips are less juicy, but Imakatsu will change your impression completely. Their special filled tonkatsu set uses Yamato Pork. To make the most of the flavor, they put only a little amount of panko, and the batter is very thin. Another popular menu here is Imakatsu Curry, which puts tonkatsu on Japanese curry rice.

Access:
5min walk from Roppongi Station

Address:
4-12-5, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Hours:
Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Closed on every Sunday

Website:
https://gurunavi.com/en/gczr703/rst/

8. Hasegawa (はせ川) in Ryogoku

If you visit Ryogkoku for sumo wrestling watching or Edo Tokyo Museum, eating Tonkatsu at Hasegawa is a must do. The pork they use is a well known brand called “Sangenton” from Yamagata. You can taste juicy and sweet taste of fat very well with Hasegawa’s thick tonkatsu. Order “Atsugiri Gokujo Tonkatsu (厚切り極上とんかつ)”, thick cut special tonkatsu, ¥2,800 to experience the real heaven.

Access:
2min walk from Ryogoku station

Address:
3-24-1 Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Ryogoku Ozaki Building 103

Hours:
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Website:
http://tonkatsu-hasegawa.com/food/indexeng.html

9. Wako (和幸)

Wako is the largest tonkatsu specialized chain restaurant in Japan. You can find Wako in any major downtown Tokyo such as Akihabara, Ginza, Roppongi, Shinjuku, and Shibuya. They have tonkatsu and various menus such as Ebi-furai (エビフライ) , deep fried shrimp, crabmeat cream croquette, ground beef cutlet with cheese, and more. Every menu comes with rice, cabbage and miso soup which are free refill.

Website:
http://www.wako-group.co.jp/en/

10. Maisen (まい泉)

Maisen is another tonkatsu specialized chain restaurant. Maisen restaurant in Omotesando has more menus than tonkatsu, katsu-don (a bowl of rice topped with katsu, egg, and condiments), katsu-curry and tonkatsu sashimi set.

Maisen has over 10 restaurants throughout Japan, but their katsu sandwich and bento box are sold in some supermarkets and department stores. It’s popular as a snack to eat in shinkansen. You are able to find them in most of the shinkansen stations such as Tokyo station.

Website:
http://mai-sen.com/(Japanese only)