Big in Japan: Tokyo is world’s top food city

Are you ready for today’s Big in Japan trivia question?

Q: According to the Michelin Guide, what is the world’s top city for good eating?
A: If you guessed Tokyo and not Paris, you are indeed correct!

Although for years Paris has won the coveted honor from the most highly respected food publication, this year Michelin Guide director Jean-Luc Naret decided to shake things up a bit.

According to Naret, himself a French man, “Tokyo is becoming the global city with the finest cuisine, the city in the world with the most stars.”

So how badly was Paris bested?

Restaurants in Tokyo were awarded a total of 191 stars, nearly twice the amount awarded to Paris and more than three times the amount awarded to New York.

Tokyo’s upstaging of Paris doesn’t stop there.

Eight of Tokyo’s restaurants won the maximum of three stars compared to six of Paris’s restaurants. And, 25 restaurants in Tokyo were awarded two stars while a whopping 117 were awarded one star.

Still don’t believe me that Tokyo has the best food in the world? Keep reading as the home of haute cuisine may no longer reside in France.


The final nail in the coffin came when Michelin Guide announced that three of the top eight restaurants in Tokyo serve French food.

Boasting a long love affair with French culture dating back over a century, Tokyo can now rest on its laurels as the city in the world offering the finest in French cuisine.

In case you were wondering, three of the other top restaurants in Tokyo serve kaiseki ryōri (懐石料理), which is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner that is often compared to haute cuisine.

Kaiseki, which directly translates to “stone in the bosom,” is a throwback to an ancient Zen Buddhist practice whereby fasting monks would stave off hunger by putting warm stones in the folds of their robes.

The term was later applied to the light vegetarian meals that were traditionally served after a tea ceremony, and eventually was attributed to the highly refined set-course meal that is today considered to be the pinnacle of the Japanese culinary world.

The other two of the top restaurants in Tokyo are traditional sushi houses, which specialize in the highest possible quality of fish that is selected daily from nearby Tsukiji fish market. Both locales serve up the ocean’s equivalent of Kobe beef, though sushi of this quality and grade doesn’t come cheaply.

Since I’m a starving writer (quite literally!), I’m not in a position to review these restaurants. However, below is the complete list of Michelin three-star restaurants in Tokyo for anyone out there with more yen to burn than me!

Bon appétit! Or should I say – ittadakemasu!

Genyadana Hamadaya
3-13-5 Nihonbashi Ningyo-cho Chuo-ku

Ginza Koju
8-5-25 Ginza Chuo-ku

Joel Robuchon
Ebisu Garden Place 1-13-1 Mita Meguro-ku

3-6-34 Motoazabu Minato-ku, Tokyo

7-5-5 Ginza Chuo-ku

Restaurant Quintessens
5-4-7 Shiroganedai Minato-ku

Sukiyabashi Jiro
4-2-15 Ginza Chuo-ku

Sushi Mizutani
8-2-10 Ginza Chuo-ku

Gettoing hungry? Check out the delicious food gallery below: