Best-of Guides Tokyo

The Best Unagi in Tokyo

7 Restaurants
Unagi (freshwater eel) cuisine requires such skillful techniques that it is said to take, “three years to perfect skewering, eight years for filleting, and a lifetime to master the art of grilling.” Highly nutritious, unagi is especially popular in the summer months for overcoming heat-related lethargy or tiredness. Unagi cuisine is divided into two main styles, Edoyaki style in which the unagi is split open from the back and steamed before being grilled to a perfectly fluffy texture and Kansai style in which the unagi is split down the belly and grilled for a delicious flavor. At restaurants committed to quality, the unagi is often split open only after the customers arrive, and it can take considerable time before grilling is completed, so leaving plenty of time for your visit is recommended. Come and try this phenomenal cuisine that unagi artisans pour their hearts and souls into creating.

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Updated on 19 June 2024
Mejiro Zorome
B1F, 3-3-1 Mejiro, Toshima-ku, 171-0031 Tokyo
¥¥ · Unagi / Freshwater Eel

Just outside Mejiro Station. If you sit at the counter you can watch how the unagi is prepared. The sake and wine served here make a good pairing with the side dishes.

Ginza Yondaime TAKAHASHIYA
4F, 4-12-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, 104-0061 Tokyo
¥¥ · Unagi / Freshwater Eel

Located near the Kabukiza Theatre. Enjoy Kanto-style unagi that is cut, steamed and grilled to fluffy perfection while surrounded by the modern Japanese-style interior of this restaurant.

2-4-29 Suido, Bunkyo-ku, 112-0005 Tokyo
¥¥¥ · Unagi / Freshwater Eel

An old-fashioned house beside the Kanda River. A traditional family business run by a succession of married couples. Their pickles here also carry on a long tradition.

1-9-14 Koishikawa, Bunkyo-ku, 112-0002 Tokyo
¥¥ · Unagi / Freshwater Eel

We recommend the Enma-ju unagi here, named after nearby Genkaku-ji Temple which also has the nickname Konnyaku Enma. You can enjoy unagi grilled with sauce and without sauce together in one dish.

Nodaiwa Azabu Iikura Honten
1-5-4 Higashiazabu, Minato-ku, 106-0044 Tokyo
¥¥ · Unagi / Freshwater Eel

Along with classic unagi cuisine, this restaurant also offers creative items such as unagi with caviar. After a delicious meal here, you can also enjoy a pleasant stroll around Tokyo Tower.

2-5-7 Suido, Bunkyo-ku, 112-0005 Tokyo
¥ · Unagi / Freshwater Eel

A traditional restaurant with a long history reaching back to the Edo period (1603-1867). The delightful aroma of kabayaki (unagi grilled with sauce) hangs in the air around the northern end of the Ishikiri Bridge over the Kanda River. Enjoy both the delicious cuisine and the pleasantly nostalgic atmosphere.

2-8-4 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, 111-0034 Tokyo
¥ · Unagi / Freshwater Eel

This restaurant close to Asakusa’s famous Kaminarimon Gate is operated by the proprietress and her son. The food takes time to prepare due to the traditional techniques that are used, but the delicious flavours are well worth the wait.

Header Image ⒸGinza Yondaime TAKAHASHIYA