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Tonkatsu is a very popular deep-fried dish in Japan made with thickly-sliced pork, wheat flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs. This simple yet delicious dish is growing in popularity among visitors to Japan due to the umami (Japanese savory taste) of the succulent pork. This article will introduce 10 popular tonkatsu restaurants in Tokyo.
1. Kinka Pork Cooking Hirata Farm Kiwami (Tokyo)
Its delicious umami characterizes the silk-like finely grained meat of Kinka pork. Although delicious, the downside is that it takes a lot longer to cure than most other pork. On top of this, Kinka pigs tend to be smaller in build, meaning less can be stocked. There is no wonder it is often called the "phantom pork." The luxurious [Thick Kinka Pork Loin Cutlet (150g)] has been a popular item on the menu ever since the restaurant first opened. Relax and enjoy some tender, succulent tonkatsu while overlooking Tokyo Station in this modern Japanese restaurant.
Kinka Pork Cooking Hirata Farm Kiwami
Open: Lunch: 11:00 - 15:00
[Weekdays/Saturday/Before Holidays] Dinner: 17:00 - 23:00
[Sunday/Holidays] Dinner: 17:00 - 22:00
Average price: [Dinner] 7,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,500 JPY
Access: 1-minute walk from Tokyo Station Marunouchi South Exit on the sixth floor of KITTE.
Address: 6F JP Tower, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Map)
2. Ponta Honke (Okachimachi)
Established in 1905, Ponka Honke is actually the birthplace of tonkatsu. A first-generation Imperial Household Agency chef invented the dish when he deep-fried a Milan-style cutlet using the same methods as tempura. Come to this restaurant to enjoy authentic tonkatsu as it was when it was first invented! Ponta Honke doesn’t compromise when it comes to the way the meat is fried – making sure all the fat is removed so that the meat can evenly fry. This removed fat is then used to fry the pork. Carefully-selected cuts of pork loin have any sinew removed before being lovingly fried at a low temperature. The delicious aroma of the lard and the meat is to die for! Another charm of Ponta Honke is its somewhat “hidden-getaway” atmosphere, not to mention the historical feel of the heavy door.
Open: [Tuesday - Saturday] Lunch 11:00 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:45 pm) / Dinner 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm (L.O. 7:45 pm)
[Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:45 pm) / Dinner 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm (L.O. 7:45 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY / [Lunch] 4,000 JPY
Access: 2 minutes walk from the south exit of Okachimachi Station on JR Yamanote Line / Keihin Tohoku Line
Address: 3-23-3, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Map)
3. Tonkatsu Muneta (Ikenoue)
Enjoy delicious and generous portions of tonkatsu here at prices that won’t hurt the bank! The orange-themed interior of Tonkatsu Muneta will no doubt warmly welcome and relax you. Recommended items on the menu include the tender and succulent, thickly-sliced rare cuts of pork loin in the [Premium Loin Cutlet Set Meal], as well as the [Premium Tenderloin Cutlet Set Meal], which only consists of the most deliciously tender cuts of tenderloin available. Another great point about this restaurant is that the cabbage and rice are bottomless – eat as much as you like for no extra charge!
Open: [Monday / Tuesday / Thursday-Sunday / Public holiday / Pre-holiday] Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (last order 2:30 pm) / Dinner 5:00 pm -10:00 pm (last order 9:30 pm)
Average price: [Lunch] 900 JPY
Access: 2 minutes' walk from the post office-side exit of Ikenoue Station on the Keio Inokashira Line, on the 1st floor of the Mimasu Building
Address: Saneki Bldg. 1F-105, 2-37-15 Daizawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo (Map)
4. Hirata Bokujo Coredo Nihonbashi branch (Nihombashi)
Forget the hustle and bustle of the city in this relaxing, modern Japanese restaurant. They even have their very own brand of meat here – Hirata Sangenton pork! This delicious, finely grained meat is produced by breeding three different types of pig together. It has made top quality, flavorsome fatty pork a reality! Besides tonkatsu, this restaurant serves delicious cured Sangenton ham salads, as well as local Yamagata cuisine that perfectly accentuates the ingredients used. A fantastic view of the city can be seen from the window seats – so, why not come here to kick back, relax, and enjoy some delicious cuisine?
Hirata Bokujo Coredo Nihonbashi branch
Open: [Weekdays, Saturday] Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm / Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
[Sunday, Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - 3:00 pm / Dinner 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Average price: [Dinner] 5,000 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY
Access: 2 minute walk from exit B12 of Nihombashi Station on the Ginza Line.
Address: 4F Coredo Nihonbashi, 1-4-1 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Map)
5. Nomotoya (Daimon)
Nomotoya is renowned for its highly popular Roppaku pork from Kagoshima, deliciously and skillfully made. In order to fully bring out the delicious umami of Roppaku pork, this restaurant removes any excess fat before deep-frying it in frying oil containing 2 different types of lard. The amount of time it takes to get to a customer’s plate is accurately calculated so that the residual heat is effectively used to create the most perfectly rich, premium tonkatsu possible. Season to taste with homemade sauce, rock salt, or stem wasabi and Kagoshima soy sauce.
Open: [Weekdays, Saturday, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm) / [Weekdays, Day before National Holidays] Dinner 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm (L.O. 8:00 pm) *Available while supplies last on a first come, first serve basis for lunch or dinner
Closed: Sunday, National Holidays
Average price: [Dinner] 2,300 JPY / [Lunch] 1,500 JPY
Access: 3 minutes walk from A6 Exit of Daimon Station on Toei Asakusa Line / Oedo Line
Address: 2F, Tamagawa Bldg., 2-3-7, Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Map)
6. Sugita (Kuramae)
Sugita is a famous tonkatsu restaurant in downtown Tokyo. The tonkatsu here can be easily recognised by the thin coat of breadcrumbs made at a local bakery. Only pre-treated Japanese pork and top-quality Dutch lard is used. The thinly coated tonkatsu is deep fried in 2 different pans – one at a low temperature and one at a high temperature. The umami of the meat is deliciously accentuated by interchanging the meat in these 2 pans when frying. The owner highly recommends drinking [Shinkame] (a kind of Japanese alcohol) to further enhance the flavors of the refreshing, melt-in-the-mouth [Tonkatsu Loin] or the lean [Tonkatsu Tenderloin].
Open: [Monday - Wednesday, Friday - Sunday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:45 pm) / Dinner 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm (L.O. 8:15 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 3,000 JPY
Access: 2 minutes walk from Exit A5 of Kuramae Station on Toei Subway Oedo Line / Asakusa Line
Address: 3-8-3, Kotobuki, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Map)
7. Agezuki (Iidabashi)
Agezuki boasts delicious tonkatsu made with pigs raised in the southern Japanese islands. This Miyazaki Prefecture brand of pork has been classed as the best in Japan and has even won the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award! The owner, Hoshina, has carefully researched tonkatsu for a number of years and even proudly states that this pork is a cut above the rest. Once any sinew has been carefully removed, the pork is then cooked in frying oil containing high-quality lard. Residual heat is also used to best accentuate the flavor. Don’t miss out on the chance to try the [Premium Tenderloin Cutlet], containing rare cuts of tenderloin – this dish has a quality that can't be found elsewhere!
Open: [Monday, Wednesday - Sunday, National Holidays] Lunch 11:30 am - 3:00 pm (L.O. 2:30 pm) / [Monday, Wednesday - Friday] Dinner 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm) / [Saturday] Dinner 5:30 pm - 10:30 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm) / [Sunday, National Holidays] Dinner 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm (L.O. 8:30 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 2,000 JPY
Access: 5 minutes walk from B3 Exit of Iidabashi Station on Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line / Nanboku Line
Address: B1F, Yamanouchi Bldg., 3-2, Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Map)
8. Narikura (Takadanobaba)
The premium tonkatsu at Narikura is slowly cooked on a low heat. Delicious Kirifurikogen pork is covered in raw breadcrumbs before being cooked at a low temperature for 15 minutes. Any oil is then removed before the meat is cooked again for a further 5 minutes via residual heat. This slowly cooked tonkatsu has a deliciously crispy texture and a melt-in-the-mouth umami. The signature dish of Narikura is the [Kirifurikogen Pork Premium Course Cutlet (250g) Set Meal], consisting of thickly-sliced yet extremely tender tonkatsu. Besides Kirifurikogen pork, this restaurant also regularly has a range of unique meats – keep visiting to avoid missing out!
Open: [Monday - Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, National Holidays, Day before National Holidays] Lunch 11:00 am - (L.O. 2:00 pm) / Dinner 5:30 pm - (L.O. 9:00 pm) *Reservation is not accepted for lunch nor dinner.
Closed: Thursday, Sunday
Average price: [Dinner] 3,000 JPY / [Lunch] 3,000 JPY
Access: 3 minutes walk from Takadanobaba Station on JR Yamanote Line / Seibu Shinjuku Line / Tokyo Metro Tozai Line
Address: B1F, Ozawa Bldg., 1-32-11, Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Map)
9. Kanazawa Katsuzo Ark Hills (Roppongi-itchome)
The recommended dish of Kanazawa Katsuzo Ark Hills has to be the [Thickly-sliced Noto Pork Loin Cutlet]. This generously portioned 250g of pork is so big and tender that it takes 3 times the time to cook compared to a normal portion! Another delicious point of it being so generously thickly sliced is that any fat doesn’t linger – keeping the dish deliciously refreshing. A wide range of carefully selected wine and craft beer is also available on the menu, all of which goes amazingly well with tonkatsu! Come to relax in the modern Japanese atmosphere of this restaurant, with its gentle light created by paper-like pendant lights.
Kanazawa Katsuzo Ark Hills
Open: [Weekdays] 11:00 am - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:00 pm)
[Saturday, Sunday, National Holidays] 11:00 am - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm)
Average price: 2,000 JPY
Address: 3F, Ark Mori Bldg., 1-12-32, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
10. Ma Maison (Minami-sunamachi)
This is an authentic tonkatsu restaurant inside a shopping center with delicious, hearty portions. The retro interior of Ma Maison will no doubt bring back memories of the past. Enjoy tonkatsu in its most delicious condition here – all tonkatsu is made with cured meat. The succulent umami of the [Thickly Sliced Jumbo Loin Cutlet Set Meal] leads to it being a highly popular item on the menu! If you are at a loss as to what to order, opt for the delicious [Mamebuta Set Meal], consisting of ebi-furai (deep-fried shrimp), a pork loin cutlet, and a pork tenderloin cutlet.
Open: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 1,500 JPY / [Lunch] 1,100 JPY
Address: 4F, Minami Sunamachi Shopping Center, 3-4-31, Shinsuna, Koto-ku, Tokyo (Map)
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
This article introduced some tonkatsu restaurants that deeply care about the ingredients and frying oil used. Don’t miss out on trying their delicious, hearty portions for yourself next time you are sightseeing in Tokyo!