Shinjuku is a vibrant district in Tokyo, Japan, known for its bustling streets, neon lights, and lively nightlife. However, what many people don’t know is that Shinjuku is also a foodie’s paradise, with some of the best street food in the world. In this article, we will explore the best street food in Shinjuku and take you on a culinary adventure you will never forget.
Shinjuku is one of the busiest and most vibrant areas in Tokyo, Japan. It is also home to some of the most delicious street food in the city. From savory snacks to sweet treats, Shinjuku offers a plethora of options that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. In this article, we will explore the best street food in Shinjuku, highlighting some of the most popular and mouth-watering dishes that you won’t want to miss. Whether you are a local or a tourist, get ready to discover the hidden gems of Shinjuku’s street food scene.
The Hidden Gems of Shinjuku
One of the best things about Shinjuku is the plethora of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Unlike other touristy areas, Shinjuku offers a more authentic experience, with street food vendors that locals swear by. Here are some of the best hidden gems to try:
Omoide Yokocho, also known as Memory Lane or Piss Alley, is a narrow alleyway filled with tiny bars and street food stalls. Here, you can try some of the best yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) in Shinjuku, as well as other Japanese street food classics like takoyaki (octopus balls) and kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers).
Shinjuku Nakamuraya is a bakery that has been around since 1901, serving up some of the best anpan (sweet red bean paste buns) in the city. Their signature dish is the “Tokyo Anpan,” which is a fluffy bun filled with sweet red bean paste and topped with a generous amount of sesame seeds.
Fūunji is a tiny ramen shop located in the heart of Shinjuku, known for its rich and flavorful broth. Their signature dish is the tsukemen, which is a type of ramen where the noodles are served separately from the broth. The broth is thick and savory, and it’s the perfect dipping sauce for the chewy noodles.
The Must-Try Street Food in Shinjuku
Apart from the hidden gems, there are also some must-try street food dishes in Shinjuku that you simply can’t miss. Here are some of our favorites:
Gyoza are pan-fried dumplings filled with ground meat and vegetables. In Shinjuku, you can find some of the best gyoza vendors in the city, serving up crispy and juicy dumplings that are perfect for a quick snack or a late-night meal.
Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake made with flour, eggs, cabbage, and other toppings like meat, seafood, and cheese. It’s a popular street food dish in Japan, and in Shinjuku, you can find some of the best okonomiyaki vendors in the city.
Takoyaki are small balls of batter filled with diced octopus, green onion, and pickled ginger. They are cooked in a special pan and served with toppings like mayonnaise, takoyaki sauce, and bonito flakes. Takoyaki is a quintessential street food dish in Japan, and in Shinjuku, you can find some of the best takoyaki vendors in the city.
Yakisoba is a stir-fry noodle dish that is popular in Japan. It’s made with wheat noodles, vegetables, and meat or seafood, and it’s cooked on a hot plate with soy sauce and other seasonings. In Shinjuku, you can find some of the best yakisoba vendors in the city, serving up piping hot noodles that are perfect for a cold winter day.
A Word of Caution
While Shinjuku is a foodie’s paradise, it’s important to exercise caution when trying street food. Make sure to choose vendors that have a good reputation and follow proper hygiene practices. Also, be aware of any food allergies or dietary restrictions you may have and communicate them to the vendors.
FAQs for Best Street Food Shinjuku
What kind of street food can I find in Shinjuku?
Shinjuku is known for its wide selection of street food, ranging from the traditional takoyaki and yakitori to more unconventional items like sushi burgers and matcha soft serve ice cream. There are also many stalls that sell noodles, tempura, Japanese pancakes, and grilled meat skewers, among others. There’s always something delicious to be found on the streets of Shinjuku.
Where are the best places to find street food in Shinjuku?
Some of the best places to find street food in Shinjuku are the Omoide Yokocho, which is also known as “memory lane” and referred to by some as the “Piss Alley”. You can also check out Kabukicho, Shinjuku’s entertainment district, which is home to a variety of restaurants and food stalls. Another great place to look for street food in Shinjuku is along the streets that lead up to the Hanazono Shrine.
What is the average cost of street food in Shinjuku?
While the prices of street food in Shinjuku can vary depending on the item you choose, the average cost usually ranges between 300 to 800 yen. Some high-end food stalls might offer items that are more expensive, but there are also many affordable options available, so visitors with any budget can enjoy the wonderful tastes of Shinjuku street food.
Are there any vegetarian or halal options for street food in Shinjuku?
Yes, there are several places that serve vegetarian and even halal street food in Shinjuku. You can find food options like vegetable tempura, yakitori made from vegetables, tofu dishes, and other vegetarian-friendly items. Some street food stalls also serve halal meat, such as kebabs and curry. Be sure to check with the vendor if you have specific dietary needs.
Is it safe to eat street food in Shinjuku?
Eating street food in Shinjuku is generally safe, as long as you take basic precautions such as avoiding stalls that may not have proper hygiene practices or that offer dishes with suspiciously low prices. You can also check online reviews to see the opinions of other visitors. It’s important to listen to your own body and stop eating if you feel sick or uncomfortable after eating something. Overall, trust your instincts and enjoy the delicious offerings of Shinjuku street food.