Food & Drink

Readers' choice: Tokyo's best gluten-free restaurants

It’s about time Tokyo’s food scene readily embraced various diet restrictions, whether that’s vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher or something else.

Gluten-free, in particular, is a rapidly expanding market: According to research company Grand View Research, the global gluten-free products market size surpassed $17 billion (about ¥2 trillion) in 2018.

But whether it’s a medical necessity or simply a health choice, gluten-free doesn’t — and shouldn’t — mean flavor-free. Last month we published our list of Tokyo’s five best gluten-free restaurants, but we also reached out to readers to see which places we might have missed.

So we’re doubling our original list with five additional reader-selected gluten-free gems in the metropolis.

Where is A Dog?

The exterior of Where is a Dog? | COURTESY OF WHERE IS A DOG?
The exterior of Where is a Dog? | COURTESY OF WHERE IS A DOG?

“Where is A Dog? is the perfect place to go after a long week. Covered in pictures of cats, the restaurant makes you feel like you’ve stepped into your own living room and could spend the day there. I go for the rice bowl with chicken and the gluten-free gratin. Sprinkled with soy meat, soft chicken and fresh vegetables, the rice bowl is both refreshing and filling. The gratin, on the other hand, is cheesy, chewy, and firm — the ultimate comfort food. On your way out, add a double chocolate cookie to your bill so that the magic doesn’t end there.” — Jesse Chase-Lubitz

Kikuicho 52, Shinjuku-ku 162-0044; 03-6205-9750; www.whereisadog.net

Breizh Cafe Creperie's Traditionnelle buckwheat flour galette, topped with artichokes, a sunny-side-up egg, cheese, ham, 'Bordier' butter and a small salad | LE BRETAGNE
Breizh Cafe Creperie’s Traditionnelle buckwheat flour galette, topped with artichokes, a sunny-side-up egg, cheese, ham, ‘Bordier’ butter and a small salad | LE BRETAGNE

Breizh Cafe Creperie

“When you think of ‘crepes’ in Japan, the first thing that comes to mind might be the sugary, over-the-top, ice cream-loaded crepes you get on the street corners in Harajuku. But might I introduce you to the mind-blowing galettes at Breizh Cafe Creperie? Made with 100 percent buckwheat flour, these hearty ‘pancakes’ originally hail from Brittany, but at Breizh you can get them in the heart of Tokyo. The entire menu is amazing, and I particularly love the galettes that come smothered in cheese, spicy sausage or topped with a runny egg. And the vibe definitely feels like you’re in a bustling French bistro, especially if you round off your meal with a hard cider (too often absent from bar menus in Japan)!” — Claire Williamson

Various locations in Tokyo; www.le-bretagne.com

The ivy-covered exterior of Yasai Izakaya Genki | COURTESY OF YASAI IZAKAYA GENKI
The ivy-covered exterior of Yasai Izakaya Genki | COURTESY OF YASAI IZAKAYA GENKI

Yasai Izakaya Genki

“It’s particularly fun to sit at the counter and watch the proprietor cook. The shop has a funky atmosphere/decor and the proprietor/chef is a character, so it’s a real experience. Everything on the menu is gluten-free except the okonomiyaki (savory cabbage pancakes), and that’s due to the sauce only. He can also do vegan by request.” — Rochelle Kopp

Uchikanda 1-10-5, Chiyoda-ku 101-0047; 03-3291-1213; kanda-genki.com

COURTESY OF ONDEN HOUSE
COURTESY OF ONDEN HOUSE

Onden House

“Great place to stop for a bite while out shopping, its pizzas are quite tasty and it has a nice, cozy atmosphere.” — Rochelle Kopp

Jingumae 5-16-5, Shibuya-ku 150-0001; 03-6434-1395; www.ondenhouse.jp

A plate of gluten-free sushi from Ninigi | COURTESY OF NINIGI
A plate of gluten-free sushi from Ninigi | COURTESY OF NINIGI

Ninigi

“Ninigi is an excellent Japanese gluten free choice restaurant with different options of sushi, tempura, beef and delicious desserts. Cozy environment!” — Gonzalo Vivas

Coredo Muromachi Terrace 1F, Nihonbashimuromachi 3-2-1, Chuo-ku 103-0022; 03-6277-0247; imaginia.tokyo/ninigi

Some responses have been edited for clarity. The opinions expressed are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Japan Times.

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