There’s no denying that burgers are one of life’s ultimate comfort foods. There’s something irresistible about the combination of juicy meat (or veg, if that’s your thing), bun and toppings, plus the indulgence of eating with your hands, that truly makes it a next-level sandwich. Good thing Tokyo has more gourmet burger restaurants than you could shake a stick at.
Last month The Japan Times reported on Tokyo’s best burger restaurants, calling on readers to share their own favorites. So here’s five more of the best Japan’s capital has to offer.
The Burger Shop
“One of the must-visit burger stores in Tokyo is The Burger Shop in Kojimachi, which is famous for having served Donald Trump when he visited Japan last year.
For anyone who is curious, Trump ate The Steakhouse Burger (¥2,700), but my recommendation is The Shop Burger (¥1,450), which is also the store’s recommendation. You may doubt the combination of beef patty and pineapple, but their flavor is vibrant — salty, sweet and sour. Also, the burger was very juicy, and it felt like it actually helped quench my thirst. It is probably because of the pineapple, but the half-melted cheese and grated onion mixed with barbecue sauce only enhanced the juiciness. Overall, the hamburger is easy to eat thanks to the soft and light bun, and the patty, which is made from Canadian beef, is filling.
One more thing I found unique was the salad that comes with the burger. Its mayonnaise is made from soy milk and beet sugar, so it tastes different than normal. The salad is not actually just a side dish, but is a part of the hamburger, so make sure to put it on the half-opened burger before you eat. Apart from the store in Kojimachi, you can find branches of The Burger Shop in Ikejiri, Sasazuka and Nihonbashi, too. Another branch in Shinkawa, Chuo Ward, is also opening soon ー more opportunities to enjoy The Burger Shop’s original, tasty hamburgers.” — Haruka Murayama
Kioicho 3-28, Chiyoda-ku 102-0094; 03-6261-5489; bit.ly/theburgershop-kioi
EAT Grill and Bar
“The burgers are juicy and full of flavor, and it has all of my favorites from home. Coupled with a mom-and-pop feel and a little dog named Momo, this place is a local classic. The best thing on the menu is the Balentien Burger (¥1,150): I love beef, but this chicken burger is a knockout. Spicy Cajun seasoning and loads of pico de gallo make this one of the messiest burgers around.” — Jeffrey Shimamoto
Sendagaya 4-10-4, Shibuya-ku 151-0051; 03-6447-2218; eat-burger.com/en
Ain Soph. Ripple
“First, it’s vegan — vegetarians love burgers, too, and there really aren’t very many places that serve a really good veggie burger.
The Falafel Burger is fantastic — I’ve been to Israel and learned to make falafel myself, and Ripple’s is better than mine, for sure. Nice texture, crumbly but moist; crunchy on the outside tender on the inside; and the balance between cumin and cilantro is perfect. The sauce is based on tahini, which of course is the proper way to eat a falafel. There’s also lettuce and tomato, but a nice amount that doesn’t slide off the burger, or make the patty and bun get wet. The bun is well made as well, toasted and just thick enough without adding too much bread to bite through. The fries come in two sizes and are nice and thick, crispy outside and fluffy on the inside. Personally I would like a medium size, since the small is quite small and the large is too much to order with a burger. I can’t finish them all. The burger’s price (¥1,100) is also quite reasonable.
The staff are nice and friendly, and I think they speak English, though I’ve never spoken it with them. One thing I appreciate is being spoken to in Japanese and not treated like a tourist. The atmosphere is homey and comfortable, though you have to share a table with others. That could be a plus or a minus, depending on how you feel about that type of arrangement. It’s always busy, but I’ve yet to see it so crowded that you can’t get a seat. They also do takeout, and there’s seats outside.” — Heidi Wiltamuth
Kabukicho 2-46-8, Shinjuku-ku 160-0021; 03-6380-3205; ain-soph.jp/ripple
Beer Pub Camden East Side
“The burgers are made to order from scratch, including the patties. The ingredients are all fresh, so it makes for a really solid, satisfying and flavorful burger. There’s a good selection of styles of burger — some interesting ones alongside the classics.
I love burgers, and I’ve tried lots of places all over Tokyo. This place consistently has the tastiest burgers. Take the Chili Burger (¥1,050). Camden balances the heat very well. It’s got a little bit of a kick without being overpowering. It uses chili similar to what you’d get in a taco, which kind of spills out, so you have to use a wrapper. It’s literally bursting with flavor!
It also has a great selection of craft beers, a trendy atmosphere and a very convenient location right outside the east exit.” — Neil Rix
Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-7-2, Toshima-ku 170-0013; 03-3982-6599; beerpubcamden.com/east
Golden Brown Omotesando
“Golden Brown’s Omotesando outpost is very conveniently located on the 3rd floor of the Omotesando Hills shopping mall. The atmosphere is great, reminiscent of a bygone dinner era. And — most importantly — the Bacon Cheeseburger (¥1,580) is simply divine.” — Felix Bischoff
Omotesando Hills 3F, Jingumae 4-2-10, Shibuya-ku 150-0001; 03-6438-9297; goldenbrown.info
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.