This City Has The Most Michelin-Starred Restaurants In The World

For years, Tokyo has reigned atop the international dining scene as the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants. That hasn't changed with the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2024, which spotlights over 500 restaurants, with 183 of them holding stars, more than any other city in the world. There's a reason why Japan's capital was one of Anthony Bourdain's favorite places to visit. Simply put, it's a mecca for good food.

Travelers visiting Tokyo from abroad may be most interested in sampling some Japanese cuisine, starting with sushi, perhaps. In the 2024 Michelin Guide, a new name, Harutaka, has taken the crown as the city's only three-star sushi restaurant. The owner, Harutaka Takahashi, trained at another high-end sushi restaurant in the Ginza shopping district, Sukiyabashi Jiro.

Made famous by the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," Sukiyabashi Jiro notably entertained President Barack Obama as a guest in 2014, but the Michelin Guide stopped featuring it after 2019 since it no longer takes reservations from the general public. The branch across town in Roppongi Hills, run by 98-year-old Jiro Ono's son, Takashi, still has two Michelin stars, though it only accepts reservation "requests" through third-party services like Rakuten Travel Experiences. It can be tricky trying to land an actual booking there, but both Harutaka and Ginza's sublime Sushi Yoshitake (which retains two stars and previously held three) can be booked online through TableAll. Be prepared to pay over ¥60,000 (or $400) per person for what may be the best sushi meal of your life.

From sushi to ramen and yakitori in Tokyo

There's a total of 26 sushi restaurants in Tokyo with Michelin stars. Even one-star restaurants can be pricey, but budget travelers can still sample other kinds of Japanese food that have received recognition from Michelin. Tokyo has no fewer than 19 ramen shops that have earned the Bib Gourmand award for reasonably priced meals. Until recently, when Michelin moved all ramen to the Bib Gourmand category, three of those restaurants had a one-star rating: Ginza Hachigo, Nakiryu in Otsuka, and Konjiki-Hototogisu in Shinjuku.

These are all small shops that draw long lines, but Ginza Hachigo now accepts online reservations through TableCheck. You can also book a reservation online for Tsuta in Yoyogi-Uehara, which made headlines in 2015 when it became the first ramen restaurant in the world to receive a Michelin star. Unfortunately, its founder, Chef Yuki Onishi, passed away in 2022, but the restaurant is still there carrying on the legacy of his recipes.

For those who would rather feast on grilled chicken skewers, the Michelin Guide Tokyo currently features a total of 11 yakitori restaurants. Two of them, Torishiki and Yakitori Omino, have a one-star rating. Torishiki is famously difficult to book, but Yakitori Omino is reservable online through Omakase,  and it's located near the popular Tokyo Skytree observation deck. Just be careful when you sit down because there's no menu. It's a true omakase (chef's choice) meal, and they'll keep serving and charging you until you convey that you're full.

Tempura, onigiri, French food, and more

Tokyo has 14 different Michelin-starred tempura restaurants, with Sonoji in Nihonbashi and Fukumachi in Kyobashi sharing the Silver and Bronze award, respectively, on the Japan-based restaurant review site, Tabelog. Tempura, like sushi, can be expensive, but that's not such a concern at Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku, the oldest shop for rice balls in the city and the only one featured in the Michelin Guide (as an affordable Bib Gourmand option). The shop is ideally situated near Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, one of the two best districts where budget-minded Tokyo visitors should book a stay.

Beyond that, there are all sorts of other options for Michelin-starred and Bib Gourmand-level Japanese food in Tokyo, including 16 soba noodle restaurants and 15 tonkatsu (pork cutlet) restaurants. However, to get a true feel for Tokyo as a global city and hotspot for international cuisine, you might also consider going off-script and sampling some foreign food as only chefs here can do it.

With the Michelin Guide having roots in France, it's no surprise that Tokyo holds 48 starred French restaurants. Located in the same beautiful, French chateau-like building in Yebisu Garden Place (pictured above), the three-star Joël Robuchon and two-star La Table de Joël Robuchon are both bookable online. In 2023, the Italy-based 50 Top Pizza World list even named The Pizza Bar on 38th — an eight-seat Michelin "Selected Restaurant" high atop the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Nihombashi, Tokyo — as one of the world's best pizza restaurants.