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Top 5 Burgers in Tokyo

This entry was posted by on Monday, 24 September, 2007 at

Ok, so you want to enjoy some culinary delight while in Tokyo – it’s easy, I think there is no other place on earth with this many great restaurants. Anywhere you go, you are bound to fine something that suits your taste, whether you are into traditional Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Indian, or whatever.

Anyway, you might not think of Tokyo = Burgers, or even Japan = Burgers, but there some surprises in place for you then. Sure, some of the places on my list are actually foreign chain restaurants, but hey, I make the rules of this list ok?

1. 7025 Franklin Avenue

Franklin Avenue Burger
Now this place is a true delight – it’s located in a very upscale part of Gotanda in a building which presumably once was an embassy. The burgers are priced a bit steep, around 1,000 yen, but they are worth every penny. The patties taste magnificently, and the seasoning and sauce top it off to make it the perfect burger. Further, the inside of the restaurant is peaceful, serene and feels very “at home”. If you are lucky, you can get a seat out in the garden and enjoy what is truly Tokyo’s no.1 burger.
They don’t have a homepage, but you can get directions and a map here: Franklin Avenue Gotanda

2. Kua’Aina Burger

Kuaaina burger
Now, apparently Kua’Aina Burger came into existence in Hawaii sometime in the 70’s, a famous hamburger place on North Shore, Oahu. They now have two store on Hawaii, and 12 in Japan. I guess that makes it a Japanese chain of restaurants? Anyway, the hamburgers here are huge and delicious, grilled to perfection and served with some amazing fries. If you’re looking for something more ethnic, try the avocado or pineapple burgers. The hamburgers are so huge, they come complete with eating directions – i.e. how to best enjoy the burgers without having to stop at the dry cleaners on your way home.

3. Big Man Burger

Big Man BurgerBig Man Steak Burger
Big Man Burger is not really a Tokyo-based restaurant, but really just a small subsidiary of its headquarters in Sasebo, Nagasaki. Apparently, this is where hamburgers first made a landing in Japan, brought there by the American navy. Nowadays, there are tons of hamburger restaurants in the Sasebo area, each boasting its own unique taste. Big Man has then opened shop in “Tokyo Panya Street” inside Lalaport Chiba where you can enjoy their incredible burgers. I recommend the bacon & egg burger, which its juicy bacon and thick melted cheese.

4. Mos Burger

Mos Burger
Mos Burger is the only true fast food chain to make it onto my list, and it is basically because of two items on their menu: Spicy Mos Burger and Spicy Mos Cheese Burger. It’s culinary treat consisting of a beef patty, meat sauce, onions, mayonnaise, jalapenos, mustard and (in the cheese version) melted cheese. I don’t really know what it is, but this combination is a treat of the highest quality!

5. TGI Fridays

OK, so there is basically nothing Japanese at all about Fridays, but it doesn’t mean that they do not serve up one sweet burger. The peppercorn burger or the Mushroom Onion Mozzarella Burger….mmm… my mouth waters just thinking about it. And to fairly reasonable prices too – it’s definitely about 20% cheaper than similar restaurant chain Hard Rock Cafe.

Well, I might not have visited even a fraction of all restaurants serving hamburgers in Tokyo, but over the past four years which I have lived here, these five places really stand out. However, I am always on the lookout for new places so I might update the list in the future. Also, if you have your own favorite hamburger place in the Tokyo-Yokohama area which I missed, do send me some info on it, so I can check it out!

89 Responses to “Top 5 Burgers in Tokyo”

  1. Franklin Avenue is a Burger restaurant located near Gotanda Station in Tokyo. Open every day. Hours are 11.00-21.00(-19.30 on Sundays).

    Hello! Great site! The linked site offers a map of Franklin Avenue with some info in English. You can trackback your review to the site if you like. Cheers.

  2. Johan

    Thanks for the comments.

    Tradina – nice site! I’ve been missing a good English restaurant guide with maps etc. for Japan!

  3. Johan

    Thanks for the comments.

    Tradina – nice site! I’ve been missing a good English restaurant guide with maps etc. for Japan!

  4. Added TGIFriday’s bonus: Get there between 5-7 on a weeknight and sit at the bar, and you’re treated to half-priced drinks. An excellent way to wash down that burger…and the work day!

  5. YUM!

  6. Nice one.
    I’m hoping to relocate to Tokyo in September, and all those burger joints will be a welcome change from the food here in China.

    Looking forward to it.
    Keep up the good work on the blog!

  7. My favourite would have to be Homework’s (in Azabujuban and Hiroo http://www.homeworks-1.com/ ). They have the best vegetarian burgers I have found in Japan, and they recently have also been selling felafel burgers. They rock!

  8. I love big burgers,too.
    But I think Japanese restaurants need more foreign information.

  9. aya

    Hanbager of Nagasaki,Gotanda,and Hawaii look so delicious.I want to eat their.
    I never have eaten their.
    Mosbagar is very delicious!!
    I love it!

  10. Terje

    yup. I have not tried Franklin and Big guy, but homeworks is a sure #2 in Tokyo of the burgers I have tried.

    And it should not be forgotten that the american fast food giants like mcDonalds generally serve better quality stuff in Asia than in the US.

    I am not a fast food fan by any means, but Wendy’s bacon burger in Tokyo is pretty good on the right day as well :)

  11. DavidS

    I have eaten many good burgers in Tokyo.

    My favourite is Village Vanguard in Kichijoji.

  12. Johan

    I just discovered a new hamburger restaurant yesterday actually – its a place called “The Burgers Tokyo” and its located in Tokyo Dome.

    Have only been there once, so maybe its too early to say if it makes the top list or not, but it was definitely delicious!

  13. Johan

    I added a new picture for Franklin Avenue, I just recently saw that the old link was broken.

    Anyway, thanks for the tips on new restaurants, I will definitely try to check them out.

  14. Arnold

    Also check out the Firehouse (http://www.firehouse.co.jp/) and Brozers’ (http://w-ice.cocolog-nifty.com/blog2/).


  15. oh lol this makes me want to eat it adn its getting me hungry lol

  16. Martin

    Those burgers are ok. If you want really good burgers you should check out Firehouse in the Kasuga/Hongo San Chome area and Brozer’s near Ningyocho station.

  17. Johan

    Yes, I love Firehouse too! I have been pondering to update the list since I’ve been to a few more hamburger places, although I haven’t collected five new ones yet!

  18. crap

    This is all wrong, Mos Burger sucks. If you had any taste at all you’d notice that most of the burger is like a japanese ‘hambugu’ and the meat percentage is very small. this would never be sucessful in america, as evidenced by the one in waikiki which closed down. Terrible taste in burgers, jackass.

  19. Johan

    I appreciate all comments, even retarded ones.

    I’m not saying all Mos Burger’s burgers are great – I’m mentioning two particular ones – which also happens to be vintage now; they don’t sell them anymore in most places I guess.

    Anyhoo – this list is over two years old, and I’ve been visiting a few more hamburgER places around town and the list is due for an update – and I can assure you Mos Burger will not make the top five this time, so you can go back to sleep Mr.Crap.

  20. When I lived in Japan I often visited 7025 Franklin Avenue in Gotanda. It is a lovely cozy place where you can get home-style burgers with charcoal roasted meat. I hope they open more branches in Japan to popularize their brand.

  21. There is one important name you have missed and that is Freshness Burger. Freshness burger is very popular among the Japanese teens. Apart from Japan, they also have some branches in Hong Kong and Korea.

  22. Jay

    The very best burgers I have ever tasted in Japan are at this really cool restaurant located in Higashi Kurume (siebu ikebukuro line) right out the east exit. Reno’s Bistro! Burgers, Hotwings steaks,etc. These are all wood grilled. Just like America only better..

  23. The big man burger looks freaking delicious!

  24. I think I would have a heart attack if I ate something like the big man burger.

  25. Those burgers look great!

  26. I concur…those are definitely the top 5!

  27. Can’t wait to try them!

  28. I agree with your assessment.

  29. These are definitely the top 5.

  30. I will make it my mission to try these 5 when I go to Tokyo.

  31. I’ve tried these and you are right on.

  32. Some very tasty burgers here, have never been to Tokyo, but this is almost a reason.

  33. Very solid recommendations here.

  34. The big man burger is so unbelievable – you’ve gotta try it I agree.

  35. i pick number 5, i love TGI fridays, and always visit the restaurant every weeks just for buy a hamburger. delicious

  36. kumar

    mos burger at #4 are u kidding me?

  37. JSPB

    MOS burger? WTF? much better places that could knock all these off the list.
    off the top of my head,
    demode queen http://www.kiwa-group.co.jp/restaurant/a100079.html
    teddys http://tbbjapan.co.jp/web/
    fellows http://www.fellows-burger.com/

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