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
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
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 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 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!