Tonkatsu Tokyo Travel Guide / November 26, 2016
Image credit: Matt@PEK 10 Best Foods in Tokyo You Should Not Miss
Basically, tonkatsu is pork cutlet wrapped in panko breadcrumbs and then deep fried. Sounds like your typical breaded pork chop, right? Wrong. There’s nothing typical about authentic tonkatsu.
First, you bite into crispy, golden panko crust revealing a succulent pork cutlet hiding inside, then you wonder how something deep-fried can be so juicy and not at all greasy. While deep in thought, your attention is caught by the sesame seeds that you have to pound with the accompanying mortar and pestle to release a nutty fragrance that adds another dimension to your tonkatsu. You’re caught up in that glorious moment so you forget about the sides of cabbage, rice, and miso soup.
Here are the best places to have tonkatsu in Tokyo.
- MARUGO | Akihabara
For tonkatsu that has 40 years of history
What to order: Toku Rosu Katsu, Hire-katsu Teisyoku, Toku Hire-katsu
Price range: 700 to 2,000 Yen ($6.40 to $18.29)
When: 11:30 – 15:00; 17:00 – 21:00 Daily except Mondays, third Tuesdays
Where: 1-8-14 Sotokanda, Chiyoda, Tokyo
- MAISEN | Shibuya
For good tonkatsu that is easily accessible at many shinkansen stations
What to order: Okita-Kurobuta, Benibuta, Yuwaku
Price range: 500 to 2,000 Yen ($4.57 to $18.29)
When: 11:00 – 22:00 Daily
Where: 4-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
- HASEGAWA | Ryogoku
For juicy thick-cut tonkatsu with a hint of sweetness
What to order: Jou Rosu, Rosu Katsu Teishoku, Soba
Price range: 1,000 to 2,500 Yen ($9.14 to $22.86)
When: 11:30 – 15:00; 17:00 – 22:30 Daily
Where: 3-24-1 Ryogoku Ozaki Building 103, Sumida, Ryogoku, Tokyo