Created for expats living in Japan

Eating Out in Japan: Restaurant Guides

Japan has a large number of fantastic restaurants located throughout the country. Because there are so many, you may have difficulty to select the right restaurant. Depending on your mood and the occasion, you may choose a small family-run restaurant or a Michelin-starred restaurant. If you are unsure about selecting a restaurant, the best and simplest way is to use a restaurant-specific search engine. The websites listed below can help you find restaurants in English.

Japan Restaurant Guides


Gurunavi has two websites: one in English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and the other one in Japanese only. Although a multilingual website is useful for people of various language backgrounds, using Gurunavi that is only available in Japanese seems to allow you to access a greater number of restaurants. Overall, It's a fantastic restaurant guide with many useful features. For reviews and scores, Gurunavi uses the information from Tripadvisor.

Hot Pepper Gourmet

When it comes to search options, coupons, and other useful information, Hot Pepper Gourmet is an amazing restaurant guide that will make every foodie's life easier. While the English version of the website appears to be lacking in coupons and information that are available in Japanese, you can still make an online reservation, search for restaurants by location, cuisine, among other things. (also available in Korean and Chinese)

You can search for restaurants on using specific keywords, location, price ranges, or cuisine categories. You can look for the kind of restaurant that best suits your needs, whether it be for a large group, family, couple, or business. Additionally, you can search restaurants that offer particular amenities like private rooms, non-smoking seats, an open terrace, a children's menu, a party menu, an all-you-can-eat or all-you-can-drink menu, birthday privileges, and pet-welcoming policies. Apps are also available for iOS / Android.

Savor Japan

You can search for restaurants via Savor Japan throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa in English. In addition, you can enjoy reading interviews with chefs from various regions and articles about their specialties.


Tabelog is one of the most popular restaurant guides in Japan. Its impressive database of restaurants, user-friendly interface, and search features make it an excellent starting point for exploring Japan’s food scene. You can search for eating establishments by entering criteria such as your dinner or lunch budget, preferred cuisine, payment method, availability of a private room, etc. You can even narrow your search down to restaurants that have an English-language menu! While the restaurant's rating score can be understood regardless of the language you use, the reviews are written in Japanese and are not translated. Although the Japanese version of the website is more comprehensive with useful features such as coupons and online booking options (available for some restaurants), the essential information such as ratings, photos, telephone numbers, etc. can be accessed in multiple languages.  

Tabelog Award is another useful feature for finding the finest restaurants based on user reviews. It is available in Japanese and English languages. (also available in Chinese, and Korean)

Taste Tour Japan

Taste Tour Japan is run by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). You can search restaurants throughout Japan by area and cuisine type. 


Tripadvisor is a popular website for searching restaurants, hotels, rental cars, and other services in many countries around the world. In Japan, you can easily find lots of restaurants using this multilingual and user-friendly website.

We have introduced some of the most well-known restaurant guides in Japan. Whether you are planning dinner at an exquisite restaurant or looking for a cafe that serves delicious coffee, restaurant guides can help you make the best choice and find the place that suits your needs. Before embarking on an exciting journey to explore Japan's food scene, we also recommend checking our guide to Japanese restaurant etiquette.

There are more articles about Japanese Cuisine on our website. If you live in Tokyo, we also have articles about 'Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Tokyo from Casual to Classy' and 'English-Friendly Food Delivery Options in Tokyo'.