Tabehodai is a must-have experience in Japan. Tabehodai (食べ放題) or all you can eat buffet is extremely popular and highly sophisticated here. You really need to put aside your prejudice against it and be ready to embrace the greatest buffet experience.
Btw, tabehodai is often paired with nomihodai (飲み放題) or all you can drink deal in Japan – that’s right, all you can drink, for a fixed price and fixed time (usually between 90 and 120 mins).
My Polish-Australian friend didn’t believe me when I told him that for as little as 2,980 yen, we could eat and drink as much as we wanted at a reasonably good restaurant in Tokyo. Once inside the restaurant, he was amazed about the quality of food and felt sorry for each drink he ordered, which happened every 5 minute or so.
All you can eat and drink buffet restaurants sound great, but some are much, much better than others. Here is our 5 Best Buffet Restaurants in Japan – Bon appétit!
No. 1 Luxe Dining Hapuna at Shinagawa Prince Hotel
In terms of quality of food, drinks and service, it is extremely difficult to beat Luxe Dining Hapuna. For 3,800 yen (6,000 yen for dinner), you get to try over 70 different kinds of food, including Japanese roast beef, crabs (yes, most popular there!), non-Japanese Asian cuisine, and the chocolate fountain in the desert section.
It’s not only the food that is amazing, but also the restaurant itself. It has three different areas for dining, and each of them is spacious and decorated with high quality furniture. The Dining Area is suitable for couples on a date, the Center Court is perfect for families and groups of friends, and the brightly-lit Front Court is also good for groups.
Address: Minato-ku, Takanawa 4-10-30, 1st Floor, Shinagawa Prince Hotel Main Tower
Business hours: 11:00 – 15:00 for lunch | 15:30 – 22:00 for dinner
No. 2 View and Dining the Sky at Hotel New Otani
Views, views, views. If what you see during meals is equally important to the quality of food, then, View and Dining the Sky is it for you. Located on the 17th floor of the beautiful Hotel New Otani, this revolving restaurant offers high quality food and the view of Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Sky Tree as well as Mt. Fuji for 5,940 yen on weekdays and 7,128 yen on weekdays.
Japanese beef, sushi and tempura are cooked in front of you. Desserts are directed by celebrity patissier Shinsuke Nakajima. The dress code applies – smart casual is expected and avoid beach sandals and shorts.
Address: Chiyoda-ku, Kioicho 4-1 Hotel Otani The Main 17th Floor
Lunch: 11:30 – 14:30
No. 3 Takano Fruit Bar
Since its establishment 130 years ago, Takano has continued to offer high quality fruit and dessert to Japanese discerning consumers. Fruit Takano Shops sell are top quality, and you’ll be amazed at the price tags (Melon, for example, can be easily over 10,000 yen at Takano).
All you can eat buffet at Takano offer 50 kinds of dishes, including not only (super expensive looking) fruit and desserts, but also omelet, pasta and pizza that are cooked to order. The price for lunch is set at 2,700 yen for 90 minute, including grapefruit juice and 6 other types of all you can drink drinks.
Interestingly, the buffet is held on women only floor – make sure to take a female friend along!
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-26-11, 5th floor, Shinjuku-Takano Building
Lunch: 11:00-14:00 | 15:00 – 17:00 | 17:30 – 20:45
TEL: 03 5368 5147
No. 4 Kurobuta Shimazu Honten
For 3,333 yen, you get to eat as much high quality Japanese kurobuta (lit. black pork) as you want for 120 minutes at Kurobuta Shimazu Honten. Their kurobuta comes from Kagoshima Prefecture, and kishimen or flat noodles are also tabehodai.
There are a few private rooms for two or more people available, but make sure to book first. With additional 1,904 yen, you can add nomihodai all you can drink deal (also 120 mins).
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 4-3-22 Ando Building Basement 1st Floor
Business hours: 17:00 – 23:30 on weekdays | 16:00 – 23:30 on weekends
TEL: 03 3350 4890
No. 5 Monjaya
For 1,500 yen, you will be in heaven with 32 different dishes including okonomiyaki, monjayaki, yaki soba and udon noodles. Pay extra 1,500 yen, then, you also get an all you can drink deal (i.e. beer, sour and soft drinks). At most of okonomiyaki restaurants including Monjaya, you cook your own food, so be sober enough to flip them.
Also, be warned – you’ll be fined for leftover food on your table. So it’s a good idea to order as you go.
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-18-1
Business hours: 12:00 – 23:00