Chain Restaurants in Tokyo for Good Food at a Low-Cost

Madeleine Ray

Foodies can also be budget travelers in Tokyo, there are so many options for inexpensive but delicious food in the city! When it comes to chain restaurants, not everyone is a fan, but I promise you that eating at these spots provides insight into what it’s like living in Japan while being conscious of spending. Whether you are craving Japanese curry, donburi, or ramen- there are tasty and inexpensive options available. Living in Tokyo as a college student meant I was constantly trying to live frugally while still enjoying authentic Japanese cuisine. I've gathered some of my favorite spots for Japanese comfort food that won't break the bank.

Genki Sushi, CoCo Ichibanya Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Gyoenmae station shop, Natural Lawson, Ootoya, Matsuya Higashi-Shinjuku, ジョナサン 西新宿店, Ichiran Shibuya, Ganso Zushi Asakusa Honten, Gusto, Hanamaru Udon, Tendon Tenya, Ramen Kagetsu Arashi Yōga, Sukiya Tokyo Station Kyobashi Restaurant, Hotto Motto, gindaco

  • Genki Sushi, Japan

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      Genki Sushi provides one of the more unique culinary experiences in Tokyo. To order sushi you use a touch screen menu at your seat and the food is delivered via a conveyor belt from the kitchen. Genki Sushi is a favorite for both locals and tourists alike and provides classic sushi as well as some more unusual spins on the dish, such as hamburger or corn sushi. Even if you do not like sushi, you can order noodles, fries, or even just a beer. Stop by for tasty sushi, a cold drink, and a price that cannot be matched.

  • CoCo Ichibanya Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Gyoenmae station shop in Tokyo, Japan

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      CoCo Ichibanya is all about Japanese curry! Japanese style curry is inspired by British curry, and one of the most popular dishes in the country. Curry is the go-to for camping and family dinners in Japan. CoCo has a decent menu that allows you to choose your own toppings and spice level.

  • Natural Lawson in Tokyo, Japan

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      Everyone knows that convenience stores in Japan are the place to go for surprisingly delicious food that is relatively inexpensive. I know that there are great options around every corner (literally) such as 7/11, Family Mart, or Lawson, but I chose Natural Lawson which is a little bit more rare but still accessible. Natural Lawson is a version of Lawson that also has more a more specialty menu which is yes, slightly more expensive, but still extremely affordable. Natural Lawson also has a lot of imported snacks, and drinks- and is an experience that is special even amongst Japanese convenience stores.

  • Ootoya in Tokyo, Japan

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      Ootoya is a great healthy option with home-cooked Japanese comfort food. They have a lot of variety on their menu with Soba, Teishoku, and other authentic Japanese food to satisfy any craving.

  • Matsuya Higashi-Shinjuku in Tokyo, Japan

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      Matsuya is the go-to chain for Japanese comfort food. Matsuya is best known for Gyu-don, which is rice topped with beef and onion. You can get a set with gyu-don, miso soup, and salad, as well as other add-ons. The price is very fair, the portions are healthy, and you will always leave satisfied.

  • ジョナサン 西新宿店 in Tokyo, Japan

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      Family Restaurants are very common, diner-style restaurants with a cozy menu of both Japanese and western favorites for a fair price. Everyone has their own favorite Family Restaurant, but my personal favorite is Jonathon's.

  • Ichiran Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan

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      Ichiran Ramen provides customizable and intensely flavorful ramen. This is an extremely popular and world-famous ramen chain with reliably tasty food delivered fast. Originally from Fukuoka, a city in Japan famous for ramen, Ichiran now has many shops located in Tokyo

  • Ganso Zushi Asakusa Honten in Tokyo, Japan

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      For some tasty sushi with a fun conveyor belt experience, look no further than Ganso Zushi! This uber-popular chain sushi restaurant can be found in many popular areas of Tokyo, from Shibuya to Shinjuku. The restaurant is known for fair prices, delicious & fresh fish, and a warm atmosphere.

  • Gusto in Tokyo, Japan

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      Gusto is known as one of the most affordable family restaurant chains in Tokyo. With an extensive menu featuring both western and Japanese style food for a great price and a well-stocked drink bar, you will always leave Gusto satisfied.

  • Hanamaru Udon in Tokyo, Japan

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      Hanamaru Udon is the place to go for affordable and big portions of tasty Udon in a variety of classic styles. The fun part is also the extensive toppings they offer, including tempura and onigiri.

  • Tendon Tenya in Tokyo, Japan

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      For crispy tempura on a budget, look no further than Tenya. A restaurant with locations all around Tokyo, Tenya offers Tendon, a popular meal consisting of tempura served over rice. Along with Tendon, Tenya offers other favorites including miso soup and soba noodles. Enjoy true Japanese comfort food wherever you are in the city with this super affordable option.

  • Ramen Kagetsu Arashi Yōga in Tokyo, Japan

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      Ramen Kagetsu Arashi has huge portions of ramen for a great deal. Along with many great customizations including thick or thin noodles, spice level, and whether you would like soy or miso broth, this ramen stop has unique and tasty menu items including some of the spiciest ramen you will ever eat. Ramen Kagetsu Arashi is close to my heart, as it was just a 10-minute walk from my Tokyo apartment, after a long day this was my favorite place to fill up and unwind.

  • Sukiya Tokyo Station Kyobashi Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan

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      Sukiya is famous as the leading Gyudon chain restaurant in Japan. Gyudon is beef served over rice and is essentially the go-to "fast food" for comfort in Japan. Enjoy authentic and delicious gyudon at Sukiya after a long day of exploring Tokyo.

  • Hotto Motto in Tokyo, Japan

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      Hotto Motto is a chain that specializes in take-out bento meals. At Hotto Motto you can self serve from delicious pre-made options, including rows of onigiri, tempura, and croquettes, or order from the hot menu for a freshly made meal including classics such as ramen or Japanese style curry. Grab some delicious food at Hotto Motto to eat in the park with friends or at your Airbnb after a long day.

  • gindaco in Tokyo, Japan

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      The chain for authentic and delicious Takoyaki, Japanese fried Octopus. This famous dish, originating from Osaka, is very popular in Japan- and for good reason. Along with delicious toppings that you can choose from- from cheese and mayo to fish flakes and green onion, Takoyaki is the epitome of street food and comfort food, and Gindaco is the place to go for a fair price with great taste.