tokyo/travel

Tokyo Food Guide: In Search of the Best Tokyo Gyoza

Posted March 22, 2018 by Stephanie

Are you here for the love of gyoza? It’s not hard to fall in love with those little packages of crispy bottoms, tender tops, and juicy meaty insides. I can’t remember when I had my first gyoza, but I can tell you that my love for gyoza runs deep. I legitimately love all the food in Tokyo, but when I’m there, there is a special gyoza-sized hole in my heart that just needs to be filled. When you love gyoza as much as I (and Mike!) do, the only logical thing to do when in Tokyo is: GYOZA HUNT.

Here are a few things we learned from our intensive study in Tokyo gyoza houses:

  1. Gyoza houses have a relatively limited menu: gyoza, rice, some small sides, and beer.
  2. Most people order meat gyoza. Some places also offer vegetable/yasai gyoza, but I would say that meat are standard.
  3. Generally, gyozas come with garlic or without. The staff will ask you, “niniku?” and the answer should always be hai/yes. If, for some reason, you’re a vampire and don’t like garlic, you can say: niniku janai. Side note: lots of the newer, hip gyoza places don’t have garlic in their gyozas – the lack of garlic is supposed to be so buisness peeps can enjoy gyoza without worrying about garlic breath.
  4. Gyoza generally come yaki (pan-fried) or sui (boiled). I say go for an order of each – usually everyone goes for yaki because hello crispy bottoms, but sui really let the gyoza flavor shine and their soft and silky texture will leave you wanting more.
  5. The sauces are as important as the gyoza. There will always be shoyu (soy sauce), su (vinegar), and some sort of rayu (chili oil) or chili sauce. Mix them up as you please in the tiny dishes that are set at every table and dip to your heart’s content.
  6. The standard order is about 2 plates of gyoza – 6 gyoza per plate, per person – but gyoza houses are pretty relaxed, so if you only want to order one per person, it’s no big deal.
  7. Gyoza, much like ramen, isn’t really the kind of place where you eat and linger, but there are a bunch of new style gyoza places popping up, so if a long-ass gyoza meal is your thing, keep reading to hear all about it!

Gyoza no Fukuho


Gyoza no Fukuho is our absolute favorite gyoza place. No frills, no nonsense, and the best tasting gyoza around. There are several locations – it’s a chain – but the one we go to most is right next to Shinjuku Gyoen. There’s a lunch special for 590 yen that gets you 2 orders of gyoza, a fluffy bowl of rice, and a bowl of seaweed soup. It’s the BOMB.

With thin skins and just the right amount of filling, the yaki-gyoza are crisp but not overly oily, extremely flavorful with an a good hit of garlic. The sui gyoza are tender, silky and juicy. If you’re looking for a cheap and delicious lunch in Tokyo look no further because who doesn’t love rice and gyoza?

Bonus, along with the standard soy, vinegar, and hot sauce, they also have a little pot of red miso and packets of karashi, hot Japanese mustard.

Gyoza no Fukuho Rating: 5/5

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Gyoza no Fukuho | www.iamafoodblog.com

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Gyoza no Fukuho | www.iamafoodblog.com


Kanda Gyoza

Kanda Gyoza is an old school gyoza house with many branches in Tokyo. They serve a bunch of other Chinese food too (gyozas are known as Chinese food in Japan), but they’re most well known for their gyoza. They have giant kurobuta gyoza that are delicious, but even more than the pork gyoza, we love their veggie gyozas. They’re juicy, thicker-skinned, and kind of on the bigger side.

Kanda Gyoza Rating: 4/5

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Kanda Gyozaya | www.iamafoodblog.com

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Kanda Gyozaya | www.iamafoodblog.com

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Kanda Gyozaya | www.iamafoodblog.com


Harajuku Gyoza Rou


This is the place that shows up most when you do a search on “must eat gyoza in Tokyo.” Cheap, friendly, and delicious, this little hole in the wall in the back streets of Aoyama, just off of Cat Street, is definitely serviceable and pretty good if you’re just beginning your gyoza journey. But, I will say, give it a pass if they have a line. For some reason, there almost always is, unless you’re there at 3 in the morning.

The gyoza at Gyoza Rou are thin-skinned (a sign of a good Japanese gyoza), juicy and if you choose it, full of garlic-y flavor. I have to say that it’s a true hole-in-wall, or as much of a hole-in-the-wall as you’ll find in Tokyo. I feel like the place hasn’t been cleaned since the 80s, but, you know, most Tokyoites and toursits have pretty fond memories of hitting this place up during late nights.

Harajuku Gyoza Rou Rating: 2/5

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Harajuku Gyoza Rou | www.iamafoodblog.com


Gyoza Bar Comme a Paris


If you’re looking for more of a night time bar feel, Comme a Paris is the place to be. While most gyoza houses have beer as the drink of choice, this cozy Aoyama bar pairs their gyoza with wine or champagne by the glass. Their gyoza is proudly garlic-free and comes with three different dipping sauces: tomato, white miso, and black chili oil. The skins are thin and tender, the bottoms crunchy, and the varieties creative. We loved the onion gratin gyoza, a take on French onion soup with a cheesy gyoza standing in for the traditional crouton.

I also especially loved it because they have fries on the menu and gyoza and fries go together almost as well as gyoza and rice.

Gyoza Bar Comme a Paris Rating: 3/5

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Gyoza Bar Comme a Paris | www.iamafoodblog.com

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Gyoza Bar Comme a Paris | www.iamafoodblog.com


Kitchen Tachikichi Gyoza


This Omotesando gyoza joint is much hipster and kind of all about aesthetics with their cute blue tiled counters and custom glasses and plates. But don’t worry, they’re not just about looking good – the gyozas at Tachikichi happen to be delicious. They much larger then what you normally see in Tokyo so if you want to cut down on your normal order, you’ll still be full. They have slightly thicker skins and the pork used is sourced from Yamagata.

As always, the lunch set is your best option. I went with the 2 set option: 2 each of yaki, sui, and age/deep fried. The sets come with salad, kimchi, and unlimited serve yourself rice and miso soup!

Kitchen Tachikichi Gyoza Rating: 3/5

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Kitchen Tachikichi | www.iamafoodblog.com

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Kitchen Tachikichi | www.iamafoodblog.com


Anda Gyoza


Anda has a charming, quaint room and a Michelin bib gourmand recommendation. Their gyoza are Taiwanese style with thicker skins flavored with roasted brown oats and they’re more jiaozi than gyoza, with a tortellini shape. All of the gyoza here are served sui/boiled and have interesting flavor combinations like pork and daikon, carrot and curry, chicken and ginger. The lunch set rice looks like a plain bowl with pickles, but there is a little bonus pork hidden at the bottom, so mix it all up before devouring.

Anda Gyoza Rating: 2/5

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Anda Gyoza | www.iamafoodblog.com

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Anda Gyoza | www.iamafoodblog.com


Awaya Gyoza

Another one of those hipster places that serves gyoza and booze in a cheery, modern hipster space. Awaya is located in Kichijoji so when you’re tired of shopping, pop on in. We liked the cheesy gyoza: crispy pan-fried pork gyoza topped off with a slice of American style cheese. Sounds like it it’d be bad, but it was so good.

Awaya Gyoza Rating: 2/5

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Awaya Gyoza | www.iamafoodblog.com

Best Tokyo Gyoza: Awaya Gyoza | www.iamafoodblog.com


And there you have it, all the knowledge you need to go forth on your own gyoza journey in Tokyo. To be honest, there are TONNES of gyoza places in Tokyo so let me know which place is your favorite. We’re always on the looking for gyoza!

Note: The gyoza rating is based purely on taste alone, not atmosphere.

2 Comments

  1. Kelly Teong says:

    Hi Stephanie, may I know does Gyoza no Fukuho offers vegetarian options for their gyoza? As in no meat, pork and fish. Thank you 😊

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi kelly,

      sorry they don’t! they just have meat with garlic and meat without garlic :(

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