4 Chome-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

(81) 3-3470-0071

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This cavernous eatery is housed in a former bathhouse and has zero ambience. But gourmands head here to dig into heaping plates of tonkatsu, a heavily breaded and deep fried pork cutlet, topped with thick and tangy sauce and served with shredded cabbage and an earthy miso soup. This quintessentially Japanese dish was inspired by European cuisine in the late 1800s.

Note that the Japanese menu is a tome compared to the slender English menu, so be sure to peruse the former's pictures for more choices. You can also order the tonkatsu set menus, for a reasonably priced taste of Tokyo that really is finger licking good. While this restaurant, nestled among the snaking lanes of Harajuku, used to be very challenging to find, there are now signs like breadcrumbs leading newcomers off the main avenue, Omotosando and straight to Maisen’s front door.

Written by Cynthia Rosenfeld

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