Tokyo’s best hidden lunch spot for sushi omakase. No Michelin-needed, just impeccable sushi bites.
Sukiyabashi Jiro might be the ultimate sushi master, but if you can wake up amazingly early in Tokyo and make your way to Tsukiji Fish Market, you’ll find yourself lost in the buzzing excitement of the world’s largest seafood market. I’ve had such amazing sushi in Tokyo but Sushi Dai, located in the busy lanes of Tsukiji Fish Market, is one of a kind (and yes, this is where Jiro and other renowned sushi chefs come to select their fresh fish!) Lines can stretch up to 5 hours, so bring some entertainment or simply come to enjoy the good company you’ll meet–I’ve truly met the most interesting and international people in line before. After all, as Julia Child so wisely reminds us, “people who love to eat are always the best people.”
If you’re in Tokyo, queuing at 4am for Tsukiji Fish Market’s iconic Sushi Daiwa should definitely be on your bucket list. That being said, if you want to sneak a couple more hours of sleep in, Umegaoka Sushi-no Midori is the delicious alternative you should head to instead. It definitely was one of the freshest and best price-quality sushi I’ve had in Tokyo–and yes, I’ve queued for Sushi Daiwa at wee hours of the morning! With multiple branches in Tokyo, Umegaoka Sushi-no Midori’s Shibuya branch is on the 4th floor of Shibuya Mark City. During peak hours and weekends, queues can go up to 90 minutes so come early on a weekday to grab a bar seat–this way, you’ll see up-close some sushi magic being made! I ordered the Ultimate Sushi Assortment and my friend the Maguro Assortment (different cuts of tuna)–both of which I highly recommend. But if you don’t like some of the more adventurous ingredients like uni (sea urchin) or ikura (salmon roe), opt for the Maguro Assortment and just savor how each bite of raw tuna+sushi rice can be so phenomenal.