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[Tokyo] Shinjuku Food Guide: Five Best Tonkatsu Restaurants in Shinjuku You Must Visit

Shinjuku provides a diverse tonkatsu experience with notable establishments such as Tonkatsu Niimura in Kabukicho, known for its meticulously crafted tonkatsu from rare black pork. Tonchinkan near Shinjuku Station offers a friendly atmosphere and delicious pork cutlets, while Katsukura Shinjuku Takashimaya on the 14th floor of Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square brings Kyoto’s culinary heritage with exclusive seasonal offerings. Tonkatsu Katsusei, near Shinjuku Gyoen, is a lunchtime favorite for its well-balanced meal, and Agezuki in Kagurazaka stands out for its highly-rated tonkatsu made from rare Minami-no-Shima pork. Each restaurant contributes to a unique and delightful tonkatsu experience in Shinjuku.

Tonkatsu Niimura (とんかつ にいむら 本店)

Tonkatsu Niimura, located in Kabukicho, stands as a venerable establishment in the realm of tonkatsu cuisine. Established in 1961, Niimura proudly boasts a storied history and is acclaimed for its exquisite tonkatsu, meticulously crafted from the finest black pork sourced from Kagoshima Prefecture. The cultivation of black pork demands considerable labor, resulting in a restricted production, accounting for a mere 0.4% of the total pork consumption. Nonetheless, the unique attributes of this pork, encompassing its delicate fibers, minimal odor, exceptional texture, and subtle sweetness, distinguish it. Notably, its low calorie content adds to its widespread appeal. Delight in the impeccably prepared flavor of deep-fried black pork, conveniently situated 100 meters to the left of the Kabukicho Ichibangai Arch.

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Tonchinkan (豚珍館)

The renowned “Tonchinkan” restaurant in Shinjuku is well-regarded among tonkatsu enthusiasts. It’s just a short, five-minute walk from Shinjuku Station, attracting a significant lunchtime crowd that attests to its popularity. This establishment is consistently bustling with diners seeking the ultimate tonkatsu experience.

Although you may need to share a table with others, the atmosphere remains friendly, allowing you to savor your tonkatsu at a leisurely pace. In addition to the delectable tonkatsu, you can request extra servings of rice and tonjiru if you find yourself still hungry. The pork cutlet boasts a crispy exterior and a succulent interior, delivering a delightful experience for discerning food enthusiasts.

For a more diverse culinary adventure, consider the mixed fry, featuring fillet cutlet, crab cream croquette, and fried scallop all in one dish. Each bite promises a distinctive and delicious flavor. If you’re in search of a convenient and enjoyable tonkatsu meal in Shinjuku, we wholeheartedly recommend a visit to “Tonchinkan.”

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Katsukura Shinjuku Takashimaya (名代とんかつ かつくら 新宿髙島屋店)

The renowned tonkatsu establishment, Katsukura Shinjuku Takashimaya, situated on the 14th floor of Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square, draws inspiration from the rich culinary heritage of Kyoto. Originating in Kyoto, the Katsukura brand consistently captures the essence of traditional tonkatsu. Its extensive history has garnered the affection of numerous patrons. Exclusive offerings at the Shinjuku branch include meticulously crafted seasonal obanzai, such as the “Kyo no Tonkatsu Bento,” a gastronomic delight unique to this locale. The flavors are carefully curated, with a focus on premium pork sourced from esteemed suppliers. Highly recommended pork selections feature Hirata Farm’s Kinkaton pork from Yamagata Prefecture and Yagoro pork from Kagoshima Prefecture.

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Tonkatsu Katsusei (とんかつ かつ精)

“Katsusei,” esteemed among tonkatsu connoisseurs, holds a well-known status. Operating as a specialized tonkatsu establishment during lunch hours, Katsusei distinguishes itself with its crisp coating and succulent meat, appealing to a diverse clientele. Miso soup, white rice, and pickles seamlessly accompany the meal, creating a harmonious and well-balanced culinary experience. The quintessential choice at Katsusei is the rosu-katsu (loin cutlet), where the impeccable interplay of the crispy texture in the coating and the succulence of the meat is truly noteworthy. For those opting to dine during lunch, the recommended selection is the daily special set, with the opportune timing being shortly after the 11:30 opening. Katsusei stands as a prominent establishment in the vicinity of Shinjuku Gyoen, consistently drawing throngs to its full capacity during the lunchtime rush.

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Agezuki (あげずき)

Agezuki is a highly-rated tonkatsu restaurant in Kagurazaka, known for using rare Minami-no-Shima pork from Miyazaki Prefecture, often compared to Iberico pork. The restaurant, located on Kagurazaka-dori, is accessible from Iidabashi and Ushigome-Kagurazaka stations. With an Edo-style interior, Agezuki recommends reservations due to its popularity. The pork is aged longer than usual, resulting in elegant fat and rich umami flavor. The tonkatsu is fried at varying temperatures and served with cabbage dressing, tonkatsu sauce, pickles, and iwashio (rock salt) for enhanced umami.

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