Tokyo's Best Business Restaurants

Tokyo boasts the most Michelin stars of any city in the world, with more of the coveted awards than Paris and New York combined.

Japan’s capital has about 160,000 restaurants, according to the guide—enough to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in a different place each day for 146 years.

Discovering the best places in this culinary cornucopia can take you from the swankiest hotels to inconspicuous eateries down tiny side streets. Here are our 12 choices, in alphabetical order, for business dining in the city.

1. Argo: 1-4-2 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-3265-5504; http://www.tojo.co.jp

What: Contemporary French.

Why: Exceptional view of the wooded grounds and moat of the Imperial Palace during the day, and at night of the lights of the Marunouchi district. Chef Atsushi Yamashita’s talent for presentation adds to his cooking skill.

Where: Directly across the Hanzomon Gate of the Imperial Palace.

When: Best during the cherry-blossom viewing season in April, though make sure you reserve at least a month in advance. At other times it’s easy to get a table.

Bar: Yes.

Private Room: Yes.

Sound Level: Quiet, with widely spaced tables allowing for discreet conversations.

2. Bice: 47th Floor, Caretta Shiodome, 1-8-1 Higashi Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-5537-1926; http://www.bicetokyo.com/eng

What: Contemporary Italian.

Why: Excellent risottos and fish dishes with a stunning view of Tokyo Bay. The interior is decorated with contemporary art.

When: Dinner.

Bar: No.

Private Room: No.

Sound Level: Subdued murmur of conversations revolving around the art and view as much as the food.

3. Kurosawa: 2-7-9 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-3580-9638; http://www.9638.net

What: Shabu-shabu (Japanese-style beef and pork fondue).

Why: Top-notch meat.

Where: Around the corner from the Prime Minister’s residence. If you get lost, ask one of the many policemen.

When: Dinner with friends or colleagues.

Bar: No.

Private Room: Yes.

Sound Level: Shabu-shabu is a very social type of dining and consequently, there’s a lot of laughter here.

4. Kyubey: 8-7-6 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-3571-6523; http://www.kyubey.jp

What: Sushi.

Why: A Ginza institution, founded in 1935, Kyubey serves top-notch sushi in a friendly atmosphere.

Where: One street over from Ginza’s Chuo-dori in Ginza 8- chome.

When: Good lunch place at the counter or for formal dinners.

Bar: No.

Private Room: Several, for up to 24 people.

Sound Level: The sushi chefs like to banter with the clients and explain about the fish.

5. New York Grill: Park Hyatt Tokyo, 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-5322-1234; http://tokyo.park.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/entertainment

What: American-style steak.

Why: Easily accessible food for homesick Americans who feel they are Lost in Translation, or want to be.

Where: 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku.

When: Whenever.

Bar: Yes.

Private Room: No.

Sound Level: About as close to New York sound levels as you’ll get in Tokyo.

6. Omotesando Ukai-tei: 5th Floor, Gyre Building, 5-10-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-5467-5252; http://www.omotesando-ukaitei.jp

What: Teppan-yaki (grilled steak and seafood).

Why: Japanese-style cuisine served with French-accented sauces and a respectable wine list heavy on Burgundies. The interior features a baroque mixture of Venetian glass, glittering tiled walls and an ornate dessert room.

Where: In the Gyre building on Omotesando Boulevard.

When: Take a client to one of the private rooms or a date to the main grill room.

Bar: Yes.

Private Room: Yes.

Sound Level: While there are private rooms, most diners are seated at the counter so you’re bound to hear your neighbors’ conversation.

7. Quintessence: 1st Floor, Barbizon 25 Building, 5-4-7 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-5791-3715; http://www.quintessence.jp

What: Whatever Chef Shuzo Kishida decides to serve that evening (there are no choices, but it will be French).

Why: Kishida is extremely creative and has an exceptional ability to balance flavors.

Where: A quiet neighborhood in Shirokanedai.

When: When you can get a reservation. The waiting list is up to two months long.

Bar: No.

Private Room: Yes.

Sound Level: Lots of friendly chatter. The long wait to get a reservation gives the restaurant the feel of an exclusive club and since everyone is eating the same food, strangers have a tendency to start conversations.

8. Ryugin: 1st Floor, Side Roponggi Building, 7-17-24 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Information: Fax: +81-3-3423-8003; http://www.nihonryori-ryugin.com

What: A steady flow of luxury foods: caviar, monkfish liver, foie gras, fugu, fatty tuna and Kobe beef. Chefs must be licensed to serve fugu, which contains deadly toxins for which there is no known antidote.

Why: To impress your dining companion.

Where: On a quiet side street in Roppongi.

When: Suitable for either clients or dates.

Bar: No.

Private Room: Yes.

Sound Level: Moderate. The tables are close to each other and diners relish the food.

9. Sant Pau: Coredo Nihonbashi Annex 1-6-1 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-3517-5700; http://www.santpau.jp

What: Whimsical dishes with Spanish roots. Cheese disguised as firecrackers, a so-called upside-down pizza.

Why: Good food with a twist.

Where: Behind the Coredo shopping complex.

When: Lighthearted date.

Bar: Yes.

Private Room: Yes.

Sound Level: There’s lots of room, so patrons are seated far apart and it’s generally quiet.

10. Sushiko Honten: 6-3-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-3571-1968.

What: Sushi.

Why: One of Ginza’s oldest sushi shops, with more than 120 years of history. The pedigree and the prices give it access to some of the best fish in the famed Tsukiji fish market.

Where: Ginza.

When: An evening of exceptionally fine sushi.

Bar: No.

Private Room: Yes.

Sound Level: The sushi chefs are happy to either chat with you or leave you in peace.

11. Signature: 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-3270-8188.

What: French.

Why: Fine French food with an excellent view of the city from the 37th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel while listening to live jazz.

Where: Nihonbashi.

When: Relaxed business dinner.

Bar: Yes.

Private Room: Yes

Sound Level: Lots of chatter.

12. Usukifugu Yamadaya: 4-11-14 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Information: +81-3-3499-5501

What: Fugu.

Why: The potentially lethal puffer fish is served as sashimi, deep-fried and in a stew, all variations capturing the flavor. Make sure to try the sake with roasted fugu fins.

Where: On an obscure back street in Nishi Azabu.

When: Winter (fugu season).

Bar: No.

Private Room: Yes.

Sound Level: The counter is very small and most diners use the private rooms, keeping the conversation very muffled.

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