Gyudon or beef rice bowl is a comforting dish which consists of steaming white rice topped with thin slices of beef cooked in soy sauce. While it is commonly known for its affordability, gyudon can also be indulgent, luxurious and of course, extremely delicious. While generally you would associate gyudon with fast food chain like Yoshinoya or Sukiya, in this article, I would like to introduce you to a place where you can get the best gyudon in Tokyo.


James Adhika Kurnia

Shozantei is a popular high-end wagyu yakiniku restaurant with several shops spread around Tokyo. However, this branch in Iidabashi, Tokyo specializes in gyudon using the same kuroge wagyu beef to prepare all its bowls.

The menu consist of 3 tiers of gyudon, 松 (matsu, the highest), 竹 (take, the middle), and 梅 (ume, the lowest) with all of them falling in the 1000-2000 yen range ($9-18 USD). If you want the best of the best and splurge, there is a fourth bowl using chateaubriand priced at a whopping 6000 yen ($53 USD) per bowl and only 10 bowls are served a day. For starters however, we recommend choosing the 松 (matsu) as it will give you the full experience and includes a appetizer of beef sushi.

James Adhika Kurnia

What makes this bowl a contender as the best gyudon in Tokyo is not only its use of premium meat, but also how the store presents the gyudon as a whole. The beef is well-seasoned and simply melts like butter. The different cuts of beef provides varying textures which make the dish entertaining to eat. The fun doesn’t stop there as the store provides you with several sauces and seasonings to pair the beef with. Furthermore, upon finishing through two-thirds of your bowl, they will recommend pouring'dashi' or broth into your rice which completes the meal and guarantees to leave you satisfied.

James Adhika Kurnia

While it is definitely more pricey than what you would expect to pay for a gyudon, it is certainly a price worth paying. Tasting the food here at Shozantei will give you a new perspective of what a gyudon can be and for what it’s worth; it is an amazing bowl of gyudon. It would not be an exaggeration to call this the best gyudon in Tokyo.

Restaurant Information 

Shozantei (Iidabashi branch)/ 翔山亭(飯田橋本店)

Address : 3-1 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Katsura Heights 1F / 東京都 新宿区 神楽坂 3-1 桂ハイツ1F

Opening hours : 11:00~21:00(L.O.20:30), open on sundays

website here