Hidden Good Eats in Heart of Tokyo – Katsudonya Zuicho

Written by Katherine

October 13, 2021
Last Updated on March 5, 2024

Travelling to Tokyo so many times that you’re out of ideas about what to eat? Ever thought of doing what the locals do and eating what the locals eat? That’s exactly why we visited Katsudonya Zuicho (かつどん屋 瑞兆), a hidden good eats in the heart of Tokyo.

Well, we have not been to Tokyo too many times but we did travel quite some, mainly to Taiwan. From those trips, we have come to love finding hidden local treasures, mainly good eats, by looking at Google Maps. We would pin our accommodation and then drag Google Maps around to find highly-rated local eateries around the area. In this way, we were able to explore the area we were living in as well as find hidden gems. Well, not always, but it’s fun! (✧ω✧)

BEFORE YOU GO

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Why Katsudonya Zuicho?

We had planned to visit the famous Shibuya Crossing. Since it would be around dinner time, we decided to look for a place where we could fill our tummies. And that’s when babe came by quite a number of blogs mentioning this place that sells really good katsudon (カツ丼).

Katsudon is a popular Japanese food that is made up of rice topped with a deep-fried breaded pork cutlet. When I was chasing Japanese dramas (I need them back in my life!), students in the dramas were always shown having katsu the night before their exams and I always wonder why. Apparently, “katsu” also means “to win (勝つ)”! That’s why students had this the night before, so they can pass with flying colours! ヽ(*⌒▽⌒*)ノ

Anyway, I love Japanese food, but katsudon is not one of my favourites. But I decided to try Katsudonya Zuicho since I always believe food made by the Japanese, is always the best. Say no more, 行きましょう (let’s go)~! ☆ミ(o*・ω・)ノ

Shibuya Crossing

Singapore tried to have its own version of Shibuya Crossing in Orchard Road back in 2017, but I think it was a failed experiment. I don’t think it exists anymore, though. ヽ(´ー` )┌

Do the Japanese find it funny that tourists visit Shibuya Crossing and take photos in the middle of the road while everyone is busy crossing the road? (¬‿¬ ) When we were there, I thought it was hilarious to take a selfie/wefie in the middle of the road while everyone zoomed us by (the Japanese walk really fast in Tokyo!). I guess the interesting part is that there are multi-directional crossings at one time, unlike what we always see in many countries, whereby it’s usually bi-directional.

But… We still went to the Starbucks at level two, a popular Shibuya Crossing photo-taking spot, to try to snap a photo. Surprisingly, there were so many people in Starbucks, especially in the corner with a view of the crossing. We managed to grab a spot, snapped those photos and got out of there to make our way to Katsudonya Zuicho.

Katsudonya Zuicho, Simple and Delicious Katsudon

The eatery is about a 10-minute walk from the Shibuya Crossing. As we walked along the streets of Shibuya, it went from bustling streets to quiet alleys. As we walked further, the area started to feel even less touristy as well. Locals were seen heading home or just grabbing a drink at one of the local pubs.

With no neon signs or billboards outside along the street to announce its existence, we found Katsudonya Zuicho in one of the quiet alleys. (o˘◡˘o) Since it is a local eatery, and as with most Japanese eateries, the place is only made up of limited bar counter seats. The place was actually full-house (surprise surprise!) when we reached it, so we had to wait a bit for our turn.

I think Japanese, in general, will speak to you in Japanese even when you don’t look like a Japanese. So when the chef spoke to us in Japanese, we had to give a confused look to let them know we were tourists. (・_・;) We always felt guilty to put them on the spot since we know most Japanese do not really speak English, but they always tried their best to make us feel welcome.

Also take note that local eateries, like this, usually also do not have an English menu hence it is always good to do your homework before visiting. Lucky for us, this eatery only has one item on its menu. With the owners’ limited English and my limited Japanese, we managed to make our order! ٩(。•́‿•̀。)۶

One-Item Menu – Katsudon, A Winner Of Its Own!

We were served our soup and picked vegetables while waiting for our katsudon. Amid the rainy weather that day, some hot soup was good to warm our bodies. Also, I am always in awe of the pickled vegetables in Japan. I HATE vegetables, but I always love the vegetables served in authentic Japanese restaurants. Can never have too much!

After a while, our main dish was finally here! The katsudon was sooooooooo good. Remember when I mentioned that I am no katsudon lover? Well, I finished the whole bowl, and it was oh-so-fulfilling! No frills but just super yummy flavours of the deep-fried pork cutlet along with the fluffy eggs below. Priced at 1,000 yen, it was simple, affordable and super filling, and it’s no wonder locals will visit this place for their meals! (っ˘ω˘ς )

Overall Experience

As I have mentioned at the start of this post, if you’re looking to do what the locals do and eat what the locals eat, do give Katsuyadon Zuicho a try if you are in Tokyo! You won’t regret it!

And if you are adventurous for more local finds and local eats, why not try out our method of using Google Maps to find out the next local hidden gem for your trip? You might surprise yourself with what you find, and it might even become something memorable! (♡°▽°♡)

Information on Katsudonya Zuicho (かつどん屋 瑞兆)

KATSUDONYA ZUICHO

⏰ Opening Hours: 11.30 am – 6.00 pm (Mon-Fri), 11.30 am – 8.00 pm (Sat), Closed on Sundays

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Useful Travel Resources

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💰 BEST Cards to Use for Your Overseas Spending

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Winter packing woes got you stressed? My guide will turn your “Gaaaah!” into a smooth vacay in 10 to 20 degrees Celsius weather!

Want to travel light without the luggage hassle? Well, I’ve got a handy tip for you: luggage storage and Yamato Transport’s reliable luggage delivery service! If you’re flying into Narita or Haneda Airport, the Japan Airport Limousine Bus is a fantastic option for getting to your accommodation. Plus, check out our other Tokyo food-related posts – there’s a lot more to explore! ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝

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