Katsudonya Zuicho: Katsudon near Shibuya Station in Tokyo

Katsudonya Zuicho not far from Shibuya Station in Tokyo, Japan
Katsudonya Zuicho not far from Shibuya Station in Tokyo, Japan

Katsudonya Zuicho is a small family-run restaurant near Shibuya Crossing specializing in one item: katsudon. This dish, made with rice and egg topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet, is popular in Japan. Katsudon is one of my favorite things to eat on my visits.

While Katsudonya Zuicho is a stone’s throw away from Shibuya Crossing, its location makes it feel worlds apart. The easy-to-miss restaurant is tucked down a narrow passageway inside a small red brick building on a quiet street.

In recent years, Katsudonya Zuicho has gained popularity after being featured on YouTube videos and, ironically, travel blogs like mine. And with limited seating, finding a line out front is common. But the wait is worth it.

If you are looking for more information about Tokyo and Japan, I highly recommend you pick up a guidebook such as Lonely Planet Best of Tokyo 2020

What is Katsudon?

Katsudon is a dish of rice and egg topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet. The name “katsu-don” comes from combining tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) and donburi (rice bowl).

I love this dish. You can find one version or another practically everywhere, from Tokyo Station to Narita Airport to convenience stores like Family Mart and 7-Eleven.

Katsudonya Zuicho Menu

The menu at Katsudonya Zuicho, Tokyo, Japan
The menu at Katsudonya Zuicho

Like many restaurants in Japan, the menu at Katsudonya Zuicho featured only one item: katsudon.

You might ask yourself, why only one item? While many restaurants specialize in only one item, they execute it perfectly. And this is what makes Japanese cuisine so unique.

The only decision I had to make was whether I wanted a small, medium, or large portion. Other than that, I could order an extra egg or a Sapporo beer.

Since all options were the same price, and I was hungry, I politely gestured at the cook for a large bowl.

And they are cash only. So make sure to bring enough cash with you.

Cozy Interior of Katsudonya Zuicho

Counter seating only at Katsudonya Zuicho
Counter seating only at Katsudonya Zuicho

I was surprised when I walked through the door into Katsudonya Zuicho. I would have expected something different from a restaurant in Shibuya.

The interior was small and cramped—the epitome of a hole-in-the-wall. There was a small counter running from one side of the room to the other, with only enough room for about eight seats.

Though bright, the décor was modest and simple, with an inviting and cozy atmosphere. I could tell the focus was on the food.

It was quiet, with the faint sound of a radio lightly playing in the background and the sound of the fryer bubbling away.

I didn’t notice any tourists, only locals, so this was a good sign of the food quality. These are the types of places I love seeking out in Tokyo.

Small, cramped kitchen behind the counter, Katsudonya Zuicho, Tokyo, Japan
Small, cramped kitchen behind the counter

Behind the counter was the small, cramped kitchen. I couldn’t believe how tiny it was.

It was amazing to watch the chefs prepare each component of the dish, from breading and frying the pork cutlet to steaming the rice.

Every seat in the house had a great view of the kitchen, and this is why I enjoy sitting at the counter at restaurants in Japan.

Jasmine Tea and Miso Soup

A cup of jasmine tea was complimentary. The tea, served cold with an ice cube, was refreshing, even on a cold day in Tokyo. The flavors were aromatic without being too sweet.

A bowl of miso soup was served along with the jasmine tea. While the soup was simple, it was beautiful.

The broth was light and impressively clear. The taste of dashi was prominent without being too salty.

Tender, soft noodles and spongy fish cakes were mixed into the soup. The miso soup was delicious, refreshing, crisp, and beautiful.


A large order of katsudon, Katsudonya Zuicho in Tokyo, Japan
A large order of katsudon

At Katsudonya Zuicho, I had three options: small, medium, or large katsudon (1500 yen or about $9.90). I chose the large bowl because all the bowls were the same price, and I was hungry.

The tonkatsu, or fried pork cutlet, was a meal in itself. It was so large that it practically overflowed out of the bowl onto the table below.

The thick crust of the pork was golden brown and beautiful. While the crust might not have been as crispy as other tonkatsu spots in Tokyo, such as Tonki Tonkatsu, it was anything but soggy.

Each juicy bite of the pork was crunchy enough, only losing some of its crispiness after being dipped in a salty and sweet sauce.

Under the pork cutlet was a thick layer of golden pan-fried eggs. I wish I could cook eggs the same way. Crispy on the edges yet soft and gooey in the middle. The eggs seemed to melt into the pork and rice below.

Hidden below the massive fried pork cutlet and egg was a generous amount of white rice. The rice was delicious, with bits of egg and fried pork mixed in. I ate every grain of the rice.


The family running Katsudonya Zuicho was friendly and welcoming to me, even with a language barrier. They always had a smile on their face and allowed me to take photos of the small kitchen.

Other than that, my homemade food arrived promptly and correctly. The best part, though, had to be watching the chefs as they prepared my food.


If you are looking for a restaurant off the beaten path in Tokyo, I would recommend Katsudonya Zuicho.

Everything was great, from the tea to the miso soup to the delicious, freshly prepared katsudon. I couldn’t believe this entire meal was only 1500 yen.

These are the types of places I enjoy stumbling upon in Japan. It’s a meal that I will remember. I want to keep the place to myself for fear of an even longer line waiting out front on my next visit, but I won’t.

So, I recommend visiting Katsudonya Zuicho sooner than later, as the secret is out.


  • One of the best katsudon in Tokyo
  • High quality ingredients for the price
  • Friendly staff


  • Limited counter seating


Monday-Friday: 11:30AM-6:00PM
Saturday: 11:30AM-8:00PM
Sunday: Closed


41-26 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan
GPS Coordinates: 35.662697,139.695357


Last Updated on March 30, 2024