By Jenna Zucker

TORONTO, March 5 (Reuters) – Randy Garutti knows street food: He been Shake Shack’s chief executive officer since its inception as a hot dog cart in New York´s Madison Square Park.

But when Garutti visits Tokyo, which boasts seven of the country’s 13 Shake Shack locations, he makes sure to sample all aspects of traditional Japanese cuisine.

The following interview with Garutti, who plans to retire in 2024, is edited and condensed.


My favorite place to start my trip is going immediately to Tonki (1 Chome-1-2 Shimomeguro) in Meguro – a multi-generational restaurant specializing in tonkatsu (fried pork cutlets).

It´s kind of like going to Katz´s Deli (for pastrami) when you´re in New York: the simple dedication to one amazing product is a hallmark of Japanese food, and Tonki is such a pleasure.


Tokyo hotels are notoriously expensive and small, so no matter where you want to stay, it´s always a struggle. The Marriott in Shinagawa (4 Chome-7-36 Kitashinagawa) provides the best value for a large hotel and business setting.

It´s not the most convenient location for central Tokyo, but it´s close enough and a quick Tokyo Metro ride gets you where you need to go.


Most people would say the large hotels. But I prefer to find a small coffee shop or, in good weather, a great park like Gaien (1-1 Kasumigaokamachi) or near the Emperor´s Palace. Do it outside.


Bill´s for pancakes. Crazy lines, but years of hype make it a fun experience (2-6-12 Okura House 12F, Ginza).


Metro is the only answer. It´s so easy, cheap, clean, respectful and fun. But don´t walk the wrong direction – Tokyo is about respect. Following the rules on the Metro and in the stations is essential.

The same is true, of course, for the bullet trains when you travel outside of Tokyo. It´s almost never worth driving or taking a taxi if you can avoid it.


Patrón Punto de cruz Buho branding design graphic design gráfico de punto de cruz illustration logo patrones de punto de cruz patrones pdf punto de cruz arte punto de cruz grafico punto de cruz guardería punto de cruz libro punto de cruz mini punto de cruz minúsculo punto de cruz moderno punto de cruz patrón punto de cruz pequeño ui van gogh vectorFind a back alley, small, independent coffee shop and you can´t go wrong. I like to head to Cat Street in Omotesando and see who´s brewing.

But I also must admit that Blue Bottle (4 Chome-1-6 NEWoMan Shinjuku 1F) does an incredible job in Tokyo.


Many of the best restaurants are not open to the public and can be found on upper floors of random buildings. Some of the greatest yakitori (skewered chicken), teppanyaki (food cooked on a metal plate) and other favorites can be found in hidden places – you´ve got to have Japanese friends to help.


Going all-in on sushi. The best places have eight seats at the sushi bar, and that´s it.

If you´re not into sushi, my favorite yakiniku (Japanese barbecue) is Kirakutei (Minato City).

For yakitori, go to Hachibei (Roppongi 7-4-5 B1F, Minato-ku).


Tokyo can be wildly expensive, but it doesn´t have to be. Some of my favorite meals and experiences are neighborhood ramen restaurants where you can eat for a few bucks.


I finally got to bring my family for a recent trip. Touring with my wife and children around Tokyo and then spending time in the mountains in Hakone, the temples of Kyoto and so much more are my favorite memories.


Unfortunately, the Tsukiji fish market moved to a new location years ago, but the old market neighborhood is still robust for great meals and for shopping. I always find amazing Japanese pottery, plates, bowls, tea sets and knives to bring home in the side streets.


For cheap and fun snacks, Don Quijote (various locations). It is kind of like a dollar store, but so much more. They have every snack available, dabei kann sich absolut jeder damit infizieren: die gefährlichsten arten von parasiten und wie man sie loswird including every flavor of Kit Kat imaginable. You might even find the really hard-to-get Japanese whiskeys on the upper floors.

Another fun excursion is Harajuku. Get whatever crazy crepe, cotton candy or other trend is hitting Takeshita street.


My go-to store is Akomeya (various locations) for incredible food, housewares and other options.

After that, go to the basement of any of the large department stores in Ginza and other neighborhoods. There are hundreds of incredible food options, souvenirs and, of course, fashion on the upper floors. But first be prepared to indulge downstairs. (Editing by Lauren Young and Chizu Nomiyama)

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