This friendly neighborhood spot offers a big menu of Turkish favorites, including numerous lamb dishes. Budget around Y2000 at dinnertime for food; multi-course prix-fixe dinners are priced Y2800-4500.
Minami-Ikebukuro 3-8-3. Open noon-10:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
One of the better Turkish restaurants in town, Bosphoras offers a wide selection of shish kebabs, Turkish pizzas, salads, and other authentic fare. There's a belly dance show at 8pm on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, so plan accordingly.
First-rate doner kebabs, substantial in size, ready to take home or just eat on the sidewalk outside the shop. Kebabs are chicken, beef, or mixed, served in toasted pita bread and topped with a sauce that's mild, medium or extra-spicy. Y500.
Jingumae 1-8-8, Coxy 188 Bldg 1F. Open 10:30am-9pm daily.
A very appetizing selection of appetizers and an impressive assortment of kebabs and chef's specialties for such a small restaurant. The chef isn't afraid of spices, using more red pepper and garlic than is usual for Tokyo. The interior is spare, but the music adds to the atmosphere.
Dogenzaka 1-14-9, B1F. Open 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
The recipes at Burgaz Ada are from Constantinople, not Istanbul, as the chef is ambitiously working to recreate historical dishes from the Ottoman Empire - the roots of modern Turkish cuisine. Full-course menus Y6,900-13,650, wines from Y4,500/bottle. An a la carte menu is available after 9pm.
Azabu-Juban 3-7-4, Azabu Rikudo 3F. Open 6pm-2am daily.
Good Turkish cooking from this Tokyo Turkish pioneer (the original Shinjuku restaurant has been in business since 1988). Belly dancing Wednesday through Saturday nights. Budget around Y4000 at dinnertime.
Nagatacho 2-14-3, Akasaka Tokyu Plaza 2F. Open 11:30am-3, 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
As the name implies, tagine stews are the specialty here, but the kitchen also serves up a good selection of kebabs, cous cous dishes, salads and soups. The spacious dining room offers a nice view out over Gaien-Nishi-dori. There are nightly performances of traditional Moroccan music at 9:30pm, and belly dance performances on weekends - call for details. Prix-fixe dinners are Y2500-5500, or budget around Y3500 for dinner with a few drinks if you order a la carte.
Minami-Aoyama 3-2-3, Katorea Bldg 2F. Open 11am-2:30, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Authentic Egyptian cuisine prepared by native chefs. Lunch starts at Y850, with a nice Y1800 lunch platter that includes a main dish plus chicken and kofta kebabs, salads, soup, dessert and beverage. Prix-fixe dinners from Y5000 or a la carte. Belly dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.
Saneicho 1, Horiuchi Bldg 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays and holidays.
Al Mina, Tokyo's only Palestinian restaurant, serves great Middle-Eastern cuisine and some decent Lebanese and Palestinian wines. The warm, inviting space includes a comfortable sofa area where hookahs can be enjoyed, a slightly fancier gold-themed dining area with a wall of mirrors, and a small stage where a Friday-night belly dance performance takes place. Al Mina, Tokyo's only Palestinian restaurant, serves great Middle-Eastern cuisine and some decent Lebanese and Palestinian wines. The warm, inviting space includes a comfortable sofa area where hookahs can be enjoyed, a slightly fancier gold-themed dining area with a wall of mirrors, and a small stage where a Friday-night belly dance performance takes place.
The kitchen offers a mix of well-known Middle-Eastern favorites and less familiar (to us anyway) local dishes. In the former category are various kebabs - lamb, chicken, kofta - and mezze-style starters - stuffed grape leaves, spinach pies, lamb meatballs, falafel, babaganoush, tabouli salad, grilled haloumi cheese and so on. Among the less familiar items, we very much enjoyed their Mansaff - a lamb stew incorporating big chunks of nicely marinated meat, nuts and rice in a tangy hot yogurt sauce - and a side dish called Sabanekh Beladass - sauteed spinach and lentils complemented by tasty toasted onions.
The dinnertime menu is quite extensive, and also features grilled meats and seafood (scallops, prawns, fish); a tagine of the day; roast chicken with couscous or with vegetables in yogurt sauce; and steamed lamb chunks with baked garlic. For dessert you can choose from baklava, goat-cheese cake, date cake with coconut and nuts, and a milk and rose-water pudding, accompanied by various coffees and teas. A vegetarian prix-fixe menu is also available. Budget around Y3500 for dinner. [Show more] [Show less]
Kanda Tacho 2-2-3, Genki Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
We love it when restaurants improve with age, and the food at Pao has gotten noticeably better over time. It was always a fun destination - you sit on thick carpets at tiny tables while listening to great music from Afghanistan and environs - and it attracts a young and hip crowd. The menu focuses on the cuisines of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan - the area around Peshawar to be exact - and native chefs prepare excellent kebabs, lamb dishes, and a variety of spicy stews (called karahi). The grilled haloumi, garlicky stir-fried lettuce and grilled tomatoes make nice starters.
Higashi-Nakano 2-25-6. Open 6pm-midnight (LO 10:45). Closed Mondays.
Terrific Turkish, Tunisian, and Lebanese specialties, great music, and a very comfortable atmosphere. The wine list covers the Mediterranean from Spain to Algeria to Morocco, with some nice Spanish choices. The couscous and tajine dishes are especially good, as are the lamb kebabs and the mixed appetizer platters.
Nakano 3-34-3. Open 6-10pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
The Egyptian fare at this tiny deli-style shop is tasty and impressively inexpensive. Well-seasoned mutton and chicken-spinach curries run Y500-600, and come with rice or pita bread. Chicken and lamb shawarma sandwiches (Y500) make a nice take-out snack along with simple but delectable side dishes like tabouli salad and fuul (mashed fava beans with peppers, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic). The Egyptian fare at this tiny deli-style shop is tasty and impressively inexpensive. Well-seasoned mutton and chicken-spinach curries run Y500-600, and come with rice or pita bread. Chicken and lamb shawarma sandwiches (Y500) make a nice take-out snack along with simple but delectable side dishes like tabouli salad and fuul (mashed fava beans with peppers, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic).
Keeping with Cairo tradition, the falafel here is also prepared with fava beans rather than chickpeas. The shop has four small tables, but many customers opt for take-out. [Show more] [Show less]
Kitazawa 3-2-11. Open 11am-8:30pm. Closed Sundays.
With just twelve seats Dar Roiseau may be the smallest Moroccan restaurant in town, but the kitchen manages to turn out an impressive variety of Middle Eastern dishes. There's also a nice selection of French and Moroccan wines by the glass or bottle. With just twelve seats Dar Roiseau may be the smallest Moroccan restaurant in town, but the kitchen manages to turn out an impressive variety of Middle Eastern dishes. There's also a nice selection of French and Moroccan wines by the glass or bottle.
Among the six different couscous dishes on the menu, the Couscous Royale is a tour de force: the fluffy pasta grains are accompanied by meatballs, Merguez sausage, chicken kebab, lamb chop and an herb-infused broth with plenty of vegetables. If you just want to nibble on something with your drinks there are plenty of small starters (shrimp fritters, chicken liver pate), kebabs and salads - the cold lentil salad is especially recommended. [Show more] [Show less]
Sangenjaya 2-13-17. Open 11:30am-midnight. Closed Sundays.
A casual cafe serving real Moroccan cuisine - lamb and dried fruit tajine, grilled snapper flavored with garlic, and spicy meat kebabs. Prix-fixe dinner is Y3900. Open till 2am Fri/Sat; lunch served on weekends.
Arabic, Lebanese and Moroccan food (set dinners for each, or a la carte) prepared by Lebanese owner/chef Ziad, formerly a chef at the Kuwaiti embassy. From the superb mezze and pita bread to delicious grilled meats and perfect cous cous to the sweet baklava and other desserts, you're assured of a complete Middle Eastern experience. If that isn't enough, order a hookah with a bowl of apple-flavored tobacco to share with everyone else at your table while you watch the belly dancing (Friday and Saturday nights from 8:30).
Yayoicho 2-17, Stalk Tower Ohdori-Koen Bldg. B1F. (along Ohdori Koen, about 3 min. west of Isezaki Chojamachi subway station exit 6, at Yayoicho 2-chome crossing, underneath a Family Mart) Open 5:30-11pm. Closed Mondays.
Great Middle-Eastern fare - falafel, hummus, Israeli-style salads - and various Israeli wines by the bottle, all at reasonable prices. The Y1300 Ta-im lunch plate offers a good sampling of the menu, with portions of Israeli salad, falafel, hummus, babaganoush and other vegetable spreads, along with lentils and rice, toasted pita bread, pumpkin soup, dessert and a drink. Great Middle-Eastern fare - falafel, hummus, Israeli-style salads - and various Israeli wines by the bottle, all at reasonable prices. The Y1300 Ta-im lunch plate offers a good sampling of the menu, with portions of Israeli salad, falafel, hummus, babaganoush and other vegetable spreads, along with lentils and rice, toasted pita bread, pumpkin soup, dessert and a drink.
Most of the fare is vegetarian, but they also serve lamb and chicken dishes if you're so inclined. The dining space is a simple lunch-counter setup, with Israeli radio providing background music. Hummus, falafel, and a few sandwiches are available to take out. [Show more] [Show less]
Ebisu 1-29-16. Open 11am-3:30, 5:30-11pm. Closed Wednesdays.
An Israeli restaurant and pub, one minute from Ekoda south exit. They serve falafel, humus, salads, stuffed pastries and soups, plus shish kebab and one or two other meat dishes. 50 seats; reservations recommended. The all-you-can-eat special is Y2,000. Open noon-midnight Saturdays and Sundays.
Sakaecho 4-11, Art Bldg 2F. Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Run by a young Japanese woman, the cozy eight-seat Afiya is Tokyo's only Senegalese wine bar, serving Senegalese food accompanied by a mostly French wine list that starts at around Y800/glass or Y3200/bottle.
Ikebukuro 2-13-7, Miyama Bldg 1F. Open 7:30pm-2am. Closed Sundays and holidays.
Home-style cooking from Cameroon; menu highlights include spicy grilled sea bream; fufu corn dumplings; ndole (spinach and peanut paste served with shrimp and bananas); and curried okra soup. At lunchtime everything is Y500; the choice of four dishes includes couscous served with a tripe stew, and a creamy, peanut-flavored fish and chicken curry.
Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-22-13, Dai-go Nakamura Bldg 3F. Open 11am-2:30, 5pm-midnight daily.
Esogie's owner Lucky Isiwe has recreated a little slice of Lagos in Shinjuku 3-Chome. Nigerian funk plays on the bar's powerful sound system, and there's always something good cooking on the stove. Esogie's owner Lucky Isiwe has recreated a little slice of Lagos in Shinjuku San-Chome. Nigerian funk plays on the bar's powerful sound system, and there's always something good cooking on the stove - deep-fried Akara bean cakes served with creamy cabbage slaw, fiery Jollof rice pilaf with chicken and peppers, chewy sweet and savory slices of fried plantain with a side of red beans.
Sit back and enjoy the chicken stew flavored with mildly bitter egusi seeds with a thickly concentrated (and potent) Nigerian-brewed Guiness. Budget around Y3500 for dinner and drinks. [Show more] [Show less]
Shinjuku 3-11-2, Muraki Bldg 3F. Open 6pm-midnight (Fri, Sat -4am). Closed Wednesdays.
Run by a veteran of the legendary Rose de Sahara in Nishi-Shinjuku, Safari offers a range of African dishes - peanut stew, doro wat, jolof rice, Ethiopian injera - along with unusual items like fried kangaroo and roast ostrich. Budget around Y5000 at dinnertime.
Akasaka 3-13-1, Bells Akasaka 2F. Open 11am-3, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
An African-themed restaurant with Afro-French fusion dishes and a selection of exotic meats. The wines are mostly from South Africa, and a full-course dinner for two plus a bottle of wine runs about Y10,000. [See FULL REVIEW.]
Popular with members of the African expat community, African Continent serves West African food and hosts regular concert nights. Menu suggestions include yam and fish soup, moimoi (tofu made from black eyed peas) and suiya (grilled mutton).
Kichijoji Minamicho 2-13-4, Unius Office One B103. Open 7pm-2am. Closed Mondays.