Tokyo and Yokohama
Exploring great places to eat and drink
With five locations and counting - scattered across some of Tokyo's more fashionable neighborhoods - the Australia-themed Bondi cafes are famous for their sandwiches and their atmosphere more than for their coffee. This sandwich-focused branch is located between two university campuses and is very popular with students, families and dogs - the last of which are allowed indoors, adding to.... [Continue reading]
Late-night dining options are rather limited in this part of town, especially combined with affordable prices, so this flashy gourmet noodle shop is a welcome addition to Ginza's nighttime landscape. And although they only display noodle bowls in the front window, once you're inside you'll find an extensive menu of izakaya-style dishes - everything from grilled meats to sushi. The.... [Continue reading]
The small tasting bar at Enoteca wine shop is a convenient place to drop in for a quick glass of wine on your way to Tokyo station, with a decent selection of wines of the day starting at Y500 per glass. There are usually four wines at this price (including their house special "Shinkansen Cava"), plus another half-dozen or so fancier selections from around Y1200 per glass. If you're a.... [Continue reading]
Located along a bustling shopping arcade near Minami-Asagaya station, this charming local izakaya has a real neighborhood feel to it, with patrons of all ages. The specialty of the house is kushiage - deep-fried skewers of meats, seafood and fresh vegetables - along with well-prepared izakaya standards like motsu nikomi (organ-meat stew) and teppan-grilled pork. If you enjoy good sake.... [Continue reading]
The specialty of the house here is himono - various types of dried fish that are grilled over charcoal. There's plenty more on offer as well though - lovely fresh-seafood sashimi platters that change daily, and very appealing deep-fried chicken that's crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The sake selection is quite good as well. Budget around Y2500-3000 for ample food and.... [Continue reading]
More ambitious than your typical Tokyo tapas bar, Bikini offers a wide menu of modern Catalan cuisine, including various pintxos, jamon plates and other appetizing Basque-style small dishes. The wine list features unusual choices like txakoli (a lightly sparkling white wine from the Basque region) and Spanish cider along with several varieties of Cava and sherry. You can choose from.... [Continue reading]
A popular stop on bar-hopping tours of Ebisu, Pepito is a casual Spanish bar serving food and Spanish wines and sherries by the glass. The chef is from the Galicia area of northwest Spain, and the excellent tapas-style dishes he prepares are characteristic of that region - rich stews, plenty of seafood dishes, and a strong affinity for garlic, peppers and spices. Some recent food.... [Continue reading]
The original Moto standing bar in Shinjuku has been a longtime favorite thanks to their top-notch sake selection and creative food menu, so we came to this smaller, boutique branch of the bar with high expectations. We're happy to report that those expectations were more than fulfilled. Simply put, Gem has one of the most interesting sake lists we've ever encountered, including some.... [Continue reading]
Showa-era rustic chic seems to be the aim at this old-fashioned cafe, with its dark wooden furnishings, exposed wooden rafters and dim bare-bulb lighting. In spite of the gloom, the nightime crowd here is surprisingly lively, and the coffee and desserts - kabocha cheesecake and rum-raisin chocolate cake - are very tasty. Although most patrons seem to be here for coffee and dessert,.... [Continue reading]
This casual, very lively tasting bar offers more than 100 types of sake along with a small menu of sake-compatible snacks. All sake is served in tiny 45ml glasses, so you can try several different varieties when you visit. There's a small discount when you order a tasting flight of three glasses at a time, which almost everyone here does. Most sake is priced in the Y200-300 range.... [Continue reading]
Kikuya is Tokyo's first stand-up tempura and craft-sake bar, an extremely specific culinary niche that we didn't realize needed filling until we visited. Most standing sake bars provide some sort of nourishment to go with your drinks, whether it's simple rice crackers and dried fish or something more elaborate. Kikuya's food offerings definitely occupy the gourmet end of the scale, with.... [Continue reading]
This upscale conveyor-belt sushi shop serves good-quality fish along with craft sake from smaller breweries around Japan. You can choose from at least four or five sake by the glass (starting at around Y700) and several more by the bottle. Of course you may be able to find more extensive sake lists at any number of regular sushi counters, but somehow the combination of premium sake and.... [Continue reading]
Best of Tokyo
More than 100 bars with good craft beers on tap
Tasting bars and izakaya with exceptional sake
Japan's most popular comfort food
Espresso, drip and siphon coffee shops
Our noodle-shop picks
Old-fashioned kissaten with jazz on vinyl
Seasonal produce straight from the farm
Explore regional delicacies and sake without leaving the city
The best burger joints in town
The most lively cat, bird and rabbit cafes, at sister site Animal Cafes.com
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Craft Beer Bars Japan
The latest listings from our sister site Craft Beer Bars Japan.
Good craft beers at very reasonable prices - that's the chief selling point for this cozy, unpretentious beer bar. Ten Japanese craft brews are served on tap, all priced at just Y690 for a large size (410 ml) and Y390 for a...
New opening - Brew La La: Shimbashi
With room for around fifty customers, Brew La La is quite a bit more spacious than most Tokyo beer bars, and the friendly multilingual staff help make this a relaxing place to hang out. There's even room for a shuffleboard...
New opening - Far Yeast Tokyo: Omotesando
This smallish bar is run by Tokyo's Far Yeast Brewing Company and serves up to a dozen of their own brews, including seasonal and limited-edition labels. Most beers are priced at Y600 and Y900 for small and large sizes,...
Nihonbashi Brewery: Bakurocho
This brewpub is run by a veteran of HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery) in Portland, Oregon, and the thirteen taps here carry HUB beers and other imports, domestic Japanese craft beers from producers like Kyoto Brewing, and one or...
Perhaps it's the chic, modern decor or the DJ booth at the front of the bar, but for some reason Another8 seems to attract a more stylish and cosmopolitan crowd than your typical beer bar. In addition to eight taps of craft...
New opening - Mikkeller: Shibuya
This Tokyo outpost of the Danish brewery seems to be aimed squarely at craft-beer geeks, with an impressive range of unusual Mikkeller beers and hard-to-find tiny Japanese breweries like Yorocco, AJB and Songbird. Although...
Where in Tokyo
Find fun things to do between meals, from our sister site Where In Tokyo.
Animal Cafes - Moff Animal Cafe: Tokyo Hachioji
This multi-species pet cafe promises to be fun for the whole family, and indeed the visitors here range from young kids to senior citizens. The staff seem to enjoy their jobs, and they go out of their way to introduce the...
Cashi: Tokyo Bakurocho
One of our favorite galleries in the thriving Bakurocho area, Cashi (the name means "fahrenheit") represents a diverse range of up-and-coming Japanese artists working in a variety of styles, and often puts on group shows. ...
Tokyo Bunka Kaikan: Tokyo Ueno
The magnificent main building of this concert hall was completed in 1961 and designed by the Japanese modernist architect Kunio Maekawa. Maekawa apprenticed with Le Corbusier in Paris from 1928-1930 before returning to Japan...
Chiba Institute of Technology: Tokyo Oshiage
Wondering what Japanese robots are up to these days? Find out at the Tokyo Skytree campus of Chiba University of Technology, which is actually just a couple of exhibition spaces located upstairs from the Skytree's...
Samurai: Tokyo Shinjuku
Thousands of maneki neko (good-luck cat statues) fill the interior of this spacious cafe-bar, along with signed covers of jazz albums and underground theater posters. There's a counter and several tables, making this a good...
Horyuji Gallery: Tokyo Ueno
The Gallery of Horyuji Treasures is part of Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park. It houses more than 300 historical artifacts, mainly from the seventh and eighth centuries, which were donated to the Imperial Household by...