Tokyo and Yokohama
Exploring great places to eat and drink
With its festive interior, reliable menu and extremely reasonable prices, Shigezo is worth knowing about if you're looking for a budget-friendly izakaya in the Ebisu Garden Place area. The food menu is built around charcoal-grilled meats, fish and vegetables, supplemented by well-constructed izakaya standards like their excellent, very garlicky chicken karaage. There are full menu pages.... [Continue reading]
In addition to the charms of its unusual location, Bowling Cafe is quite spacious, provides free wifi, and is very close to Shibuya Station, so as well as hungry bowlers it also attracts an afternoon crowd of people working on their laptops. The food menu is more ambitious than you might expect, and our grilled pork plate (Y1200) featured excellent heirloom-breed pork from Kagoshima as.... [Continue reading]
This stylish little "spice bar" serves tasty Indian-inspired Japanese curries and fusion-y Indian side dishes. Their namesake ALW curry is a French-Indian red wine-based beef curry, and it's the centerpiece of the lavish ALW Curry Lunch (also served at dinnertime), along with chicken confit, three scoops of deli vegetable salads, pickles and brown rice. The chicken confit is actually a.... [Continue reading]
Conveniently located next to Shinjuku Station's new south exit, this is the first overseas outpost of a California-based coffee roaster with several branches in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The atmosphere is lively, but it's much more relaxed than the rather frenetic branch of Blue Bottle located just downstairs. Caffienated beverages here come in a bewildering variety of styles, with.... [Continue reading]
Around a dozen different sake varieties are ready for tasting at this casual standing bar, along with a dozen wines, several types of shochu, and Japanese liqueurs like yuzushu. The standing-bar area takes up about half the floor space of this well-stocked liquor shop, and there are various wine and craft-beer magazines to peruse while you sip. There are even a few chairs if you arrive.... [Continue reading]
Spread out vertically over four narrow floors, this old-fashioned izakaya offers fantastic, very creative kushiage - some of the best we've found in Tokyo - along with a small but well-chosen sake list. Picky eaters beware though - there's no a la carte menu, just whatever special skewers they've devised for your dining pleasure that night. During a recent visit these featured some.... [Continue reading]
Glitch is the kind of coffee roastery and cafe that you'd expect to find in an up-and-coming warehouse district or a trendy residential neighborhood rather than here in business-oriented Jimbocho. Rustic wood and iron furnishings and burlap bags give the place a cozy feel, a nice contrast to the steel and glass aesthetic of the immediate area, and the steady stream of vintage soul music.... [Continue reading]
Known in Tokyo for their Australian-style gourmet breakfasts, Bills also offers a creative menu of modern, casual international cuisine. The spacious dining room is attractively decorated and quite lively all afternoon, a nice backdrop for a leisurely late lunch with cocktails or an early dinner. Ample terrace seating is an added bonus for whenever the weather permits. Entertainingly eclectic.... [Continue reading]
This small sake retailer has a stand-up counter where you can try before you buy - there are usually around seven different sake bottles open, with two-part tasting flights priced from Y500 or single shots from Y300. Since the Kappabashi district has turned into a tourist attraction in recent years, there's quite a bit of English-language information provided for the benefit of foreign.... [Continue reading]
Pheasant, mallard duck, Kyoto duck and guinea fowl are some of the tasty game birds featured at this first-rate yakitoriya, along with heritage-breed Hinai-dori chicken from Akita Prefecture. The game birds are beautifully grilled and pleasantly chewy, while the Hinai-dori gets top marks for tender meat. Torisuki's elegant Kyoto-style vegetable dishes here are also superb - these are.... [Continue reading]
If you get hungry during an afternoon of Ryogoku sightseeing, Hisago serves decent-quality tempura at budget-friendly prices all day long. The mixed tempura teishoku (Y1100) comes with a nice variety of seafood and vegetables, including unusual items like broccoli and a soft-boiled egg. There's also an anago eel teishoku priced at Y1600; both teishoku come with miso soup and rice, and.... [Continue reading]
The Vivo chain of casual wine bars offers good food and decent wines at budget-friendly prices, and the conveniently located Yotsuya branch is no exception. Ten daily wines by the glass start at around Y600, and most snacks are Y400 a pop, with no cover charge. Yotsuya's tiny triangular bar is somewhat smaller than usual though. There's room for maybe seven or eight customers, and you.... [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.
While other Tokyo craft-beer bars may specialize in small Japanese breweries or US imports, Pigalle is a good place to find interesting European craft beers, both on draft and by the bottle, as well as craft ciders. The...
New opening - Beer Brain: Omotesando
Although it's tiny itself, this cozy standing bar is part of the larger Commune 2nd complex, an assemblage of casual food trucks in the heart of Aoyama. Food options from the surrounding trucks include German sausages, Thai...
Living: Yokohama Yamashitacho
A comfortable, laid-back bar located near Yamashita Park, Living Craft Beer Bar offers ten Japanese craft beers on draft along with a creative food menu. If you have trouble deciding what to drink, you can opt for a...
New opening - Kazenori Meri: Shimo-Kitazawa
The well-chosen selection of twenty craft beers here is accompanied by a very nice food menu, with enticing dishes like stewed pork belly and chicken wings, herb-infused fish and chips, and potato salad with chicken breast and avocado.....
Ushitora One: Shimo-Kitazawa
One of Tokyo's pioneering craft-beer bars, Ushitora devotes several taps to their own beers, brewed in Tochigi, along with a good selection of Japanese and imported craft beers - there are 25 taps in all. The small food menu offers tasty....
New opening - World Beer Market: Adachi-ku
Not only does Beer Market offer the best selection of imported craft beers in Tokyo, but you can drink whatever you buy right in the shop, with just a Y100 corkage charge. They also have ten taps of craft beers (they were half ....
Where in Tokyo
Find fun things to do between meals, from our sister site Where In Tokyo.
Animal Cafes - Bird Zoo: Yokohama
This is the second branch of Bird Zoo, a full-immersion parrot-interaction facility run by Kojima pet store. Like the original Chiba branch, it's a very invigorating - at times almost overwhelming - experience, especially...
Museum of History and Folklore: Omiya
Exhibits at this rather large museum feature archeological finds from the area, including a pit dwelling from the Jomon period. There are also collections of swords and armor, pottery and metalware, and famous 16th-century
Sumida Hokusai Museum: Ryogoku
This lovely museum is devoted to the work of Katsushika Hokusai, Japan's most famous ukiyoe artist, who lived and worked for most of his life here in this traditional neighborhood. The wide-ranging permanent collection ....
Keio Rail Land: Hino-shi
This inexpensive mini-theme park is an entertaining destination for young train fans who still have leftover energy after a visit to Tama Zoo, located just across the road. It's a very hands-on attraction, with several different ....
Samurai Museum: Shinjuku Kabukicho
Although this specialized museum is rather compact in size, the very detailed English-language tour makes up for it, and is highly recommended. The tour brings Japan's samurai history to life as you're introduced to room after ....
Tama Zoo: Hino-shi
The goal of Tama Zoo is to display animals from various parts of the world in naturalistic habitats. Spread out over the vast 129-acre grounds are three distinct ecological areas - the Asiatic Garden, African Garden, and ....