Tokyo/ Yokohama Restaurant Guide


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If you're hungry in Tokyo (or central Yokohama), you'll find listings here for more than 1000 restaurants, cheese shops, wine bars and bakeries. We've got fresh reviews, food and wine news, and full listings browsable by neighborhood, cuisine or feature.

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Shamo, a type of chicken that was originally bred in Thailand for cockfighting, is prepared here using the traditional "warayaki" cooking method, where meat and fish are quickly seared over burning straw at temperatures of 800-900C. The izakaya-style restaurant also serves warayaki-grilled katsuo (bonito), and plus a nice selection of craft sake from Aomori Prefecture.

If you're just here for a quick and inexpensive meal after shopping, the menu offers various donburi and teishoku options starting at around Y1200 and featuring grilled chicken or fish along with rice, miso soup and side dishes. Or you can treat the place as an izakaya, sampling the excellent grilled wings, sasami (chicken breast) grilled in ume paste, and crunchy tsukune (chicken meatballs) served with a raw shamo egg.

The fast grilling process leaves the center of the chicken meat tender and juicy, and imparts a nice grassy aroma. Crunchy chunks of raw cucumber in garlic dressing make a nice side dish. There are five varieties of Aomori's Mutsu Hassen sake served by the glass or ichigo-sized flask, to go with your food, along with the usual shochu and beer. Budget Y1200-3500 at dinnertime.
The five or six varieties of fresh-roasted coffee beans sold here start at around Y1890 per 250-gram bag, and you can taste samples before you buy. Each bean purchase also comes with a free cup of coffee. There's a tiny bench outside the shop, although most customers get their coffee to go.
There's a nice selection of some three dozen craft sake to explore at this stylish little bar, with an unusual fish and seafood-centered food menu to accompany your drinks. It's run by a Shizuoka-based purveyor of shiokara (fermented shellfish guts), and connoisseurs of this delicacy can choose from thirty different varieties, including unusual dishes like shiokara bruschetta. If you're not a fan, you can fall back on the reliable sashimi platter of the day, featuring three or five different fish depending on your appetite.

The menu also offers some interesting sushi items, such as fish marinated in yuzu kosho and an excellent grilled anago that goes well with the sake here. The setup is informal enough that you can just pop in for a round of drinks and a snack, or stay longer if you find more sake that you want to try.

The arched, high-ceilinged space under the railroad tracks is part of the JR-managed Maach Ecute complex, a repurposed former train station from the 1950s. Budget around Y2000-3000 for snacks and a few drinks.
This rather large, 110-seat Art Nouveau-style restaurant is a taproom for De Halve Maan, a 450-year-old brewery in the Belgian city of Bruges. They serve a good variety of beers from that brewery and elsewhere in Belgium - more than 100 varieties in all.

The food menu covers Belgian standards like frites and mussels, and the very meaty charcuterie platters are worth a try. Open until 4am Friday and Saturday nights.
This charming, traditionally appointed izakaya near Ichigaya station offers an enormous selection of craft sake, shochu, and Okinawan awamori. The sake list includes a dozen or so specials of the day (always a good sign), plus deep selections from a number of well-regarded breweries - for example there are twelve different labels from the excellent Fukui-ken brand Kokuryu.

The eclectic food menu covers a lot of ground too, with standard dishes (grilled meats on skewers, Okinawan pork stew) served alongside original creations such as their ambitious tofu lasagna and deep-fried basil-cheese rolls. The food quality is decent, but it doesn't overshadow the sake. Budget around Y3000-5000 for dinner with drinks.
Located under the JR railroad tracks, this very casual drinking spot serves great charcoal-grilled beef on skewers, including a variety of organ meats. Surrounded by similarly inexpensive and informal shops, it makes a nice stop on a bar-hopping tour of the neighborhood. Budget around Y2000 for food and drink.
Casual Hawaiian cuisine, tropical cocktails and pancakes are served at this open-air restaurant in Yokohama Bay Marina. The Sam Choy's platter (Y1130) is probably the most interesting menu choice, with tasty helpings of garlic shrimp, ahi poke and Spam musubi.
Serious coffee fans in the Toranomon area were happy to hear about the opening of this office-building branch of the cult-favorite Omotesando Koffee in Aoyama. The polished-wood decor is quite minimal, the better to focus attention on the laboratory-like coffee-brewing area.

Hot and cold espresso beverages and drip coffee are served to drink here or to go, with hand-dripped coffee served from 3-6pm. An exclusive Toranomon blend of beans is available at Y650 per 100-gram bag.
Fresh produce from Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku can be found in ample quantities at this well-stocked antenna shop, which also supplies local Kichijoji residents with regional specialty foods such as jars of tiny kibinago (silver-striped herring) fillets, and candied deep-fried fish bones. Wheat-gluten (fu) snacks come in flavors like ginger, yuzu and strawberry.

Out in front of the shop we found several varieties of peppers and radishes, tomatoes and carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, yams, rucola, scallions, snap beans, ginger and lemons. Yuzu is another big import, with juices, jams, candies and many other products made from the popular citrus fruit.
Well-selected and reasonably priced craft beers and wines are complemented by simple Middle Eastern fare (tajines, dips, falafel) at this tiny drinking spot. Located next to a sister shop called Kujira Curry Bar and across from a Vietnamese BBQ stall, Whale is one of more than a dozen bars and mini-restaurants making up the Dai-ichi Ichiba restaurant arcade, a retro-style, indoor "food alley" just north of Koenji station.

Craft-beer drinkers can find Punk IPA from Scottish brewery Brew Dog on tap, along with several more of their beers in bottles and cans, plus some less commonly seen European and US microbrews. During a recent visit we discovered some excellent beers from Dutch craft brewery De Molen and Norwegian outfit Nogne. The wine list is also eclectic and budget-friendly, for example Sokol Blossor's "Evolution" white blend is Y4,000 per bottle.

Our otoshi turned out to be a good-sized portion of home-smoked bacon served with cumin bread, a great match for our first round of IPAs. Equally beer-friendly are the baba ganoush and other mezze-style dips, which come with tasty home-made pita bread, and the crunchy falafel balls, served with a spicy yogurt sauce.

Service is friendly and knowledgeable, and the atmosphere is very casual. Most bottles of wine are priced in the Y2800-5000 range, with some outliers. Budget around Y2500-3000 for a few rounds of high-quality drinks and snacks, or just drop in for a quick drink and otoshi before you explore the rest of this lively arcade. (Open from 2pm on weekends.)
Unlike regular Starbucks branches, this "Inspired by Starbucks" cafe serves wine and beer along with the usual coffee and dessert drinks, making it a popular evening gathering spot. The atmosphere is very relaxed, with comfortable seating, tasteful decor, and a few outdoor spots to sit when Tokyo weather permits.
Without a doubt one of Tokyo's best Mexican restaurants, the festively decorated Tepito offers a wide menu of regional dishes and Mexican standards prepared south-of-the-border style. Mexican wines start at Y1800 per carafe, or you can choose from over one hundred kinds of tequila, many of them available in tasting flights.

On a recent visit we enjoyed starters of surprisingly piquant stuffed rellenos peppers, along with crunchy quesidillas topped with dollops of fresh, very tasty guacamole. Our jaded palates were appeased by the novel flavors of our Yucatan-style pork and cactus salad, although the salad would have been even better without the unnecessary smoked salmon. We were also quite happy with our waiter's tequila recommendations, and we look forward to engaging in further research in this area. Budget around Y4000 for dinner with drinks.
Mutton-focused Uyghur cuisine from Western China is the unusual specialty at this neighborhood noodle shop. Handmade leghmen noodles, long thick noodles topped with stir-fried meats and vegetables, are perhaps the most famous dish of the region, but the real standouts here are the beautifully spiced lamb and other kebabs.

The meat pies (gosh nan) are also worth a try, as is the voluminous wonton soup, filled with plump and meaty dumplings. Service is friendly and casual; budget around Y2500-3500 for dinner with a few drinks.
Italian-inspired novely ramen is the attraction here, with cheese-based "fromage" ramen and cold cherry-tomato ramen. The ham-and-cheese ramen comes with prosciutto and a small portion of noodles - let them know when you're done with your noodles and they'll bring a bowl of rice to soak up the remainder of the very buttery broth, resulting in a risotto-like finale.

Wine by the glass is Y500, with tickets sold in the vending machine up front. Open 11am-10pm Saturdays, noon-9pm Sundays.
This compact but well-stocked retail and mail-order shop mainly sells food and drink from Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. If a recipe calls for coconut milk you'll find a surprising variety of it here, along with shrimp paste, fried onions, rice noodles, tropical fruit drinks, Bamboe brand spice mixes, various chili sauces, packets of instant ramen, frozen meats, gado-gado dressing and peanuts.
There's a lot of good yakitori to be found in the izakaya-lined alleyways of Arakicho, but Doramine grills up some of the best. The chicken here is good enough to eat raw, and indeed the shop's chicken sashimi dishes are among our favorites, as are their chicken liver skewers, also served quite rare. Your daily vegetable requirements can be met with appealing side dishes like corn kakiage tempura, with a decent selection of sake to complement your meal. Budget around Y4000-5000 at dinnertime - a bargain for this level of quality.
Located in the midst the manga, anime and toy stores of Nakano Broadway, Bar Zingaro is a project of well-known pop artist Takashi Murakami. The cafe-bar opened in early 2014 along with four contemporary art galleries in the same complex. It's managed by Oslo-based cafe-bar Fuglen in Shibuya, and serves up a similar menu of gourmet espresso drinks and creative cocktails.

The drinks menu also offers a few different sake labels and a couple of local craft beers - Baird lager and Hitachino Nest Daidai Ale, a nice American-style IPA. The setting is relaxed and appropriately whimsical for the location, with artwork by Murakami on the walls and shelves full of toys in the cafe's front window. Free WiFi is available.
Better-than-average Vietnamese fare is served at this popular cafe-restaurant. Budget around Y4-5000 at dinnertime for food and drink. At midday they offer three voluminous set lunches priced at Y900; one is a daily special, while the other two feature pho and side dishes, and they all come with the shop's excellent fried spring rolls. The special weekend lunch menu starts at Y1480 and is extrememly popular.
Moja's version of chicken and waffles is the main draw here - they pair very crispy fried chicken with tasty, somewhat crunchy waffles, plus unusual side dishes of red coleslaw and kale salad.

They also offer a lineup of original non-alcoholic drinks such as the "Mixology Yellow" juice cocktail - made with apple, carrot, orange, paprika and lemon juices - and mixed-berry, ginger and vanilla-spice lattes. Lunch specials run until 4pm.

The restaurant is a project of Cafe Company (Wired Cafe, Planet 3rd), and the sprawling 124-seat dining area was formerly occupied by Respekt Cafe.
With its combination of great coffee and unique, picturesque setting (the ground floor and courtyard garden of a traditional Japanese house), Omotesando Koffee has caught the attention of every Tokyo guidebook, and draws a stream of foreign tourists as well as local residents. It's located in the middle of a quiet residential area just a few minutes from Omotesando.
Perched above an expensive bicycle shop, Mile Post serves Japanese craft beer, coffee and a light food menu in a waterfront setting. When the weather is nice the cafe's ten-seat terrace area, looking out over the Sumida River, is an especially pleasant spot from which to watch the parade of passing boats.

Ten types of craft beer are served on tap - many from top-notch local breweries such as Shiga Kogen and Swan Lake. Beers are Y700 for a medium-size glass and Y900 for large, while food items like caesar salad and fried chicken are priced in the Y500-1000 range.
Aoki is the sort of casual sushi shop where you can relax with a few drinks and some delectable small dishes before moving onto your sushi. The chefs behind the counter prepare both traditional nigiri and more experimental forms, which are fun to explore if you're in an adventurous mood.

Seasonal vegetable dishes are a big part of Aoki's menu, and they even employ a vegetable sommelier. On a recent visit we enjoyed some stunningly fresh mountain-vegetable dishes, followed by a selection of vegetable nigiri-zushi, which featured heirloom vegetables from Kyoto. Other unexpected sushi variations include lightly charred fish topped with cheese, and a surprisingly tasty camembert-cheese sushi roll.

Another house specialty is foie gras - served broiled on skewers, as the main ingredient in chawanmushi (egg custard), and as quite delectable foie gras sushi. Of course being a sushi joint Aoki offers a nice sashimi selection - the daily moriawase is always a good bet, as is the assortment of three different cuts of tuna.

At lunchtime there's a luxurious 1.5-person platter (Y1890) which provides a big selection of nigiri along with soup, salad and chawan mushi. Budget around Y4000-8000 at dinnertime, Y1000-2000 for lunch. Open all afternoon on weekends.
Flammkuchen - Alsace's answer to pizza - is served here in versions both savory (black forest ham, avocado-salmon) and sweet (apple-cinnamon, salty banana), along with wine by the glass or bottle. The Y1000 lunchtime set of classic and salad flammkuchen is a nicely balanced meal, served with coffee or tea. (No dinner on Mondays - lunch only.)

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