Tokyo and Yokohama
Exploring great places to eat and drink
International-style Thai restaurants seem to be popping up all over Tokyo these days, and Gin Khao has joined the club, with the promise of exotic California-style Thai cuisine. In addition to the usual tom yum kung and curries you'll find entertaining cross-cultural dishes like Thai-style buffalo chicken wings with sriracha-glazed cauliflower, and quinoa salad with beet dressing. The.... [Continue reading]
Real New York-style pizza is hard to find in Tokyo - up until now we've had to travel up to Oji for pizza at Rocco's - so this spacious cafe-restaurant in the back streets of Nishi-Azabu is a great find. Pizza here comes in pepperoni, sausage and plain-cheese variations and is served with all the proper condiments - crushed red peppers, powdered garlic and oregano. Best of all it's just.... [Continue reading]
Yakiton (grilled pork on skewers) is the specialty at this budget-friendly local izakaya, along with grilled seasonal vegetables, grilled chicken and drink-friendly side dishes. At Y100 per skewer it's hard to beat Shimonya's cost performance, and sake and other drinks are also quite reasonable. The downstairs fills up quickly during peak times but there's additional seating upstairs to.... [Continue reading]
Casual French cuisine served with premium sake from Akita Prefecture - that's the inspired culinary pairing offered at this stylish late-night sake bar. Besides sake, Akita is also famous for their local Hinai-jidori chickens, and the menu features a good number of chicken dishes (as well as egg-based dishes) showcasing this prized heirloom-breed bird. Rounding out the sake-friendly.... [Continue reading]
This laid-back local cafe plays a soundtrack of acid jazz and serves well-stuffed sandwiches along with gourmet coffee and desserts. The sandwich selection features appetizing choices like warm salmon salad, mackerel and olives, and roast beef and wasabi. In the evening there's a full cocktail bar plus beer and a budget wine list. The decor is modern urban rustic, with rough-hewn wooden.... [Continue reading]
True to its name, this spacious venue is both a cafe and coffee-bean roastery, and its industrial-chic interior is dominated by bean-roasting and coffee-producing equipment. Most impressive is the Steampunk "craft brewing" machine behind the counter, which facilitates a smooth, clear, delicious brew based on custom-specified parameters that control everything from water temperature and.... [Continue reading]
This popular and very lively sake-specialty dining bar offers an impressive selection of craft sake from around Japan, accompanied by richly flavored dishes designed to complement the drinks. The chef seems fond of using luxurious ingredients like truffles, sea urchin, foie gras and caviar, along with top-quality meats and produce. Somehow the fancy menu combines with the stylish decor.... [Continue reading]
Lotus-root (renkon) delicacies are the unusual specialty at this old-fashioned izakaya, along with a more familiar menu of grilled chicken, creative small plates, and turtle (suppon) dishes. The restaurant occupies a converted residential-style building in the midst of Ueno's commercial shopping zone, with comfortable booths downstairs and tatami (hori-kotatsu) seating on the second.... [Continue reading]
With popular branches in Sydney and Melbourne, Longrain serves Australian fusion cuisine inspired by the Thai restaurants of Australia. Rather than attempting to serve a wide variety of Thai cuisine, it seems like the menu focuses on a handful of signature dishes such as Eggnet with Pork and Prawns; Caramelized Pork Hock; and "Crying Tiger" charcoal-grilled beef flank steak. The.... [Continue reading]
Although you may occasionally run across a California roll in a Tokyo sushi shop as a novelty item, other types of American-style sushi (aka inside-out rolls) are pretty much unheard of. That's why this small local sushi counter is so unusual - they offer American classics like Caterpillar Rolls and Volcano Rolls, deluxe items like Spider Rolls, and oddities like four-cheese sushi - some.... [Continue reading]
Classic American diner-style grilled-cheese sandwiches are the specialty here, along with BLTs, hearty soups, gourmet coffee, and various breakfast dishes in the morning. We enjoyed a well-executed ham and cheddar grilled-cheese - the cheddar was mild but still had personality, while pungent red onion bits gave the sandwich some added kick. The tangy cole slaw that came on the side was.... [Continue reading]
This spacious branch of this pioneering "nouvelle japonaise" restaurant serves excellent fusion-oriented cooking and offers a panoramic view of the harbor lights. The menu changes seasonally, with creative dishes like tempura-fried dried tomato and camembert, foie gras sushi, and a surprisingly diverse six-part tofu platter that's a real tour de force. Well-executed grilled meats 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.
New opening - Beer Boy: Kichijoji
Beer Boy is the first craft-beer izakaya from the popular Craft Beer Market chain. The beer list is focused on "rare and extreme" craft beers, mostly from Japan but with a few US brews as well. The food menu is a mix of...
Le Petit l'Ouest: Shimo-Kitazawa
This Star Wars-themed neighborhood liquor shop stocks a wide selection of over 100 Japanese craft beers, one of the better selections in town. It helps to know what you're looking for though, as there are plenty of clunkers...
Green Bashamichi: Yokohama Bashamichi
Charcoal Grill Green Bashamichi serves up a very appealing menu of grilled meats and seafood along with creative starters, California wines and a handful of local craft beers. The setup is casual bistro-style, with a...
Billing themselves as a liquor store and sound studio, Jolly's has been selling booze here in Ebisu since the 1920s. Nowadays they stock a decent selection of mostly US craft beers in cans and bottles - maybe forty in all,...
Tap Stand: Shinjuku
Creative pizzas and a good selection of US craft beers are the major draws at this very busy beer bar, along with a convenient location just a few minutes from Shinjuku station. The bar has twenty taps in all, with half...
Sakura Taps: Yokohama Sakuragicho
This casual after-work drinking spot dispenses a rotating selection of eight Japanese craft beers on tap, with the occasional import for variety. While there are a handful of tables, most of the crowd here seems to prefer...
Where in Tokyo
Find fun things to do between meals, from our sister site Where In Tokyo.
Souvenir from Tokyo: Tokyo Nogizaka
The name of this shop really doesn't do it justice - more than just a souvenir shop or museum shop, it's actually one of the best design shops in Tokyo. You'll find excellent selections of pottery, glassware, fabrics, paper...
Animal Cafes - T-Cat: Yokohama Nihon-Odori
Open since February 2017, T-Cat is a friendly rescue-cat cafe with around fifteen resident cats, give or take. There were a lot of younger cats when we visited, and they were especially playful and athletic when the staff...
Godzilla Store: Tokyo Shinjuku
Everybody's favorite giant lizard now has his own retail shop, where you'll find a huge assortment of Godzilla-themed goods - everything from T-shirts and socks to rather nice bomber jackets. There's the expected selection...
BankArt Studio NYK: Yokohama Bashamichi
Probably the most important center for contemporary art in Yokohama, the massive BankArt Studio space is run by the government-supported BankArt 1929 arts program as a venue for exhibitions, theatrical and musical...
Aoyama Technical College: Tokyo Shibuya
Outside of theme parks, it's unusual to see a massive, multi-story building with a design that's clearly based on a children's transformer-robot toy - it represents a rare match-up between an adventurous client and an...
Terrada Art Complex: Tokyo Tennozu Isle
By assembling several major galleries in one massive warehouse space, Terrada Art Complex has rather successfully pursued their mission of "making Tennoz Isle into a hub of artistic culture." The complex is now an important...