Tokyo and Yokohama
Exploring great places to eat and drink
Fragrant smoke from Toritake's charcoal grill has been wafting out onto Shibuya's back streets since the early 1960s, drawing in generation after generation of yakitori fans. The atmosphere is very old-school izakaya, with compact seating arrangements and Showa-era decor. The non-smoking basement (with tatami seating) is perhaps the one concession to modern times. Drink options are.... [Continue reading]
A charming cafe slightly off the main path in Shimokitazawa, Coffea Exlibris specializes in French press and is one of the best serious-coffee options in the area. The small interior is done up in a rustic-chic style with fresh-cut flowers at every table, and because it's quite popular you may end up sitting at a bench in front rather than at one of the tables. Coffee drinkers can.... [Continue reading]
Whether you're here for a quick dinner or a leisurely evening of drinking and snacking, this reliable seafood izakaya is a refreshingly economical option for an Odaiba outing. The voluminous daily sashimi platter is a good place to start, and individual a la carte sashimi items also come in generous portions. If you're dining solo or if you just want a quick bite, there's a huge variety.... [Continue reading]
A chic furniture store-cafe combo in the heart of Daikanyama, Lab.LABAR offers a surprisingly wide variety of both coffees and teas. Coffee connoisseurs can choose from among Aeropress, paper-filter drip coffee and siphon coffee for hot drinks and Chemex for iced coffee - a rather impressive selection. The relaxed, modern atmosphere, comfortable seating (if you grab a seat in time),.... [Continue reading]
Va Bene's casual ground-floor bar is a convivial spot to enjoy some scrumptious meaty snacks along with a glass of wine or two. The assorted appetizer plate (Y980) is a perfect match for a robust Italian red, and our platter featured a rich, almost buttery liver mousse that was one of the highlights of our day. Other wine-friendly starters include spicy tripe stew, horsemeat tartar and.... [Continue reading]
Soregashi is a laid-back, very unpretentious local izakaya where you can explore a good range of craft sake along with an interesting food menu. There are a couple dozen sakes to choose from, including a good number of limited-edition seasonal bottles - not the biggest selection in town, but sustainable for a shop of this size. The staff are friendly and knowledgable about their stock,.... [Continue reading]
Exotic, ethnic-themed cafes in Japan have their own special charm, and Ethical Cafe is a fine example of the genre. The decor is fashioned after a tropical resort, with rattan sofas, chairs and tables and a cabana-style thatched-roof bar. The food is an entertaining mix of vacation destination-inspired dishes like Keema Curry Nachos and Ethnic Spicy Edamame. The World Beer menu features.... [Continue reading]
Located in a relatively respectable corner of Roppongi, Shirube offers a decent sake list and reliable izakaya-style fare at reasonable prices in this often expensive area. The dining area is quite large, with private rooms suitable for parties and a spacious counter that's comfortable for lone diners. Shirube's famous seared mackerel is one of the big draws here - it's not just tasty.... [Continue reading]
If you're a cheese fan it's well worth dropping by this casual wine bar just to try their excellent four-cheese platter. The shop offers around a hundred wines by the bottle and twenty by the glass, including an ever-changing "kimagure" wine selection priced at just Y300 as well as much more deluxe options. The tables and seats here are rather compact, so this is more of a spot to grab.... [Continue reading]
Excellent heirloom-breed pork dishes served with an impressive selection of premium craft sake - that's the simple but appealing formula at this unpretentious drinking spot. There are around thirty or forty craft sakes to choose from at any given time, and you can order them in small, tasting-size 75ml glasses if you want to put together a do-it-yourself tasting flight. In addition to.... [Continue reading]
Custom-made burgers with a huge variety of optional ingredients, sauces and toppings are ready to order from this California-based burger shop. Alternatively, you can swap your buns for salad greens with meals-in-a-bowl like the Beef and Brie and the Grilled Mahi-Mahi Salad, or explore sandwich options like the Grilled Cheese Trifecta and the BLT with grilled avocado. One of the main.... [Continue reading]
With its lively, spacious dining room, well-stocked bar and good food, Fireking has established itself as the hub of Uehara nightlife since its opening in 2000. It's busy until late at night with an eclectic and hip crowd, and it's a popular lunch spot as well. The food menu is reasonably priced and international in scope, ranging from grilled chicken and swordfish to Thai and Indonesian.... [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.
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...
This third branch of the pioneering Tokyo craft-beer chain is the largest so far, attracting a thirsty after-work crowd in addition to the usual crew of beer aficionados. Twenty taps dispense one of the better selections of...
Beerich Yeast: Kinshicho
Beerich has all the trappings of a classic old-school Tokyo cocktail bar - the bartenders are decked out in white shirts and vests, and the drinks come with gigantic globes of hand-carved ice. The atmosphere isn't quite as...
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...
Deep-fried kushiage skewers go wonderfully well with beer, so the combination of kushiage plus craft beer is an appealing alternative to the insipid mini-pizzas and sausages found at so many bars. Run by Shizuoka-based Ten...
My TaBReW: Tachikawa
With its wildly multinational food menu and over-the-top ethnic-restaurant decor, My TaBReW (aka "My Table") is a fun spot to grab a bite and a drink. And if you're a fan of craft beers, the tap list is well worth...
Where in Tokyo
Find fun things to do between meals, from our sister site Where In Tokyo.
Animal Cafes - Forest of Owl: Tokyo Asakusa
Following the trend of diversifying the population of animal cafes, Forest of Owls features meerkats, snakes, parrots and other small animals in addition to owls. Because of the cafe's setup, though, with just one big room...
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...
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 ....