Tokyo and Yokohama
Exploring great places to eat and drink
Run by Niigata's famous Hakkaisan sake brewery, this specialty shop mainly sells food and drink featuring koji, the rice mold that's an essential part of the sake-brewing process. It's also offically an antenna shop for the city of Uonuma, Niigata, where Hakkaisan is located. Some highlights of the shop's products include koji-marinated fish (sold frozen), koji-infused ponzu and other.... [Continue reading]
Korico is our favorite Korean-Mexican restaurant in town, serving very tasty Bulgogi Tacos, Tomato-Cheese-Kimchi Pajeon, Fried Garlic and other unexpected dishes. The menu covers the range of fajitas and tacos, pajeon pancakes and sundubu stews, voluminous salads and skillet stir-fries. Some are fairly orthodox, while others are more cross-cultural. One recommended highlight is the.... [Continue reading]
American-style sushi rolls are the unusual specialty at this stylishly appointed Ginza shop. Fairly lavish washoku lunches are priced at Y1700-2500, and these feature sushi rolls as the rice course, served alongside seasonal small dishes, sashimi and tempura. At dinnertime, combination sushi-roll platters are priced at Y1200-3000; you can also order any of the twenty sushi-roll.... [Continue reading]
Although it's just one aisle of a Lawson convenience store rather than a full-fledged store, this mini-antenna shop from Hakodate, Hokkaido, has the advantage of being open 24 hours a day. They carry a decent variety of local specialties like wine, instant ramen, curry pouches, squid-flavored snacks, caramel candies, artisanal butter and some odd-looking soft drinks. Over in the freezer.... [Continue reading]
This gorgeously appointed izakaya serves Hokkaido cuisine - top-grade charcoal-grilled seafood, meats and vegetables as well as assorted sushi. Pretty much everything we've tried has been excellent, including very tasty grilled lamb and chicken, eggplant, shiitake and bamboo shoots. Also highly recommended dish is the "hassun set" - eight bite-sized seasonal delicacies served on seasonally.... [Continue reading]
A self-styled Australian gastropub, Augustus serves sophisticated versions of comfort foods like fish and chips, sausage rolls and meat pies. The dining room is stylishly decorated and artfully lit, the food is beautifully plated and presented, and portions are substantial in size. Meat dishes are all made with high-quality Australian meats, including kangaroo. The sausage roll is.... [Continue reading]
With an interior resembling an upscale design shop, Ibaraki Sense is probably the fanciest prefectural antenna shop in Tokyo. The shop stocks fresh produce and specialty food items from Ibaraki, including natto, miso, apples, apple pie, apple juice, tomato juice, cheeses and frozen fish and seafood. In the liquor section you'll find around thirty types of sake, a dozen craft beers.... [Continue reading]
The set lunch menu at this cheese specialty restaurant is one of the better raclettes in town, and a pretty good deal. It comes with premium-grade heirloom vegetables and tasty home-made sausages, fresh sauerkraut and excellent European-style pickles. The pickled peppers are especially enticing - spicy but not overpowering, with a tartness that's a good foil for the cheese and meat.... [Continue reading]
Located on the forty-ninth floor of the Shinjuku Nomura Building, this glitzy skyscraper dining bar offers playful, unpretentious original cuisine along with budget-friendly drinks. Typical of their creative small dishes is the selection of wa-jillo items - garlicky Spanish ajillo sautees incorporating Japanese ingredients. There are also unusual pizzas, cheese fondue, and an upscale.... [Continue reading]
DJ Sarasa discovered the joy of tacos while traveling south of the US border, but couldn't find the real Mexican-style article after she returned to Tokyo, and so Casa de Sarasa was born. The kitchen turns out a wide range of taco variations as well as meaty dishes like grilled lamb chops, stewed pork belly with salsa verde, and beef-tripe noodle soup. There are numerous combination.... [Continue reading]
This sprawling, spacious izakaya focuses on meats - premium-quality charcoal-grilled beef, pork and chicken to be precise - although they also offer a nice selection of creative seasonal and vegetable-centered small dishes. There's a full selection of yakitori and other skewered items, meat-based nabe stews, and tempting beef offerings - teppanyaki steaks, A5-grade roast beef, and various.... [Continue reading]
In addition to regular, cheese and teriyaki-egg burgers, McLean's menu offers interesting daily specials like Hot Chili Cheese Tex-Mex Burger (Saturdays; Y1480) and Triple Melt Blue Cheese Burger (Wednesdays; Y1380). Beverage options include a few craft beers by the bottle (Thornbridge, North Coast), and one or two on tap (including a Knee Deep IPA when we visited). Our cheeseburger.... [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
Fondue, cheese platters and grilled-cheese sandwiches
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.
By far the hippest and most fun craft-beer bar we've found in town, Fukuoka Craft offers an excellent menu of casual Mexican cuisine along with a decent selection of Japanese and imported craft beers on tap. If you enjoy...
Produced by the popular Craft Beer Market chain, Beer Boy is a standing bar with nine taps of craft beers and an izakaya-style food menu. Food comes in small, snack-size portions and it's consistently well prepared and...
This small neigbhorhood bar has a stylish, minimalist decor and specializes in craft beers and highball cocktails. The ten taps dispense beers from well-regarded breweries like Full Sail, Sierra Nevada, Outsider and Shiga...
Run by the excellent Isekadoya craft-beer brewery, this lively izakaya serves thirteen of the brewery's beers on tap along with several kinds of sake from Mie Prefecture. The kitchen turns out regional Mie cuisine built...
Although Hiranoya was once a simple retail bottle shop with a standing-bar corner, over the years they have transformed into a full-fledged specialty beer bar, albeit a rather tiny one. The main focus is on classic Belgian...
Craft beer to go is the selling point at this tiny neighborhood bar. They've got eighteen taps dispensing a nicely varied selection of Japanese craft beers, including some rarities, and you can either enjoy a half-pint here...
Where in Tokyo
Find fun things to do between meals, from our sister site Where In Tokyo.
At first glance this looks like an art-gallery display window, but where is entrance to the actual gallery? Well, it turns out that Taimatz is a nanogallery consisting of just this tiny, 13-square-meter display space. ...
Open since September 2017, this tasteful and expensively produced museum is devoted to the work of esteemed novelist Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), whose portrait appeared on the face of the Japanese 1000-yen note from...
The seventh-floor gallery of the Film Archive has a permanent gallery devoted to the history of the Japanese film industry, with a lot of old posters, photographs and film paraphernalia. The focus is mainly on notable...
Learn all about brakes at this highly specialized mini-museum, which covers everything from simple bicycle calipers to the sophisticated eddy-current and regenerative brakes used in Shinkansen trains. A timeline illustrates...
This gorgeous museum is attached to Toyo Bunko, which is Japan's largest Asian Studies library with holdings of more than one million books. A museum devoted entirely to books might sound rather dry, but the exhibits here...
A sister shop of the popular Temari no Ouchi cat cafe (located just around the corner), this second branch sports a similarly fanciful Ghibli-esque decor, and is a relaxing spot to spend some time with cats. Unlike most cat...