Shinjuku and north
Ikebukuro -- Agio
Agio call themselves a "market restaurant," and serve delicious grilled fish and meat and brick-oven-baked pizzas.
Higashi-Ikebukuro 3-1-2, Sunshine City Alpa 3F. Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Takadanobaba -- Bunryu
Nicely prepared food in a modest basement coffee-shop setting.
Takadanobaba 1-26-5, FI Bldg, B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Part of the Fealteria complex, this casual restaurant offers solid Italian fare, including pizzas, in an unpretentious, smoke-free dining room. Prix-fixe dinners are Y2100-5200. Weekday lunches run Y1000-3000, including several "salad lunches"; weekends are a bit fancier, from Y1500-3500.
Well-prepared Roman-style food at budget-friendly prices. Start off dinner with three selections from the extensive tapas case, then explore the pastas and main entrees, which include several good veal dishes. There's an above-average dessert menu with several tasty homemade sherbets. Seating is mostly at the large wrap-around counter.
Takadanobaba 2-15-10. Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
This spacious multi-level branch of the budget Italian chain is open all afternoon, and convenient when you're visiting Shinjuku Gyoen.
Very good budget pastas and other Italian fare, a good wine selection and convenient hours.
A lively "market-style" restaurant, with the emphasis on top-quality ingredients and simple preparation. Grilled meats and seafood, brick-oven-baked pizzas and assorted pastas make up most of the menu, and there are always plenty of daily specials.
Shinjuku 3-14-1, Isetan 7F. Open 11am-9:15pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
Tasty, sometimes unusual pizzas and well-constructed pastas at this budget Italian cafe chain. Open all afternoon.
Shinjuku 3-1-26, Shinjuku Marui Annex 8F. Open 11:30am-10pm (LO) daily.
The stand-up bar at the front of Il Bacaro has a nice casual feel to it. You can drop in for a few minutes, have a quick glass of wine and a tiny snack, and be on your way. Or you can claim a seat at one of the three small tables and linger awhile, directing your attention to some of the dozen or so wines served by the glass. Cold appetizer trays line the counter, an espresso machine grinds away in the background, and dancehall reggae or pop music plays on the stereo. Waiters from the main dining room come and go with drink orders, and customers drift in and out. Snatches of Italian can be heard from time to time. [See FULL REVIEW
Shinjuku 3-4-8, Frente Shinjuku 3-chome B1F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-9:15pm (LO) daily.
Shinjuku -- Cona
Inexpensive late-night pizzas and drinks in a very casual setting. Wines are Y1900 per bottle or Y500 by the glass, and all pizzas and side dishes are Y500 each.
Reliable Italian cooking in a casual setting. The food ranges from good to excellent, so the large menu warrants some exploration to find your favorites. Full-course dinners from Y3980, or a la carte.
Nishi-Shinjuku 1-26-2, Shinjuku Nomura Bldg. B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-9:30pm (LO) daily.
This long-running pasta specialist is a favorite of many resident and visiting Italians in Tokyo. In addition to tomato- and cream-based pasta sauces, Al Dente serves up Japanese variations featuring spicy mentaiko (cod roe with red peppers), plump, flavorful shrimp and strips of nori seaweed. This long-running pasta specialist is a favorite of many resident and visiting Italians in Tokyo. In addition to tomato- and cream-based pasta sauces, Al Dente serves up Japanese variations featuring spicy mentaiko (cod roe with red peppers), plump, flavorful shrimp and strips of nori seaweed.
Most pastas range from Y1000-1800 in price, and spaghetti portions come in four different sizes. [Show more] [Show less]
Nishi-Shinjuku 1-25-1, Shinjuku Center Bldg. BMF. Open 11am-9pm (LO; Sun -7:30pm) daily.
Basic budget pizzas and pastas.
Yoyogi 2-2-1, Odakyu Southern Tower 3F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
This is the kind of unpretentious neighborhood trattoria that we love, serving good grilled meats and nice pastas, with some very reasonably priced wines in the Y3000-5000 range. Budget around Y2500-4000 for food at dinnertime.
Located in the trendy and ecologically conscious Yoyogi Village complex, Code Kurkku serves sophisticated, organic Italian and international cuisine in an elegant dining space. Lunch starts at Y1200, but if you want to reserve you have to order a prix-fixe menu (from Y3500). Dinner menus are Y5,000-10,000. Located in the trendy and ecologically conscious Yoyogi Village complex, Code Kurkku serves sophisticated, organic Italian and international cuisine in an elegant dining space. Lunch starts at Y1200, but if you want to reserve you have to order a prix-fixe menu (from Y3500). Dinner menus are Y5,000-10,000.
Attached to the restaurant is a late-night music bar with a more limited food menu of pastas and snacks. The Yoyogi Village complex also includes a bakery, coffee shop, soup shop, and a casual izakaya-style shop as well as retail shops. [Show more] [Show less]
Yoyogi 1-28-9. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-11pm (LO) daily.
Harajuku, Aoyama, Sendagaya
A luxury-level Italian trattoria, with lunch from Y1500, dinner from Y6500.
Sendagaya 3-50-11. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-9:30pm (LO) daily.
A more casual branch of Bulgari's flagship Ginza restaurant, Il Cafe offers full-course meals as well as a la carte choices - simple starters, pastas and sandwiches. One especially luxurious dish is the Matsuzaka beef and foie gras hamburger (Y4500). Prix-fixe menus start from Y2400 (weekday lunch); Y3500 (weekend lunch); and Y4500 (dinnertime).
Jingumae 5-10-1, Gyre 2F. Open 11am-10pm daily.
This tomato-centric Italian restaurant/cafe offers full-course dinners from Y4000-7000. The buffet lunch (Y2500; Y3000 on weekends) includes a three-juice tasting flight, a choice of pasta, dessert, beverage, and a mid-sized buffet full of vegetable-based dishes like stuffed cabbage, carrot salad and stewed eggplant. More than twenty different tomato varieties are featured, and various tomato juices are sold by the bottle.
Kita-Aoyama 3-15-5, Portofino B1F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 2:30-5, 5-9:30pm (LO) daily.
An Italian restaurant with a good craft-beer selection is a nice find, but if you're not hungry you can come just for the beer. The ten taps dispense an assortment of Japanese, US and European craft beers, with some unusual finds (a Swiss sour ale!) that we haven't seen elsewhere. An Italian restaurant with a good craft-beer selection is a nice find, but if you're not hungry you can come just for the beer. The ten taps dispense an assortment of Japanese, US and European craft beers, with some unusual finds (a Swiss sour ale!) that we haven't seen elsewhere.
In addition to table seating there's a comfortable five-seat bar on the ground floor, suitable for a casual quick drink. US pints are Y880, and there's a Y300 cover charge. Open from 11:30am weekends. [Show more] [Show less]
Jingumae 3-6-6. Open 6-11:30pm daily.
Skillfully constructed fish dishes and pastas from an extensive menu that changes daily.
Jingumae 2-chome -- Emilia
Skillful Italian cooking in a casual but comfortable trattoria setting. Main courses include game in season, and the finest small-farm-raised meats and regional seafood year-round. There's a good selection of wines under Y7000, with at least a half dozen by the glass. [See FULL REVIEW
Jingumae 2-25-4. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Thursdays.
While the basement room may be unexciting, the food and wines are quite good and represent great value for money.
Kita-Aoyama 1-2-3, Aoyama Bldg. B1F. (diagonally across from Aoyama Twin Towers) Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
This extremely stylish brand cafe above a Fiat showroom serves unexpectedly good Italian fare. Budget around Y3500 at dinnertime. The lunch specials (Y1000 for pastas or Y1500 for a meaty main dish) include a mini-salad bar with soup and bread, plus a beverage.
Shibuya, Hiroo, Roppongi
This newest venture from the popular budget Italian chain promises to serve "an Italian mama's home-cooked meals."
A pleasant, casual Italian kitchen with culinary ambitions that aren't always fulfilled. The assorted appetizers (Y3400 for five items) were outstanding, but the main dishes and pastas didn't quite live up to expectations or to their high price tags. The wine list is geared toward big spenders, with very little in the under-Y5,000 range. The interior is comfortable, though, and the counter would make a nice setting for a quick pasta and glass of wine, or for a weekday lunch.
Udagawacho 33-13. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10pm (LO). Closed third Monday.
One of Tokyo's first Australian-only wine bars, with one of the largest selections of rare and expensive wines from that country. The food is mainly Italian, and consistently good. [See FULL REVIEW
Panzerotti - deep-fried savory pies that originated in Puglia, Italy - are the unusual specialty here. Around two dozen varieties are on offer, along with a selection of hams, cheeses, salads and vegetable dishes. The wine list includes both Italian and non-Italian wineries, with bottles ranging from Y3500-5900 along with several choices by the glass. French pear cider and cava are other beverage options. Panzerotti - deep-fried savory pies that originated in Puglia, Italy - are the unusual specialty here. Around two dozen varieties are on offer, along with a selection of hams, cheeses, salads and vegetable dishes. The wine list includes both Italian and non-Italian wineries, with bottles ranging from Y3500-5900 along with several choices by the glass. French pear cider and cava are other beverage options.
Pies are categorized on the menu according to their filling - cheese, meat, fish or dessert. At lunchtime you can choose two half-size pies from the three pies of the day, along with a starter and beverage for Y1000. Y1300 gets you all three pies of the day, and for Y1800 you get two half-pies, a starter and a selection of different hams.
Our lunchtime starter was a simple and wholesome plate of steamed vegetables - cabbage, eggplant, carrot and broccoli - followed at a leisurely pace by three fresh-from-the-oven panzerotti. The pies are reasonably hefty, enveloped in a light, flaky shell. Good-quality olive oil sits on the table alongside rather novel electrically powered salt and pepper grinders equipped with tiny flashlights.
The dining room is casual but stylish, and dogs are allowed. Pies are available to take home. [Show more] [Show less]
Shoto 2-14-12. Open noon-2:30, 6-11pm. Closed Mondays.
Very good Sardinian cuisine and wines; budget around Y7000-8000 for dinner.
Dogenzaka 1-5-2, Sede Bldg 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 6pm-midnight (LO). Closed Sundays.
Casual French- and Italian-inspired fare from the popular Osaka-based Tooth Tooth chain. Open weekend nights until 4am. Budget around Y1200 at lunchtime, Y5000 for dinner with drinks. (Open to 10pm Sundays.)
Simple, expertly prepared "seasonal dishes and Italian wines" in a casual setting. Lunch is Y700 and Y1450; full-course dinners from Y3800. Pizzas start at Y1400.
Higashi 3-17-14, 2F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
This stylish two-story cafe-bar looks like a ski chalet that's been sliced along the diagonal, with big windows looking out over the picturesque (at least at night) Shibuya River. Stop in for a late-night drink - there's plenty of reasonably priced wine by the glass or bottle - or a full meal. This stylish two-story cafe-bar looks like a ski chalet that's been sliced along the diagonal, with big windows looking out over the picturesque (at least at night) Shibuya River. Stop in for a late-night drink - there's plenty of reasonably priced wine by the glass or bottle - or a full meal.
The menu is a mix of creative Mediterranean (brussels sprouts stuffed with seafood; pork-belly rilettes) and Thai classics (Isan sausage; green papaya salad). No cover charge; budget around Y3500 for dinner. [Show more] [Show less]
The food is nicely prepared but a bit more expensive than expected. The large, comfortable dining room has been known to become rather raucous at times.
Ebisu 1-15-9. Open 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Ebisu -- Massa
Former Iron Chef Masahiko Kobe's tiny restaurant has just 10 tables, so reservations are essential. Full-course dinners are Y6000 and Y8000; lunch is Y2000.
Ebisu 1-23-22. Open 11:30am-1:30, 6:30-9:30pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays, 1st Tue.
Lots of Naples-style pizzas and grilled dishes, and even a few vegetarian items are on the menu.
Ebisu 1-22-20. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-11pm daily.
One of the better Italian joints in the neighborhood, although there's lots of competition.
Ebisu 4-27-17. Open noon-1:30, 5:30-11pm (LO) daily.
A convenient late-night Italian standby.
Serious Italian cooking from Tuscan native and sometime TV chef Mario Frittoli (formerly of Luxor and Il Pinolo). Signature dishes include pistachio gnocchi with scampi and asparagus, and pappardelle with wild-boar ragu. Full-course dinners Y7,500 - 10,000 or a la carte; lunches (weekdays only) Y1,000 - 5,000.
Nishi-Azabu 4-1-10. Open 11:30am-1:30, 6-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
A comfortable neighborhood place with attentive service and reliable pasta dishes. The pasta or pizza lunch is Y1200.
Minami-Azabu 5-15-25. Open 11:30am-2, 6-11pm daily.
Shirokanedai -- Isola
Another candidate for best pizza in Tokyo, prepared in a ceramic oven, although some may balk at the prices - pizzas range up to around Y3000.
Shirokane 6-17-2. Open 6:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
One of the few late-night spots in the neighborhood; pizzas and pastas in a multi-level, palatial setting.
Nestled in a corner of the Tadao Ando-designed musuem building, this Tokyo branch of an excellent Italian restaurant in Kyoto has one of the more impressive architectural settings in Tokyo Midtown. The food is first-rate modern Italian; budget around Y5000 for lunch and Y10,000 at dinnertime. Open from 8am weekends.
Italian-inspired late-night vegetable dining, with produce from organic farms around Japan. Prix-fixe menus are Y3000-4000, and include cheese fondue or bagna cauda as a main course. There are more than fifty wines, starting at Y3000/bottle.
Roppongi 3-9-3, Dai-2 Roppongi Village Bldg 1F. Open 7pm-7am. Closed Sundays and holidays.
An expensive (and very good) Italian restaurant downstairs, and a cafe upstairs serving drinks, coffee and desserts.
Upscale Italian cooking from the popular Salvatore Cuomo chain.
Four types of mozzarella cheese imported from Italy every day make up the centerpiece of the menu here. You can enjoy them with various salamis and dried hams, salads and pasta dishes, and Italian wines. Budget around Y5000 at dinnertime, Y1500 for lunch.
Roppongi 6-10-2, Roppongi Hills Hillside B1F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
This popular international chain restaurant serves New York-style Italian fare, with a focus on Roman cuisine. The menu features ten veal dishes (ranging Y5000-8000), scampi, and a good selection of daily specials. This popular international chain restaurant serves New York-style Italian fare, with a focus on Roman cuisine. The menu features ten veal dishes (ranging Y5000-8000), scampi, and a good selection of daily specials.
The spacious dining room is romantically lit (you'll need a flashlight to read the menu) and bustling with energy. The wine list is extensive, covering the New World as well as Italy, but there are few bottles under Y10,000; wines by the glass (and other drinks) are more reasonable. Budget around Y10,000 per person before drinks. There's also a separate lounge area up front that's open very late. [Show more] [Show less]
Fine Italian dining in a casual atmosphere, from the Michelin-starred Sadler restaurant in Milan. Full-course dinners are Y8500, while pizzas and pastas are in the Y2200-2800 range. There's also a very impressive wine cellar. Terrace seating is available in the warmer months of the year.
Roppongi Hills, Keyakizaka-dori, Gate Tower 3F. Open 11am-1am daily.
Inexpensive pastas and Italian wines by the glass, with convenient late-night hours.
This lively after-work drinking spot is called "Queen of Chickens" - and what more do you need to know? Well, if you must have details, they serve a lovely roast chicken, flavored with rosemary, garlic and various secret herbs (so we were told), for just Y1880. Wines start at Y2700 per bottle. Your Y680 (per person) table charge sounds hefty, but it entitles you to a bottomless serving of bagna calda, with refills of both seasonal vegetables and the warm anchovy-infused sauce, which doubles as a tasty dip for the roast potatoes that arrive alongside your chicken. This lively after-work drinking spot is called "Queen of Chickens" - and what more do you need to know? Well, if you must have details, they serve a lovely roast chicken, flavored with rosemary, garlic and various secret herbs (so we were told), for just Y1880. Wines start at Y2700 per bottle. Your Y680 (per person) table charge sounds hefty, but it entitles you to a bottomless serving of bagna calda, with refills of both seasonal vegetables and the warm anchovy-infused sauce, which doubles as a tasty dip for the roast potatoes that arrive alongside your chicken.
The only downside - Queen of Chickens' very attractive prices mean that reservations are a must, as both the ground-floor main shop and the second-floor "guest house" fill to capacity most weeknights. Budget around Y3000 for ample food and drink. [Show more] [Show less]
Shimbashi 3-8-8. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
A budget Italian restaurant notable for its large portions.
Yurakucho 1-10-1, Yurakucho Bldg B1F. Open 11am-9:30pm (LO; Sat., Sun. earlier). Open every day.
Lovely pizza prepared in custom-made wood-burning ovens, from this upscale chain of Italian eateries.
Ginza 1-13-8. (Ginza 1-chome station exit 10) Open 11:30am-3, 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Top-notch, creative Italian fare, beautifullly presented, from the very talented chef Luca Fantin. The main dining room is modern and stylish; there's also a popular bar-lounge area one level up (open noon-midnight), and a rooftop lounge with a great Tokyo view. Prix-fixed lunches are priced Y5,000-10,000; dinners are Y13,000-22,000. On Sundays they're open only for lunch.
Ginza 2-7-12, Ginza Tower 8F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
High-end Italian cuisine from Chef Shinji Harada, with mega-course, multi-hour prix-fixe menus for the adventurous gourmet. Budget Y15,000-25,000 for dinner.
Ginza 2-6-5, Ginza Trecious Bldg 12F. Open 5:30-8:30pm (LO). Closed Sun, Mon.
A more casual sister restaurant of the very upscale Aroma Fresca, with late-night hours and lunch service. Budget around Y6,000 for lunch and Y12,000 at dinnertime for food.
Ginza 2-6-5, Ginza Trecious Bldg 12F. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30pm-1am (LO). Closed Sun.
Upscale Italian cooking from the Hiramatsu group at this Michelin two-star restaurant, with prix-fixe lunches Y5250 and dinners Y10,500-15,750. The cellar has 400 bottles of Italian and French wines, mostly ranging Y6,000-20,000.
Ginza 3-3-1, Zoe Ginza 8F. Open 11:30am-1:30, 6-8:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Competent, confident Italian cooking without too many surprises; prix-fixe dinner menus start at around Y5000.
Ginza 4-1-2, Nishi Ginza Dept. 2F. Open 11:30am-11pm (LO) daily.
Located high up in the Sony Building, this old-school spaghetti joint offers a nice view of Ginza's main drag to go with your noodles. Choose from some three dozen types of spaghetti, including Japanese-style variations like mentaiko and tuna-sansai; prices start at under Y1000. Cash only.
Ginza 5-3-1, Sony Bldg. 6F. Open 11am-8pm (LO) daily.
Not as trendy as some of its newer competitors, this old Ginza standby still delivers consistently good food and service. Lunch Y3,800-7,500, dinner Y12,000-15,000.
Ginza 5-3-1, Sony Bldg. 7F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Inexpensive pastas and Italian wines by the glass, with convenient late-night service.
Marunouchi -- A16
Good pizzas and other Italian fare from this San Francisco-based restaurant. Terrace seating in the Brick Square garden area. Budget around Y3500 at dinnertime. Lunch is served until 4:30pm.
Marunouchi 2-6-1, Brick Square 1F. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
The cheerful green exterior of this recently opened cafe/trattoria adds a bit of color to a street lined with generically tasteful shops selling luxury goods. Large windows offering a peek at the warmly lit space inside entice passersby to stop in for an espresso or glass of wine. The cheerful green exterior of this recently opened cafe/trattoria adds a bit of color to a street lined with generically tasteful shops selling luxury goods. Large windows offering a peek at the warmly lit space inside entice passersby to stop in for an espresso or glass of wine.
The interior strives for a modern take on old-world charm and succeeds for the most part, although some may balk at the wall mural depicting clowns preparing spaghetti. Apparently, there are few sufferers of coulrophobia in the Marunoiuchi area - the place gets quite full after 7pm.
The drinks list features five wines by the glass priced around Y1000, and a nice selection of reasonably priced bottles from Y2900. Beer and cocktails start at Y750. The food menu offers a number of interesting nibbles - fried black olives stuffed with pork, a baked dish of tripe and vegetables smothered with melted cheese (Y780 each) - as well as straightforward items like mixed olives and cured meats.
Fritters of all sorts (eggplant, octopus, and tomatoes) and a range of carpaccios (venison, chicken, and sea bream) can also be found on the extensive, six-page menu. Pastas (Y1380-) and other more substantial dishes are also available. [Show more] [Show less]
Marunouchi 2-2-3, Marunouchi Nakadori Bldg 1F. Open 11:30am-10pm (LO) daily.
This first Tokyo branch of one of Kyoto's best Italian restaurants occupies a small, minimal but elegant dining room facing the street. Dinner is either Y7500 or Y10,000 - chef's omakase menu only - with reasonably priced bottles and half-bottles of Italian wines. Lunch from Y2000.
The original branch in Shirogane is famous for their wood-burning pizza oven, which is duplicated here.
Marunouchi 2-4-1, Marunouchi Bldg. 5F. Open 11am-2, 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Lunch and dinner buffets of modern Italian cuisine in a beautiful open-atrium dining space. The weekday lunch buffet is Y2900; weekend lunch is Y4200, dinner is Y5000, and the weekend dessert buffet (3-5pm) is Y2700. They also offer a wine buffet to go with dinner.
Reasonably priced Mediterranean/Italian food and wine, including grilled meats, pastas and pizzas. Wines start at Y2700 per bottle. Budget around Y3500 for dinner and drinks; lunches start at Y780. No lunch on weekends.
Yotsuya 3-6, Asunaro Bldg 3F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-11pm (LO). Closed Saturdays.
Yotsuya -- Mar
Good cost-performance at this neighborhood Italian spot; budget around Y4500 for dinner with drinks, Y1000 for lunch.
Yotsuya 2-9, Takagi Bldg 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Tasty, sometimes unusual pizzas and well-constructed pastas at this budget Italian cafe chain. Open all afternoon.
Gobancho 2. Open 7am-11:30pm (Sat, Sun 11am-) daily.
Ushigome-Kagurazaka -- Carmine
The home base and launching pad of one of Tokyo's most famous Italian chefs.
Saikumachi 1-19. (on Ushigome Chuo-dori, just south of Okubo-dori) Open 11:30am-2, 6-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Creative Italian cooking from talented young chef Stefano Fastro, a veteran of the Carmine restaurant group. The menu focuses on the food of the Veneto region, inland from Venice. The five-course prix-fixe dinner is Y6000, but a la carte offers a wider choice; lunch starts at Y1200.
Kagurazaka 6-47, Terui Bldg. 1F. (on Kagurazaka-dori, about 1 min. from Kagurazaka station) Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Excellent Italian cuisine in an intimate counter setting - the chef will plan a menu for you, matching each course with wines by the glass. Budget around Y10,000 for dinner, Y1500-3000 for prix-fixe lunch.
Nakamichi 22. Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Kagurazaka -- Shugo
Shugo is the kind of laid-back neighborhood Italian restaurant where you can order from the menu or just leave things up to the chef - it's hard to go wrong either way. Main dishes are built around top-grade ingredients like aged Hokkaido beef and Hokkaido crab, and there's a nice selection of creative pastas. The wine list includes many good wines in the Y3000-6000 range - not only Italians but some New World choices as well. Shugo is the kind of laid-back neighborhood Italian restaurant where you can order from the menu or just leave things up to the chef - it's hard to go wrong either way. Main dishes are built around top-grade ingredients like aged Hokkaido beef and Hokkaido crab, and there's a nice selection of creative pastas. The wine list includes many good wines in the Y3000-6000 range - not only Italians but some New World choices as well.
Most seating is at the comfortable counter, where you can watch the kitchen staff at work, but there are also a few small tables if you want to stretch out. Budget around Y6,000-9,000 per person with drinks at dinnertime. Late-night hours (last order is 2:30am) are an added attraction. [Show more] [Show less]
Tsukudo Hachimancho 5-12. Open 6pm-2:30am (LO). Closed Sun, first Mon.
Consistently high-quality Italian food (starting with their excellent bread) in a bright, airy setting.
Kagurazaka 3-1-15. Open 11:30am-2pm, 6-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Cafes with scenic settings are a rarity in Tokyo, so this lovely spot looking out over the rowboats on the moat is worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood. After 5pm it's a proper restaurant, with surprisingly good upper-level Italian fare, including a nice assortment of small appetizers and lots of good-value wines. Budget around Y6000-9000 for dinner. There's also a separate self-service section of the cafe next to the boat docks; they're open for coffee a little later in the evening.
Kagurazaka 1-9. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
There's no need for an elaborate meal if you're not in the mood; here you can settle in with a simple pizza margherita, a sampling of their fifteen different hams and salamis, and a nice bottle or two of Italian wine. The cellar stocks around 300-400 different bottles, so it may take awhile to choose. Open late Thursday and Friday evenings; budget from Y4000 at dinnertime with drinks.
Rotisserie chicken is the highlight of the menu at this Spanish-Italian chain restaurant. Open until 4am, Rigoletto is one of the few late-night choices in the neighborhood. Budget around Y3000 at dinnertime.
Late-night pastas and Italian wines.
Tasty, sometimes unusual pizzas and well-constructed pastas at this budget Italian cafe chain. Open all afternoon.
Daiba 1-7-1, Aqua City 5F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
The pizza makers here trained in Naples, and they use a wood-burning pizza oven. Some thirty varieties of fantastic thin-crusted pizzas are ready to eat in or take out.
Splendid cooking by a great Italian chef. Lunch Y1000-1800; dinner Y3500 and Y5000.
Nakano 4-7-2. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10pm (LO) daily.
Authentic Italian fare prepared by an Italian-trained chef
Nakano-ku, Chuo 5-46-5. Open 11:30am-2, 5-9:30pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
Great roast chicken at just Y1880 a bird, plus a decent selection of budget wines (from Y2700) draw the crowds at this Shimbashi-based shop. There's a hefty Y680 per person table charge, but that includes a bottomless bowl of fresh seasonal vegetables and a bagna cauda-style warm anchovy dip.
Koenji-Kita 3-16-2, Seikatsu no Hana B-kan 1F. Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Mr. Toko prepares excellent pizzas and other Italian fare, as well as surprising items like paella and guacamole. The smallish dining room has around four tables and a tiny counter.
Ogikubo 4-21-11. Open 5:30-10:30pm. Closed Sunday, Monday.
Thirty varieties of fantastic thin-crusted pizzas are ready to eat in or take out. The pizza makers trained in Naples, and they use a wood-burning pizza oven.
Kichijoji Minamicho 1-17-1, Purejiru Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-3:30, 5:30-10pm (LO) daily.
A fancy neighborhood joint with good pastas and starters and an impressive Italian wine list, but probably not worth a special trip. Budget around Y5000 plus drinks. Reservations recommended.
Yayoicho 1-4-6, Abitashon 1F. (from Nishi-Shinjuku 5-chome station, exit A2, walk to Yamate-dori and turn right) Open noon-10pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
Good neighborhood Italian cooking, with a nice selection of daily specials. Y3000-5000 per person.
Shimo-Takaido 1-20-5. Open noon-2, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Yoyogi-Uehara -- En Boca
First-rate pizzas, creative Italian-Japanese fusion cuisine and Belgian beers are served here in an elegant but comfortable dining room - a nice setting for a date or special celebration. The original branch is in Karuizawa. Budget around Y6000 per person for food and drink.
Moto-Yoyogi 16-16. Open 5:30-10pm. Closed Mon, Tue.
Shimo-Kitazawa -- Daniela
A more casual sister shop of the excellent Emilia restaurant in Harajuku, Bar Alimentari Daniela offers inexpensive snacks and drinks as well as Y2000-3600 prix-fixe dinners and a Y4500 three-pasta dinner.
Daizawa 5-16-23. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
A casual Italian-themed cafe-restaurant with a big outdoor terrace. They also run a wine shop just next door (03-3425-1136), so the wine selection is bigger than average.
Kyodo 2-1-33, Kyodo Corty 4F. Open 11am-10pm daily.
Sangenjaya -- Teppen
This friendly wine bar has a lively atmosphere and a neighborhood feel. Although interior is fairly large (and certainly bigger than it appears from the entrance), the counter setup with its display of tapas-style daily specials gives it a cozy feeling. This friendly wine bar has a lively atmosphere and a neighborhood feel. Although interior is fairly large (and certainly bigger than it appears from the entrance), the counter setup with its display of tapas-style daily specials gives it a cozy feeling.
The daily menu features well-prepared Italian-Mediterranean trattoria fare like home-made ratatouille, escabeche of sardines, steamed mussels, and an acqua pazza of the day. There's a selection of organic wines from Italy, France and Japan, with around ten by the glass.
The dining room is non-smoking until around 12:30am; after that it's "bar time" with a more limited food menu until 4am. [Show more] [Show less]
Sangenjaya 2-14-19. Open 6pm-4am (LO). Closed Sundays.
A nice, cozy neighborhood spot with solid, occasionally creative cooking.
Sangenjaya 1-6-13. (5 minutes south of the station) Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Fairly decent Italian fare (pastas, grilled fish, antipasti) served in small portions. Drinks are on the expensive side.
Tasty, sometimes unusual pizzas and well-constructed pastas at this budget Italian cafe chain. Open all afternoon.
Tamagawa 3-17-1, Takashimaya Honkan 6F. Open 11am-10pm daily.
Reliable food, reasonably priced wines, late-night hours and glitzy decor are the draws at this suburban venture from the Rigoletto group. The food menu features pastas, pizzas, and small tapas dishes priced at Y300 and Y500.
When the weather is nice you can enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine up on the rooftop, looking out over the Tama River. There are also barbecue facilities (reserve with the staff), and a charmingly rustic dining room on the ground floor, where the kitchen turns out pastas, risotti and other reasonably priced Italian fare.
Tamagawa 1-1-4. Open 11:45am-11pm daily.
Naka-Meguro -- Da Isa
Excellent Naples-style pizza from award-winning pizza chef Hisanori Yamamoto at this neighborhood landmark. Weekday lunches are Y1000.
Aobadai 1-28-9. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10pm (LO). Closed Mondays, Tuesdays.
The camouflage net-covered, cast-iron exterior of Seirinkan (formerly acclaimed pizzeria Savoy) strikes an imposing figure, but inside atmosphere is lively and fun. Although they serve only two kinds of pizza here - marinara and margherita - taciturn owner Susumu Kakinuma bakes both to perfection in the wood-fired oven downstairs. The camouflage net-covered, cast iron exterior of Seirinkan (formerly acclaimed pizzeria Savoy) strikes an imposing figure, but inside atmosphere is lively and fun. The Japanese menu is written in a style that resembles the square Cyrilic characters of Soviet propaganda posters, while Uncle Sam points at you from unexpected places.
Although they serve only two kinds of pizza here - marinara and margherita - taciturn owner Susumu Kakinuma bakes both to perfection in the wood-fired oven downstairs. The menu features other tempting items like fresh mozzarella salad, sauteed baby octopus, and giant prawns. Budget Y3500-4000 for dinner and a few drinks. [Show more] [Show less]
Kami-Meguro 2-6-4. Open 11:30am-2, 6-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Great pizzas from a wood-burning oven and only the finest mozzerellas from this small, very casual pizzeria.
Jiyugaoka 2-14-2. Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Looking to share a sociable drink before a departing flight at Haneda Airport, we didn't expect to find anything as fancy as Belgian beers, but this Italian-themed cafe in the Terminal 2 food court area surprised us. They offer three different brews - Orval, Duvel and Vedett - along with simple Italian cafe fare such as pastas and fried chicken. The best seats are outside the shop on the "dining terrace" overlooking the departures concourse.
Ota-ku, Haneda Kuko 3-4-2, Terminal 2, 3F. Open 6:30am-8:30pm (LO) daily.
Reliable upscale Italian cuisine from this Ginza-based group. Prix-fixe dinners are Y5,000-8,500, or you can order a la carte; lunch from Y1300.
Ogawacho 4-1, La Cittadella 3F. Open 11am-3, 5:30-10pm (LO) daily.
This "osteria tipica Napoletana" offers full-course dinners priced Y3500-5500, along with pizzas, pastas and grilled meats a la carte. Lunch sets from Y1100.
Ogawacho 4-1, Maggiore 2F. Open 11am-2, 6-11pm daily.
Seasons Bistro is the casual Mediterranean restaurant at the Four Seasons, serving everything from bouillabaisse and grilled steaks to Cobb salads, burgers and Thai curries. Main dishes average around Y2800, prix-fixe dinners from Y5000.
Sekiguchi 2-10-8, Four Seasons Hotel. Open 11:30am-11pm daily.
Omotesando -- Benoit
From French celeb chef Alain Ducasse, a Mediterranean restaurant covering the cuisines of Italy, Spain, North Africa and Greece. The dining room is comfortable and attractively laid out, with nice views of Aoyama-dori, Shibuya and Shinjuku. Service is professional without being stiff. The wine list has some nice choices for under Y9000, and wine by the glass is fairly reasonable. Prix-fixe dinners from Y8,000, lunches from Y4500.
Omotesando -- Cicada
First-rate Mediterranean cuisine from Chef David Chiddo and the TY Harbor group (Beacon, Ivy Place). Now located in the heart of Aoyama (after a decade in Hiroo), the spacious quarters are evocative of a luxury tropical resort, with comfortable terrace seating, pools of water and an appealing open-air bar. The complex also houses a branch of TY Harbor's excellent bakery, Breadworks, and a casual cafe space called Crisscross. [See FULL REVIEW
A pleasant "Mediterranean Rim" restaurant with a very casual cafe area up front (including outdoor seating) and a more formal dining room in back. The food is serviceable but not spectacular, and includes Spanish, French and Italian main dishes and starters, pizzas, paellas and pastas. There's also an extensive (and not very expensive) wine selection.
Ebisu-Minami 3-1-24, City Square Ebisu 1F. (on Komazawa-dori) Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
This long-running Nishi-Azabu standby is one of the pioneers in tapas-style "mukokuseki" (no-nationality) dining. The service can be moody at times, but the food is usually quite interesting.
Nishi-Azabu 4-2-15. Open 6-9:45pm (LO). Closed Sundays, Mondays.
Naka-Meguro -- N_1155
Fresh organic produce is the pride of this casual, stylish dining bar. The simple menu complements the nice selection of organic and biodynamic wines. Bruschetta, baby shrimp and tomatoes sauteed in garlic oil, and other tapas-style dishes are available on the first floor, while more substantial fare such as Australian lamb and veal can be ordered upstairs, with full-course dinners from Y2800. The smoke-free environment is a plus.
Tapas and grilled items, a good selection of sherry, plus around 5 wines by the glass are available at this pleasant bar, located on a small side street behind the Nakameguro GT building. The first floor, with its counter seating (and standing room at the front), has a cozy, chilled out feel. Table seating can be found on the second floor. (Open 4-11:30pm Sundays and holidays.)
Acceptable Mediterranean food and wine, notable for its wonderful location. High above the waves but set well away from the coast road, this has to be the ultimate romantic sundowner spot.
Yokosuka-shi, Akiya 5575. (bus from Zushi or Yokusuka) Open 11:30am-9:45pm (LO). Closed Mondays.