Nihon-ryori, izakaya and dining bars

Nihon-ryori

Kakiden (Shinjuku - Kaiseki). 3352-5121
Kaiseki service at accessible prices, although the nightly koto performances are a bit cliched. An 18-course mini-kaiseki menu is Y8000.
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-37-11, Yasuyo Bldg 6-9F. Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
!!Agaru Sagaru Nishi-Iru Higashi-Iru (Harajuku - Japanese). 3403-6968
We're not sure whether to call it casual modern kaiseki or creative Kyoto cuisine, but the food at Agaru Sagaru is exquisite in both flavor and presentation. The nine-course menu follows a traditional kaiseki sequence of preparation styles, and as each dish arrives the waiter provides detailed explanations of the many seasonal ingredients incorporated therein, right down to the origins of the miso paste and seasonings. [Show more]
SunmapShibuya-ku, Jingumae 3-25-8, Takeyama Bldg B1F. Open noon-2pm, 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
!Yamashiroya (Shibuya - Japanese). 5489-0039
Modern Kyoto-style cuisine in a very tasteful dining space. The rather elaborate nine-course dinner menu is Y3990, and it changes every month; lunch starts at Y1890. Drinks include Italian wines and fruit liqueurs from Yamagata as well as the usual sake and shochu. Reservations are required.
SunmapShibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 2-6-4, Kumaya Shoten Bldg 2F. Open noon-1:30, 5:30-10pm (LO) daily.
!!La Bombance (Nishi-Azabu - Japanese). 5778-6511
Top-notch creative seasonal Japanese cuisine from innovative young chef Naohiro Watanabe. The attitude towards the food and atmosphere is fun and relaxed rather than stiff and formal. While the ingredients are top-grade, there are welcome playful touches in both the cooking and decor. [Show more]
decormapMinato-ku, Nishi-Azabu 2-26-21 B1F. Open 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Daigo (Onarimon - Shojin-ryori). 3431-0811
Top-class vegetable-centered temple cuisine. Lunch 10-12,000 yen, dinner 14-18,000 yen.
decorSunmapMinato-ku, Atago 2-3-1, Forest Tower 2F. Open noon-3pm, 5-8pm (LO) daily.
!!Ryugin (Roppongi - Kaiseki). 3423-8006
Chef Seiji Yamamoto does a very impressive take on experimental cuisine from a Japanese perspective, with eye-openers like edamame foam with pulverized ice cream and foie gras with figs. Eleven-course prix-fixe menus run Y15,750, Y21,000 and Y26,250, and there's a seven-sake selection paired with the food for an extra Y5000.
no smokinglatemapMinato-ku, Roppongi 7-17-24, Site Roppongi Bldg 1F. Open 6pm-2am. Closed Sunday.
!Tofuya Ukai (Akabanebashi - Tofu). 3436-1028
First-class traditional Japanese cuisine, with an emphasis on tofu, in a beautiful setting next to Tokyo Tower. Private dining rooms look out over lovely gardens and 100-year-old trees, although the building itself is new. Prix-fixe lunch from Y6000, dinner from Y9000.
decorSunmapMinato-ku, Shiba-Koen 4-4-13. Open 11am-3, 3-8pm (LO) daily.
Nobu (Kamiyacho - Japanese). 5733-0070
The second incarnation of Nobu Tokyo is under different management, and is closer in style to the branches in New York and London. Prix-fixe omakase menus are priced Y12,000-25,000, along with an extensive a la carte menu focusing on fish and seafood. Budget around Y10,000-15,000 for dinner; there's a 10% service charge and a Y1500 cover charge. Lunches range from Y1800 (for a vegetarian lunch plate) to Y12,000.
SunmapMinato-ku, Toranomon 4-1-28, Toranomon Towers Office 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
Kita Oji (Akasaka - Kaiseki). 5512-3737
The excellent Y2000 bento lunch served in an elegant private room at Kita Oji feels like one of Tokyo's very affordable luxuries. Yes, it's all individual rooms for parties of 2-70, furnished with hanging scrolls, flower arrangements and hori-kotatsu seating (tatami mats with a hole in the floor around the table, for more comfortable seating). Dinnertime specialties include fugu and black Angus wagyu beef. Lunch is priced Y1980-7140, dinner from Y8500.
mapChiyoda-ku, Nagatacho 2-13-5, Akasaka Eight One Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
!!Kikunoi (Akasaka - Kaiseki). 3568-6055
Third-generation kaiseki chef (and sometime TV celeb) Yoshihiro Murata is known for his innovative approach to kaiseki cuisine, drawing on French cooking techniques and ingredients. He has two branches in Kyoto, but this is his first Tokyo venture. Full-blown kaiseki service starts at Y15,750, with lunch priced at Y10,500. No lunch on Mondays.
no smokingmapMinato-ku, Akasaka 6-13-8. Open noon-1, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
!Nagamine (Ginza - Japanese). 3547-8083
Vegetable kaiseki is the unusual specialty at Nagamine, a relatively new restaurant in Ginza that's run by a long-established vegetable wholesaler based in nearby Tsukiji. With no meat or seafood to distract one's attention, the vegetables really stand on their own merits, and Nagamine showcases the most beautiful and most flavorful produce of the season. At Y5250, the vegetable menu offers a chance to experience a different take on kaiseki at a very reasonable price. [See FULL REVIEW.]
decormapChuo-ku, Ginza 4-9-5, Ginsho Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-3, 5:30-11pm. Closed Sundays.
!Yukari (Nihonbashi - Japanese). 3271-3436
Nihonbashi Yukari serves magnificent seasonal Japanese cuisine in a casual, relaxed settting. And while dinner might set you back Y10-20,000 with drinks, lunch is an amazing bargain. Regular lunches start at just Y2100, and the sumptuous deluxe bento lunch is Y3675 - excellent value for this level of cooking. [See FULL REVIEW.]
mapChuo-ku, Nihonbashi 3-2-14. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-9:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Suzunari (Yotsuya 3-chome - Kaiseki). 3350-1178
This tiny, Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurant offers good value for money, with prix-fixe menus starting around Y5000. Counter seats are the best; other areas can get smoky.
mapShinjuku-ku, Arakicho 7. Open 6-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Sasa no Yuki (Uguisudani - Tofu). 3873-1145
This venerable old tofu specialist (dating back to 1691) stands in a rather nondescript neighborhood about a 15-minute walk from the north end of Ueno Park. Multi-course meals feature tofu in all its variations, starting from around Y2000 for lunch and Y4200 for dinner.
SunmapTaito-ku, Negishi 2-15-10. Open 11:30am-8pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
!Bon (Iriya - Shojin-ryori). 3872-0375
Beautifully prepared temple cuisine. Lunch/dinner ranges from 7,000 - 10,000 yen.
decorSunmapTaito-ku, Ryusen 1-2-11. Open from noon and from 5pm. Closed Tuesdays.
!Goenmon (Hakusan - Tofu). 3811-2015
Excellent tofu cuisine in a beautiful garden setting. They have a private teahouse which can be reserved if you call far enough in advance. Reservations absolutely necessary. Full-course lunch menu from Y2700, dinner from Y5500.
decormapBunkyo-ku, Hon-Komagome 1-1-26. Open noon-2, 5-10pm (8pm Sundays). Closed Sundays.
Izuchiku (Yoga - Shojin-ryori). 3700-4661
The Tokyo branch of a famous temple restaurant in Kyoto, they specialize in teppatsu-ryori, a type of shojin-ryori (vegetable-centered temple cuisine). The tatami rooms look out onto a beautiful Japanese garden. Prix-fixe menus are Y5,000-15,000.
SunmapSetagaya-ku, Seta 3-6-8. (at the intersection of Route 246 and Kampachi-dori) Open 11am-7:30pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.

Izakaya and dining bars

Hibiki (Nomura Bldg) (Nishi-Shinjuku - Izakaya). 5909-7180
Good grilled chicken, nice fresh fish and a good sake and shochu list. The interior is very pleasant (blond wood furnishings, an open kitchen and a big open bar area), with a nice view looking west.
decorSunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-26-2, Shinjuku Nomura Bldg. 49F. Open 11:30am-3, 5-11pm daily.
Hibiki (Southern Tower) (Nishi-Shinjuku - Izakaya). 5333-5501
This upscale chain izakaya is known for their excellent grilled meats and vegetables and their well-chosen sake and shochu lists. The decor is sleek Japanese modern. Budget around Y6000-7000 per person with drinks.
SunmapShibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-2-1, Odakyu Southern Tower 4F. Open 11am-2, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Yasaiya Mei (Harajuku - Japanese). 5785-0606
Healthy vegetable-oriented cuisine is the concept at this attractively appointed dining bar - everything from bagna cauda and vegetable terrines to robatayaki-style skewered morsels. Drinks include wines, shochu and sake - budget around Y5-6000 for food and drink at dinnertime. Lunches like their Japanese vegetable curry start at Y1300.
SunmapShibuya-ku, Jingumae 4-12-4, Omotesando Hills 3F. Open 11am-11pm (LO) daily.
!!Tora (Omotesando - Izakaya). 5474-5959
Great sake and fantastic charcoal-grilled fare served in a relaxed, pleasant dining room, all for a very reasonable price - Nanadaime Tora comes pretty close to embodying the Platonic ideal of the perfect izakaya. The counter is wide and comfortable, and the open hearth adds a warm, homey feeling to the room. As an added bonus, there's no smoking and the restaurant is open on Sundays. [Show more]
SunmapShibuya-ku, Jingumae 4-4-8, Grande Bleu Omotesando Bldg B1F. Open 11am-1:30, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
!!Galali (Omotesando - Izakaya). 3408-2818
This stylish little izakaya offers excellent food, a good sake selection, and an entire menu page devoted to different varieties of salt - 12 of them in all. Charcoal-grilled seafood and vegetables are among the food highlights. Budget around Y2500 without drinks. [Go to branch review]
lateSunmapShibuya-ku, Jingumae 3-6-5. Open 6pm-3am daily.
!Galali (Sendagaya - Izakaya). 5786-1820
This branch of Galali offers a big selection of shochu, mostly the kokuto (sugarcane) variety, and excellent food to go with it. The rustic interior is intimate and comfortable, although the building can be a bit shaky when large trucks rumble past. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapShibuya-ku, Sendagaya 2-6-4. Open 11:30am-2, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Shunju (Shibuya - Japanese). 3770-0019
Top-class seasonal Japanese cooking from this well-regarded Tokyo-based chain. Prix-fixe dinners from Y4200 or a la carte.
SunmapShibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 2-23-12, Shibuya Fhontis Bldg 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-11pm (LO) daily.
Dedesuke (Ebisu - Izakaya). 3444-5511
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 cuts like kalbi grilled on a charcoal-burning hibachi. [Show more]
lateSunmapShibuya-ku, Ebisu 1-8-14, Daikoku Bldg 2F. Open 5pm-4am (LO) daily.
!Kamachiya (Ebisu - Izakaya). 5457-7887
The WID restaurant group (Aburi Fudo, Torimikura) does an excellent job creating small-scale, comfortable izakaya with great food, nice sake lists, and simple but stylish decor. We're glad to say that Kamachiya is no exception. Menus vary from shop to shop, and here the food specialties are charcoal-grilled kushiyaki-style fish and meats, deep-fried and skewered kushiage, and a credible seafood-broth ramen. [Show more]
lateSunmapShibuya-ku, Ebisu-Nishi 1-14-9. Open 11:30am-4, 6pm-2am daily.
!Toki no Ma (Ebisu - Izakaya). 5722-8600
The impressive sake list includes a number of small-kura limited-edition seasonal sakes; there's also plenty of shochu. The food is also top-notch, with unusual specalties like satsuma-age (Kyushu-style fish cakes, here available in eight different variations). [See FULL REVIEW.]
lateSunmapShibuya-ku, Ebisu-Minami 2-3-14, Conze Ebisu 2F. Open 4:30pm-5am (to 10:30pm Sundays). Open every day.
!Shunju Yurari (Ebisu - Japanese). 5725-7970
Excellent contemporary Japanese cuisine in a splashy designer space. Budget around Y9000 at dinnertime.
SunmapShibuya-ku, Ebisu-Minami 1-7-8, Ebisu South One Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
!Teyandei (Nishi-Azabu - Izakaya). 3407-8127
Excellent grilled fish and meats and friendly service in this lovely converted two-story house. Full-course dinnertime menus from Y2500. There are semi-private rooms on the ground floor and an open party space upstairs, but the counter seating offers the best view of the chefs at work on the grill. [See FULL REVIEW.]
decorSunmapMinato-ku, Nishi-Azabu 2-20-1.
Zen, The (Shinagawa - Izakaya). 6717-0925
While The Zen is billed as a shochu dining bar, they also offer a reasonable selection of premium sake. Shochu really is the star here though, and the knowledgeable staff can help you navigate the 250 varieties on the menu. [Show more]
SunmapShinagawa-ku, Konan 2-18-1, Atre Shinagawa 4F. Open 11am-10:45pm (LO) daily.
!Shunju (Tameike - Japanese). 3592-5288
Charcoal-grilled meats and fish, nabe stews and rice dishes, with sake, shochu, and Italian and French wines to drink. The decor is simple - plain blond-wood chairs and tables - with few distractions from the wide-open 27th-floor view. Prix-fixe dinners start at Y6000; a la carte is also available, but there's a Y1000 table charge at dinnertime. Lunchtime is a relative bargain, starting at Y1200 for a donburi (rice bowl) lunch plus coffee or tea.
decormapChiyoda-ku, Nagatacho 2-11-1, Sanno Park Tower 27F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Dedesuke (Shimbashi - Izakaya). 3431-3442
Most Shimbashi drinking spots close before midnight, but if you've somehow managed to miss the last train, Dedesuke is certainly worth knowing about. Open until 4am, this casual izakaya serves budget wines, a handful of well-chosen sake, and great charcoal-grilled pork, chicken, and A5-grade beef. Budget around Y2500-4000 for food and drink.
lateSunmapMinato-ku, Shimbashi 3-16-4. Open 4pm-3am (LO; Sun 1-10pm) daily.
!Washoku En (Shiodome - Japanese). 5537-2096
Excellent Japanese dishes, creatively prepared and served. There's also a fantastic view of Ginza. [Go to branch review]
decorSunmapMinato-ku, Higashi-Shimbashi 1-5-2, Shiodome City Center 42F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
!Hibiki (Shiodome - Izakaya). 6215-8051
Good-quality grilled fish and chicken, home-made tofu and seasonal specialties at this upscale izakaya. Weekday lunches start at Y1200, and the deluxe Y2800 lunch includes tofu, sashimi and Yamagata beef steak. There's an impressive nighttime view of Tokyo Bay. Budget around Y6000 at dinnertime.
decorSunmapMinato-ku, Higashi-Shimbashi 1-8-1, Caretta Shiodome 46F. Open 11am-3, 5-11:30pm daily.
!Shunju Tsugihagi (Hibiya - Japanese). 3595-0511
Top-class seasonal Japanese cooking from this well-regarded Tokyo-based chain. Prix-fixe dinners from Y6800 or a la carte.
decorSunmapChiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 1-1-1, Nissay Theatre B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
!Hakobune (Ginza Chuo-dori) (Ginza - Japanese regional). 6280-6330
Hearth-grilled seafood fresh from northern Honshu is the specialty at this attractive "slow-food" izakaya. Prix-fixe menus feature several types of grilled fish, sashimi and locally grown chicken and vegetables, and range from Y5500-12,000. The impressive sake cellar stocks some 500 varieties from 180 breweries in Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa and Fukui. Seating is all in private rooms. Dinner averages around Y8000 for ample food and drink.
mapChuo-ku, Ginza 8-8-8, Ginza 888 Bldg 7F. Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Daigomi (Marunouchi - Robatayaki). 5219-7011
Top-grade robatayaki in festive surroundings, for that expense-account splurge.
decorSunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-4-1, Marunouchi Bldg. 5F. Open 11am-2, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
!Washoku En (Marunouchi - Japanese). 5223-9896
The tasteful Kyoto-modern decor here is definitely the most impressive in the entire Marunouchi Oazo complex. Good-quality Japanese fare, including a good assortment of regional dishes, with a nice casual atmosphere. Lunches start at Y1260, dinner averages around Y6000. [See FULL REVIEW.]
decorSunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-6-4, Marunouchi Oazo 5F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Nenohi (Marunouchi - Japanese). 5288-1101
Nenohi delivers first-rate food in a gorgeous setting, offering a nice mix of izakaya standbys (superb charcoal-grilled chicken, good-quality sashimi, excellent kakuni pork stew) and simple but unexpected original dishes. The spacious dining room is quite lively when the house is full - it reallly feels like you're dining somewhere special, not just grabbing a bite to eat. [Show more]
decorSunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-6-4, Marunouchi Oazo 6F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
!Seigetsu (Kagurazaka - Izakaya). 3269-4320
Unlike many sake-connoisseur pubs, the food here stands on its own, and would make Seigetsu worth a visit even if they only served tea. The charcoal-grilled chicken is especially outstanding, and the various Korean-influenced dishes are worth a try. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, with specially designated shochu consultants available should you need their services. The atmosphere is relaxed and cozy. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 6-77-1. Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
!Washoku En (Suidobashi - Japanese). 5842-3835
Calling En an izakaya doesn't quite do them justice - the food and drink are both top-notch, the decor elegant and modern. Most of the dining spaces take full advantage of the wrap-around glass walls, looking out over the Tokyo Dome complex and Korakuen. The food is original seasonal small-plate dishes using only the best ingredients; budget around Y7000 for dinner with drinks. [Go to branch review]
decorSunmapBunkyo-ku, Koraku 1-3-61, Tokyo Dome City Meets Port 5F. Open 11am-3, 5-11:30pm daily.
Akatsuka (Akihabara - Izakaya). 3251-2585
The kitchen turns out a typical selection of sashimi, grilled meats and fish, but many people come here specifically for their tori motsu nikomi (chicken giblet stew). It's served steaming hot, with a richly flavored miso-based broth balanced by creamy tofu, big sweet chunks of onion and pungent bits of scallion. [Show more]
mapChiyoda-ku, Soto-Kanda 1-10-2. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-10:30pm. Closed weekends.
!Hibiki (Daiba - Japanese). 3599-5500
Excellent seafood, chicken, tofu, and charcoal-grilled items in this lovely modern Japanese pub-style restaurant. There's a nice panoramic view of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge, and sleek Japanese modern decor. Choose from a good assortment of sake, shochu, wines and cocktails. Budget around Y4000-5000 for ample food and drink.
decorSunmapMinato-ku, Daiba 1-7-1, Aqua City 6F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
!Sasaratei (Nishi-Ogikubo - Izakaya). 3247-7077
This lively neighborhood drinking spot is a branch of the long-established Fujintei izakaya a few blocks away, and the spacious, comfortable second floor is the place to be. The menu is disarmingly eclectic - Taiwanese sausage, charcoal-grilled prawns, shashlik kebabs made from premium Yamagata pork - and everything we've tried has been first-rate. The sake list is small but serviceable - this is the kind of place where you find a label you like and stick with it, rather than exploring different breweries.
SunmapSuginami-ku, Nishi-Ogi-Minami 3-14-12. Open 4pm-12:30am (LO) daily.
Kinsai (Naka-Meguro - Izakaya). 5725-9025
A casual bar-restaurant from the folks who brought us the original gourmet stand-bar, Buchi, and its French cousin, Bongout Noh. Drinks include wine by the glass and plenty of premium sake brands, and the food menu covers seafood, charcoal-grilled meats, tofu and vegetables, with dishes like foie gras and daikon miso dengaku (Y1400).
lateSunmapMeguro-ku, Aobadai 1-27-12. Open 5pm-1am daily.
!Aburiya Fudo (Naka-Meguro - Izakaya). 3792-4555
Excellent charcoal-grilled meats and vegetables are served here with Korean-style sauces and side dishes. The quality of the meats is first-rate, and there are lots of grilled and stewed organ meats. Drinks include flavored Korean makkoli (sweet, cloudy sake) plus sake and shochu. The spacious counter is warm and comfortable.
lateSunmapMeguro-ku, Higashiyama 1-6-16. Open 6pm-2am (LO; Sundays 10pm) daily.

Nabemono and chanko-nabe

!Botan (Awajicho - Nabemono). 3251-0577
One of Tokyo's culinary landmarks, they've been serving the same excellent chicken nabe for nearly 120 years. The chicken is slow-cooked over an old-fashioned charcoal burner in front of you while you relax with a cup of sake in your private tatami room. Dinner is around Y6,000 and reservations are highly recommended, although occasionally they might be able to squeeze you in if you're willing to wait.
mapChiyoda-ku, Kanda Sudacho 1-15. Open 11:30am-8pm (LO). Closed Sundays and holidays.
!Momonja (Ryogoku - Nabemono). 3631-5596
They've been serving wild boar for 280 years now, and their signature boar stew is Y4000 a pot. Other dishes include venison stew and venison sashimi.
mapSumida-ku, Ryogoku 1-10-2. (across the street from Ryogoku koban, about 5 min from JR Ryogoku W exit) Open 5-9pm. Closed Sundays.

Oden

!Sangendou (Nishi-Shinjuku - Izakaya). 3342-3105
Unlike some skyscraper restaurants, this place has the energy and atmosphere of a down-to-earth izakaya. The food menu is impressively diverse, including soba noodles, kushiyaki (both yakitori and other meats on skewers), homemade tofu, "Kyoto-style oden," and lots of good seasonal specials. There are over a dozen different sakes to try; other drinks include awamori cocktails, shochu, beer and wine.
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 2-4-1, Shinjuku NS Bldg. 29F. Open 11:30am-2, 4:30-11pm daily.
!Konbuya (Nishi-Azabu - Oden). 5464-3740
Although it's best known in its convenience-store and yatai manifestations, oden can be a cuisine of great subtlety and refinement, and Konbuya in Nishi-Azabu is an excellent place to investigate the mysteries of gourmet oden preparation. There's also a very nice selection of sake and shochu to go with it. [See FULL REVIEW.]
decorSunmapMinato-ku, Nishi-Azabu 4-10-5. Open 6pm-1am (LO; 11pm Sundays). Open every day.
Rakan (Yaesu - Oden). 3287-1981
This is one of the more accessible places in town to try gourmet oden - they're open all day rather than just evenings, and the spacious counter and train-station location make it a comfortable spot for solo diners. Lunch (served until 2pm) is an especially good deal - for Y1200 you can get an oden-centered meal featuring six pieces of oden in broth plus sashimi, a magnificent stewed tomato, wakame soup, pickles and rice. The oden, simmered in a mild dashi broth, is fairly typical, although the spicy fish ball was a pleasant surprise. [Show more]
SunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-9-1, Kurobei Yokocho (B1F). Open 11am-11pm daily.
Otako (Mitsukoshimae - Oden). 3242-0753
Lunchtime is a good time to sample the oden at this long-established specialty izakaya - a teishoku (set meal) with a four-piece oden bowl plus rice, soup and pickles, is just Y780, and there are some seventeen different items to choose from. Four pieces is just about right for a lunchtime appetite, but if you want more you can add on extra items for Y160 each, or Y320 for deluxe items like their special hanpen and stuffed cabbage. [Show more]
mapChuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 4-3-11. Open 11am-1:30, 4:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Inagaki (Hanzomon - Oden). 3230-2757
The decor and tableware at Inagaki are more stylish than your typical neighborhood izakaya, although the atmosphere is still quite down to earth, attracting a lively after-work crowd. The oden at the heart of the menu is fairly traditional, and served in three different styles of broth - soy-flavored Kanto style, lighter Kansai style, and heavier miso-flavored Nagoya style. The smaller Nagoya menu covers eight oden items, while the main menu offers 36 different items in a choice of Kanto- or Kansai-style broth. [Show more]
mapChiyoda-ku, Hirakawacho 1-8-8. Open 5-10pm (LO). Closed weekends.
!Konbuya (Kagurazaka - Oden). 5946-8988
Oden is known as a fairly humble cuisine, but it reaches new heights of sophistication at Konbuya, where it's paired with well-chosen craft sake and shochu in an elegant dining room. In addtion to oden you'll find a good selection of seasonal small dishes - mostly simple fare like horsemeat sashimi and fried ginkgo nuts that rely on high-quality ingredients rather than fancy recipes. [Show more]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 3-2, Kagurazaka K Bldg 1F. Open 4-11pm (LO) daily.
Odako (Ueno - Oden). 3836-4906
Odako is a place where oden finally gets the respect it deserves, presented with top-grade small-producer sake. Here, oden is prepared fresh daily in a Kansai-style broth, which is not nearly as strong-tasting or as salty as the Kanto-style common to Tokyo. The pieces are simmered long in this light, savory broth to bring out the flavor of the ingredients, rather than hammering them with increasingly concentrated levels of soy sauce as the broth cooks down. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapTaito-ku, Ueno 2-3-1. Open 5:30-11pm daily.
Toneri (Kichijoji - Izakaya). 0422-46-2818
Seasonal izakaya fare and gourmet oden, plus very impressive lists of shochu and sake.
SunmapMusashino-shi, Kichijoji Minamicho 1-17-10, F&W Bldg. B1F. Open 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Excello (Shimo-Kitazawa - Oden). 3465-6154
This unusual merger of an oden shop and a soul music bar lets you listen to classic seventies soul in the background as you enjoy Shizuoka-style oden (it comes in a darker, beefier broth than the Tokyo version). Budget around Y2000-3000.
mapSetagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-6-6, #202. (near Honda Theater front entrance) Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Kamachido (Naka-Meguro - Izakaya). 5773-5567
This stylish little izakaya offers a very diverse izakaya menu - grilled meats, gyoza dumplings, oden, and popular gourmet ramen, plus a small but nice sake list. (A sister shop of Aburiya Fudo and Tetsugen.)
SunmapMeguro-ku, Kami-Meguro 3-1-8, Bourree 1F. Open 11:30am-4, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Sangendou (Yokohama Sta. - Izakaya). 045-440-5768
This Yokohama branch of one of our favorite izakaya offers good soba, tofu and grilled chicken along with some nice regional sake choices. Counter and table seating is relatively spacious.
SunmapKanagawa-ku, Yokohama, Kinkocho 1-10, Yokohama Bay Quarter 5F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.