Live music, dancing, and a good deal of drinking. Open Mon-Tue 6:30-midnight (no music); Wed-Thu 6:30-1am; Fri-Sat 6:30-2am.
Kita-Aoyama 3-5-2. Open 7pm-1am. Closed Sundays, Mondays.
Brazilian-style all-you-can-eat churrasco grilled beef and other meats, along with one of Tokyo's best salad bars. Dinner is Y4500, weekday lunch Y3000.
Jingumae 4-3-2, Tokyu Reit Omotesando Square B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10pm (LO) daily.
(Shibuya - Brazilian). 5784-2661
A huge, festive dining room serving all-you-can-eat grilled churrasco beef, pork and chicken, plus a salad buffet, for Y4000 (Y2900 at lunchtime).
Dogenzaka 2-23-12, Shibuya Fhontis Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-11pm (LO) daily.
If you're thirsty for a cachaca cocktail in the wee hours of the night, follow the circle-stamped road past Mark City to Blen Blen Blen. This bone fide Brazilian bar, tucked into a faded white seventies-style building in Dogenzaka 1-chome, seats a maximum of thirty and stays open til 4am. If you're thirsty for a cachaca cocktail in the wee hours of the night, follow the circle-stamped road past Mark City to Blen Blen Blen. This bone fide Brazilian bar, tucked into a faded white seventies-style building in Dogenzaka 1-chome, seats a maximum of thirty and stays open til 4am.
Despite its difficult-to-find location and somewhat forbidding exterior, the space is cute and relaxed, decorated with colorful posters and knick-knacks of all sorts. The Brazilian flag hangs proudly on one wall, while shelves stacked with vinyl records stand beside the bar.
Take a seat and have a chat with Blen Blen Blen's gregarious master, Jukukuchi-san, while you snack on cocinias (Brazilian style chicken croquettes) or grilled chicken and corazon (hearts) and sip on your drink.
The Caipirinhas here are refreshingly tart, and the musical mix of Brazilian, soul, hip-hop, and R&B is fun and funky. The bar hosts DJ and movie events on weekends. [Show more] [Show less]
(Akihabara - Brazilian). 5295-2611
This very informal counter bar is billed as a galetteria - a Brazilian-style charcoal-grilled chicken specialist - but the one-pound beef rump steak and the 600g "gigasteak" seem to be just as popular with the seriously carnivorous customer base here. This very informal counter bar is billed as a galetteria - a Brazilian-style charcoal-grilled chicken specialist - but the one-pound beef rump steak and the 600g "gigasteak" seem to be just as popular with the seriously carnivorous customer base here.
Our favorite is the three-meat (pork, rump steak, chicken) assorted platter which, like all the other grilled dishes here, arrives on a very hot metal platter where it continues to sizzle and cook away on the counter in front of you. The grill is open until 10pm, and drinks are served until midnight. [Show more] [Show less]
(Asakusa - Brazilian). 5826-1538
The Y3000 churrasco buffet at this lively music bar features fifteen different Brazilian delicacies - grilled beef, pork and chicken, linguica sausage, and feijoada black-bean stew among them. Wash it all down with caipirinha and other Brazilian cocktails and wines. Check the calendar of live music and art exhibitions on their website (que-bom.com).
Nishi-Asakusa 2-15-13 B1F. Open 5pm-midnight (LO). Closed Mondays.
Hidden among the quiet streets north of Nishi Ogikubo station lies Copo do Dia, a tiny cafe that also functions as an informal Brazilian cultural center. The space, with its heavy wooden tables and simple white walls, is largely unadorned, the vibe calm and friendly. [See FULL REVIEW
Nishi-Ogi-Kita 4-26-10-103. Open 3-11:30pm (LO). Closed Wed, 1st+3rd Tue.
Other South American
(Roppongi - South American). 6447-1963
Successor to the long-running dance bar Salsa Sudada, which was a gathering place for Tokyo's Latin community for over twenty years, Paraiso is styled more as a bar-restaurant providing a "Latin dining experience." There's still lots of great Latin music though, including live performances on Sundays.
Roppongi 7-10-3, Kobayashi Bldg B1F. Open 6pm- daily.
Filling a gap in the Tokyo dining scene, The Chef's Table offers upscale Latin American cuisine paired with good, affordable wines. Owner Sohan Ahluwalia brings the same imagination and flair to the cuisines of South America as he did to Cajun cooking at the popular Bourbon Street in Nogizaka. Filling a gap in the Tokyo dining scene, The Chef's Table offers upscale Latin American cuisine paired with good, affordable wines. Owner Sohan Ahluwalia brings the same imagination and flair to the cuisines of South America as he did to Cajun cooking at the popular Bourbon Street in Nogizaka.
During a recent visit we enjoyed an impressive Argentine-style skirt steak for our main - the meat was intensely flavorful and paired with an assertive chimichurri sauce packed with garlic, chili and spices with a vinegary kick. Our entertaining mixed shellfish ceviche was also on the spicy side, balanced by the sweetness of coconut and slightly tart mango slices.
The menu changes a few times a month to keep things fresh; for example the kitchen regularly offers new ceviche variations using various types of fish and seafood and different marinades and spices. Spanish and South American wines are nicely priced, with many in the Y5000-9000 range. The understated dining room, with just five tables, is small and intimate without feeling cramped.
Budget around Y5000-6000 per person for food. Weekend "cooking school" prix-fixe lunches are served from noon-2:30pm and cost Y8000 per person including drinks. [Show more] [Show less]
(Jingumae 2-chome - Peruvian). 6804-1377
Bepocah serves upscale Peruvian fare, with an impressive selection of cebiches, tiraditos and other marinated fresh-seafood dishes. Prix-fixe menus are Y4500 and Y5000, or you can order a la carte. The convenient late-night hours - open until 5am on weekend nights - are an added bonus.
Jingumae 2-17-6. Open 5pm-2am (Fr, Sa -5am). Closed Sundays.
This small but festive shop offers a good range of authentic Peruvian specialties, including Andes potato soup, seafood stews and a "Plato Campesino" Andes picnic platter. There's usually bouncy Latin music playing in the background. Lunch from Y1000; full-course dinner Y3000-Y5000, plus a la carte.
Sakuragaokacho 28-3. Open 11:30am-3, 6-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Very authentic South American cooking - the spicy, garlicky shrimp soup (with rice and green peas) was amazing, and the Aji de Gallina (stewed chicken) is definitely worth a try. Spanish-language ability helps - they don't speak much English or Japanese. Inexpensive.
Higashi-Gotanda 1-15-5, Miyamoto Bldg. 2F. Open 11:30am-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Before opening this tiny restaurant in 1998, owner-chef Keizo Asai worked for ten years at the Japanese Embassy in Argentina. He stocks a list of reasonably priced Argentine wines, along with meaty dishes like empanadas (meat pies), blood sausage and veal cutlet. Main dishes range from Y1000-4000 and there's a charge for the water, so prices can add up.
Higashi-Azabu 1-12-11. Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
This long-running sports cafe serves a range of Peruvian cuisine. The walls are adorned with soccer memorabilia, and matches past and present are shown on a couple of TV sets.
Shinanomachi 8-11, Sakata Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
(Yotsuya - Peruvian). 3226-6608
Brilliant Peruvian food and drinks at relatively inexpensive prices. Try their vanilla flan for dessert, if you still have room. There's also a big lunch menu. (Avoid Sunday nights if you don't like big crowds.)
Yotsuya 1-7-27, Central Yotsuya Bldg. 2F. Open 5-11pm. Closed Wednesdays.
Mi Choripan proudly serves up "Argentinian Soul Food" - aka overstuffed chorizo-sausage sandwiches seasoned with chimichurri sauce, which are sold from street stalls in Argentina and other parts of Latin America, and now in Tokyo. Sausages are grilled to order while you wait, and while they're quite good on their own, we'd recommend springing for an extra Y300 to liven up your sandwich with the shop's selection of optional toppings.
Uehara 2-4-8. Open 11am-6pm. Closed Saturdays.
Live music (often from the talented owner, "Sam") and relatively inexpensive food.
Ebisu 4-6-1, B1F. Open 6-10:45pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
This Tokyo Mexican-food landmark has been here since 1976, serving better-than-average Mex and Tex-Mex standards at reasonable prices. Budget around Y3000 at dinnertime.
Daikanyamacho 13-4. Open noon-10pm (LO). Closed Tuesdays.
The tempting menu on the Hacienda features down-home Mexican dishes like shrimp and tuna ceviche, menudo (stewed beef stomach), and queso fundido (cheese fondue), plus Tex-Mex standards like enchilada and fajitas. There's a big selection of cocktails, and most wines are Y2500/bottle. The big (30-seat) rooftop terrace area offers pleasant open-air seating with a view.
(Hiroo - Mexican). 3280-1145
This simple, cheerfully decorated spot serves authentic and tasty Mexican food at friendly prices. Formerly located alongside the tracks in Ebisu, they now occupy slightly larger quarters near Hiroo station.
Minami-Azabu 4-5-65, B1F. Open 11:45am-1:45, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
This lavishly decorated late-night restaurant offers a variety of small-plate Mexican dishes for Y300 and Y500, with items like pork ajillo, shrimp and avocado ceviche, and softshell crab fritters. They also serve Tex-Mex standards like enchiladas, burritos and fajitas. Budget around Y3500 at dinnertime.
Splendid food, with generous portions. The decor is on the casual side, featuring exotic musical instruments and burlap bags, and tables are spaced widely enough to provide a little privacy. There's a good selection of salsa on the stereo, a large drinks menu, and they're open late.
A friendly, casual little spot with some of the better Mexican fare available in town. [See FULL REVIEW
(Nishi-Shinjuku - Tex-Mex). 5351-7074
Reputed to be the best branch of the El Torito chain here in Tokyo (for what it's worth).
Yoyogi 2-2-1, Odakyu Southern Tower 1F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
(Shibuya - Tex-Mex). 5489-3332
California-style Mexican food and drinks, served in one of Tokyo's noisiest restaurants.
A sister shop of the popular Naka-Meguro hangout Junkadelic, this casual bar-restaurant offers Cali-style Mex dishes like burritos, seafood tacos, and fresh guacamole with home-made jalapeno sauce. They're currently open for breakfast from 8-10am weekdays, and late-night until 2am Fridays and Saturdays.
Shoto 2-14-5. Open 11:30am-4pm, 5pm-midnight daily.
(Ebisu - Tex-Mex). 6277-3122
The chef at Libre hails from San Francisco, and his mission is to bring good Cali-style burritos to Tokyo. Indeed the food here seems to pack more oomph than what's on offer at some of the other burrito joints around town - it's assertively spicy (although a milder version is an option), with a solid dose of onions and garlic and just enough avocado for balance. The chef at Libre hails from San Francisco, and his mission is to bring good Cali-style burritos to Tokyo. Indeed the food here seems to pack more oomph than what's on offer at some of the other burrito joints around town - it's assertively spicy (although a milder version is an option), with a solid dose of onions and garlic and just enough avocado for balance.
There are four types of burrito (pork, chicken, beef, and vegetable), starting at Y700, as well as burrito bowls, tacos, quesadillas, nachos and salads. There are eight counter seats in the shop, although most customers opt for take-out. [Show more] [Show less]
Ebisu 1-5-8. Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.
(Nishi-Azabu - Tex-Mex). 3400-2235
Well-prepared, casual California-Mexican dishes and a variety of ever-popular frozen margaritas.
Run-of-the-mill "Mexican"-flavored American food. Often crowded, and popular with American families. No smoking.
(Roppongi - Tex-Mex). 6447-1433
Gourmet burritos, tacos, and fajitas, all made from premium organic ingredients. Choose from grilled chicken, carnitas (braised pork), steak or vegetarian filling; prices range from Y800-1100. Everything is available for take-out, and you can fax your order in advance. There are a few outdoor courtyard tables for when the weather permits.
Roppongi 6-6-9, Piramide Bldg. 1F. Open 11am-10pm. Closed 2nd Sunday.
A casual but hip cafe serving fajitas, burritos, BBQ, burgers, etc. prepared Japanese-style.
(Azabu-Juban - Tex-Mex). 6459-4095
Decent fast-food-style burritos, tacos, and fajitas, all made from premium organic ingredients. Choose from grilled chicken, carnitas (braised pork), steak or vegetarian filling; prices range from Y800-1100. There's a small but tastefully appointed dining area, or you can take out.
Solid Tex-Mex food and friendly service.
Shimbashi 4-15-4. Open 4-11:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
(Ginza - Tex-Mex). 5524-3621
Good solid food from the Tex side of the Tex-Mex border, with colorful frozen and non-frozen margaritas.
Solid Tex-Mex food and friendly service.
(Daiba - Tex-Mex). 3599-4803
Dependable late-night Tex-Mex food and fun decor.
Poor food and service.
Nishi-Kasai 6-10-15. Open 11am-midnight (LO) daily.
(Harajuku - Caribbean). 3478-2364
This lively cafe serves authentic Jamaican dishes like stamp and go (fish fritters), pepperpot soup and jerk beefsteak. Lunches are served weekends only, with specials starting at around Y900. In the evenings there's a full menu along with Appleton Rum cocktails, plus plenty of good music on the stereo at all hours.
Jingumae 1-21-15, ATM Bldg 4F. Open 5-10pm. Closed Mondays.
(Ebisu - Caribbean). 5793-5027
Jamaican-style jerk chicken and pork, in a no-frills dining room. It's not particularly spicy, but you can add your own condiments. Non-stop old-school reggae plays in the background.
Ebisu 1-26-13. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.