Live flamenco dancing is the main draw at this long-running Shinjuku institution. The music charge is Y3675, but Y4500 will get you a mixed tapas platter and a drink in addition to the show. Other prix-fixe menus that include the show are priced Y6,500-10,000.
A bit more ambitious than your typical tapas joint, Bikini offers "modern Catalan cuisine," including an extensive selection of pinchos and other small dishes. The Y1800 special lunch includes a platter of five pinchos followed by an excellent seafood-heavy fideua - just like paella, but made with short pasta noodles instead of rice. Budget around Y3500 at dinnertime.
Shibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 1-12-5, Mark City East 4F. Open 11am-3, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
This cute and casual tapas bar is popular with the after-work crowd in Shibuya. Start with a glass of fino sherry or a copa de cava for Y500 and ask the staff to shave a few slices off the joint of Jamon Serrano proudly displayed on the counter. Wines by the glass change daily. A few seats are available around the bar, but the front is standing room only.
Shibuya-ku, Sakuragaokacho 16-7, Suzuki Bldg 1F. Open 5:30pm-2:30am. Closed Sundays.
It's an inspired idea - matching the distinctive flavors of Spanish tapas with bold, assertive styles of craft sake. The tapas dishes here are perhaps a bit more refined than average, ranging from hams and other charcuterie to Galician-style octopus and nicely pickled herring. The sake tends toward the fresh, lively flavors of unpasteurized and unfiltered brews, many of them from lesser-known small breweries. Budget around Y7000 for food and drink; prix-fixe menus are priced Y3500-8000.
Meguro-ku, Mita 2-9-5. Open 6:30-11pm. Closed Mondays.
This rustic, stucco-walled restaurant features skewered pork delicacies and other regional specialties from the south of Spain along with custom-imported Spanish wines. Under the same management as the ever-reliable Miyakawa wine-bar/restaurant in Azabu-Juban. Budget Y6000-7000 for dinner.
Minato-ku, Akasaka 9-7-4, Tokyo Midtown Garden Terrace 1F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
A tiny counter bar (plus a few tables) with friendly service and good food. The tapas-style menu includes various Spanish hams, an excellent paella, and a very rich and luscious oxtail stew. You'll also find some pleasantly affordable Spanish wines to go with the food.
Minato-ku, Azabu-Juban 1-5-4. Open 5-11pm. Closed weekends.
This pristine restaurant in Azabu-Juban specializes in contemporary Spanish cuisine with a respectful nod to modern French gastronomy. Chef Seichi Honda spent nine years in France and Spain before returning to Japan to work at Ryugin and Sant Pau. This pristine restaurant in Azabu-Juban specializes in contemporary Spanish cuisine with a respectful nod to modern French gastronomy. Chef Seichi Honda spent nine years in France and Spain before returning to Japan to work at Ryugin and Sant Pau.
Artistically presented appetizers - ethereal zucchini ravioli veiled in paper-thin slices of pancetta, sprinkled with pickled basil seeds; perfectly cooked squid stuffed with minced shiitake and eringi mushrooms, atop a pool of cabbage sauce - aptly display the chef's verve and creativity.
The same lightness of touch is not immediately evident in the mains, however. A neat rectangle of tender pork tongue and pig's cheek, dusted in herbed breadcrumbs and grilled, was tasty but persistently salty. (This may be just a matter of growing pains - the restaurant opened in April 2011.)
Prix-fixe meals are Y4,800 at lunchtime and Y11,000 at dinnertime (expect a 10% service charge). The cellar stocks over 120 kinds of Spanish wine, with a number of bottles priced comfortably between Y4,000-7,000. [Show more] [Show less]
Budget pinchos snacks, starting at Y220 (Y200 at lunchtime) are the draw at this lively Spanish cafe-bar, along with reasonably priced drinks. And they're open from 8am if you're in the mood for a quick Spanish-style breakfast.
Minato-ku, Akasaka 3-2-6. Open 8am-2pm, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Despite the casual setting - diner-style tables, a big counter and an open kitchen behind it - the menu offers a serious exploration of modern Catalan Spanish cuisine, with dishes like codfish fritters, Iberico pork terrine with figs, stewed oxtail (Y2200), and several traditional rice dishes. Wines are fairly reasonable; budget around Y7000 for food and drink at dinnertime.
Minato-ku, Akasaka 5-3-1, Akasaka Biz Tower 1F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Alluring Basque-style bocadillo baguette sandwiches are served all afternoon here, and the namesake Fermintxo Boca sandwich (grilled Iberico pork loin, mozzarella and pimento) is especially recommended, as is the Iberico-pork sausage variety. Alluring Basque-style bocadillo baguette sandwiches are served all afternoon here, and the namesake Fermintxo Boca sandwich (grilled Iberico pork loin, mozzarella and pimento) is especially recommended, as is the Iberico-pork sausage variety.
In the evenings the menu expands to include an array of tapas and drinks. Budget around Y6000 at night, Y1000-1500 during the day. [Show more] [Show less]
Minato-ku, Roppongi 1-4-5, Ark Hills South Tower 1F. Open 11am-3, 5-10pm (LO; Sat -9pm). Closed Sundays, holidays.
Muy's huge, dramatically lit bar is very impressive, stretching half a city block along the front of the Tokyo Building. The menu includes a big selection of tapas (with numerous Spanish hams), grilled meats and fish, lots of rice dishes, and fideua - Catalan paella made with pasta instead of rice. Budget around Y4-5000 for food at dinnertime. Prix-fixe lunches from Y1400 (Y2500 weekends); wines from Y3700. (Thu/Fri nights to 2:30am)
Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-7-3, Tokyo Bldg Tokia 2F. Open 11am-2, 5:30-11pm daily.
Serious Catalan cuisine in this fancy Tokyo branch of Chef Carme Ruscalleda's famous Barcelona restaurant. The tasting menu is Y21,000, and main dishes run around Y7000 each. (The lunchtime "quick menu" is Y8000.) There's a more informal wine bar downstairs, with some 350 varieties of mostly Spanish wines and a light tapas menu. (Wine bar open to 1am; on Sundays only the wine bar is open.)
Modern Catalan cuisine - artfully arranged pinchos and tapas and creative main dishes - are on offer at this casual after-work drinking spot. Some twenty types of Spanish wine, including sherries and cava, are available by the glass. Budget around Y3000 at dinnertime.
Excellent Spanish cooking, including a good variety of tapas dishes; the spicy lamb kebabs are especially recommended. Service is friendly, and the decor is casual and cheerful, with bright yellow tablecloths, bullfighting posters and Spanish music adding to the atmosphere.
Shinjuku-ku, Yotsuya 3-3, Stream Yotsuya B1F. (from Yotsuya 3-chome walk towards Yotsuya sta, take the second left; the shop is on the right a few doors in) Open 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
"Jamon y vino" is the simple yet enticing concept at this small tapas bar, with Spanish wines starting at around Y3800 per bottle. Typical dishes include Iberico chorizo sausages, Catalan-style pizzas, and grilled meats and seafood on skewers. The food is great, but the pace of delivery can be somewhat leisurely. Budget around Y4000 for food and drink.
The main draw at La Boqueria is the "wine buffet," an open bar with over a dozen different wines, not top-end but still very drinkable, priced at Y1980 for two hours. The dining room is attractively furnished with unexpectedly large tables and comfortable seating, apparently left over from the upscale Italian restaurant that used to occupy this space. The food is rather hit-or-miss - it's best to stick to very simple dishes like the assorted meat and cheese plates and the quesadillas.
Shinjuku-ku, Yotsuya 2-11, Assist Bldg 2F. Open 11:30am-10pm (LO) daily.
The concept behind El Chiringuito is to recreate the menu and atmosphere of a casual Andalusian beachside restaurant. Spanish wines start at around Y500 per glass, and most of the food is simple and rustic, with quite an assortment of sardine dishes. Seating may be a bit cramped if want to spend a whole evening here, but it's fine for a quick drink and snack on the way to or from Ichigaya station, which is one minute away.
Shinjuku-ku, Ichigaya Hachimancho 12-1. Open 5-11:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Convivial bonhomie beams from the second-story window of this lively tapas bar in Kagurazaka. Inside, ceramic plates painted in sunny Andalucian colors hang above the brick-lined counter. Bottles of wine, conveniently marked with prices and descriptions, line the tall wooden shelves at the far end of the room. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the space seem bigger than it is - the bar seats a scant twenty-four - and create an atmosphere that feels both intimate and open. [See FULL REVIEW.]
Tapas bars and restaurants are over Tokyo, but El Pulpo may be the only place that bills itself as a "marisqueria" - a Spanish restaurant specializing in seafood. The food here is fantastic, using fresh seafood that's delivered directly from Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture. [See FULL REVIEW.]
Shinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 4-3, Miyazaki Bldg 1F. Open 6pm-2am. Closed Sundays.
Spanish food and reasonably priced French and Spanish wines, with convenient late-night hours. Budget around Y3000 for food and drink at dinnertime. (From the same management as the Aux Amis des Vins chain of French wine bars.)
Taito-ku, Ueno 7-1-1, Atre 1F. Open 11am-4:30am daily.
Manuel Churrascaria serves northern Portugal-style charcoal-grilled dishes - pork, chicken and seafood - along with other traditional Portuguese cuisine. The restaurant itself is very cozy, seating around 20 persons, and it really creates the feeling of dining somewhere in the back streets of a Portuguese town. [See FULL REVIEW.]
Minato-ku, Takanawa 2-3-22-101. Open noon-2:30, 6-10:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
This second branch of Tokyo's Portuguese pioneer restaurant is far more upscale than the Shibuya original, with spacious, comfortable dining rooms (smoking and non) a bigger, more serious menu, and a sommelier. Recommendations include the rabbit stewed in red wine and the potato and dried cod croquettes. The wine list includes both "traditional" and "international" Portuguese wines, depending on your tastes (we prefer the latter). Budget Y5,000-8,000 for dinner, depending on your choice of drinks. There's live folk music some nights - call to check. [Go to branch review]
Chiyoda-ku, Rokubancho 11-7, B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily.