Yakitori restaurants
Keishoan (Ikebukuro - Yakitori). 5954-8139
Nagoya cochin, an heirloom breed of chicken prized for its flavor, is the main bird here, in the form of yakitori, fried chicken wings, nabe-style stews, and a fantastic version of oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice). They also use a different specialty breed called Mikawadori, which has a lower fat content than average, for their very crunchy and tasty deep-fried karaage chicken. [Show more]
SunmapToshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-11-1, Lumine Ikebukuro 8F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Toriyoshi (Ikebukuro #1) (Ikebukuro - Yakitori). 5391-3479
Scrumptious fried chicken wings, yakitori, chicken sashimi and much more.
lateSunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 2-27-8. Open 4pm-midnight (LO) daily.
!Sono (Shinjuku - Yakitori). 3356-1818
Excellent grilled chicken, sushi and much more in this glitzy, high-rise branch of the popular Shinjuku yakitori restaurant. There's a good selection of premium sake to go with your food; dinner with drinks averages around Y6000. [Go to branch review]
decorSunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-32-10, T&T Bldg 7F. Open 5-11pm daily.
!Shousuke (Shinjuku - Yakitori). 3341-2468
Shousuke is a spacious, two-story affair - downstairs there's a big sushi counter, and upstairs are several semi-private booths for two, four or more, separated by bamboo blinds for privacy. The decor is tasteful Japanese modern, with polished wood surfaces and subdued lighting. Given the very pretty setting and the modest menu prices, we were quite unprepared for the quality of the food, which is simply spectacular. [See FULL REVIEW.]
decorSunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-10-10. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
!Kokekokko (Nishi-Shinjuku - Yakitori). 3345-1141
Shamo is a breed of game bird known for its tasty, slightly chewy meat, and it's the bird of choice on the busy grills at Kokekokko. This modest-looking yakitoriya serves the usual selection of chicken parts on skewers - all very high in quality - along with beautiful grilled vegetables and appealing side dishes, including chicken sashimi. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-1-1, Palette Town Bldg. B2F. Open 4-10:30pm (LO) daily.
!Keishoan (Nishi-Shinjuku - Yakitori). 3349-1015
Fantastic charcoal-grilled, free-range chicken and choice sake in a comfortable setting. In addition to a la carte, they offer unusual kaiseki-style menus for Y4000-5000 (reserve in advance). [See FULL REVIEW.]
decorSunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-1-5, Shinjuku Lumine 1, 6F. Open 11am-3, 5-11pm daily.
Toriyoshi (Harajuku - Yakitori). 3470-3901
Spicy grilled chicken wings with pepper, all kinds of yakitori, chicken stews, and chicken sashimi are just a few of the superb dishes from the extensive chicken-oriented menu. Try the tori senbei -- this shop's answer to fried pork rinds -- they're crispy, amazingly flavorful "sembei" crackers made from deep-fried chicken skin. The elegant, modern interior is large enough for big groups of customers, but they won't take reservations for groups of only 2 or 3. Service can be hit or miss.
decorSunmapShibuya-ku, Jingumae 4-28-21. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Toriyoshi (Omotesando - Yakitori). 3403-7720
Spectacular chicken wings and other chicken specialties, and a tasteful, traditional Japanese interior.
lateSunmapMinato-ku, Minami-Aoyama 3-18-16, Behind exit A4 Omotesando station. (across from El Torito) Open 11:30am-2:30, 5pm-4:30am daily.
!Touan (Gaienmae - Yakitori). 5770-5767
First-rate grilled chicken and great home-made tofu. They have a small sake list, but their monthly sake picks are usually worth checking out, as are the daily specials on the food menu. Seating is at a comfortable counter or in semi-private nooks.
SunmapMinato-ku, Kita-Aoyama 2-7-25. Open 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Toriyoshi (Dogenzaka #1) (Shibuya - Yakitori). 3780-1011
Spicy chicken wings and interesting Nagoya-style stews in a casual late-night izakaya.
latedecorSunmapShibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 2-29-8, Dogenzaka Center Bldg. 6F. Open 4pm-3:30am (LO) daily.
Hinone Mizunone (Ebisu - Izakaya). 5793-7600
A modern charcoal-grill specialty izakaya serving great free-range chicken plus homemade tofu and kamameshi rice dishes. And a great night-time view. Full-course dinners from Y2500-5000.
decorSunmapShibuya-ku, Ebisu 4-20-3, Yebisu Garden Place 39F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-11pm daily.
Hakata Mangetsu (Ebisu - Yakitori). 6408-9460
A lively basement izakaya, Hakata Mangetsu has a charming style all its own: mismatched sofas and chairs that look like they've put in years of service; an infectiously bouncy eighties-pop soundtrack; and laid-back but friendly service. Plus prices that are hard to believe in such a prime location - yakitori from Y46 per skewer, Suntory Malt's beer at Y208 a glass, and two-hour open-bar plans for just Y780 between midnight and 5am. [Show more]
lateSunmapShibuya-ku, Ebisu 1-8-14, Daikoku Bldg B1F. Open 5pm-5am daily.
!Toriteru (Shinagawa - Yakitori). 5421-1919
The excellent chicken meat used here is a special type from Nara Prefecture - a bird bred from shamo game hen and two other types of chicken. And although you may be concerned that there are no clouds of aromatic smoke wafting from the entrance, one look at the fresh chicken and other ingredients in the glass case on the counter will reassure you as to the quality of the food. [See FULL REVIEW.]
mapMinato-ku, Takanawa 3-26-33, Shuwa Shinagawa Bldg B1F. Open 6-10pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Kuruma (Hamamatsucho - Yakitori). 3438-1616
An upscale yakitori chain featuring delectable free-range birds from Miyazaki Prefecture - charcoal-grilled, fried, stewed, and even raw. The interior is simple and pleasantly decorated, with a lively counter area at its heart. Budget around Y4500 for food and drink.
decorSunmapMinato-ku, Kaigan 1-2-20, Shiodome Building 1F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-11:15pm (LO) daily.
Torimatsu (Hamamatsucho - Yakitori). 3432-0564
The prices are cheap and the yakitori is above average (as is the sake list), but note that the pre-selected assortment is fairly hardcore - skin, cartilege and organ meats - so some people might prefer to order a la carte. The decor is utilitarian and unpretentious, and the menu and service are in Japanese only.
mapMinato-ku, Hamamatsucho 2-3-32. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-10:30pm. Closed Sun, 1st, 3rd Sat.
Jomon (Roppongi - Yakitori). 3405-2585
Hataka (Kyushu) style kushiyaki is the specialty here, with excellent (though rather salty) grilled skewers of chicken and pork parts and vegetables. Seating can be a bit cramped and smoky but the food is fantastic. A sister shop to Teyandei in Nishi-Azabu.
lateSunmapMinato-ku, Roppongi 5-9-17. Open 6pm-5am daily.
Hachibei (Roppongi Hills) (Roppongi Hills - Yakitori). 3478-3669
Great Hakata-style yakitori in stylish surroundings; the main branch is a popular Fukuoka destination. Budget around Y4500 for food and drinks at dinnertime.
SunmapMinato-ku, Roppongi 6-10-1, Roppongi Hills Westwalk 5F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
!Hachibei (Roppongi) (Nogizaka - Yakitori). 3475-1689
Despite its prime location one minute from Tokyo Midtown, this stylish, relaxed basement izakaya feels far removed from the hubbub of Roppongi nightlife. Kyushu-style yakitori is the centerpiece of the menu, but there's much more - beautiful charcoal-grilled seasonal vegetables, exotic regional dishes like horse sashimi, and a surprisingly big wine list. [Show more]
mapMinato-ku, Roppongi 7-4-5, B1F. Open 6pm-12:30am (LO). Closed Sundays.
Zanmai (Akasaka - Yakitori). 5549-4718
Very good yakitori and game-bird cuisine along with a respectable sake list. Budget around Y7000 for dinner, Y1000 for lunch.
mapMinato-ku, Akasaka 3-12-10, Akasaka Sun Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30-11:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Torikai (Toranomon - Yakitori). 3501-7766
The specialty of the house if yakitori-style skewers and wings of Nagoya cochin game birds.
mapChiyoda-ku, Kasumigaseki 3-2-6, Tokyo Club Bldg, Kasumi Dining 3F. Open 11am-2, 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
!Birdland (Ginza - Yakitori). 5250-1081
Even before their move from the wilds of Asagaya, many yakitori connoisseurs considered Birdland to be THE standard for grilled chicken in Tokyo. The Y6000 prix-fixe menu includes multiple skewers followed by oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice). There's also a surprisingly good wine list, selected to go with the yakitori. Reservations required.
mapChuo-ku, Ginza 4-2-15, Tsukamoto Sozan Building B1F. Open 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays, Mondays.
Abeya (Marunouchi - Yakitori). 6256-0822
The famous Akita-based yakitoriya serves fantastic grilled chicken - an heirloom cross-breed called hinai-jidori - along with local Akita sake. Budget around Y3000 for food and drink at dinnertime, Y1000 for lunch.
SunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-7-2, JP Tower Kitte B1F. Open 10am-9pm (LO) daily.
Shigenoi (Yaesu - Yakitori). 3287-0021
A sign at the door proudly announces the pedigree of their free-range chicken (Iwate), their charcoal (Wakayama), and even the salt they use (Yamaguchi)! Lunch donburi sets start at Y980, with a limited-edition kiji-yaki special for Y1300. Evening skewers are priced at Y250 and up. The interior is pleasant, with a big counter area close to all the grilling action.
SunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-9-1, Kurobei Yokocho (B1F). Open 11am-11pm daily.
!!Akita Pure Rice Sake Bar (Yaesu - Yakitori). 6256-0518
Craft sake from Akita Prefecture is the specialty at this comfortable counter bar, which stands at the front of a chicken specialty restaurant called Honke Abeya. You can just drop by for a quick glass of sake or two, or you can order some skewers of yakitori or even a full chicken-based meal to accompany your drinks. [Show more]
SunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-9-1, Kitamachi Dining (2F). Open 11am-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9pm) daily.
!Isehiro (Kyobashi - Yakitori). 3281-5864
The seating arrangements here may be a bit tight, and the prices higher than average, but the grilled chicken here is outstanding. And unlike most yakitoriya in town, Isehiro serves full sets of freshly grilled skewers at lunchtime rather than just rice-based dishes. [Show more]
mapChuo-ku, Kyobashi 1-5-4. Open 11:30am-2, 4:30-9pm. Closed Sundays.
!Birdland (Otemachi - Yakitori). 6269-9825
While dinner at Birdland's Michelin-starred main branch in Ginza can be a bit daunting, this Marunouchi outpost is much more accessible, while still offering exceptionally high-quality ingredients and professional service. Despite the name, the menu features grilled pork and lamb, fantastic duck with leek, and a good assortment of vegetables in addition to the excellent chicken. [Show more]
mapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-4-1, iiyo!! B1F. Open 11am-1:30, 5-10:30pm. Closed weekends.
ZenyaRen (Otemachi - Yakitori). 3231-7705
It's Japan's first yakitori theme park! Seven famous yakitoriya from around the country have assembled in one spot, allowing Tokyo diners to compare their skewers side by side. The styles and flavors represented here are surpringly diverse, and the setting is lively and fun - a massive 229-seat space divided up into comfortable dining niches spread out over two levels. [Show more]
SunmapChiyoda-ku, Otemachi 1-7-2, Tokyo Sankei Bldg B2F. Open 5-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun from 11am) daily.
Dodo (Yotsuya 3-chome - Yakitori). 3356-8403
Memorable charcoal-grilled yakitori for Y4,000 to Y8,000 per person (with drinks). They've got an interesting sake list, including multiple variations from Kubota and other small brewers.
latemapShinjuku-ku, Funamachi 12. (on Gaien-Higashi-dori) Open 6pm-5am (Sat. to 11pm). Closed Sundays.
Imaiya (Yotsuya 3-chome - Yakitori). 3341-7555, 4588-4276
Hinai-dori - heirloom-breed chicken from Akita Prefecture - is the specialty at this upscale yakitori shop, and the white liver and tebasaki (wings) are especially recommended. They also serve regional dishes like kiritampo. Budget Y5000-7000 at dinnertime, or splurge on a prix-fixe party menu (Y4500-6500).
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Funamachi 4-1, Maison de Yotsuya 1F. Open 5-11:30pm (LO; Fri, Sat -1am) daily.
!Doromamire (Yotsuya 3-chome - Yakitori). 6380-1197
There's a lot of good yakitori to be found in the izakaya-lined alleyways of Arakicho, but Doromamire grills up some of the best. The chicken here is good enough to eat raw, and indeed the shop's chicken sashimi dishes are among our favorites, as are their chicken liver skewers, also served quite rare. Your daily vegetable requirements can be met with appealing side dishes like corn kakiage tempura, with a decent selection of sake to complement your meal. Budget around Y4000-5000 at dinnertime - a bargain for this level of quality.
mapShinjuku-ku, Arakicho 20, Yakata Bldg 2F. Open 6pm-1am (LO; Sat -10pm). Closed Sundays.
Kurachan (Akebonobashi - Izakaya). 3357-6407
A quiet, extremely unpretentious neighborhood drinking spot, Kurachan sports a classic old-school izakaya decor and serves an interesting selection of craft sake along with excellent grilled chicken. We've found it most advantageous to discuss our sake preferences with the staff and follow their suggestions, although there is chalkboard menu listing their regular offerings (all in Japanese). Some food highlights include their unusual natto karaage and some excellent ume-shiso tebasaki. Budget around Y5000.
mapShinjuku-ku, Sumiyoshicho 10-11. Open 6-10pm. Closed Sundays.
!Jusanya (Ogawamachi - Yakitori). 3296-0138
Jusanya is a small neighborhood yakitoriya with above-average chicken and an unusual sake selection. The sake list isn't huge, but it's deeper than usual, with two or three varieties of some small kura. There's also a separate shochu list. [Show more]
mapChiyoda-ku, Kanda Ogawamachi 2-4. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30 to closing. Closed Sundays.
!!Souten (Minami-guchi) (Otsuka - Yakitori). 5944-8105
Tokyo has no shortage of good yakitori shops, but Souten really stands out from the the crowd thanks to the quality of both their chicken and their craft sake. The entrance sports an extra-large sugidama (cedar ball) - always a promise of good sake within - and the list here doesn't disappoint. Nor does the food - they serve only the finest free-range chicken and other birds in season, prepared by a master of the grill. [See FULL REVIEW.]
no smokingSunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Otsuka 3-39-13. Open 5:30-11pm. Closed Mondays.
Dojo (Kiyosumi-Shirakawa - Yakitori). 5620-1810
Great yakitori, a few well-selected sakes, and reasonable prices at this neighborhood yakitoriya. No English menu.
SunmapKoto-ku, Shiragawa 1-2-5. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Funachu (Ariake - Yakitori). 5530-5888
With a history going back nearly seventy years, Funachu are masters of the art of charcoal-grilling chicken and eel. In addition to hefty skewers of poultry, the menu offers some original dishes like deep-fried prawns in corn flakes (which were surprisingly good), and some very drinkable brands of premium sake. Budget around Y3000-4000 at dinnertime.
SunmapKoto-ku, Ariake 3-6-11, Wanza Ariake Bay Mall Higashikan 2F. Open 11am-2, 5-9pm (LO) daily.
Kodawariyama (Tennozu Isle - Yakitori). 5769-0788
Inexpensive yakitori and microbrew beers from Gotemba Kogen.
mapShinagawa-ku, Higashi-Shinagawa 2-2-20, Tennoz-Yusen Bldg. 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm.
Akiyoshi (Nakano - Yakitori). 3385-0071
It's not fancy, but with its reliable food and very reasonable prices, this small yakitori chain offers good value for money.
SunmapNakano-ku, Nakano 5-54-3. Open 5-11pm daily.
!!Kushibeh (Koenji - Yakitori). 3318-7756
The entryway is plastered with sake labels (usually a good sign), and the sake selection is from all over Japan, with well-chosen seasonal brews that change every month. The yakitori is outstanding, served with a nice bowl of home-made chicken broth to start your meal. A 9-skewer yakitori assortment is Y2000.
mapSuginami-ku, Koenji-Minami 4-6-1, Asahi Bldg. B1F. (walk 3 or 4 minutes south along the PAL shopping street from the station; it's just off that street on the left) Open 5-11:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Akiyoshi (Ogikubo - Yakitori). 3392-6609
It's not fancy, but with its reliable food and very reasonable prices, this small yakitori chain offers good value for money.
SunmapSuginami-ku, Kami-Ogi 1-10-9. (from the JR west exit go out the north side and turn left; it's a block past the bowling alley) Open 5-11:30pm (Sundays 10). Closed Mondays.
Yebisu (Nishi-Ogi north) (Nishi-Ogikubo - Yakitori). 3390-8445
Good, reliable yakitori and Yebisu beer. If they're full, check their branch(es) on the south side of the station.
SunmapSuginami-ku, Nishi-Ogi-Kita 3-19-12. Open 4pm-midnight daily.
Masa (Nishi-Ogikubo - Yakitori). 3395-9667
While you can find interesting and unusual sake choices at this old-school yakitori shop, the operation feels a bit disorganized - several of our choices were out of stock or almost finished, and it may be easier to simply check their refrigerated cabinet rather than their menu. (Do check the prices when you order though, as they stock some very premium brands.) Our yakitori assortment had a bit too much skin and offal for our taste, but the stuffed chicken wings (tebasaki gyoza) were outstanding. There's a big menu of non-chicken items as well, most of it fairly traditional izakaya fare.
SunmapSuginami-ku, Nishi-Ogi-Kita 3-31-10. Open 5:30pm-midnight. Closed some Mondays.
Toriyoshi (Kichijoji #4) (Kichijoji - Yakitori). 0422-48-4600
The newest and fanciest Kichijoji branch of this excellent yakitoriya, at the entrance to Inokashira Park.
decorSunmapMusashino-shi, Kichijoji Minamicho 1-21-1, Inokashira Parkside Bldg. B1F. Open 11:30am-4, 4-11:30pm daily.
!Fuku (Yoyogi-Uehara - Yakitori). 3485-3234
The grilled chicken here is just about perfect - the wings and the "kashiwa" (chunks of chicken thigh) are especially recommended, and most of the side dishes and non-chicken grilled items are excellent as well. The setting is spare and stylish, with slightly cramped seating but a friendly and low-key atmosphere. Budget around Y3000 with drinks (which include a few good sake brands). [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapShibuya-ku, Nishihara 3-23-4. Open 5:30-11:30pm. Closed Wednesdays.
!Genpachi (Shimo-Kitazawa - Yakitori). 5430-2343
Good grilled chicken and a decent sake list to go with it have made this casual yakitoriya a neighborhood favorite. The wings are nicely charred and crisp, while skewers of lamb are full-flavored without being gamey. [Show more]
SunmapSetagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-13-14. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
!Kushiwakamaru (Naka-Meguro - Yakitori). 3715-9292
People start lining up early for the excellent yakitori at this legendary neighborhood joint, so we recommend that you get there very early. Same-day reservations can be made from 1-5pm (but make sure that you show up on time!). Budget around Y3000 for a filling meal with drinks.
SunmapMeguro-ku, Kami-Meguro 1-19-2. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Shamoroku (Koshigaya Laketown - Yakitori). 0489-89-7180
Shamo, a type of chicken that was originally bred in Thailand for cockfighting, is prepared here using the traditional "warayaki" cooking method, where meat and fish are quickly seared over burning straw at temperatures of 800-900C. The izakaya-style restaurant also serves warayaki-grilled katsuo (bonito), and plus a nice selection of craft sake from Aomori Prefecture. [Show more]
SunmapSaitama-ken Koshigaya-shi, Azumacho 2-8, Aeon Laketown Mori 1F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.