This long-established izakaya mini-chain serves excellent Kyushu cuisine and a good assortment of sake and shochu from the southern island. Budget around Y4000-5000 for dinner with drinks. [Go to branch review]
Hitotsubashi 2-3-1, B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
With its bright yellow door and sunny, brasserie-like interior, Big Boy has an atmosphere that's the complete opposite of old-fashioned jazz kissas. The management plays jazz both new and old, and the sound system is optimized for piano music, so it's a special treat listening to music from piano trios here. With its bright yellow door and sunny, brasserie-like interior, Big Boy has an atmosphere that's the complete opposite of old-fashioned jazz kissas. The management plays jazz both new and old, and the sound system is optimized for piano music, so it's a special treat listening to music from piano trios here.
At lunchtime this is a popular spot for people working in the neighborhood to drop by for sandwiches and coffee (Y1100 including drink). Many jazz fans gather here during the day to trade jazz CDs and DVDs. When the clock turns to "bar time" (after 7pm) there's a Y1000 cover charge, and you can nibble on light snacks such as sausages and baked potatoes with blue cheese.
[No credit cards.] [Show more] [Show less]
Kanda Jimbocho 1-11. Open 11am-5, 7-11pm. Closed Sun, 1st, 3rd Sat.
Perusona serves top-quality European-style curries, and two- and three-ingredient combination curries are easy to order. We opted for eggplant, chicken and beef (Y1400) on a recent visit - the sauce was richly spiced and on the sweet side, while the beef was lean and very tender. The eggplant is a nice option, adding some balance to the ubiquitous meat ingredients. The spacious second-floor dining room is done up in classic kissaten style, with Brazilian easy-listening music and smooth jazz in the background.
Kanda Jimbocho 1-28, Matsumoto Bldg 2F. Open 11:30am-3, 5:30-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
This long-running (since 1982) European-style Japanese curry shop remains popular with its loyal patrons, but the curries seem to lack some of the complexity and originality of its newer competitors. Curries include scallops and several other seafood variations along with the usual beef, pork and chicken, although you can't assemble your own combinations. Accompanying boiled potatoes are quite tasty, but some side dishes are overly ambitious, and wine is served in miniscule glasses. Curries are priced Y1100-1700.
Kanda Jimbocho 1-9, 2F. Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.
The dishes here are authentic and spicy, from a fairly wide menu.
Kanda Jimbocho 2-1. Open 11:30-2:30, 5pm-1am (LO; Sat. to 9pm). Closed Sundays and holidays.
Thai sukiyaki from the owners of Menam no hotori.
Kanda Jimbocho 2-1. Open 11:30am-4:30, 5:30-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Somewhat less expensive than the average Tokyo microbrew bar, US pints here are priced at just Y780 and glasses at Y480. (There's also a Y300 table charge.) You can choose from thirty different mostly local brews on draft, including an exclusive beer from Baird Brewery. The food is also quite good, with well-prepared dishes like rotisserie chicken and roast duck a l'orange.
Kanda Jimbocho 2-11-15. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-11pm (LO). Closed weekends.
The intensely flavorful miso ramen, made by blending three types of miso, is the recommended bowl at this hole-in-the-wall shop.
Kanda Jimbocho 2-2-12. Open 11am-8pm daily.
The curry sauce here is scrumptious, with a natural fruit sweetness, well-balanced spices and complex flavors. The entrance is through a used bookstore - take the far right-hand aisle. The curry sauce here is scrumptious, with a natural fruit sweetness, well-balanced spices and complex flavors. There aren't many mixed-ingredient options, but the shrimp, clam and chicken was quite good, with plump shrimps and juicy, flavorful clams. It also came with button mushrooms, almonds and a sprig of watercress on top - a nice touch - plus umeboshi and a couple of sweet and delicious potatoes on the side.
The entrance is through a used bookstore - take the far right-hand aisle. Bondy gets extra points in our book for being open all afternoon. Prices average around Y1500, and take-out is available. [Show more] [Show less]
Kanda Jimbocho 2-3, Kosho Center 2F. Open 11am-10pm daily.
This famous, highly rated Japanese curry shops serves just four varieties - chicken, beef, vegetable and shrimp - plus combinations. Portions are large, and prices start at Y880.
Kanda Ogawamachi 3-10-6. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
(Belgian rest/beer bar). 3233-4247
This original branch of the pioneering Belgian beer bar chain is spread out over three very narrow floors, with cozy seating niches. There's a small food menu and a very good selection of beers.
Kanda Ogawamachi 3-16-1. Open 5:30pm-2am (5:30-11pm Sat.). Closed Sundays and holidays.
The original Japanese curries here incorporate umami-rich coconut milk, ripe tomatoes and cheese as well as fresh seasonal vegetables. Some popular options (from Y730) are oysters and spinach with baked cheese; ripe tomato, eggplant and chicken; and pork-cabbage, while extra toppings (mostly Y100) include corn, bamboo shoots, coriander, garlic shoots and tofu.
Kanda-Jimbocho 1-56-3. Open 11am-11pm daily.
This budget chain serves two kinds of Nagasaki-style noodles - sara-udon (crisp fried ramen noodles topped with vegetables, pork and seafood in a thick sauce), and Nagasaki champon (similar to the above but in a pork-based soup). Side dishes include gyoza dumplings (regular, cheese, and mentaiko-cheese) and fried rice.
A local joint serving above-average Indian fare at reasonable prices.
Yushima 1-9-10. Open 11am-3, 5-11pm daily.
Good sake and izakaya fare, including many varieties of grilled hinomo (dried fish) in an attractively rustic setting. Earlier hours on weekends.
Hawaiian-style hamburgers and sandwiches, plus Hawaiian microbrews from Kona Brewing Company (Y500/bottle). Deliveries to 9pm.
Kanda Surugadai 3-5. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
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. Jusanya is a small neighborhood yakitoriya with above-average chicken and an unusual sake selection.
The use of top-grade ingredients makes the difference here - even for simple items like the raw chunks of cucumber, carrots and cabbage served with miso paste, or the crisp fried lotus root stuffed with meat. We also appreciated little touches like the well-chilled edamame and other otoshi, and the carefully paced food service that gives one time to enjoy each round of chicken from the grill.
If you don't feel like ordering a la carte, the set menus offer a fairly good sampling of the dishes here, with menus priced at Y1500, Y2500 and Y3800. The Y2500 set is fairly substantial, and finishes off with sesame ice cream.
The sake list isn't huge, but it's deeper than usual, with two or three varieties of some small kura, and a handful of monthly specials on the whiteboard. There's a separate shochu list. The sake is all procured from Izumiya, the specialty shop across the street, so if you find something you like you can go back there and pick up a bottle to take home. [Show more] [Show less]
Kanda Ogawamachi 2-4. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30 to closing. Closed Sundays.
A good collection of hard-to-find sakes, plus many German wines. They also hold sake tasting classes (in Japanese).
Kanda Ogawamachi 2-8. Open 10am-8pm. Closed Sundays, 3rd Sat.
Good imported German beers, sausages and other German fare, from the management of German Farm Grill (in Shibuya). The three-story bar is warm and comfortable, especially the spacious third-floor area.
Kanda Surugadai 3-1. (on Hongo-dori a couple blocks north of Yasukuni-dori) Open 10:30am-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Friendly service and an excellent assortment of sake from around the country.
Kanda Surugadai 3-1-1, 6F. (on Hongo-dori south of Nicola Cathedral) Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Serving one of Tokyo's best bowls of miso ramen, Tsujida is popular with serious noodle connoisseurs and other ramen fans.
Kanda Ogawamachi 1-1. Open 11am-11pm (Sat, Sun -9pm) daily.
Anko-nabe is the specialty here, since 1830. (Anko served Sept to April). Budget Y3000 at lunch, Y8000 at dinnertime. (Closed Saturdays in the summer.)
Kanda Sudacho 1-11-1. Open 11:30am-2, 4-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays and holidays.
This long-established shop serves yabu- (rough-) style soba noodles made from a 5-1 mix of buckwheat to wheat flour, plus egg yolks.
Kanda Sudacho 1-13. Open 11am-8pm. Closed Sundays and holidays.
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.
Kanda Sudacho 1-15. Open 11:30am-8pm (LO). Closed Sundays and holidays.
Four beers on tap and many more by the bottle at this late-night bar, with an unusual selection mostly from Belgium, Germany and the UK. The food menu features pizzas, salads and tapas-style small dishes. Open until 4am Friday nights, 11:30pm Saturdays.
Kanda Tacho 2-5, Togin Kanda Bldg B1F. Open 6pm-2am. Closed Sundays.
This popular ramen shop is a local favorite for their fiery, spicy miso ramen. On Saturdays they're only open for lunch.
Kajicho 2-10-10. Open 11am-4, 5:30-9pm. Closed Sundays.
(Middle Eastern). 5297-3789
Al Mina, Tokyo's only Palestinian restaurant, serves great Middle-Eastern cuisine and some decent Lebanese and Palestinian wines. The warm, inviting space includes a comfortable sofa area where hookahs can be enjoyed, a slightly fancier gold-themed dining area with a wall of mirrors, and a small stage where a Friday-night belly dance performance takes place. Al Mina, Tokyo's only Palestinian restaurant, serves great Middle-Eastern cuisine and some decent Lebanese and Palestinian wines. The warm, inviting space includes a comfortable sofa area where hookahs can be enjoyed, a slightly fancier gold-themed dining area with a wall of mirrors, and a small stage where a Friday-night belly dance performance takes place.
The kitchen offers a mix of well-known Middle-Eastern favorites and less familiar (to us anyway) local dishes. In the former category are various kebabs - lamb, chicken, kofta - and mezze-style starters - stuffed grape leaves, spinach pies, lamb meatballs, falafel, babaganoush, tabouli salad, grilled haloumi cheese and so on. Among the less familiar items, we very much enjoyed their Mansaff - a lamb stew incorporating big chunks of nicely marinated meat, nuts and rice in a tangy hot yogurt sauce - and a side dish called Sabanekh Beladass - sauteed spinach and lentils complemented by tasty toasted onions.
The dinnertime menu is quite extensive, and also features grilled meats and seafood (scallops, prawns, fish); a tagine of the day; roast chicken with couscous or with vegetables in yogurt sauce; and steamed lamb chunks with baked garlic. For dessert you can choose from baklava, goat-cheese cake, date cake with coconut and nuts, and a milk and rose-water pudding, accompanied by various coffees and teas. A vegetarian prix-fixe menu is also available. Budget around Y3500 for dinner. [Show more] [Show less]
Kanda Tacho 2-2-3, Genki Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The original Sunaba was one of the first famous soba shops in Japan, and this branch has been going strong since the late 1940s. Specialties include their tamago-yaki (rolled omelette) and chicken soba. Their tenzaru comes with a piece of kakiage tempura soaking in hot tsuyu broth. If you want more than just soba, prix-fixe menus start at Y4800.
Nihonbashi Muromachi 4-1-13. Open 11:30am-8:30pm (LO; Sat -3:30pm). Closed Sundays.
French/Belgian bistro fare, with mussels and other seafood as well as frites. Ten Belgian beers averaging Y900-1,000.
Uchi-Kanda 1-10-6. Open 11:30am-2, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The menu is casual Italian-influenced izakaya fare, with some pleasant surprises (like their salmon mousse appetizers and the pate of the day). They offer a few interesting beers along with wine and cocktails. The multi-level space is comfortable and cozy, with a laid-back atmosphere and late-night hours.
Uchi-Kanda 2-12-2. Open 11:30am-4am. Closed Sundays, some Sat.
Unlike most yoshokuya, the decor here won't make you sigh with nostalgia - the dining room is done up in a tasteful pastel color scheme from the current century. Chef Suzuki is a veteran of the famous Dom Pierre yoshoku establishment, and the menu also covers standards like hayashi rice and rice omelettes, and even offers tasting menus at Y5,000 and Y10,000. Loup de Mer proves that good yoshoku cuisine needn't be stuck in a time warp. Our lunchtime Hokkaido beef curry (Y1100) was accompanied by a very appetizing salad of head cheese and red-cabbage slivers. The hunks of beef were tender, lean and very flavorful, beautifully complemented by the curry sauce, rich but with a bracing tanginess. The soft but still slightly crunchy deep-red pickles were excellent, with an almost cherry-like flavor.
Unlike most yoshokuya, the decor here won't make you sigh with nostalgia - the dining room is done up in a tasteful pastel color scheme from the current century. Chef Suzuki is a veteran of the famous Dom Pierre yoshoku establishment, and the menu also covers standards like hayashi rice and rice omelettes, and even offers tasting menus at Y5,000 and Y10,000. [Show more] [Show less]
Uchi-Kanda 2-14-3. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5:30-8:30pm (LO; -6 Sun). Closed Mondays.
A funky, art-filled basement bar serving Japanese craft beers, single-malt whiskies and an inexpensive food menu. There are five regular beers on draft (including Shiga-Kogen pale ale) plus a couple of guest taps and several more by the bottle.
Uchi-Kanda 3-13-10, Green Bldg B1F. Open 6pm-1am (Fri -4am) daily.
The food menu at this casual izakaya is built around horsemeat - you can enjoy it raw, grilled yakiniku-style, stewed, smoked or served as sausages. There's also standard Kyushu-style izakaya fare - raw and grilled seafood, satsuma-age fishcakes and so on - and a menu of sake and shochu to go with it all. Budget around Y3000 at dinnertime. [Go to branch review]
Uchi-Kanda 3-4-8. Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
The off-the shelf snack-bar decor here is perked up by a cozy counter bar with five seats and twelve taps dispensing some of Japan's best microbrew beers. The small menu includes a few good chicken dishes, including raw chicken with pungent wasabi, plus the usual sausages, potatoes, etc. One of the oldest Japanese microbrew bars, Kura Kura was located in Shimo-Kitazawa for ten years before their move to Kanda. No smoking.
Kajicho 1-4-6, Tokyo Kanda Bldg. 3F. Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Excellent Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is served here, and the fifteen taps in the cozy ground-floor bar area dispense a good selection of craft beers from Japan and the US. Excellent Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is served here, and the fifteen taps in the cozy ground-floor bar area dispense a good selection of craft beers from Japan and the US.
Pizzas are on the hefty side, piled high with artfully assembled toppings. The impressive "Devil Works" pizza somehow incorporates mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, salami, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, red onions, green pepper, spinach, and black and green olives. Other choices include seafood (with shrimp, squid, scallops and clams); Greek (featuring feta cheese and tzatziki sauce) and BBQ chicken. There are ten kinds of pizza in all, prepared in small and large sizes, priced from Y1000-2800.
Rounding out the menu are assorted salads (Greek, Caesar, and spinach-chicken), tortilla chips with spinach-artichoke dip, and tasty Buffalo chicken wings. If you want a break from US and Japanese microbrews, the drinks menu also features Belgians by the bottle and a few Washington State wines. In addition to the ground-floor standup bar there's table seating on the second and third floors; it's a good idea to call ahead to reserve. [Show more] [Show less]
Nihonbashi Muromachi 4-2-3. Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Relatively inexpensive meats and produce, 24 hours a day.
Akihabara 4-14. Open 24 hours a day.
The specialty of the house here is maguro (tuna) fresh from Misaki Fish Market in Miura, served as sushi, sashimi, or broiled or stewed. There's also plenty of other good seafood, along with seasonal dishes, sake and shochu. Budget around Y5000 for dinner with drinks, Y1000 for lunch.
Kanda Hanaokacho 1-9, Atre 2 Akihabara 4F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
En takes a creative, original approach to cooking, with unusual dishes like cheese and sea bream spring rolls, and Kyoto vegetable salad topped with steamed pork. Drinks include a good selection of premium sake and shochu.
Kanda Hanaokacho 1-9, Atre 2 Akihabara 5F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Spicy chicken wings, yakitori and Nagoya miso specialties.
Kanda Sakumacho 1-13, Chomp Chomp Akihabara 5F. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Very close to Akihabara station, this bustling bar from the ubiquitous Hub chain is a convenient place for a casual drink and snack after a day of electronics shopping or manga browsing. They have their own brand of real ale as well as whiskey tasting sets, with inexpensive pub fare like shepherd's pie, fish and chips and fried mushrooms.
Kanda Sakumacho 1-6-5, Akiba Trim 5F. Open 11am-midnight daily.
The menu here features Okinawan standards and gourmet Sangenton pork dishes, along with a big selection of awamori spirits, all at reasonable prices. The decor is island-rustic, with big windows looking onto the street.
Kanda Sakumacho 1-6-5, Akiba Trim 5F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
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.
Kanda Sakumacho 1-6-5, Akiba Trim 6F. Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
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]
This 24-hour branch of the popular Tsukiji-based budget sushi chain offers good value for money.
The city of Xi'an is located along the historical Silk Road trade route, and the cuisine from that region takes full advantage of the many spices that were part of the trade. The menu here includes well-spiced lamb dishes, Xi'an-style cold appetizers and toshomen noodles, and a number of unusual dimsum items. Around Y3500 at dinnertime.
Kanda Hanaokacho 1-1, Yodobashi Akiba 8F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
This tiny counter shop inside Akihabara Atre has assembled five famous Japanese curry shops from this curry-strong neighborhood - mini-branches of Kyoeido, Ethiopia, Delhi, Topca and Hongo Petit Feu. For Y2500 you can try a sampling of curries from all five shops, or you can order individual curries for around Y1000 each; other combination sets are also available.
You'll find many variations of chazuke (rice with tea poured over it) at the sit-down counter, and deli-style Japanese side dishes available from the take-out corner.
Soto-Kanda 4-14-1, Akiba Ichi 2F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
This small cafeteria-style shop serves simple Japanese meals built around miso soup; the specials board lists five soups of the day, with different ingredients (combinations like bamboo shoots and cheese or spinach and nori) and different types of miso.
Soto-Kanda 4-14-1, Akiba Ichi 2F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
An unusual collection of curries is on offer at this festively named shop - beans and cheese, mushroom and eggplant, fried chicken, spicy chorizo sausage, fresh tomato and avocado among them. Lunch curries start at under Y780; at dinnertime they also serve meatier options like garlic beef steak and herb-marinated roast chicken.
Soto-Kanda 4-14-1, Akiba Ichi 2F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
You'll find high-quality skewered morsels that are deep-fried with a light touch here, and ordering is simple - just tell them when to stop. (Don't worry, you can specify in advance any ingredients you can't eat.) Some highlights are the crunchy prawns, the Berkshire pork and the large asparagus spears, and Momo no Shizuku sake from Kyoto stands up to the fried flavors. Budget around Y4000-4500 for a filling meal with drinks.
Soto-Kanda 4-14-1, Akiba Ichi 3F. Open 4-11pm daily.
The delicious, richly flavored soup accompanying the noodles here is a blend of pork and seafood with a thick vegetable puree. They also serve tsukemen.
Soto-Kanda 3-14-3. Open 11am-9pm daily.
First-rate Miyazaki chicken dishes, regional Kyushu fare and local shochu brands are the specialties at this reasonably priced, unpretentious Miyazaki-based izakaya chain. Budget around Y3000-4000 for dinner with drinks. [Go to branch review]
Soto-Kanda 1-13-3, Zigzag Bldg 8F. Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Great tonkatsu served in a nice old traditional house smack in the middle of Akihabara's "Electric Town." (near the Livina lamp megastore.)
Soto-Kanda 1-8-14. Open 11:30am-3, 5-8:25pm (LO). Closed Thurs., 3rd Wed.
The lovely traditional decor of this long-established unagi shop has helped make it popular with foreign visitors. The grilled eel is first-rate, and wild eel is often available in the summer months. Budget around Y5000 for lunch or dinner. Reservations are advised.
Soto-Kanda 2-5-11. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-7:30pm. Closed Sundays, 3rd Sat.
One of the rare non-chain restaurants in Akihabara, this charming cafe serves an eclectic evening menu of Italian-inspired dishes at very reasonable prices. At lunchtime it's more of a standard cafe menu (served until 1:40pm), and in the afternoons you can order coffee and dessert. Boo's attached sister shop, Studio Uamou, makes cute devil-like character toys, and they're both part of the Aki-Oka artisan complex.
Ueno 5-9, 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan N-4. Open 11:30am-11pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
Part of the Aki-Oka complex of artisan shops and studios, this offbeat cafe features hammocks to swing in and tablet computers to fool around on while you enjoy a coffee; unfortunately they close rather early.
Ueno 5-9, 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan. Open 11am-6:45pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.