Fantastic, authentic Taiwanese-style dumplings; including the hot-broth-filled shoronpo dumplings for which they're most famous. [Go to branch review]
Delicious Bretagne-style artisanal sweet crepes and savory buckwheat galettes are served along with hard cider and soft drinks imported from the region. When the weather permits, there's nice outdoor terrace seating next to the garden atop the Takashimaya/Times Square shopping complex.
Fresh, skillfully prepared tempura at friendly prices in one of this chain's several Shinjuku branches.
Sendagaya 5-24-2, Times Square 13F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Shabu-shabu and sukiyaki made with Ohmi beef, from Y3800 at dinner. Lunch is Y2300-2500.
Sendagaya 5-24-2, Times Square 14F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Besides the usual tonkatsu they offer variations like deep-fried shrimp and scallops, yuba (tofu skin) croquettes, and nice side dishes like chawanmushi, tofu salad and kakuni stewed pork. The original shop is in Kyoto.
Deluxe, full-course tempura dinners - nine or ten pieces plus side orders - are priced Y4,000-10,000 at this convenient branch of an old tempura shop with a 120-year history.
Sendagaya 5-24-2, Times Square 14F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Good charcoal-grilled beef tongue from this Sendai-based chain. You'll also find beef-tongue curries, stews, sausages and other yoshoku-style dishes, along with regional sake from Miyagi Prefecture. [Go to branch review]
Shinjuku 3-38-1, Lumine EST Shinjuku 7F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
Gourmet pancakes are the big draw at this popular Oregon-based breakfast restaurant, where they come in interesting variations like Banana-Chocolate Chip with Raspberry Jam; and Roast Mushrooms, Scallions and Cheddar Cheese. In fact you're encouraged to devise your own custom combination of sweet or savory ingredients, ten optional toppings (lemon-curd, whipped-cream), and choice of batter (buttermilk, whole-grain or peanut-butter). Gourmet pancakes are the big draw at this popular Oregon-based breakfast restaurant, where they come in interesting variations like Banana-Chocolate Chip with Raspberry Jam; and Roast Mushrooms, Scallions and Cheddar Cheese. In fact you're encouraged to devise your own custom combination of sweet or savory ingredients, ten optional toppings (lemon-curd, whipped-cream), and choice of batter (buttermilk, whole-grain or peanut-butter).
If you're not in a pancake mood, they also put together original concoctions like their Slappy Benedict (with sauteed spinach, prosciutto, pureed roast garlic, sun-dried tomatoes) and Vegetable Scramble (squash, leeks, kale, blue cheese), plus more meaty choices like the Slider Plate (spicy mini-burgers) and country-fried steak.
The Pork-belly Benedict comes in a decent-sized double-muffin configuration, along with a generous helping of roast potatoes. The flavorful pork-belly confit is complemented by tart cider-marinated cabbage strips and a creamy Hollandaise sauce livened up with bacon fat. The potatoes are properly roasted, resulting in crisp skins and soft centers.
Slappy Cakes' blintzes make a nice dessert after a savory main - they're filled with tangy, custard-like lemon-cream cheese, dusted with powdered sugar, and buried under a seasonal fruit topping (ours was a sweet blueberry jam). The drinks menu offers assorted brunch-friendly cocktails - Apple Toddy, Lavender Fizz, Marypolitan - as well as wines and amber ale from Oregon. Espresso is churned out by serious-looking Italian-made machinery.
The decor has an updated American-diner feel to it - spacious counter, Formica-top tables and a handful of large booths equipped with pancake griddles. The soundtrack is mainly 1940s vocal jazz (Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra) with a bit of R&B thrown in.
Because of its department-store location the restaurant doesn't open until 11am, but breakfast is served all day from then until 10pm. [Show more] [Show less]
Shinjuku 3-38-1, Lumine EST Shinjuku 7F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Thai-style "sukiyaki" (fish balls and other delicacies boiled in a broth at your table) is the specialty of this Bangkok-based chain.
Shinjuku 3-38-1, Lumine EST Shinjuku 8F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Oysters, fresh seafood cocktails, and a few Cajun specialties like gumbo at a stylish counter bar. The seafood "pan roasts" are nicely done, and the oysters are always top quality. [See FULL REVIEW
Shinjuku station to Meiji-dori
Thousands of maneki neko (good-luck cat statues) fill the interior of this spacious cafe-bar. There's a counter and several tables, making this a good venue for a small party. Service is friendly and the air isn't too smoky. The manager seems to be a big fan of Johnny Griffin, whose records are displayed prominently. Thousands of maneki neko (good-luck cat statues) fill the interior of this spacious cafe-bar. There's a counter and several tables, making this a good venue for a small party. Service is friendly and the air isn't too smoky. The manager seems to be a big fan of Johnny Griffin, whose records are displayed prominently.
Haiku-related events are held here regularly. The food and drink are reasonably priced - beers and whiskies start at Y680 - and the pastas, pizzas, fried noodles and other dishes are above average. There's a table charge of Y300 from 6-9pm and Y500 after 9pm. Just a few minutes walk from the south exit of Shinjuku station. [Show more] [Show less]
Shinjuku 3-35-5, Tera Bldg 5F. Open 6pm-midnight (Sat. 3pm-mid) daily.
The delicate but flavorful very seafood-based shio broth at this ramen shop is made from the catch of the day - a mix of several types of fish in season. Equally unusual are the toppings - chicken meatballs and shrimp balls along with shiso leaf.
Shinjuku 3-35-7, Sanraku Bldg 2F. Open 11am-3, 4:30-11pm daily.
Louisiana seafood is the specialty at this sprawling (136-seat) and rather flashy new corporate dining spot. You can create your own seafood combo platters with crab, lobster, prawns and other seafood, sausage, vegetables and "Louisiana paella." Side dishes include seafood gumbo, crab cakes, and an alarmingly named "Dancing Caesar Salad." Budget around Y5000 for dinner with drinks.
Shinjuku 3-37-12, Shinjuku Nowa Bldg. 2F. Open 11:30am-3, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Spectacular "nouvelle Japonaise" cuisine in a stunning modern setting. Standout items on the menu include cold stuffed cabbage kimchee with cashew nuts, minced tuna and Korean bean paste (Y780), sauteed foie gras served on lotus-root cakes (Y1600), and homemade Satsuma pork sausages with a fresh wasabi-mayonnaise sauce. Spectacular "nouvelle Japonaise" cuisine in a stunning modern setting. Standout items on the menu include cold stuffed cabbage kimchee with cashew nuts, minced tuna and Korean bean paste (Y780), sauteed foie gras served on lotus-root cakes (Y1600), and homemade Satsuma pork sausages with a fresh wasabi-mayonnaise sauce.
There's also a large a la carte sushi and tempura selection, with items like scallop tempura with green-tea salt (Y200 a piece). The wines are nothing special, but the house sake is a very drinkable Tsukasa-botan at Y1,000 a glass, and there's a full cocktail menu. Plan on spending Y5,000-10,000 per person for a superb meal; reservations are a must. [Show more] [Show less]
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.
Shinjuku 3-37-12, Shinjuku Nowa Bldg. 8F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) 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]
Shinjuku 3-36-15, Shinjuku Uchino Bldg 2F. Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Japanese regional dishes from various parts of the country. Lunch from Y700, full-course dinners for Y5,000-Y10,000. There's also an a la carte menu, and many regional sake brands.
Shinjuku 3-36-6. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Kaiseki service at accessible prices, although the nightly koto performances are a bit cliched. An 18-course mini-kaiseki menu is Y8000.
Shinjuku 3-37-11, Yasuyo Bldg 6-9F. Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
Spicy chicken wings, yakitori and Nagoya miso specialties.
Shinjuku 3-34-16, Ikeda Plaza 5F. Open 5-11pm (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 Nagoya cochin, Iberico pork, and fried quail eggs that somehow have a soft-boiled consistency. Drinks include beer, sake and reasonably priced wines. Budget around Y3500-4000 for a filling meal with drinks, or around Y7,500 if you stay for all forty items on the monthly menu.
Shinjuku 3-34-16, Ikeda Plaza Bldg 4F. Open 5-10pm (LO) daily.
The deluxe edition of one of Tokyo's most famous tempura shops, with prices starting at Y2500 for lunch and Y6000 for tempura dinner.
Shinjuku 3-28-4. Open 11:30am-3, 5-9:30pm (LO) daily.
Very good budget pastas and other Italian fare, a good wine selection and convenient hours.
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]
The main branch of one of Japan's most successful tempura restaurants. They've maintained their high standards while managing to keep prices very reasonable. Call ahead of time to avoid waiting on line.
Shinjuku 3-31-8. (from Shinjuku-dori, go down the small street to the left of Mitsukoshi) Open 11:15am-10pm (LO) daily.
North of Shinjuku-dori
Spicy chicken wings, yakitori and Nagoya miso specialties.
Top-quality "Imperial" Thai cuisine, from a newish branch of this long-established Tokyo Thai restaurant. Budget around Y2500 for food at dinnertime.
An impressive selection of wines from around the world, varying from the reasonably priced to the very extravagant. They also do up a nice cheese platter. The atmosphere is more formal than average.
Shinjuku 3-25-9, More Bldg. 5F. Open 6pm-4am. Closed Mondays.
Stylishly modern and surprisingly spacious, Meal Muji makes a pleasant retreat from the crowds of Shinjuku's shopping district. The decor is bright and cheerful, with ubiquitous sleek blond wood furnishings set off by clay-colored stucco walls and lots of greenery. Stylishly modern and surprisingly spacious, Meal Muji makes a pleasant retreat from the crowds of Shinjuku's shopping district. The decor is bright and cheerful, with ubiquitous sleek blond wood furnishings set off by clay-colored stucco walls and lots of greenery.
There's a big variety of hot and cold deli items at lunchtime (till 3pm), with five items plus bread for Y1050. A typical spread might include Thai vegetable curry, grilled tomatoes, chicken-liver salad and ratatouille, all incorporating top-quality organic ingredients. In the afternoons you can find sandwiches, curry and quiche plus assorted desserts, with a bigger a la carte menu after five. Wines start at Y1200 for a carafe, with several organic wines to choose from as well as draft beer and cocktails. [Show more] [Show less]
A lively "market-style" restaurant, with the emphasis on top-quality ingredients and simple preparation. Grilled meats and seafood, brick-oven-baked pizzas and assorted pastas make up most of the menu, and there are always plenty of daily specials.
Shinjuku 3-14-1, Isetan 7F. Open 11am-9:15pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
Health-oriented but not really vegetarian fare (there are lots of fish dishes) in a casual French style.
Shinjuku 3-14-1, Isetan 7F. Open 11am-10pm (LO 9). Closed Wednesdays.
Good French cooking and reasonably priced wines at this casual department-store restaurant; the menu features dishes like duck confit and mushroom salad and excellent grilled lamb chops. Prix-fixe dinner menus are Y3900 and wines start in the Y3000 range; lunchtime sets are priced from Y1800.
Shinjuku 3-14-1, Isetan 7F. Open 11am-9:15pm (LO) daily.
This branch of one of Tokyo's best kushiage chains has held up its quality level remarkably through the years, with good food, decent-quality sake and reasonable prices. Note that this is the non-smoking branch in this building, smoking is allowed on the eight floor.
Inexpensive Thai street-market fare, including lots of stir-fries and curries in the Y800 range.
Shinjuku 3-15-17, Isetan Kaikan 4F. Open 11:30am-9:30pm (LO). Closed some Wednesdays.
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.
Shinjuku 3-15-17, Isetan Kaikan 6F. Open 11:30am-2, 6-10:30pm. Closed Wednesdays.
A branch of one of Tokyo's best kushiage chains. (Kushiage is deep-fried meat, seafood and vegetable morsels served on skewers.)
Shinjuku 3-15-17, Isetan Kaikan 8F. Open 11:30am-9:30pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
Seafood from the Hiroshima area is the specialty here, including oysters in season. Budget around Y3500 at dinnertime, Y1100 for lunch.
Shinjuku 3-15-17, Isetan Kaikan B1F. Open 11am-9:15pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
3-chome station area
The Hina chain is known for their good-quality, all-you-can-eat sushi meals, starting at around Y4200 per person.
Shinjuku 3-1-26, Shinjuku Marui Annex 8F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Tasty, sometimes unusual pizzas and well-constructed pastas at this budget Italian cafe chain. Open all afternoon.
Shinjuku 3-1-26, Shinjuku Marui Annex 8F. Open 11:30am-10pm (LO) daily.
Whether you're here for a dessert break, a casual evening meal, or an afternoon working on your laptop, Brooklyn Parlor supplies a fun, bustling backdrop. Unlike Tokyo's many quiet, hidden-away cafes, here it feels like you've stumbled onto the hub of a social scene. Of course all the standard cafe needs are provided for - free wifi; hip background music; tons of magazines and books on art, design and fashion; good espresso beverages, interesting cocktails and very affordable wines. Whether you're here for a dessert break, a casual evening meal, or an afternoon working on your laptop, Brooklyn Parlor supplies a fun, bustling backdrop. Unlike Tokyo's many quiet, hidden-away cafes, here it feels like you've stumbled onto the hub of a social scene. Of course all the standard cafe needs are provided for - free wifi; hip background music; tons of magazines and books on art, design and fashion; good espresso beverages, interesting cocktails and very affordable wines.
There are also some special touches, like Brooklyn Lager on tap and Hitachino Nest beer by the bottle. The food menu is gourmet cafe fare - scones and almond pancakes, serious burgers, and very nice quiches and salads. The burgers are also available to take out - perhaps convenient for a picnic in nearby Shinjuku Gyoen. [Show more] [Show less]
Shinjuku 3-1-26, Shinjuku Marui Annex B1F. Open 11:30am-11:30pm daily.
Yakitori, fried chicken, and other varieties of chicken, along with some interesting regional specialities of the Nagoya area.
At Tokyo's original Tiki lounge, wooden masks glower, faux torches blaze, and hula dancers shake it, shake it, baby. The kitsch is ubiquitous, self-aware, and executed with formidable slickness. If you're in the right mood, the bar at Tiki Tiki is a fun and convenient spot to meet for a drink with friends. [See FULL REVIEW
The stand-up bar at the front of Il Bacaro has a nice casual feel to it. You can drop in for a few minutes, have a quick glass of wine and a tiny snack, and be on your way. Or you can claim a seat at one of the three small tables and linger awhile, directing your attention to some of the dozen or so wines served by the glass. Cold appetizer trays line the counter, an espresso machine grinds away in the background, and dancehall reggae or pop music plays on the stereo. Waiters from the main dining room come and go with drink orders, and customers drift in and out. Snatches of Italian can be heard from time to time. [See FULL REVIEW
Shinjuku 3-4-8, Frente Shinjuku 3-chome B1F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-9:15pm (LO) daily.
You'll find great Peking Duck here - just Y3680 for a portion big enough for three or four people - plus a big menu of surprisingly inexpensive dumplings and small-plate dishes.
One of the better Turkish restaurants in town, Bosphoras offers a wide selection of shish kebabs, Turkish pizzas, salads, and other authentic fare. There's a belly dance show at 8pm on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, so plan accordingly.
Shinjuku 3-6-11, 2F. Open 5-11:30pm daily.
Superlative izakaya-style fare in a lively, noisy setting. They have an impressive and ever-changing selection of jizake (regional sake), plus good sashimi and grilled fish. Intriguing original creations include maguro kimuchii yukke, made with raw tuna and raw egg and flavored with kimchee and sesame oil. No English spoken.
This is the largest of several branches of this very popular budget wine bar in the neighborhood. Most wines by the glass are Y500-900, but you can spend a lot more on a special bottle if you're so inclined.
Original-recipe Kyoto-style okonomiyaki is the specialty of the house here, but we were even more impressed with the kitchen's creative vegetable dishes and unusual yakisoba variations. The basement dining room is cozy and unpretentious, service is friendly, and prices are quite reasonable - a nice combination in this often-overpriced neighborhood. Original-recipe Kyoto-style okonomiyaki is the specialty of the house here, but we were even more impressed with the kitchen's creative vegetable dishes and unusual yakisoba variations. The basement dining room is cozy and unpretentious, service is friendly, and prices are quite reasonable - a nice combination in this often-overpriced neighborhood.
We started off a recent meal with an entertaining amuse-bouche of savory tapioca and sweet-potato vichyssoise, followed by a thick slab of daikon steak simmered with yuzu and leek. Our bagna cauda was a hefty portion of colorful Kyoto heirloom vegetables served on a gigantic leaf, the dip brought to life by a tangy miso paste rather than anchovies. The next dish - garlic-sauteed mushrooms - seemed more inspired by Madrid than Kyoto, but we quite enjoyed the garlicky detour.
When you're done with starters, the yakisoba is especially recommended - real buckwheat noodles (rather than the usual ramen-style wheat noodles) are cooked up on the flat grill along with tomatoes and other vegetables, then livened up with tiny dabs of wasabi for an appealingly different take on this usually mundane dish.
Both yakisoba and okonomiyaki are available in offbeat avocado- and tomato-based versions, with options like pork, shrimp, cheese, bacon and mushrooms ready to add to the mix. Voluminous portions are big enough to share, especially if you've had starters.
Drinks include budget wines (we enjoyed a decent South American chardonnay) as well as beer (Yebisu), shochu and plum wines. Budget around Y2500-3000 for dinner with a few drinks. [Show more] [Show less]
Choose from about fifteen wines by the glass or bottle, or pick a Latour or Mouton from the back and put it on your expense account. France is amply represented, with biodynamic wines comprising nearly half of the choices on the frequently changing list. While Marugo's laid-back modern interior recalls Manhattan, the tuxedo-clad staff is pure Tokyo. But don't let appearances fool you: the service is mannerly and attentive but never stuffy at this popular Shinjuku 3-chome spot. Choose from about fifteen wines by the glass or bottle, or pick a Latour or Mouton from the back and put it on your expense account. France is amply represented, with biodynamic wines comprising nearly half of the choices on the frequently changing list.
Small plates of olives, anchovy-avocado canapes, and cheeses start at 500 yen; earthy tripe stew and creamy pork and duck liver pate go for about Y700. You can order something more substantial - grilled lamb chops, pasta, or pizza - if you're feeling really peckish. On the fifth of every month the bar features a special selection of premium wines hailing from its namesake, Margaux. Menu in Japanese only, but a little English spoken. [Show more] [Show less]
Tasty and reasonably priced Turkish food in a comfortable, cozy room.
Shinjuku 3-8-2. Open 5-11pm daily.
This second branch of the popular and always-packed Marugo wine bar serves two dozen wines by the glass, about half of them French, with a new selection every day. The food menu is Italian and very reasonably priced. Get there early to avoid the crowds. [Go to branch review]
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
Noodles, stir-fries and other typical Hong Kong-style street stall dishes, prepared exceptionally well. Their "dragon ramen" has giant, tasty chunks of kakuni (stewed pork) and a bit of octopus for variety.
Shinjuku 3-10-7. Open 11:30am-11:30pm daily.
Esogie's owner Lucky Isiwe has recreated a little slice of Lagos in Shinjuku 3-Chome. Nigerian funk plays on the bar's powerful sound system, and there's always something good cooking on the stove. Esogie's owner Lucky Isiwe has recreated a little slice of Lagos in Shinjuku San-Chome. Nigerian funk plays on the bar's powerful sound system, and there's always something good cooking on the stove - deep-fried Akara bean cakes served with creamy cabbage slaw, fiery Jollof rice pilaf with chicken and peppers, chewy sweet and savory slices of fried plantain with a side of red beans.
Sit back and enjoy the chicken stew flavored with mildly bitter egusi seeds with a thickly concentrated (and potent) Nigerian-brewed Guiness. Budget around Y3500 for dinner and drinks. [Show more] [Show less]
Shinjuku 3-11-2, Muraki Bldg 3F. Open 6pm-midnight (Fri, Sat -4am). Closed Wednesdays.
Inexpensive late-night pizzas and drinks in a very casual setting. Wines are Y1900 per bottle or Y500 by the glass, and all pizzas and side dishes are Y500 each.
This basement branch of the Donjaca chain offers a wide menu of izakaya-style fare and Japanese sake. The Japanese dishes are much better than their multi-cultural experiments.
Inexpensive jizake (regional sake) and good grilled fish. Seating can get a little cramped during peak hours, so check out the much larger Suehiro-dori branch just around the corner. No English spoken.
An excellent late-night ramen shop conveniently located in one of Tokyo's funkier entertainment zones. The thick noodles come in a richly flavored, anchovy-intense broth with big chunks of chashu. A selection of drinks is also available.
Nihonshu Stand Moto is a very informal bar that specializes in nihonshu, in this case quite a good selection of it at reasonable prices. The food menu is more extensive than you'd expect, dominated by small sake-friendly dishes like smoked mackerel and fried oysters. Open from noon on weekends. (Note that there's a small Y300 table charge.)
Shinjuku 5-17-11, Hakuho Bldg B1F. Open 3-11:30pm daily.
A good selection of wines and spirits and a dozen or so European beers at discount prices, plus random imported food items.
Kabukicho 1-12-9. (on the main central street, across from Tokyo Kaisen Ichiba) Open 11am-4am daily.
(Jazz kissaten). 3209-6900
The bustling Kabukicho neighborhood may seem like a strange place for a jazz kissa, but Narcis is a great spot for listening to quiet jazz, and their stylish interior design is reminiscent of old cafes in New York City's East Village. The tiny cafe-bar is filled with African-style furniture and beautiful flowers arranged by the mama-san. The bustling Kabukicho neighborhood may seem like a strange place for a jazz kissa, but Narcis is a great spot for listening to quiet jazz, and their stylish interior design is reminiscent of old cafes in New York City's East Village. The tiny cafe-bar is filled with African-style furniture and beautiful flowers arranged by the mama-san.
The music played here is mainly cutting-edge European avant-garde jazz and rare old vinyl. The friendly proprietress is happy to take requests from their big collection of vinyl and CDs. They serve good coffee (Y500), and Kirin beer comes in the small-size bottles that were popular in the 1960's and 70's (Y700). There's no table charge. [Show more] [Show less]
Kabukicho 1-13-6, 2F. Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Friendly service and high-quality shabu-shabu available until the wee hours of the morning.
This more centrally located branch of Calico in Kichijoji, one of Tokyo's pioneering cat cafes, is staffed with dozens of cats. The entry fee is Y1000 per hour, and food and drink are also available.
Kabukicho 1-16-2, Fuji Bldg 6F. Open 10am-9:15pm (LO) daily.
The smart drink list offers eleven choices of popular umeshu like Saika and Kakutama, plus a few liqueurs based on anzu (apricot), yuzu and even decopon (the orange-tangerine hybrid). Lots of shochu, a short but sweet selection of nihon-shu, and oodles of cocktails give you more reasons to sit and linger, while dainty servings of chazuke - twelve kinds, as a matter of fact - and other small dishes provide delicious distractions from the hectic world outside. Budget around Y3000 for drinks and a light meal. No English spoken.
Hazelburn offers an impressive line-up of Scottish whiskies, along with English draft ales and well-prepared Scottish and English pub food. [See FULL REVIEW
Alps isn't exactly destination dining, but sometimes it's good to know a place where you can just show up with a group of twenty people and no reservation. Plus they're open until 9am every night but Sunday! The Y1500 party menu supplies ample, decent-quality food, and drinks are surprisingly cheap. (Y500 table charge.)
Well-prepared Russian standards like Chicken Kiev, and lots of vodka.
Kabukicho 2-45-6. (on "American Boulevard" across from station) Open 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
This casual spot offers simple market-style Thai food with good, authentic flavors, plus an inexpensive wine list.
Shinjuku 2-12-4. Open 11:30am-midnight (3am weekends). Closed Mondays.
It may be smoky and cramped, but you can hear some of the most interesting local and international jazz in town here. It may be smoky and cramped, but you can hear some of the most interesting local and international jazz in town here.
http://www.pit-inn.com/ [Show more] [Show less]
Shinjuku 2-12-4, Accord Bldg B1F. Open 2:30-5, 7:30-10:30pm daily.
One of Shinjuku's larger gay bars, with a good sound system (mostly house, R&B and hiphop) and a comfortable, lounge-style setup.
Shinjuku 2-11-7, 2F. (across from the main entrance to Shinjuku Pit Inn, up on the second floor) Open 5pm-5am daily.
An open-air DJ bar with a mostly gay crowd and non-stop house music.
Shinjuku 2-18-1. Open 6pm-5am daily.
Excellent curries, tandoori items, and Nepalese specialties from an all-Nepali crew. The chapati is outstanding.
Shinjuku 6-13-8. Open 11am-2:30, 5-11pm daily.
Great nouvelle Chinese cuisine, with filling multi-course dinner menus from Y3500.
Shinjuku 6-7-3. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Typical German dishes and selected German wines and beers from this long-running establishment, now in a new location. Budget around Y5000 for dinner.
Shinjuku 5-6-4, Diamond Mansion 1F. Open noon-2:30, 6-10pm. Closed Mondays.
This handy Spanish wine bar offers ten wines by the glass, priced at around Y600-900, plus good tapas dishes to go with them. Budget around Y3000 in the evening for food and drink.
Shinjuku 2-5-15, Dai-ichi Sanko Bldg 1F. Open noon-3, 5pm-midnight daily.
(Wine bar). 6380-1178
If you've ever wanted to try Japanese wines, but don't want to gamble with buying completely unknown bottles, Jip Bar is the place to check out. This specialty wine bistro pours from a rotating list of twenty Japanese wines by the glass at any given time. If you've ever wanted to try Japanese wines, but don't want to gamble with buying completely unknown bottles, Jip Bar is the place to check out. This specialty wine bistro pours from a rotating list of twenty Japanese wines by the glass at any given time.
Finding a wine you like is still rather hit-or-miss, but you can at least ask the staff for recommendations, and the overall investment in a glass is less risky. We found a higher success rate with the whites rather than the reds, but your mileage may vary.
Attached to the bistro is a retail bottle shop, and if you see a bottle you like you can drink it here for a Y1500 corkage charge. The limited food menu offers mostly small dishes like sauteed mushrooms, sauteed shrimp in garlic, tripe stew and fish carpaccio. [Show more] [Show less]
Shinjuku 2-7-1. Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
One of Tokyo's better Turkish spots, offering a good selection of shish kebabs, Turkish pizzas, salads, and other authentic fare. Budget around Y3000 at dinnertime.
Shinjuku 2-7-2. Open 11:30am-11:30pm daily.
This long-time neighborhood standby is nearly as famous for their rude service and painfully crowded seating arrangements as for their food, which is quite good.
Shinjuku 2-7-4. Open 11am-9:45pm (LO) daily.
This tiny (eight-seat) bar, located on the third floor of a very old commercial building, serves solid Cali-Mex-style burritos and chimichangas along with margaritas and mojitos. Burritos come in chicken, beef and vegetable variations and are priced from Y500-800 depending on the size. Take-out is also available.
Shinjuku 3-1-32, Shinjuku Bldg 303. Open 6pm-midnight (Fri, Sat -2am). Closed Mondays, Tuesdays.
The lunchtime buffet offers four curries and a few side dishes, but the lunch sets might be a better deal if you know what you want. Lunch sets include one or two curries, salad, drinks and nan or rice, and are priced at Y690 or Y780. The wider dinnertime menu includes tandoori items, with live music most evenings.
Shinjuku 2-8-1. Open 11am-4:30, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Sake is the star at this friendly little izakaya, with a smallish menu of charcoal-grilled seafood, meat and vegetables designed to go well with your drinks. Budget around Y6000 in the evening for food and drink.
Shinjuku 2-8-17, SY Bldg 1F. Open 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Fairly reliable Chinese cooking, including Shanghai-style crab. Budget around Y5000-7000 at dinnertime.
Shinjuku 1-24-1. Open 11:30am-2, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The four craft beers on tap on any given day generally include a mix of interesting Japanese and US small breweries.
This late-night bar serves ten Japanese craft beers on tap, while the kitchen turns out expertly charcoal-grilled beef tongue and tongue stew. Budget around Y3500 for dinner and drinks.
Shinjuku 1-36-5, Hotel Park Inn 1F. Open 5pm-1am (LO, Sat -11:30). Closed Sundays.
This spacious multi-level branch of the budget Italian chain is open all afternoon, and convenient when you're visiting Shinjuku Gyoen.
European-style home cooking, wrap sandwiches and other "wrap cuisine" is the focus of the menu at this casual park-side cafe. Full-course vegetarian dinners are available, and everything on the menu is ready for take-out.
Shinjuku 1-3-12. (along the N side of Shinjuku Gyoen) Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Rich, hearty traditional French cuisine in a crowded bistro-style restaurant near Shinjuku Gyoen.
Shinjuku 1-6-11. Open noon-2, 6-9pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
True to its name, the Armwood Cottage is Tokyo's answer to a log cabin in the mountains, with tall concrete buildings standing in for trees. The space is intimate and inviting, dominated by rough wooden surfaces and decorated with rustic kitsch - a deer head trophy here, model vintage trucks there. True to its name, the Armwood Cottage is Tokyo's answer to a log cabin in the mountains, with tall concrete buildings standing in for trees. The space is intimate and inviting, dominated by rough wooden surfaces and decorated with rustic kitsch - a deer head trophy here, model vintage trucks there.
Above-average cafe standards like rice bowls and pastas are on offer at lunchtime (Y850), with more serious food in the evening (stewed spareribs for Y1500 are their specialty). Beer and wine start at Y600, cocktails at Y750. It's the perfect place to have a drink after taking a leisurely stroll through nearby Shinjuku Gyoen: draft beer, wine, and sangria are half price every day from 6-8pm. [Show more] [Show less]
Shinjuku 1-10-5, 2F. Open 11:30am-midnight (Sat 2pm-). Closed Sundays.