Chilling In Tokyo: Shinjuku/ Nishi-Shinjuku

"Chilling in Tokyo" bar and cafe listings for the Shinjuku/ Nishi-Shinjuku area.

Shinjuku (east)

Jip (Shinjuku Gyoen-mae - 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. [Show more]
mapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 2-7-1. Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Armwood Cottage (Shinjuku Gyoen-mae - Cafe). 5935-8897
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. [Show more]
mapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 1-10-5, 2F. Open 11:30am-midnight (Sat 2pm-). Closed Sundays.
!Samurai (Shinjuku - Jazz kissaten). 3341-0383
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. [Show more]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-35-5, Tera Bldg 5F. Open 6pm-midnight (Sat. 3pm-mid) daily.
Dug (Shinjuku - Jazz kissaten). 3354-7776
This popular cafe-bar was featured as a setting in Haruki Murakami's novel "Norwegian Wood." In the afternoons customers enjoy quiet jazz along with a cup of their relatively bitter coffee (Y420), while at nighttime the place is packed with lively groups talking and listening to energetic bebop. There's often a line of customers at the entrance waiting to get in. [Show more]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-15-12, B1F. Open noon-2am daily.
Meal Muji (Shinjuku - Cafe). 5367-2726
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. [Show more]
no smokingSunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-15-15, Shinjuku Picadilly B1F. Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
!Brooklyn Parlor (Shinjuku - Cafe). 6457-7763
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. [Show more]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-1-26, Shinjuku Marui Annex B1F. Open 11:30am-11:30pm daily.
Tiki Tiki (Shinjuku - Misc. Southeast Asian). 3226-0996
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.]
decorSunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-4-8, Frente Shinjuku 3-chome 4F. Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Marugo (Shinjuku - Wine bar). 3350-4605
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. [Show more]
lateSunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-7-5. Open 5pm-2am daily.
Marugo II (Shinjuku - Wine bar). 3356-1052
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]
lateSunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-9-4. Open 5pm-2am daily.
Cona (Shinjuku - Italian). 3354-8823
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.
lateSunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-11-12. Open 5pm-5am daily.
Calico (Shinjuku Kabukicho - Cat cafe). 6457-6387
Even when it's full of visitors, there are plenty of cats to go around at this spacious, long-established two-story cafe. The shop's website promises more than fifty different cats, and that seems about right - while we were there we noticed a few new cats arriving in carrier boxes, perhaps being brought in to handle the mid-afternoon rush. You'll find many exotic breeds here including the Ocicat, Birman, Chartreux, Singapura, Himalayan and LaPerm, as well as your plain-old, common-or-garden Shorthairs and Munchkins. [Show more]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-16-2, Fuji Bldg 6F. Open 10am-9:15pm (LO) daily.
Hazelburn (Shinjuku Kabukicho - Bar). 5285-1470
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.]
lateSunmapShinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-6-6, Hashimoto Bldg B1F. Open 6pm-3am (5am Fri, Sat) daily.
Narcis (Shinjuku Kabukicho - 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. [Show more]
mapShinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-13-6, 2F. Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
ZuZu (Shinjuku Kabukicho - Bar). 5292-3703
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.
lateSunmapShinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-21-2, Itoh Bldg 3/4F. Open 6pm-3am (LO) daily.

Nishi-Shinjuku (west)

!!Cafe Troisgros (Nishi-Shinjuku - French). 5325-2493
Cafe Troisgros, a casual dining spot from Michelin-starred chef Michel Troisgros, turns out speedy, well-prepared lunches that offer good value for money (from Y1500). During off-peak hours (10-11am, 2-6pm), Cafe Troisgros's teatime menu offers the same frothy coffee drinks and sweet treats you might expect at places like Afternoon Tea, but with an upscale, gourmet twist. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-1-3, Odakyu Dept. Store 8F. Open 11am-2, 6-8pm (LO) daily.
Zoetrope (Nishi-Shinjuku - Bar). 3363-0162
Perhaps the best bar in the world for Japanese whiskey, with some 300 varieties available, including some rare bottles that are no longer sold in stores. They also serve craft beers from Osaka's Minoh Brewery, as well as Japanese rum and grappa and some imported liquors. The light food menu includes home-smoked dishes. Often old movies are shown (silently) in the background while you drink.
latemapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 7-10-14, Gaia Bldg 4, 3F. Open 7pm-4am. Closed Sundays, some Monday.
Glass Dance (Nishi-Shinjuku - Belgian rest/beer bar). 3348-5920
It's yet another Belgian beer specialty bar in Nishi-Shinjuku, this one with plenty of space (90 seats) and Maredsous and De Koninck beers on tap. There are inexpensive (from Y300), somewhat hit-or-miss Spanish tapas to nibble with your beer, along with tasty Belgian-style mussels steamed in either beer or white wine. (Formerly called Beer Signal.)
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-26-2, Shinjuku Nomura Bldg. B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 2-10pm (LO) daily.
Marble Lounge (Nishi-Shinjuku - International). 3344-5111
Open twenty-four hours a day, the Hilton's Marble Lounge offers various special buffets throughout the day, including a dessert buffet with fountains of chocolate every afternoon from 2:30-6pm (Y4200). Thursday through Saturday evenings from 6:30-9pm there's a chocolate and cheese buffet (Y4200), featuring 20 types of cheese, 15-20 varieties of block chocolate and chocolate desserts, as well as hams and various canapes.
lateno smokingSunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 6-6-2, Hilton Hotel. Open 24 hours a day.
Fungo Dining (Nishi-Shinjuku - Italian). 5339-7123
This simple but stylish Italian cafe-restaurant turns into a relaxed late-night neighborhood bar after 11pm (Tuesday through Saturday nights), with reasonably priced wines and cocktails.
lateSunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 6-16-7. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5pm-4:30am (LO) daily.
New York Bar (Nishi-Shinjuku - Bar). 5323-3458
Perched on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt hotel, the New York Bar makes good on its promise to offer the best view of Tokyo. The interior is a sleek haven of glass and dark wood enlivened by two vibrant Art Deco-inspired paintings on opposite walls. With its ebony chairs and walnut floors, the atmosphere is one of understated sophistication - there's nothing to detract from the stunning cityscape. [See FULL REVIEW.]
viewdecorSunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 3-7-1-2, Park Hyatt Hotel 52F. Open 5pm-midnight (Thu-Sat -1am) daily.
!Park Hyatt Delicatessen (Nishi-Shinjuku - Sandwiches/ deli). 5323-3635
Perhaps the best deli counter in town, with a huge selection of cold cuts, pates and salads. Lunches are priced from around Y1000, and breakfast is served on weekdays from 8 to 10:30am. From 6-7pm weekdays they have an open wine bar (Y2500 including snacks). The outdoor terrace seating is pleasant in warmer months. [See FULL REVIEW.]
open-airno smokingSunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 3-7-1-2, Park Hyatt Hotel 1F. Open 11am-8pm (Sat, Sun -7pm) daily.
Peak Lounge and Bar (Nishi-Shinjuku - Bar). 5323-3461
Enjoy chic cocktails in a bamboo grove high in the sky at the Park Hyatt's internationally famous bar and lounge. They also serve afternoon tea, desserts and light snacks. Cocktails start at around Y1600.
viewdecorSunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 3-7-1-2, Park Hyatt Hotel 41F. Open 11am-10:30pm daily.
Conran Cafe (Nishi-Shinjuku - Cafe). 5322-6444
Attached to the Conran furniture shop, this colorful cafe offers light fare like quiches, salads, croques monsieur sandwiches and cakes along with Chinese teas and Hoegaarden beer. Design books fill the cafe's bookshelves.
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 3-7-1, Shinjuku Park Tower 3F. Open 10:10am-7pm. Closed Wednedays.
Little Delirium (Nishi-Shinjuku - Belgian rest/beer bar). 6300-0807
This mini-branch of one of our favorite Belgian beer bars sits at the Yoyogi end of Southern Terrace; convenient to Shinjuku station but sufficiently removed from the bustling crowds. Despite the small size they boast an excellent beer list, with a rotating selection of ten on tap, plus a respectable food menu featuring roast Iberico pork, grilled horsemeat and of course mussels and frites. There's some outdoor seating.
open-airSunmapShibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-2-1, Shinjuku Southern Terrace. Open 11am-11pm daily.
!Cafe Hoegaarden (Nishi-Shinjuku - Belgian rest/beer bar). 5388-5523
This spacious, two-story bar from the Brussels chain serves very good Belgian food along with a wide assortment of beers.
mapShibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-20-16. Open 5:30pm-2am (Sat. to 11pm). Closed Sundays.