Mostly California/ Pacific Northwest
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
This informal wine bar offers a wine-friendly menu of seafood, steaks and chops, including fresh lobster, Washington oysters, BBQ baby-back ribs and catfish burgers. The wine list covers more than 100 wines by the bottle (including some rare finds) and twenty by the glass, with three different carafe sizes so you can organize your own custom tasting. Budget around Y8000-9000 for dinner with drinks.
Akasaka 9-7-4, Tokyo Midtown Garden Terrace 1F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
This traditional American steakhouse has a small bar up front serving Oregon wines by the glass. [See FULL REVIEW
Australian and New Zealand wines
The smart interior here is a very Tokyo-exotic mix of baked-mud walls, heavy wooden furniture, and organic-looking extra-terrestrial lighting fixtures like something from the set of "Alien". But you're really here for the wine - over 100 different varieties, from all regions of Australia and New Zealand. [See FULL REVIEW
Shibuya 2-9-11, Aoyama City Bldg. B1F. Open 6pm-2am. Closed Sundays.
One of Tokyo's first Australian-only wine bars, with one of the largest selections of rare and expensive wines from that country. The food is mainly Italian, and consistently good. [See FULL REVIEW
Shoto 1-26-22. Open 6pm-2am daily.
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]
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]
Well off the beaten track in Sakuragaokacho, this cozy little wine bar is a nice place to share a bottle with friends on a rainy evening. There's no wine list - the owner will choose something for you based on your preferences and budget. Wines by the glass are available from Y800, bottles from Y4200. Well off the beaten track in Sakuragaokacho, this cozy little wine bar is a nice place to share a bottle with friends on a rainy evening. There's no wine list - the owner will choose something for you based on your preferences and budget. Wines by the glass are available from Y800, bottles from Y4200.
Food is limited to snacks and small bites: assorted charcuterie, marinated vegetables, potato and tuna salad. While dishes such as garlic-sauteed shrimp and grilled chicken wings (seasoned differently to pair with red or white wine) are surprisingly tasty, they emerge from the tiny kitchen with glacier-like speed. [Show more] [Show less]
With its red leather upholstered seats and wood and brass fixtures, Le Lion offers a little slice of Lyon on the backstreets of Ebisu. Welcoming staff, covered terrace seating, and excellently prepared brasserie - or, rather, bouchon - fare make this cafe/wine bar a lovely place for a casual meal or late-afternoon tipple. With its red leather upholstered seats and wood and brass fixtures, Le Lion offers a little slice of Lyon on the backstreets of Ebisu. Welcoming staff, covered terrace seating, and excellently prepared brasserie - or, rather, bouchon - fare make this cafe/wine bar a lovely place for a casual meal or late-afternoon tipple.
Wines are available by the glass (selections change daily) from around Y700 and the bottle from Y4600. They serve drinks and light bites like creamy rillette (Y600), decadently silky goose liver pate (Y800), and fluffy stuffed omelets (Y850-) all day.
Dinner service starts at 6pm, when they bring out the chalkboard announcing the specials of the day. Portions are hefty and meant for sharing; individual dishes come out one at a time, so it's best to come with a small group and a big appetite. [Show more] [Show less]
The selection at this tiny wine bar is mainly French, with an emphasis on organic varieties and good value for money. There are usually around a dozen wines by the glass (starting at Y900) and many more by the bottle. The food menu is simple bistrot-style fare - pates and rillettes, charcuterie and cheeses. Budget around Y3000 for food.
Roppongi 7-10-2. Open 6pm-1am (LO). Closed Sundays.
Like a good man, a predator-free champagne bar in Roppongi is hard to find. Fortunately, there's Zero Bar. Conveniently located near Tokyo Midtown, this place is just the ticket for a glass of bubbly before the last train at night, or before the first train in the morning (the bar stays open until 5am Tuesday - Saturday). Like a good man, a predator-free champagne bar in Roppongi is hard to find. Fortunately, there's Zero Bar. Conveniently located near Tokyo Midtown, this place is just the ticket for a glass of bubbly before the last train at night, or before the first train in the morning (the bar stays open until 5am Tuesday - Saturday).
The interior, with its crimson stools and red-lit shelves, carries a whiff of Los Angeles in the 90s, lying somewhere between a martini bar and a bordello. At the front, a cluster of orange teardrop lights dangle from the ceiling like a lava lamp in arrested motion; at the back, a small area with table seating is partially concealed behind a black fringe curtain.
Although champagne is the main attraction here, they also serve wines by the glass (three reds, one white) and by the bottle (around 100 kinds). Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label is their house champagne (Y1500 per glass), and there are three other varieties to choose from on their monthly-changing list. Light snacks like cheese, cured meats, and dried fruits are also available. [Show more] [Show less]
This refurbished bar, hovering over the main lobby of the ANA Hotel, serves several different champagnes by the glass or the bottle, ranging from Y1300 to Y3000 per glass. There's also a limited food menu and lunch specials at midday.
Akasaka 1-13-33, ANA Intercontinental Hotel 3F. Open 11:30am-11pm daily.
Very casual bistro-style fare and a good variety of wines from southern France - they import their own wines and many are available by the glass. The chef is Philippe Batton, formerly of Le Petit Bedon in Daikanyama, and the atmosphere is authentically French. [Go to branch review]
Toranomon 2-1-1. Open 11:30am-3, 6-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The small, bistro-style ground-floor dining room serves a Y4,800 prix fixe dinner until 10pm (last order). There's also a second-floor wine bar with an a la carte snack menu. Saturday lunch starts at Y1800.
Ginza 2-5-6. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30-11pm (LO) daily.
This Marunouchi branch of the excellent Marugo wine bar is less cramped than the original shops in Shinjuku, but it can still get smoky sometimes. The outdoor seating is recommended when the weather is nice. The menu includes eighteen French wines by the glass, hundreds more by the bottle, and a small selection of tasty snacks like pork terrine.
A combination bakery and brasserie; it also features a small standup bar serving ten wines by the glass - a good place to meet up before dining nearby.
Marunouchi 2-7-3, Tokyo Bldg Tokia 1F. Open 10am-midnight daily.
Bistro-style food from Petit Bedon chef Philippe Batton (including perfect duck confit and world-class roast potatoes), plus an eye-opening selection of wines from southern France, with many choices available by the glass. [See FULL REVIEW
Kudan-Kita 1-10-2. Open 11:30am-3, 6-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
With just twelve seats Dar Roiseau may be the smallest Moroccan restaurant in town, but the kitchen manages to turn out an impressive variety of Middle Eastern dishes. There's also a nice selection of French and Moroccan wines by the glass or bottle. With just twelve seats Dar Roiseau may be the smallest Moroccan restaurant in town, but the kitchen manages to turn out an impressive variety of Middle Eastern dishes. There's also a nice selection of French and Moroccan wines by the glass or bottle.
Among the six different couscous dishes on the menu, the Couscous Royale is a tour de force: the fluffy pasta grains are accompanied by meatballs, Merguez sausage, chicken kebab, lamb chop and an herb-infused broth with plenty of vegetables. If you just want to nibble on something with your drinks there are plenty of small starters (shrimp fritters, chicken liver pate), kebabs and salads - the cold lentil salad is especially recommended. [Show more] [Show less]
Sangenjaya 2-13-17. Open 11:30am-midnight. Closed Sundays.
This friendly wine bar has a lively atmosphere and a neighborhood feel. Although interior is fairly large (and certainly bigger than it appears from the entrance), the counter setup with its display of tapas-style daily specials gives it a cozy feeling. This friendly wine bar has a lively atmosphere and a neighborhood feel. Although interior is fairly large (and certainly bigger than it appears from the entrance), the counter setup with its display of tapas-style daily specials gives it a cozy feeling.
The daily menu features well-prepared Italian-Mediterranean trattoria fare like home-made ratatouille, escabeche of sardines, steamed mussels, and an acqua pazza of the day. There's a selection of organic wines from Italy, France and Japan, with around ten by the glass.
The dining room is non-smoking until around 12:30am; after that it's "bar time" with a more limited food menu until 4am. [Show more] [Show less]
Sangenjaya 2-14-19. Open 6pm-4am (LO). Closed Sundays.
Trois offers a good selection of reasonably priced wines from around the world, including many organic and biodynamic varieties. The food menu offers country-style French dishes like lamb chops and pork spareribs served cassoulet-style, and a very meaty Venison Parmentier stewed in red-wine sauce and served with mashed potatoes. Trois offers a good selection of reasonably priced wines from around the world, including many organic and biodynamic varieties.
The food menu offers country-style French dishes like lamb chops and pork spareribs served cassoulet-style, and a very meaty Venison Parmentier stewed in red-wine sauce and served with mashed potatoes. The interior is chic in a minimalist way, with big windows providing a good view of the comings and goings in Sangenjaya's nighttime drinking zone. [Show more] [Show less]
Sangenjaya 2-15-14, ABC Bldg 110. Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
There's a bar menu of simple pastas, terrines and salads, plus a more elaborate French menu if you want a full meal. Wines range from Y3,800-32,000, with eight served by the glass.
Jiyugaoka 1-25-3. Open noon-3, 6-10:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
A two-story late-night Spanish bar and restaurant, with your choice of bar snacks and wines or a complete Spanish meal. The upstairs restaurant has a nice selection of charcoal-grilled meats.
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.
Sakuragaokacho 16-7, Suzuki Bldg 1F. Open 5:30pm-2:30am. Closed Sundays.
This tiny Ebisu standing bar looks as though it's been plucked from the backstreets of Barcelona. Choose from a variety of tapas like bacon-wrapped dates or jamon iberico to snack on as you sip on a glass of wine (Y500-) or fino sherry (Y600-).
Ebisu 1-12-5. Open 5:30pm-midnight (LO). Closed Sundays.
It's easy to appreciate the beauty of Bar Guapos, where Y1500 is enough for a glass of tinto or blanco and one or two tasty tapas. There are about fifteen Spanish wines on the drink list, plus a number of Sherries. It's easy to appreciate the beauty of Bar Guapos, where Y1500 is enough for a glass of tinto or blanco and one or two tasty tapas. A complimentary dish of grana cheese, scooped directly out of the gigantic wheel on the counter, will give you something to nibble on as your contemplate your next order. There are about fifteen Spanish wines on the drink list, plus a number of Sherries.
Check out the daily specials written on a blackboard at the back of the bar, or stick with the favorites on the regular food menu. Stuffed mushrooms arrive sizzling in their ceramic dish; adorable ham croquettes come topped with a dab of tomato sauce. Burnt-orange walls and flamenco music add to the Iberian flavor, but you don't have to habla Espanol to get a drink: the affable bartender speaks very fluent English. There are a few seats, but it's mostly standing. [Show more] [Show less]
The Sherry Club in Ginza has an ochre coziness that envelops you the minute you sit down. It is quite possibly the best place in Tokyo to familiarize yourself with the many styles and flavors of this somewhat archaic tipple which originated centuries ago, crafted to ship well and store even better. The Sherry Club in Ginza has an ochre coziness that envelops you the minute you sit down. It is quite possibly the best place in Tokyo to familiarize yourself with the many styles and flavors of this somewhat archaic tipple which originated centuries ago, crafted to ship well and store even better.
A sharpened pencil and a list of sherries graces every place setting. Since this may be overwhelming for those not familiar with sherry, they have kindly provided several Y2300 tasting sets, which include three small glasses of sherry ranging from dry to sweet or pale to dark, along with a small platter of serrano ham, manchego cheese, pickles and olives and a caperberry.
Equally striking is the extensive variety of Spanish food, highlighted by several types of jamon (traditionally cured ham, similar to prosciutto). The well-aged chorizo is a spiced hard sausage with an exquisitely nutty and smoky flavor, with the chili gently kicking in as you chew it. The salchicha is a pungent salami, with a dry texture and rich, fermented flavor. My favorite was the lomo - a heavenly, cured pork loin with a touch of white mold on the outer surface that gives it a hint of blue cheese character.
Apart from these, there is a full menu of warm tapas. Recommended are the chorizo and garbanzo beans in tomato sauce (Y700), and the gazpacho (Y500). Also available are salads, pizza, and an array of rice dishes including a rich and very satisfying Valencia-style seafood paella (Y1800) that's enough for two.
One surprise was the selection of five brands of Spanish beer, all Y800. The astonishing variety of food and drink at Sherry Club makes it difficult to get an overview in one or two visits. But since Sherry Club has been open since 1986, there's every reason to believe it will be around for years to come. [Show more] [Show less]
Ginza 6-3-17, Yugen Bldg. 2/3F. Open 5:30-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
(Yotsuya 3-chome) 3225-6226
"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.
Arakicho 1, Nakabayashi Bldg 1F. Open 6pm-1:30am (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
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.
Tapas and grilled items, a good selection of sherry, plus around 5 wines by the glass are available at this pleasant bar, located on a small side street behind the Nakameguro GT building. The first floor, with its counter seating (and standing room at the front), has a cozy, chilled out feel. Table seating can be found on the second floor. (Open 4-11:30pm Sundays and holidays.)
Wines around the world
The draw at this chain of casual neighborhood wine bars is simple - decent-quality wines and snacks at a reasonable price. Generally a glass of wine and a small snack - such as pork rillettes or foie gras mousse - will come to less than Y1000.
Snacks such as cheeses or terrines are just Y400 at this casual wine bar, while wine by the glass ranges from Y500-700.
(Shinjuku Gyoen-mae) 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.
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.
A chain of neighborhood wine bars, Vivo offers decent wines at inexpensive prices (from Y500), while small tapas-style plates are just Y400.
The front bar area of the popular Aoyama steak house is a worthwhile destination in its own right, with excellent original cocktails, a good wine list with many choices by the glass, a casual food menu and outdoor seating on the patio if you're so inclined.
Charcoal-grilled meaty snacks and good-value wine by the glass are the draw at this casual late-night bar. There's a selection of around ten decently drinkable wines from France, Italy and the New World for just Y500 a glass, along with a big selection by the bottle. The chalkboard menus list plenty of daily specials, along with simple vegetable dishes and grilled lamb, chicken, pork and beef.
It's hard to beat the prices at this casual wine bar in Shibuya. All of the 70+ varieties of wine are available for Y1900. Choose your own bottle from the small glass cellar, or ask for recommendations from the knowledgeable young staff. It's hard to beat the prices at this casual wine bar in Shibuya. All of the 70+ varieties of wine are available for Y1900. Choose your own bottle from the small glass cellar, or ask for recommendations from the knowledgeable young staff.
Thin-crust pizzas come with a variety of toppings (garlic and chorizo, bacon and asparagus, prosciutto and soft-boiled egg) and all can be had for Y500. The space is small and it's standing room only, so try their sister shops Kuni or Voco if you want to sit. Drinks are half price during happy hour from 2pm - 6pm. There's no charge before 6pm, but after that it's Y300 per person. (Open from 4pm weekends.) [Show more] [Show less]
A slightly more upscale relative of the wine bar Cona that features a standing area on the ground floor, a wine bar on the second, and table seating on the third. All pizza and pasta dishes are Y1000.
This international restaurant includes a spacious and popular bar with a good wine list and an excellent nighttime view of Shibuya.
The Buri group run a couple of popular standup sake bars (Buchi in Shibuya, Buri in Ebisu), and now they've opened a standup French bistrot, with similarly inexpensive food and 100 different wines. If you get tired of standing there's also a sit-down restaurant in back; snacks up front average around Y700, with main courses in the restaurant averaging Y1500. [See FULL REVIEW
Wood-fired thin-crust pizzas for Y500 and wines by the bottle from Y1900 at at this sister shop of Shibuya's Cona.
A small, casual Italian wine bar that serves around twenty wines by the glass, in all price ranges, along with light snacks. From a quiet location on the edge of Higashi 6-chome, Enoteca Implicito beckons lovers of Italian wine towards its soft amber lights. The daily wine list features eight reds, four whites, and about as many sparklers (Y750-1800 by the glass). Specials are showcased monthly, and winery representatives occasionally stop by to give talks. The staff frequently opens difficult to find bottles to offer rare, albeit expensive, samples (on a recent visit, a Gravner '00 Berg was Y3000 per 100ml taste).
Settle in among the well-heeled crowd and soak up some European ambience as you sip on your Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Food is limited to snacks of salami, cheese, and hors d'ouerves like marinated seafood - just enough to whet your appetite. If you're in the mood for dinner proper, walk down the spiral staircase to their sister restaurant Osteria Splendido for some thoughtfully prepared Italian fare to go with your vino. Menu in Italian and Japanese. [Show more] [Show less]
If Shinagawa Atre were a hotel this would be the "lobby lounge" - definitely not the place for a discreet rendezvous. And while it may not be destination dining, it's worth knowing about for its big wine selection - two dozen choices at Y500/glass, courtesy of a high-tech wine dispenser system. There are various light dishes to nibble on, including good free-range chicken caesar salad, pizzas, and assorted small appetizers priced at Y300.
Konan 2-18-1, Atre Shinagawa 4F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.
A reasonably priced, very casual wine bar and grill. The eclectic wine list starts from Y2500/bottle, with 11 wines by the glass or decanter. There are also microbrew beers from Baird Brewery and artisanal cocktails. The food menu features dishes like grilled loin of pork and lamb chops, assorted hams, and shellfish steamed in wine.
Somewhere between bistro and beer hall lies the ambiguous territory of the wine izakaya. Ajirutei occupies a space that looks as though it was once a sports bar. Despite the cheerful red walls and various pieces of wine paraphernalia - wine crates, bottles, and posters from the movie "Sideways" - scattered throughout, the interior retains some of the character of its previous incarnation. The ghost of a dartboard lingers behind the decorative platter bearing a map of France on one wall, and one can easily imagine team-logo mugs in the nooks where wine bottles now stand. [See FULL REVIEW
Akasaka 3-10-4, Gessekai Bldg 2F. Open 5-11:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Wine by the glass and casual French snacks at very reasonable prices - most snacks are Y400, while wines are Y500-700 per glass.
Shimbashi 2-20-15, Shimbashi Ekimae Bldg #1 1F. Open 7am-midnight (Sat 2pm-). Closed Sundays.
The little tasting room in the back of this well-stocked liquor store is a good place to wind up a shopping afternoon or start off an evening in Ginza or Marunouchi. To accompany your wine, there are six different cheeses and other wine-friendly foods like pate, smoked duck and chicken pastrami. The little tasting room in the back of this well-stocked liquor store is a good place to wind up a shopping afternoon or start off an evening in Ginza or Marunouchi.
You can choose from at least ten wines by the glass, with a three-glass set priced at Y1000 and smaller tasting sizes starting at just Y200. Or you can buy a bottle from the front of the shop and drink it here; Yamazaki imports their wines directly from the wineries that produce them, and the selection includes a lot of unusual and hard-to-find wines from both Old and New World.
To accompany your wine, there are six different cheeses and other wine-friendly foods like pate, smoked duck and chicken pastrami. [Show more] [Show less]
Yurakucho 2-7-1, Yurakucho Itocia Plaza B1F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
Tama serves Okinawan food and wine, which turns out to be a pretty good combination. There are five wines by the glass every day, all priced at Y550, and many more bottles lining the wall, all with prices on display for easy ordering. The rafti (stewed pork) is excellent; they also do grilled meats and various appetizers. Budget around Y4000.
Marunouchi 2-6-1, Brick Square B1F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
The wine bar of Salt (the Australian restaurant next door), WW offers around 1000 different wines from around the world, including a few dozen by the glass, plus a simple food menu (sashimi, blood sausage, trout confit). Budget around Y5000 at dinnertime.
Marunouchi 1-5-1, Shin-Marunouchi Bldg 6F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
If you're looking for a wine bar in Kyobashi that won't doesn't roll up the shutters at 11pm, Bannzai Vino is open until 4am (except Sundays), and serves fairly decent food along with wine from Y700/glass.
A liquor shop, a standing bar, and a casual sit-down grill, Bar Maru is many things to many people. Browse the shelves, and if you find something you like you can crack it open on the spot for a modest Y500 corkage fee. Pop into the tachinomiya next door for a quick drink, or head to the second floor for a more comfortable scene.A liquor shop, a standing bar, and a casual sit-down grill, Bar Maru is many things to many people. Browse the shelves, and if you find something you like you can crack it open on the spot for a modest Y500 corkage fee. Pop into the tachinomiya next door for a quick drink, or head to the second floor for a more comfortable scene. There are about sixteen wines, including homemade sangria and, in the colder months, hot wine.
Sit down to a glass of Siglio (admittedly no Gran Reserva, but at Y450, who's complaining?) and start grazing on Spanish and Japanese tapas - an array of cured meats, sauteed mushrooms luxuriating in garlicky olive oil, grilled free-range chicken and fresh seafood, all reasonably priced.
Get more serious with a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon from Israel's Yarden Golan Heights Winery and move on to grilled Iberico pork or entrecote steak. The friendly atmosphere, with its eclectic mix of Shimokitazawa-style hipsters, salarymen, and Hatchobori locals, is as compelling as the food and drink. No English. [Show more] [Show less]
Hatchobori 3-22-10. Open 5-11pm. Closed weekends.
A joint venture by ham importer Principe and wine producer Zonin, this casual wine bar specializes in top quality cured meats from San Daniele del Fruili and Italian wines. The interior resembles a stylish Roman cafe, with shiny red acrylic surfaces, a gleaming metal bar, and shelves stocked with books and magazines about Italy. Italian radio plays in the background, and the friendly chef chats easily in Japanese and Italian. A joint venture by ham importer Principe and wine producer Zonin, this casual wine bar specializes in top quality cured meats from San Daniele del Fruili and Italian wines. The interior resembles a stylish Roman cafe, with shiny red acrylic surfaces, a gleaming metal bar, and shelves stocked with books and magazines about Italy. Italian radio plays in the background, and the friendly chef chats easily in Japanese and Italian.
Although the menu features nicely prepared pizzas and pastas, pork - in all of its various salted guises - takes center stage here: capicola, mortadella, mild and spicy salumi, and two kinds of prosciutto crudo. Rosebud-pink slices of prosciutto secolo, aged for over twenty months and delicately scented with white truffle, melt in the mouth (Y900 for a small plate, Y1650 for a large one), leaving a lingering sweetness. Savory snacks like deep-fried olives stuffed with ground meat and spices, and buttery, flaky pastries filled with pancetta and hard-boiled eggs, provide tasty, unusual alternatives to the staid choices of olives and tomato-basil bruschetta.
The wine list is an exploration of Italy's viticultural landscape, with 45 wines from all over the country. Around ten are available by the glass, and the three-wine tasting sets for Y1100 offer excellent value. [Show more] [Show less]
Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-3-2, Tamaeido Bldg 2F. Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
This casual bistro offers value-priced wines and meaty Mediterranean snacks late into the night. The spacious basement dining room has a warm feel to it - heavy on the wood and brick, with floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with wine bottles surrounding the tables. This casual bistro offers value-priced wines and meaty Mediterranean snacks late into the night. The spacious basement dining room has a warm feel to it - heavy on the wood and brick, with floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with wine bottles surrounding the tables.
Some fifty wines are available by the bottle, starting at just Y2500, with twelve poured by the glass. The food menu offers simple but satisfying fare like pork rillettes, assorted hams, country-style cassoulets, and tapas favorites like garlic-sauteed shrimp and mushrooms. [Show more] [Show less]
This tiny wine bar (with just fifteen seats) offers inexpensive food and a good selection of wines, from Y490 per glass or Y2400 per bottle. Cash only. [Go to branch review]
Iwatocho 19. Open 5:30pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
A wine bar in the evening, a soba restaurant in the daytime. They have over 70 very affordable wines by the bottle or glass, plus decent food. Counter seating only - the restaurant is only two meters wide, so it's best for groups of 1-3 people. Cash only.
Kagurazaka 1-14. (right from exit B4a Iidabashi sta.) Open 6:30pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
We certainly can't complain about a conveniently located indoor-outdoor cafe-bar that's open all afternoon and serves great food and drink. The menu offers simple but tasty dishes like duck confit and mussels steamed in white wine, along with freshly baked pizzas and wines by the glass, all at very reasonable prices. Our only worry is that they'll be too popular to get into.
Koraku 1-3-61, Tokyo Dome City Meets Port 3F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
Cheeses, pates and other snacks are just Y400, while wine ranges from Y500-700 per glass at this casual neighborhood wine bar.
A very casual Italian cafe where you can find wines by the glass (from Y500) along with simple fare like salamis, grilled chicken and organic vegetable salads.
This bayside brewpub and restaurant has a convivial bar area up front where they serve tasty snacks and fresh brews. The wine list is impressive, with good values at every price level and nine wines by the glass. This bayside brewpub features some of the most exciting food in town - well-centered modern American cuisine drawing from European, middle Eastern and Asian influences.
Service is attentive but also personal. The stylishly decorated dining room features an ever-changing art collection, and it's positively cavernous (by Tokyo standards) and mostly tobacco-free. There's also an outdoor terrace looking out over a picturesquely urban canal, with heating in winter.
The Y980 sampler of four microbrew beers is a fun way to start off, but don't neglect the excellent wine list, which offers very good values at every price level. Dinner with drinks ranges from Y4,000-Y8,000 per person. [Show more] [Show less]
Despite the close quarters, Navel is a relaxing place to enjoy a couple of drinks and a bite to eat. Around ten wines are available by the glass (Y300-), and selections change daily.This tiny wine bar occupies a sliver of space in the basement of an easily overlooked building, one minute away from Nakano station. It's a counter-only affair, and despite the close quarters, Navel is a relaxing place to enjoy a couple of drinks and a bite to eat. Around ten wines are available by the glass (Y300-), and selections change daily. There's no wine list, but the friendly and knowledgeable bartender will recommend one for you based on your preferences.
Like the bar itself, the food menu is small, but all of the dishes are reasonable (Y399-) and nicely done. Tasty snacks like homemade sausage patties, melted Camembert cheese, and grilled seafood are prepared on a diminutive iron griddle behind the counter.
In addition to wine, there is a large selection of distilled spirits - from single malts to unaged corn whiskey, and a range of eaux de vie. If you understand Japanese and you're curious about the difference between Cognac and Armagnac, tequila and mescal, or grappa and marc, this is a good place to ask. The bartender will be happy to expound on the topic. [Show more] [Show less]
A very casual local (non-standing) bar with reasonably priced wines. Most food items are priced at Y400 and come in tiny, bite-size portions.
Nakano 3-35-6. Open 5pm-3am daily.
Decent-quality wines and snacks are available at a reasonable price at a casual neighborhood wine bar. Generally a glass of wine and a small snack - such as pork rillettes or a helping of cheese - will come to less than Y1000.
In laid-back Yoyogi-Uehara, magazine-reading, designer sneaker-wearing hipsters gather at Dish, a cheerful cafe just a stone's throw from the station. The space has an open, casual feel, decorated with urban mod flourishes - colorful sofas, fiberglass bucket chairs, and sixties-era bric-a-brac - that recall San Francisco's Mission district or Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Bouncy ska and Cuban R&B keep the mood lively, and original art is exhibited along the right-hand wall. [See FULL REVIEW