Tokyo and Yokohama
Exploring great places to eat and drink
If you get hungry during an afternoon of Ryogoku sightseeing, Hisago serves decent-quality tempura at budget-friendly prices all day long. The mixed tempura teishoku (Y1100) comes with a nice variety of seafood and vegetables, including unusual items like broccoli and a soft-boiled egg. There's also an anago eel teishoku priced at Y1600; both teishoku come with miso soup and rice, and.... [Continue reading]
The Vivo chain of casual wine bars offers good food and decent wines at budget-friendly prices, and the conveniently located Yotsuya branch is no exception. Ten daily wines by the glass start at around Y600, and most snacks are Y400 a pop, with no cover charge. Yotsuya's tiny triangular bar is somewhat smaller than usual though. There's room for maybe seven or eight customers, and you.... [Continue reading]
The specialized sake selection at this small neighborhood izakaya is beyond reproach, with many seasonal bottles and a number of hard-to-find labels from the elusive Juyondai brewery. The food menu focuses on creative versions of kushiage and other deep-fried dishes, and these are very well prepared. Our shrimp and lotus root hasamiage was fluffy in texture and not the least bit oily,.... [Continue reading]
Cheese lovers take note - the custom five-cheese platter at this casual wine bar, priced at Y980, may be one of the best deals in town. The cheese counter offers dozens of different varieties, so you may even give in to temptation and order a second platter. You can also pair your cheese with numerous cured meats from the adjacent ham counter. Wine by the glass starts at Y400, with 18.... [Continue reading]
One mark of a serious sake bar is whether they offer limited-edition seasonal specials, and we're happy to report that this stylish izakaya has a whole page of them, all at very reasonable prices. Tama no Kura's food is also excellent - reliable, well-constructed izakaya fare with a creative edge. Grilled shiitake mushrooms with gorgonzola sauce was a particularly inspired combination,.... [Continue reading]
The Famous David Burger (Y1944) definitely belongs in Tokyo's top burger ranks. The juicy patty has a good fat ratio, and is served medium-rare to accentuate the meatiness. It's topped with a nice bit of sharp cheddar and good-quality cole slaw. The fries are pretty good, but the garlic mayonnaise accompanying them really sets them apart, and beautifully complements the burger patty as.... [Continue reading]
At least on paper, this new barbecue spot offers a very similar-looking menu and presentation to Smokehouse in Harajuku. Here's the cornbread, here's a tiny dish of mac 'n' cheese, and look, you can choose from four different barbecue sauces in plastic squeeze bottles. In spite of having three hungry barbecue lovers at our table though, nobody bothered to finish the rather mediocre mac 'n' cheese, and we were informed that no, we couldn't have butter for our rather dry cornbread.... [Continue reading]
Limited-edition seasonal sake is the drawing card at this rather minimalist drinking spot. They bill themselves as a Hakata-style udon-based izakaya, and there's a good selection of tempura, other deep-fried dishes and izakaya standards in addition to the noodles. Grilled Hakata-style pork was a highlight during a recent visit, as were the morokyu (cucumbers with a very spicy miso-paste dip).... [Continue reading]
Italian-style beef tripe stew is the speciality of the house here, prepared in several different styles. The stews are all richly flavored and somewhat spicy - it would be fun to stop in here for just a dish of stew and a glass of wine, although unfortunately the Y500 table charge discourages this sort of bar hopping. There's also an assortment of pastas, including many featuring.... [Continue reading]
Nestled in a greenery-filled corner of the lovely Tsutaya Electrics megastore, Good Meals Shop serves gourmet coffee from a Kyoto roastery. The buttermilk-fried chicken with Incan potatoes and home-made mayonnaise is a specialty of the kitchen and a very satisfying snack. They also have a few other light dishes and dessert items, and they make their own butter. If you're in the mood for.... [Continue reading]
There are thirty different types of sake to sample at this casual standing bar, and surprisingly all of them are made by breweries within Tokyo city limits. To add to the novelty factor, the sake is dispensed from vending machines - just insert your 300 yen and press the button for a perfect 40ml tasting-size pour. You can stand and drink your sake at one of the six small tables,.... [Continue reading]
This modern yoshoku restaurant serves its own refined versions of stuffed cabbage, fried-rice omelets, menchi-katsu (deep-fried ground-beef patties), fried prawns and other classic fare. There are several lunchtime set meals in the Y2000 range that will allow you to try a variety of dishes, while dinner with drinks might average around Y4000. The flavors here seem to be a bit deeper.... [Continue reading]
Best of Tokyo
More than 100 bars with good craft beers on tap
Tasting bars and izakaya with exceptional sake
Japan's most popular comfort food
Espresso, drip and siphon coffee shops
Our noodle-shop picks
Old-fashioned kissaten with jazz on vinyl
Seasonal produce straight from the farm
Explore regional delicacies and sake without leaving the city
The best burger joints in town
The most lively cat, bird and rabbit cafes, at sister site Animal Cafes.com
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Craft Beer Bars Japan
The latest listings from our sister site Craft Beer Bars Japan.
New opening - Beer Brain: Omotesando
Although it's tiny itself, this cozy standing bar is part of the larger Commune 2nd complex, an assemblage of casual food trucks in the heart of Aoyama. Food options from the surrounding trucks include German sausages, Thai...
Living: Yokohama Yamashitacho
A comfortable, laid-back bar located near Yamashita Park, Living Craft Beer Bar offers ten Japanese craft beers on draft along with a creative food menu. If you have trouble deciding what to drink, you can opt for a...
New opening - Kazenori Meri: Shimo-Kitazawa
The well-chosen selection of twenty craft beers here is accompanied by a very nice food menu, with enticing dishes like stewed pork belly and chicken wings, herb-infused fish and chips, and potato salad with chicken breast and avocado.....
Ushitora One: Shimo-Kitazawa
One of Tokyo's pioneering craft-beer bars, Ushitora devotes several taps to their own beers, brewed in Tochigi, along with a good selection of Japanese and imported craft beers - there are 25 taps in all. The small food menu offers tasty....
New opening - World Beer Market: Adachi-ku
Not only does Beer Market offer the best selection of imported craft beers in Tokyo, but you can drink whatever you buy right in the shop, with just a Y100 corkage charge. They also have ten taps of craft beers (they were half ....
Rokugo (65): Kanda
Handy to know about if you've missed your last train (or you just want another drink before heading home), Rokugo is open until 7am every night but Sunday. They stock 200 kinds of bottled beer, 100 wines by the bottle ....
Where in Tokyo
Find fun things to do between meals, from our sister site Where In Tokyo.
Museum of History and Folklore: Omiya
Exhibits at this rather large museum feature archeological finds from the area, including a pit dwelling from the Jomon period. There are also collections of swords and armor, pottery and metalware, and famous 16th-century
Sumida Hokusai Museum: Ryogoku
This lovely museum is devoted to the work of Katsushika Hokusai, Japan's most famous ukiyoe artist, who lived and worked for most of his life here in this traditional neighborhood. The wide-ranging permanent collection ....
Keio Rail Land: Hino-shi
This inexpensive mini-theme park is an entertaining destination for young train fans who still have leftover energy after a visit to Tama Zoo, located just across the road. It's a very hands-on attraction, with several different ....
Samurai Museum: Shinjuku Kabukicho
Although this specialized museum is rather compact in size, the very detailed English-language tour makes up for it, and is highly recommended. The tour brings Japan's samurai history to life as you're introduced to room after ....
Tama Zoo: Hino-shi
The goal of Tama Zoo is to display animals from various parts of the world in naturalistic habitats. Spread out over the vast 129-acre grounds are three distinct ecological areas - the Asiatic Garden, African Garden, and ....
Animal Cafes.com - Moff Animal Cafe: Tsukuba
Although it's not as large as sister shop Moff Animal World in Chiba, this laid-back multi-species animal cafe may be worth dropping in on if you're in Tsukuba. You can spend some quality time with around a dozen cats in the ....