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If you're hungry in Tokyo (or central Yokohama), you'll find listings here for more than 1000 restaurants, cheese shops, wine bars and bakeries. We've got fresh reviews, food and wine news, and full listings browsable by neighborhood, cuisine or feature.
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The down-home decor, warm service and extremely lively atmosphere give this shop the feel of a real old-school izakaya, although they've only been open since 2012. Charcoal-grilled seafood, meats and seasonal vegetables are the specialty, along with deep-fried kushiage morsels. Some recommendations include the grilled beef tongue, smoked bacon, grilled asparagus and eggplant.
There's also a nice selection of sake and shochu from around the country, and of course beer. Budget around Y4000 for ample food and drink.
A tiny, mostly standing bar, Oyster Bar Bono is notable for their selection of eight Japanese craft beers on tap, priced at just Y390 (+tax) for a small (280ml) glass. The food menu is similarly inexpensive, and features small pizzas as well as oysters. Open noon-10pm (LO) weekends. (Formerly called Ibrew Shimbashi.)
Excellent grilled seasonal vegetables share top billing with the grilled meats at this charming neighborhood teppanyaki restaurant. There are pork-stuffed giant mushrooms, asparagus with cheese and basil, nicely charred bamboo shoots with thick slabs of bacon, shiitake shumai dumplings, grilled eggplant with shrimp and sudachi, grilled broccoli with bacon and garlic - over twenty vegetable dishes in total.
If you've still got room, the grilled meats are skillfully prepared and feature regional heirloom breeds of pork and chicken. Note that portions are a bit larger than a typical izakaya, and ordered dishes can arrive en masse. Wines start at under Y3000 and there's also sake, shochu and beer. Budget around Y3000-5000 for dinner with drinks.
Gourmet pizzas with exotic toppings make up the core of the menu here, with choices like lamb sausage and goat cheese, roast peppers and eggplant, or chicken meatballs with mushrooms, red onions and ricotta. Pizza crusts are pleasantly crunchy, and the size is just about right for one person, although big enough to share if you're having other dishes.
At dinnertime you can supplement your pizza with meaty main dishes, pastas (ravioli, cavatappi), and starters like pan-roasted mussels. Budget around Y3500 for dinner with drinks, and Y1200-1800 at lunchtime.
Located at the Marunouchi end of the Grandsta complex inside Tokyo station (near the NeX tracks), Le Collier carries a huge selection of 130 different Japanese craft beers, making it a very convenient place to stock up before a Shinkansen journey (or just a trip home). There's also a small stand-up bar where you can order beer or wine by the glass.
The bar section generally offers two craft beers on draft and four bottled beers, with prices ranging around Y470-650. Hours are 4-10pm for beers, and until 8:45pm for other drinks, with slightly earlier hours on weekends. If you're shopping for an on-board Shinkansen picnic, you can pick up prepackaged terrines, cold cuts, cheeses and other snacks to go with your drinks.
Mashed potatoes topped with pasta-style cream sauces - that's the rather unique offering at this tiny food stand. There are five choices of sauce, in variations like seasonal-vegetable curry and turnip-chicken-gorgonzola. Each order is Y550.
Wine and soft drinks are also available, and you can order your mashed potatoes to go, although they suggest that you enjoy them while they're hot. Note that the shop may close early if they sell out.
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.)
This intimate neighborhood beer bar covers all the bases, with a dozen domestic craft beers on tap, plus a fridge filled with another fifty crafty US and Belgian imports by the bottle - the Belgians complete with matching glassware. Oh, and wine too - some sixteen varieties by the glass.
The kitchen turns out an enticing menu of beer- and wine-friendly dishes - we had some rich liver pate and plump soft-shelled shrimps that held their own against a hoppy Moylan's IPA from northern California. All the food is reasonably priced, with a whole section of Y500 small plates for your snacking pleasure.
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.
Around a dozen famous gyoza shops from around the country are gathered here in this unusual dumpling-centered theme park inside the very noisy Namja Town game center. (Weekdays tend to be quieter.) Portions are small so you can try several different types, choosing from the picture menus at each stall.
Adjacent to the gyoza zone is "Ice Parlor," offering fifty types of ice cream, in flavors like basil, musk melon, avocado, beef tongue, crab and Indian curry. Order a set of six mini-scoops for Y360 or a bit more depending on the flavor. (Y500 separate admission to get into Namja Town.)
Boasting a big collection of vinyl, an impressive sound system and humongous JBL speakers, Eagle has a certain old-school jazz-kissaten charm, as long as you don't mind the cigarette smoke. In the afternoons it's "quiet time," when you're encouraged to refrain from talking while listening to the music over a strong cup of coffee (Y680) or a snack (quiche, cake, or chili along with a cup of coffee, from Y800).
There's free WiFi, but you won't see many laptops - the customers all seem to be engrossed in the music. Lunch is served until 2:30pm, and in the evenings you can order whiskey instead of coffee.
This tiny neighborhood wine bar has the unusual policy of letting you try before you buy - you can take a sip or two of whatever bottles are open before committing to their wine by the glass. The food is also quite good, with game birds and meats in season and numerous smaller dishes if you just want a quick nibble. Budget around Y4000-7000 at dinnertime.
(Note: this is one of two wine bars in the same building - the other is called Chiori.)
Budget almost-gourmet burgers in a fast-food setting, along with fruit and vegetable smoothies. Pungent marinated Japanese mustard greens and wasabi-tartar sauce add some sparkle to the namesake 3rd Burger.
The specialized sake selection at this small neighborhood izakaya is beyond reproach, while the food menu is notable for its sake-infused dishes such as ginjo-steamed chicken with apricots and wasabi as well as more standard pub fare. Budget around Y2500-4000 for food and drink.
Maui Mike's succulent, "fire-roasted" rotisserie chicken comes with your choice of seven dipping sauces, including chili, yuzu pepper and spicy BBQ. Rounding out the menu are various salads, pulled BBQ sandwiches and scones. There's a surprisingly big cocktail menu in addition to budget wines and Hawaiian beers, and most of the menu is available to take out.
When the weather is nice you can enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine up on the rooftop, looking out over the Tama River. There are also barbecue facilities (reserve with the staff), and a charmingly rustic dining room on the ground floor, where the kitchen turns out pastas, risotti and other reasonably priced Italian fare.
Tucked away in a back alley near Shimo-Kitazawa station, Tag is a pleasantly relaxing spot for an afternoon break. The musical soundtrack is on the mellow side, and tablet computers are supplied on every table for your browsing needs (along with free WiFi).
Lunchtime runs until 4pm, with reasonably priced, well-prepared dishes, and there's a wide range of drinks, both caffeinated and alcoholic, to choose from. The space is decorated with random party decorations and big plastic trees, which provide a bit of privacy between tables. Unfortunately the cafe's small size means that it can get smoky at times.
A dozen varieties of coconut-based, vegetable-filled, Thai-inspired, Japanese-style curries are on offer here, with 25 optional toppings, including baked cheese. The attractively decorated space is furnished with several tables as well as the usual counter, and there's a take-out window if you want to bring your curry home. Curries start at Y750; beers and cocktails are Y500.
Artisanal cheeses from a small Hokkaido farm are showcased at this "cheese workshop," along with heirloom-breed pork and seasonal Hokkaido vegetables. The restaurant's menu of simple, Italian-inspired dishes - centered on numerous pizza and pasta variations - does a good job of highlighting the fresh, natural flavors of the cheeses and other ingredients.
The caprese is a good starting point - the mild sweetness of the very fresh mozarrella is offset by tart baby tomatoes, umami-rich tomato gelee and pungent rocket and other greens. Oven-roasted caciocavallo is another simple affair, with aromatic rosemary and fruity olive oil balanced against the pleasantly chewy cheese. The fuller flavor of sauteed halloumi stands up to a more assertive combination of garlic, chili and tomatoes.
It's not all about cheese though - main dishes built around succulent Hokkaido "whey pork" are well worth a try. We enjoyed a juicy oven-roasted pork fillet with herbs and balsamico sauce, although it was a tough choice versus the grilled pork topped with the farm's prize-winning raclette cheese. If you just want to savor multiple cheeses on their own, platters run Y850 and Y1380 for three- and five-cheese assortments.
Several Hokkaido wines are sold by the bottle, although the house wines are budget-friendly Italians. You can also sample fresh juices (tomato, blueberry, lemon-milk), juice-based cocktails, and yogurt drinks. The walls of the restaurant are adorned with appetizing photos of cheese-making, finished cheeses, and picturesque cows, all to get you in the proper cheese-indulging mood. Budget around Y2000-3000 for dinner and a drink or two.
Don't worry about being the only person working at the Paperback Cafe - you'll generally find laptops in use at every table, giving the place a busy, productive atmosphere. The cafe is spread out over three levels (two of them non-smoking) inside a Jimbocho bookstore, with free WiFi and ample electrical outlets. Reasonably priced tea and espresso will help fuel your work session, along with assorted sandwiches, soups, quiches and rice dishes.
Scotland's popular craft-beer brewery has opened their first Japanese bar in the middle of Roppongi. The rather spacious establishment serves twenty brews on tap, including BrewDog's flagship Punk IPA as well as their very impressive Jackhammer IPA, Hardcore IPA, and Dead Pony Club pale ale.
There's also a roster of guest beers representing notable finds from around the US and UK, Scandinavia and Japan. Recent options included beers from Nogne, Mikkler, Heretic, Lagnitas, Thornbridge, Hitachino Nest and Shiga Kogen.
Open from 11am Friday-Sunday. (Not to be confused with the nearby Two Dogs beer bar.)
Darvish sells imported Persian ingredients - Iranian dates and other fruits, juices, honey, and mint water. Assorted spices are priced at Y200 per jar, and ready-made stews and other meals-in-a-pouch are Y350 each.
Alluring Basque-style bocadillo baguette sandwiches are served all afternoon here, and the namesake Fermintxo Boca sandwich (grilled Iberico pork loin, mozzarella and pimento) is especially recommended, as is the Iberico-pork sausage variety.
In the evenings the menu expands to include an array of tapas and drinks. Budget around Y6000 at night, Y1000-1500 during the day.
A very casual, all-you-can-drink premium sake bar, Yamachan combines the best aspects of an industry sake-tasting event (lots of varieties freely available, at a reasonable all-inclusive price) and a typical urban sake-tasting bar (a carefully chosen selection of bottles, and chairs where you can sit down). The bar's unique self-pour policy is perhaps the best feature - it means that you can try out little sips from lots of different bottles until you find something you love.
Finding an amazing sake here is just a matter of time, as the collection is stellar - ranging from top-grade offerings from famous labels to hidden gems produced by obscure small breweries. Bottles are lined up in glass-paneled refrigerators, with some sixty choices on the ordinary menu (from which you can drink freely until closing time) plus a handful of super-premium labels that command a small surcharge (Y290-430 per 90ml shot). There are also four or five extra-special bottles of the day, from among which each customer can choose one variety for a bonus tasting during the course of the evening.
The setting is far from fancy - the place looks like a hastily converted former office, furnished with folding chairs and tables and reachable from street level via a tiny elevator. There's no food served, but you're encouraged to bring your own snacks from a nearby convenience store or grocery, or you can even order pizza to be delivered. (We enjoyed very nice take-away sashimi and snacks from the Marusho supermarket just across the street.)
Budget Y3150 for all the sake you can drink, plus whatever you wish to spend at the grocery store.
This cozy backstreet diner serves a menu of American-style gourmet burgers and sandwiches, to stay or to go. The unusual broccoli cheeseburger (Y1270) is one of our favorites - the slightly crunchy broccoli florets slathered with melted Monterey Jack cheese sitting atop the burger yield a pleasing combination of textures and flavors. Another novel offering is the peach burger (Y1200), made with yellow cling peaches in syrup.
The rest of the burger menu covers more traditional ground, with toppings like avocado, bacon, chili, egg and cheese, along with filet-o-fish if you're not in a carnivorous mood. Burgers are made from premium-grade meat, incorporating 20% wagyu beef, and the crisply fried bacon is also first-rate.
The menu is rounded out by a roster of sandwiches (pastrami; BLT; grilled chicken; grilled ham, cheese and egg) and hot dogs, but the burgers are the main draw. We were a bit surprised by the extra charges for fairly standard condiments; for example sauerkraut on your hot dog costs Y150 extra, and there's a charge for pickles, but that's a minor complaint.
The dining area has space for 18 at tables, plus a few seats at the counter. Note the early closing hour (8pm) on weekends.
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