Yotsuya 3-chome: Tempura
Itoi (Yotsuya 3-chome: Tempura)
Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
no smoking: No smoking

We first noticed this charming hole-in-the-wall drinking spot thanks to the prominent display of their daily sake menu on their front wall. Although they're not a sake specialist, their selection of around fifteen craft sake is carefully chosen, and sake is served in smaller 90ml and 120ml glasses, so you can try a few different types over the course of a visit.

The food menu focuses on tempura, a dish more often found in brightly lit traditional counter shops rather than more casual settings like this. Basic skewers such as prawns, anago eel and vegetables are priced at Y150-200, supplemented by more deluxe, original items like coriander prawn kakiage. The breading is light, and the fresh, clean flavors of the ingredients come shining through.

The atmosphere here is very laid-back, with a young staff and customer base. The decor is reminiscent of a bohemian cafe, and an eclectic mix of reggae, rock and Japanese hiphop plays on the sound system. Budget anywhere from Y2,000-3,500 depending on how long you stay.

Update: Note that online reservations are now required.

Yotsuya 3-chome
Shinjuku-ku, Funamachi 5.

Sister sites:
Craft Beer Bars Japan
Bars, retailers and festivals
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Where in Tokyo
Fun things to do in the big city
Neighborhood guides and top-five lists from Tokyo experts
Barking Inu
Sushi dictionary and Japan Android apps

Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended