Yoyogi: Izakaya
Haretoke (Yoyogi: Izakaya)
Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

Located in the thriving izakaya-filled back alleys southeast of Yoyogi Station, Haretoke offers a fantastic sake list and a menu heavily focused on meat, and horsemeat in particular. You can choose from more than a dozen cuts of horse, or go for a pre-selected five- or three-part assortment of horse sashimi. They also serve a horse sushi platter, horse carpaccio and excellent deep-fried horse karaage.

For a more balanced diet you can choose from grilled beef tongue and beef rump steak, grilled chicken and pork, and a sausage of the day. The mixed-grill platter (Y2,800) is a hefty half-kilogram of assorted meats (beef, chicken and pork) and a good introduction to the non-equine portion of the menu. Organic-vegetable bagna cauda and anchovy-flavored french fries provide a refreshing break from all the animal flesh.

The restaurant's sake list is compact but well curated, with over a dozen craft brews from around the country divided into premium and extra-premium categories. Servings are 3, 5, and 7 shaku in size (around 55, 90 and 125 ml in metric), and they start from just Y390 for a small glass. At these prices it's tempting to try out new and unfamiliar labels, and perhaps find some new favorites.

Service is friendly, the atmosphere is casual, and the R&B-heavy background music is invigorating. There's comfortable counter seating if you're dining solo. Budget around Y4,000-4,500 for a nice, rather meaty dinner washed down with some first-rate sake.

Shibuya-ku, Sendagaya 5-20-18.

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Explore the hidden side of Tokyo dining
Charcoal-grilled pork on skewers, udon noodles in curry-flavored soup, octopus dumplings, deep-fried beef cutlet -- there's a whole world of exciting food in Tokyo that food-loving visitors often miss out on.

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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended