Restaurants and Bars in Tokyo
How can you possibly decide which restaurants and bars to visit? At lunchtimes we tended to go for a small Japanese style “cafe” which did not have an English menu (or name!). We would just ask for a ramen dish at the cost of around £3! Also check out the 7Eleven’s which have a hot food counter including tasty steamed buns (£1.5).
1-16-4 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku 160-0023
Gorgeous pork cutlet tonkatsu in the heart of Shinjuku and you get to grind your own spices and sauce! Spacious restaurant with good service. Meal for 2 with a drink around £30.
〒150-0001 Tokyo, 渋谷区Jingumae, 6−2−4
Based in Harajuku, this is a no frills simple gyoza (served either steamed or pan fried) restaurant. You can get six pieces at the bargain price of £2.50! This is a popular place so be prepared to queue.
Yakitori Marukin Shinjuku Main Branch
Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-34-16, 4F
This is a izakaya (like a Japanese gastropub) that normally gives you unlimited alcohol for a certain amount of time. Look for the sign below or it could be rather tricky to find!
This one had 30 minutes non stop drinking for 299 yen (around £2.50) with beers and spirits. We ended up staying for an hour and a half and also ordered some food including dumplings and yakitori. It was a really chilled out place with a good vibe.
1-6-1, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
We loved trying their variety of yakitori and had a few different types of chicken and beef. We sat downstairs on cushions on the floor, which I loved! Dinner for 2 was around £25.
1-1-4 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku 160-0023
C&C curry is a great place at lunch for tonkatsu! You order from a vending machine and sit on a stool around a counter. It is only around £5 and is super tasty. Great for a quick bite.
BARS IN TOKYO
There are so many bars to visit in Tokyo! Given that we were staying in Shinjuku, we explored that area more than others.
The Golden Gai
The Golden Gai area, also known as Golden District, is a small area of a few blocks in Tokyo which contains hundreds of small buzzing bars which could hold from 5 people to around 30!
Some of the bars only accept Japanese locals but you may as well pop your head in to see if you are welcome! Some bars charge a cover charge ranging from 200 yen to 1000 per person (£2-8), which can easily add up if you want to visit a few.
Our favourite bar was Champion Bar which offers a selection of drinks at 500Yen (£5) and karaoke for the general public. We ended up singing the Spice Girls on our first night and everyone was so friendly! There was a mixture of locals and tourists and no cover charge. We drank a lot of sake out of those cubed boxes!
Araku Bar is more tourist focused. Have a look for the small staircase with red fluffy carpet and you will enter a small bar where there are a few stools at the bar and a few tables. The bar staff were friendly and there was no cover charge.
Albatross is a three floor bar, although each floor can only hold a small number of people. Apparently on the upper-floor, customers place their orders and receive their drinks through a hole in the floor but there was not enough space for us unfortunately. There is a cover charge of 500 yen but they give you some small snacks with your drinks.
Most of the Golden Gai bars stay open late but around 1am we decided to head to Casablanca club, which was open until 5am. We went with a local that we had met and he sorted our entry and a drink for around 1000 Yen. We had a great time dancing around to great music!
There is one thing you need to understand about the Japanese – they love Karaoke!
Karaoke Kan is the popular chain karaoke bar with the light blue sign that locals and tourists visit! Be careful not to get carried away though, as the prices at peak time can really add up. Try and check it out off peak and note you normally have to buy a drink too. Some of the chains (Harajuku definitely) have costumes which is so awesome!! We loved the power ranger suits in particular….
We highly recommend visiting the Peak Bar in the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku. From 5pm – 8pm every day, unlimited drinks and canapes are served. Get there early to make the most of it and guarantee a reservation.
You can then get pictures before and after sunset. There is such a nice atmosphere with a great selection of drinks on offer including champagne, wine, spirits, beer and cocktails.
The canapes are a selection of fish, meat and breads – try to make sure you eat a few otherwise you will get carried away with the drinks!
There are SO many great restaurants and bars in Tokyo. Many of the areas are concentrated so there should be places to cater for all needs. We loved trying different dishes and particuarly loved the Izkaya’s.
East London Girl: Bars and restaurants in Tokyo
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