Akihabara, Bakurocho, Asakusabashi, Ryogoku
Cafes, bars and casual dining
Boo - Cafe: Akihabara
[Open 11:30am-11pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.]
One of the rare non-chain restaurants in Akihabara, this charming cafe serves an eclectic evening menu of Italian-inspired dishes at very reasonable prices. At lunchtime it's more of a standard cafe menu (served until 1:40pm), and in the afternoons...
Asan Cafe - Cafe: Akihabara
[Open 11am-6:45pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.]
Part of the Aki-Oka complex of artisan shops and studios, this offbeat cafe features hammocks to swing in and tablet computers to fool around on while you enjoy a coffee; unfortunately they close rather early.
Kuramoto Stand - Bar: Akihabara
[Open 11am-8pm daily.]
A small but stylish bar run by Kikusui Brewery and attached to the Chabara antenna shop, Kuramoto offers sake tasting sets as well as sausages, pancakes and other foods made with sake lees.
Tokyo Curry-ya Meitenkai - Curry: Akihabara
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
This tiny counter shop inside Akihabara Atre has assembled five famous Japanese curry shops from this curry-strong neighborhood - mini-branches of Kyoeido, Ethiopia, Delhi, Topca and Hongo Petit Feu. For Y2500 you can try a sampling of curries from...
Champ Divin 3331 - Bar: Akihabara
[Open 6-10pm (LO; Fri, Sat -1:30am). Closed Mondays, Tuesdays.]
Attached to a rather large community art gallery complex (Arts Chiyoda 3331), this small cafe-style bar is one of the hipper spots in Akihabara to grab a late-night drink, and they're open until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights. Drinks include...
Crane - Burgers: Akihabara
[Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.]
Classic American-style burgers are served here along with milkshakes in many flavors. Burgers are meaty and well seasoned, served with good quality bacon and cheese as options. Regular burgers come without distracting sauces, but with...
Hitachino Brewing Lab - Beer bar: Akihabara
[Open 11am-10:30pm (LO; Sun -8:30pm) daily.]
Occupying one of the most stylish settings for a taproom in Tokyo, this brewing laboratory from the ever-popular Hitachino Nest beer offers seven beers on tap, including some experimental lab-only brews that they're trying out. The brewery's hoppy...
Wiz - Beer bar: Awajicho
[Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm (LO) daily.]
Thirty-one taps of craft beer are ready to pour here - both top-grade Japanese brews and solid US and European imports. The food menu ranges from simple tapas-style dishes like salmon carpaccio to original versions of Tex-Mex fare like tacos and...
Craft Beer Market Awajicho - Beer bar: Awajicho
[Open 11:30am-2, 5-11:30pm. Closed weekends.]
The third branch of the popular beer bar chain, CBM offers a variety of microbrew beers priced at a very reasonable Y780 per US pint (smaller glasses are Y480, and there's a small table charge). The bar's thirty taps dispense mostly Japanese craft...
Craft Beer Market - Beer bar: Kanda
[Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-11pm (LO) daily.]
One thing we like about this craft-beer bar chain, besides the reasonable prices and broad beer selection, is that fact that each branch has its own distinctive food menu. The theme here at CBM's tenth branch is lamb, and the kitchen goes all out...
DevilCraft - Beer bar: Kanda
[Open 5-11pm (LO; Sun -9:30pm) daily.]
Excellent Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is served here, and the fifteen taps in the cozy ground-floor bar area dispense a good selection of craft beers from Japan and the US, including some from DevilCraft's own Tokyo brewery.
Yona Yona Beer Works - Beer bar: Kanda
[Open 4-10:30pm (LO; Sat, Sun 11:30am-) daily.]
The second Tokyo outlet of Nagano Prefecture's Yo-Ho Brewing, this Kanda branch offers a more ambitious food menu as well as a dozen of the brewery's beers on draft, including a couple of hand-pumped real ales. Excellent roast Date chicken, an...
Maltan - Beer bar: Kanda
[Open 6pm-1am (Fri -4am). Closed Sundays.]
A funky, art-filled basement bar serving Japanese craft beers, single-malt whiskies and an inexpensive food menu. There are five regular beers on draft (including Shiga-Kogen pale ale) plus a couple of guest taps and several more by the bottle.
Himalaya Table - Nepalese: Kanda
[Open 5-11pm (Sat 3-11). Closed Sundays.]
Do craft beers go with Nepalese cuisine? The folks at Himalaya Table Craft Beer and Spice think so, and so they offer eight microbrews on tap - chosen to go well with your momo mutton dumplings, spicy stir-fried chicken livers, fried peanuts and...
Coffee Stand in the Painting - Coffee shop: Bakurocho
[Open 11am-6pm daily.]
More like coffee stand in the paint store, this cute little mini-cafe is located inside the multistory Colorworks Palette art supply store. Drip coffee comes with a choice of single-bean or blend, and is served hot, cold, or au lait, priced from...
Fukumori - Japanese regional: Bakurocho
[Open 11:30am-3, 3-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.]
Nestled among the art galleries and crafts shops of Bakurocho, this stylish little cafe-restaurant serves regional cuisine from Yamagata Prefecture as well as coffee and dessert in the afternoons. Dinnertime prix-fixe menus are priced at...
Beer Wars - Beer bar: Bakurocho
[Open 11:30am-2, 5-11:30pm (Sat 1-10:30). Closed Sundays.]
A solid selection of US craft beers, good food, and a friendly atmosphere make this a popular destination for neighborhood beer lovers. Six taps are devoted to US breweries like Karl Strauss, Victory and New Belgium, with 400ml glasses priced at...
Nihonbashi Brewery - Brewpub: Bakurocho
[Open 11:30am-11pm daily.]
This brewpub is run by a veteran of HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery) in Portland, Oregon, and the thirteen taps here carry HUB beers and other imports, domestic Japanese craft beers from producers like Kyoto Brewing, and one or two of their own house...
Alpe Manegra - Italian: Bakurocho
[Open 11am-2, 5-9pm (LO) daily.]
This charming neighborhood Italian joint serves quite tasty food along with reasonably priced wines. The chef isn't shy about intense flavors - the caprese starter incorporates rocket to give it added bite, and the ravioli is loaded down with...
Sekai no Yamachan - Japanese regional: Asakusabashi
[Open 5-11:30pm (LO; Sun -10:30) daily.]
If you're hungry following an afternoon of art gallery-hopping in the Bakurocho area, Yamachan is a fine place to stop in for a quick snack and drink. Spicy chicken wings are the specialty at this Nagoya-based izakaya, and we recommend at least one...
Cona - Italian: Asakusabashi
[Open 5-11:30pm daily.]
This branch of the ever-popular pizza and wine bar makes a convenient recharging spot after an afternoon of art gallery hopping in nearby Bakurocho. There are a couple dozen pizza configurations to choose from, all priced at Y500, while wines are...
Buta Ichiro - Yakiton: Asakusabashi
[Open 5pm-midnight (LO) daily.]
Charcoal-grilled skewers of pork and chicken are the main draw at this very informal after-work drinking spot, along with some decent sake and quite a bit of shochu. While there's some tatami seating upstairs, it's mainly a standing bar, well...
Lucite Cafe and Bar - Cafe: Asakusabashi
[Open noon-6pm, 6pm-midnight daily.]
Located in a charming old wooden house overlooking the Sumida River, Lucite is a pleasant place to stop for a coffee break or an early-evening drink after visiting the art galleries in nearby Bakurocho.
Hosokawa - Soba: Ryogoku
[Open 11:45am-3, 5-8:45pm. Closed Mon, 3rd Tue.]
First-rate noodles in a tastefully austere modern setting, with a tiny garden visible just out the front window. The soba is quite a bit firmer and chewier than average, with a thick and milky, almost soup-like sobayu (the water the noodles have...
Hisago - Tempura: Ryogoku
[Open 11am-9:30pm (LO) daily.]
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...
Tokyo Shoten - Sake bar: Ryogoku
[Open 11am-10:40pm (LO) daily.]
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...