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.
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; Sun -9) daily.]
This member of the Delirium Cafe group of Belgian beer bars is distinguished by their spacious outdoor terrace seating. They serve a line-up of craft beers from their Tokyo-based Rio Brewing as well as some Belgian imports. Draft beers start at...
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.]
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...