Ueno, Yanaka, Asakusa, Skytree
Cafes, bars and casual dining
Afternoon Tea - Cafe: Ueno
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
Light, casual meals are served all day starting from 10am (an hour earlier than most other restaurants in the neighborhood). One of our favorites is the vegetable and chicken platter - an assortment of grilled and steamed seasonal vegetables served...
Vinuls - Spanish: Ueno
[Open 11am-11:30pm daily.]
Spanish food and reasonably priced French and Spanish wines, with convenient late-night hours. Budget around Y3000 for food and drink at dinnertime. (From the same management as the Aux Amis des Vins chain of French wine bars.)
Wired Cafe Atre Ueno - Cafe: Ueno
[Open 8am-11pm daily.]
Coffee, wireless internet access and good food from the popular Wired Cafe chain. Located in a basement corridor next to Ueno station's Retro Gate, this oddly laid-out shop features a cozy balcony area.
Yanaka, Sendagi, Nippori
Hagi Cafe - Cafe: Sendagi
[Open noon-8:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.]
Very popular with neighborhood residents, this charming cafe is attached to an art gallery and a few small event spaces. The food menu features curries and hot sandwiches, and they offer breakfast service from 8-10:30am on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Jinenjo - Curry: Nippori
[Open 11:30am-4, 5:30-9:30pm (LO). Closed Mondays.]
Japanese curries made with medicinal herbs are the specialty here, and while we can't vouch for any possible health benefits, we can confirm that they're at least very tasty. We enjoyed an excellent seasonal vegetable curry, chock full of...
Kamiya Bar - Bar: Asakusa
[Open 11:30am-10pm. Closed Tuesdays.]
Founded in 1880, this historic bar is best known as the originator of Denki Bran ("electric brandy"), a strangely compelling, rather sweet brandy-like liquor that's used in a variety of cocktails served here. Cheap prices and communal tables...
Asakusa Gyukatsu - Gyukatsu: Asakusa
[Open 11am-10:30pm (LO; Sat -9:30, Sun -8:30) daily.]
This tiny, nine-seat counter shop just may serve the best deep-fried beef cutlet in Tokyo. The meat is beautifully marbled, encased in a thin, softly crunchy coating and quite tasty with just a bit of grated rock salt. Do try the onion sauce...
Sake Sanwa - Liquor shop: Asakusa
[Open noon-6pm. Closed Wednesdays.]
This small sake retailer has a stand-up counter where you can try before you buy - there are usually around seven different sake bottles open, with two-part tasting flights priced from Y500 or single shots from Y300. Since the Kappabashi district...
Tiger Gyoza Hall - Gyoza: Asakusa
[Open 11:30am-10:30pm (LO) daily.]
Tiger's menu is devoted to gyoza dumplings, both fried and boiled. The signature dish is their extra-large Banana Gyoza, so named because of their elongated shape - these come with a voluminous pork filling wrapped in a thick, chewy, lightly...
Be a Good Neighbor Coffee Kiosk - Coffee shop: Oshiage
[Open 10am-9pm daily.]
You can enjoy excellent espresso and drip coffee at this Skytree branch of the Harajuku-based coffee shop "Be A Good Neighbor." In the wintertime, the drinks menu expands to include hot cocoa, hot lemonade and flavored teas, with pastries to go...
Rikyu - Yoshoku: Oshiage
[Open 11am-10:30pm (LO) daily.]
Good charcoal-grilled beef tongue from this Sendai-based chain. You'll also find beef-tongue curries, stews, sausages and other yoshoku-style dishes, along with regional sake from Miyagi Prefecture.
Toriton - Sushi: Oshiage
[Open 11am-11pm daily.]
Fresh fish and good cost performance at this Hokkaido-based conveyor-belt sushi spot. The lines may be long but they move quickly.
Rokurinsha - Ramen: Oshiage
[Open 10:30am-11pm daily.]
This very popular shop is known for their tsukemen, served with a thick, richly flavored dipping sauce made with pork, seafood and vegetables. Prepare to wait on line during busy times.
World Beer Museum - Beer bar: Oshiage
[Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.]
Rather than trying to represent the entire world, the "World Beer Museum" narrows its focus to brews from five beer-producing countries - Belgium, Germany, the UK, Czech Republic and the US - along with a "world food" menu of representative dishes...