Below are a selection of some of our favourite places in Tokyo.
In such a culturally diverse & sprawling city the below doesn’t even scratch the surface, however these do give you a good idea of what to expect in such a vibrant city.
Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch
/ Sarabeths / Lumine Est / Shinjuku Station
Although a global chain originating from the US, good brunch spots are hard to come by if it is more than pancakes you want, and Sarabeth’s turns out consistently high food. Of course there are pancakes on the menu, but with a selection of fruit bowls, granola, eggs benedict & omelettes there is more choice than many places in Tokyo.
/ Ivy Place / T Site / Daikanyama
Set in Daikanyama’s relaxed T Site this wooden structure fits in perfectly with the surroundings and serves up food all day long. Breakfast offers a wide choice of dishes including DIY options, juices & coffee. Lunch & Dinner offers up well presented Western dishes with a Japanese twist.
/ Bill’s / Harijuku
Australian celebrity chef Bill Granger does know how to make a good pancake, and his version using ricotta to make them extra fluffy topped with honeycomb butter are exceedingly good! However given the lack of a booking option & the Japanese love for all things fluffy be prepared to wait! Again has a good varied menu as well as lunch & dinner options.
/ Onden / 4 Chome-29-9 / Shibuya
Looking like it could be the front room of the lady who runs this place, which is eclectic at best, whose penchant for Japanese game shows fill the wood panelled room from the corner TV perfectly fitting the outdated decor. However personal pretensions aside, you’ll do well to find a better Katsu curry. With one big pot of base curry & a handful of cutlet & meat options to pour it on, fine dining this isn’t, amazing on the taste front & value for money this is. Get there early once the pot is empty that’s it for the day!
/ Mr. Farmer / Various locations
An easy healthy option featuring a broad menu of organic salads, juices & smoothies.
/ Ivy Place / T Site / Daikanyama
/ Life / 1-9-19 / Tomigawa
A small selection of curated product leads you into this narrow restaurant set back from the main drag in Tomigawa. The food is a fushion of Japanese with an Italian influence, with prosciutto, caprese salads & olives featuring on the antipasti menu. There are smaller plates of pastas available but the grilled mains are always cooked to a high standard with great quality fresh ingredients such as steak, Hi-Life Pork & a fish of the day. Accompanied by a small but well edited drink selection of wines & craft ales.
/ Kaikaya By The Sea / 23-7 Maruyamacho / Shibuya
A lively fish restaurant, with a focus on fresh seasonal produce, the fish is hand selected that morning at Tsukiji fish market, by their very own ‘Fish Meister’. With an excellently priced set menu of 8, 10 or 12 courses & a large selection of sake to finish off with. The energetic staff keep things interesting in this lively environment & will be happy to point out some familiar faces in the photographs on the wall! But the main focus is the food, which is superb, be sure to try the Baked Marinated Tuna Jaw (Tuna Spare Rib) if available, it is as the menu suggests a ‘big deal’!
/ Gonpachi / Various Locations
With locations on the 16th floor of a Shibuya Tower block & the Nishi-Azabu location the setting for Quentin Tarrantino’s Kill Bill, there is certain to be some theatre on the menu! All locations cater a wide menu of classic Japanese dishes, with a teppanyaki menu featuring meat, fish & veg options along with all the staple rice & noodle dishes there should be plenty of options to please everyone in the group.
/ Fuglen / 1 Chome-16-11 / Tomigawa
Serving fantastic single origin coffees, prepared using a drip filter or an aero press method in impressive Mid Century surroundings, the taste of the coffee & the furniture is top notch. With the option to buy the coffee beans to enjoy at home, this coffee shop cum bar in the evenings fits the bill morning or evening.
/ Bear Pond Espresso / On The Corner / Shibuya
/ Blue Bottle / Various Locations
A good option with lots of locations now in Tokyo serving up good coffee & a selection of supporting snacks & sandwiches.
/ Goodbeer Faucets / 1 Chome-29-1 / Shibuya
With a selection of over 40 craft ales on tap, the beer enthusiast is spoilt for choice, this is accompanied by a small food selection, but it is the selection of beers that stand out here. Be warned non beer drinkers, there are no other choices on the menu, so if wine or spirits are your thing this is not the place for you.
/ Meiji Shrine
/ Imperial Palace
/ Tokyo Hands
/ Trunk Hotel
Books & Magazines
/ Tsutaya Books / Various Locations
An institution in Tokyo with a varied portfolio of fantastic bookshops. Observe the energy of Shibuya in the 8 story store overlooking the famous cross roads, where you can browse music, dvd’s, books & magazines & witness Japan’s enthusiasm for culture until the early hours.
If the constant stimulus of Shibuya becomes too much & you prefer more relaxed surrounds to enjoy your printed media then check out the store in Daikanyama’s T-Site. Where the surroundings & setting are much more relaxed, and you can ref elect on your purchases upstairs in the well appointed bar enjoying a drink or two & a bite to eat whilst enjoying the relaxing jazz that usually softly playing.
/ Monocle Store / 1 Chome-19-2 / Tomigawa
Stocking all things Monocle from their monthly print issue, to their seasonal editions & one off books, alongside a well curated mix of products & collaborations this is the place to come if you are a follower of their output or curious to see how they believe retail should function.
/ Beams / Everywhere
If you go shopping in Tokyo then you will know about Beams, with every angle of fashion covered from Men’s, Women’s, Children’s & Home they’ve got you covered from unique Japanese trends, Western street brands, Heritage Americana to Italian Formal Wear they have a shop for all styles. With a run of all of these on one street in Harijuku, you’d be well served to start there, but the new 7 floor store in Shinjuku is also worth checking out. With a curated selection of Japanese made gifts on the ground floor & then a selection of all their various brand of the next six this is a good place to pick up the latest trends.
Design & Home
Organic Food Shops
/ Natural House
/ Hill Side Pantry Daikanyama