Updated on December 24, 2018
I’m not much of a foodie so I didn’t bother to seek out many “famous” food places while I was in Tokyo last year.
I did, however, make an effort to visit at least one coffee place and one craft beer place a day. Priorities, am I right? I honestly can’t really remember what I had for a lot of my meals (I think I had combini food and bar grub quite a bit!) and it doesn’t help that I don’t seem to have many photos of my food either.
I’ve put together a Google map of all the food & drink places I visited if you want to check them out too:
Cafés & Coffee Places in Tokyo
Bear Pond Espresso
Located in Shimokitzawa, I visited Bear Pond Espresso twice because on the first day I went, IT WAS CLOSED (closed on Tuesdays FYI). Was it worth the second trip down? Probably not.
While Bear Pond Espresso’s branding was pretty cute and the coffee was nice, their staff were really rude (these TripAdvisor reviews will back me up). There wasn’t much space to chill around and the feeling of being unwelcomed led me to leave promptly after finishing my coffee.
Address: Japan, 〒155-0031 Tokyo, Setagaya, Kitazawa, ２丁目36−12
Phone: +81 3-5454-2486
Opening hours: 11am-5:30pm from Wednesday to Monday. Closed on Tuesday.
Frankie Melbourne Espresso
To be honest, Japanese coffee isn’t my favourite as the flavour is pretty mild, so I quite preferred this next “Australian-style” coffee place that I went to. Also located in Shimokitazawa (I was there quite a bit), Frankie Melbourne Espresso serves Australian-style coffee so you know it’s going to be pretty good!
I had a double shot iced latte which gave me just the right amount of caffeine kick and the Japanese staff could all speak English so no gesturing wildly to the menu required.
Address: Japan, 〒155-0031 Tokyo, Setagaya, Kitazawa, 2 Chome−7−12 ナチュール下北沢
Phone: +81 3-6356-5305
Opening hours: 10am-8pm from Sunday to Monday. 10am-9pm from Friday to Saturday.
Sarutahiko Coffee Omotesandō
I discovered Sarutahiko Coffee Omotesandō while I was traipsing through Harajuku and desperately needed my caffeine fix for the day. Despite having two floors (the bottom floor had books and magazines for you to peruse), the place was pretty packed with both locals and tourists.
It was here that I discovered that Japanese people have little regard for the safety of their belongings. While I was ordering, the staff was instructing me to leave my bag on one of the seats to “chope” it, much to my confusion as the café was extremely packed with lots of people streaming in and out. In my hesitation, a Japanese couple had “choped” the only available seats left with their belongings so I was relegated to a small bench in the corner, sipping on my 430 yen black coffee.
Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 4 Chome−3−3, 〒150-0001
Phone: +81 3-5411-3885
Opening hours: Open every day. 11am-7pm.
Streamer Coffee Company
A few minutes’ walk from central Harajuku is Streamer Coffee Company, a Seattle-style (?) café run by champion latte artist Hiroshi Sawada, a fact that I didn’t know prior to this which is why I ended up getting an espresso instead. (fml)
This outlet has 3 floors – order on the ground floor and head up to the 2nd or 3rd floors for seating. The place was very cosy with cushy sofas and I remember distinctly that they were playing The Beatles (good music is always a plus point).
Address: Various locations around Tokyo. Visit the Streamer Coffee website to find out more.
On one of my last days in Toyko, I visited Nakano Broadway to check out the anime stuff (didn’t end up getting anything) so I visited Bar Zingaro, a bar and café by Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami.
The café was decorated with his signature smiling flower motifs and they also had some of his merchandise for sale. It was pretty chill and empty so this was high on my list of favourite coffee places I visited.
Address: Japan, 〒164-0001 Tokyo, Nakano, 5 Chome−52−15
Phone: +81 3-5942-8382
Opening hours: Open every day. 11am-9pm.
Blue Bottle Coffee
A popular coffee network in the US, Blue Bottle Coffee has expanded to Japan, with a few outlets across Tokyo (and one in Kyoto, and soon Kobe as well).
I was in Roppongi to visit The National Art Center, so I dropped by the Blue Bottle outlet there for my daily fix. I got a cold brew for 500 yen and also a bag of coffee beans for about SGD$20.
This outlet was pretty spacious though there wasn’t much seating (presumably so people don’t hang around when it gets packed. And it does).
Address: Various locations around Tokyo. Visit the Blue Bottle website to find out more.
Craft Beer Bars in Tokyo
Craft Beer Bar iBrew
A short walk from Tokyo station and tucked away in a quiet lane is Craft Beer Bar iBrew. With its nondescript and slight dingy looking exterior (and interior), I initially missed it despite walking up and down the street multiple times.
One of the cheaper craft beer places that I tried in Tokyo, a large glass (about 400ml) was 690 yen. At this point I should mention, I only realised later the “large” glasses served in Japan are typically 400ml, and not the 500ml pints. So throughout the trip, I kept thinking that the beer prices were sooooo much cheaper than in Singapore. (In my mind I was also using a SGD1= ¥100 currency conversion. In actual fact it’s closer to SGD1.23 = ¥100.)
Address: Japan, 〒103-0028 Tokyo, Chūō, Yaesu, 2 Chome−11−7 東栄ビル
Phone: +81 3-3281-6221
Opening hours: 3pm-12am from Monday to Friday. 1pm-10pm from Saturday to Sunday.
One of my favourite places on this list, Watering Hole is a short walk away from Shinjuku station. With up to 21 local and international brews on tap, the service staff was really helpful recommending a couple of beers for a tasting paddle.
In case you’re wondering, this was the only bar that I got chatted up, so I can safely assume that it’s pretty safe for a girl to be drinking alone in Tokyo. One of the staff was also pretty quick to step in and tell the Japanese men that I was a tourist and couldn’t understand a word they were saying. They asked a couple of questions about where I was staying before giving up, I assume, because of the language barrier (and my body language).
Before I got up to leave, the staff also gave me a couple of Watering Hole decals for memories sake. (You know a place is legit when they have their own merch.)
Address: Japan, 〒151-0051 Tokyo, 渋谷区Sendagaya, 5 Chome−26−5 代々木シティホームズ
Phone: +81 3-6380-6115
Opening hours: Open every day. 3pm-11:30pm.
Titans Craft Beer Taproom & Bottle Shop
Just outside of JR Otsuka Station is Titans Craft Beer Taproom & Bottle Shop, opened by two beer importers in Japan. Serving mostly American beers on tap, I was served by a Caucasian man who I can only assume is one of the owners.
I asked for recommendations for something dark and he recommended a stout for me to try. (I’d interject here and mention that I forgot to note down all of the beers I tried so I can’t actually comment/review on the actual beers.)
Address: Japan, 〒170-0005 Tokyo, 豊島区 Minamiotsuka, 3−53-7
Phone: +81 3-5904-9531
Opening hours: Open every day. 3pm-11:30pm.
Next up is TAP STAND, a craft beer bar in Shinjuku that I didn’t linger for very long because it was so massively crowded (it might’ve been a Friday if I recall correctly). Relegated to a cramped window seat, the staff was still able to give me recommendations for when I asked for one.
The convenience of location meant, however, slightly higher prices. The regular glass I had was ¥1050, on top of the ¥300 seating charge (per person). A seating charge is quite common in izakayas and bars Japan, though something I’d imagine might cause a revolt in Singapore. However, of the bars I visited, only the exceptionally busy establishments had a seating charge.
Address: Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, 新宿区Shinjuku, 3 Chome−35, 新宿高野第２ビル
Phone: +81 3-3226-0566
Opening hours: Open every day. 3pm-11:30pm.
TAPxTAP is a small craft beer bar in Kanda, and one of the only establishments I encountered that allowed smoking indoors (smoking indoors is still allowed in Tokyo, though a smoking ban has just been passed ahead of the 2020 Olympics).
With a variety of local and international beers on tap, again, I asked for recommendations on what to get but was slightly disappointed when I was served a suspiciously pink beer. I typically go for darker beers (my favourites are IPAs and stouts) which I failed to mention so I guess the joke was on me.
Beers were pretty reasonably priced at 450¥ for a half pint and the place was pretty empty as well; other than myself and chain-smoking CDG hype boy, there was only a small group of salarymen.
Address: 鍛冶町2－9－18, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81 3-6206-4672
Opening hours: 11am-3pm, 5pm-11:30pm from Monday to Friday. 1pm-11:30pm on Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
Another very busy place with seating charges is Vector Beer (related but not the same as Vector Beer Factory). There’s a seating charge of 350¥ per person, though beers were markedly cheaper at about 450¥ per glass. They carry beers from more established Japanese breweries like Hitachino Nest and Coedo, as well as bottled craft beers. Vector Beer Factory, on the other hand, apparently specialises more in IPAs from Japanese breweries.
Vector Beer is also known for their gyutan (grilled beef tongue), though unadventurous me had no part in that.
Address: Japan, 〒160-0022 東京都新宿区Shinjuku, 1 Chome−36, 新宿１−３６−５ 新宿ホテルパークイン 1F
Phone: +81 50-5266-0268
Opening hours: 5pm-12am from Monday to Saturday. 3pm-11pm on Sunday
Located in central Shibuya is GoodBeer Faucets, a craft beer bar with over 40 beers on tap, one of the largest selections of craft beers in Tokyo. You have to make a walk up to the second floor, but you’d be treated to spacious interiors.
Its central location meant beers on the slightly pricier side (about 900¥ for a glass) and also comparably more tourists, but it also meant that the staff were pretty proficient in English.
Address: Japan, 〒150-0046 Tokyo, Shibuya, Shoto, １丁目29−1 クロスロードビル
Phone: +81 3-3770-5544
Opening hours: 4pm-12am from Monday to Thursday. 4pm-1am on Friday. 3pm-12am on Saturday. 3pm-11pm on Sunday.
Two Dogs Taproom
Located in the Roppongi is Two Dogs Taproom, an “American” style craft beer joint. They had 21 beers on tap, a combination of both Japanese and American beers.
There was only one other person in the place when I visited there in the early evening, though I’d imagine it to be a lot more crowded later in the night, especially since Roppongi is known for its nightlife (amongst tourists). The drinks were relatively more affordable as well and I had a glass for 800¥.
Address: Japan, 〒106-0032 Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi, ３丁目15−24 アリエスビル
Phone: +81 3-5413-0333
Opening hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm to 11pm on Monday. 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm to 1am from Tuesday to Thursday. 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm to 2am on Friday. 5pm-2am on Saturday. 5pm-11pm on Sunday
Amidst the hipster cafés and record stores in Shimokitazawa is Ushitora, the taproom for Ushitora Brewery. They have 35 beers on tap and apart from Ushitora beers, they a carry a good number of Japanese beers, some of which are difficult to find anywhere else.
Because I was just squeezing in a cheeky drink before dinner (it was also my last night in Tokyo), I only stayed for a while. However, the place was pretty chill and empty so I definitely wouldn’t mind heading back again in the near future.
Address: Japan, 〒155-0033 Tokyo, 世田谷区Daita, 6 Chome−3−27
Phone: +81 3-3485-9090
Opening hours: 11:30am-2am from Wednesday to Monday. 4pm-2am on Tuesday.
What to Eat in Tokyo
I know that Red Rock is famous but I didn’t exactly have the intention of visiting it. I was strolling through Harajuku and so happened to see a queue forming outside at 11am++ so like the Singaporean that I am, see queue so queue lorrrrr.
They are famous for their beef bowls, topped with a perfectly runny yolk. (See below for yolk porn.) From what I remember, one beef bowl cost about 1000 Yen (~$12) – grotesquely cheap if you compare it to prices in Singapore (for similar quantity/quality).
To locate Red Rock, look out for the cow and queue.
Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 3 Chome−25−12 フジビル
Phone: +81 3-6721-1729
Opening hours: Open every day. 11:30am-10pm
Another “must-visit place in Japan”, it was also another place that I chanced upon only because I saw a queue.
It was also my first-ever dining experience when I landed in Toyko and I was immediately SOLD. Ordering at a vending machine and eating in a personal cubicle?! Ichiran: fulfilling my life goal of having as little human interaction as possible.
I visited the Ueno outlet, after visiting Ueno Park for the sakura blooms.
Address: Various locations around Tokyo. Visit the Ichiran website to find out more.
Here’s another famous place that was recommended to me by some friends. Fuunji Ramen is actually famous for their tsukemen ramen but I think I was stressed by the people behind me, had a brain fart and ended up ordering the normal ramen. Still pretty tasty nonetheless!
The shop was a bit difficult to find as it was half a flight of stairs down and I kept missing the sign despite walking past it a couple of times.
Address: Japan, 〒151-0053 Tokyo, 渋谷区Yoyogi, 2 Chome−14−3 北斗第一ビル
Phone: +81 3-6413-8480
Opening hours: 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm from Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
Another touristy place (they whipped out an English menu for me), I was craving sushi so I literally just Googled and went to the nearest place (I was in Akihabara) that had decent reviews.
As you can see, my choice of sushi wasn’t the most exotic (it was the cheapest set that cost 920 Yen) but it was pretty decent! Can confirm that seafood was fresh and I didn’t get food poisoning.
Address: Japan, 〒101-0025 Tokyo, Chiyoda, Kanda Sakumacho, 1 Chome−8−6
Phone: +81 3-5298-5161
Opening hours: 11:30am-11-30pm from Monday to Friday. 11:30am-10:30pm from Saturday to Sunday.
While in Shimokitazawa, I also visited Mixture Bakery for breakfast! Mainly because I went too early and nothing else was open and also because I’m more of a “bread for breakfast” kinda girl.
They had a couple of breakfast sets as well as plenty of buns and bread (as you would expect a bakery to have).
Address: 北沢3-31-5, Setagaya, 東京都 〒155-0031, Japan
Phone: +81 3 5453 7677
Opening hours: Open every day. 7:30am-10pm.
I do regret not being able to try more food while I was in Tokyo (blame my broke ass and skewed priorities) and there are plenty of other coffee places and craft beer bars that I’ve yet to visit. *Here’s praying that I get to head back to Tokyo soon*
*All photos were taken by myself unless otherwise stated/credited.
For more food porn, watch my Tokyo adventure video:
Or read more about my trip to Tokyo here:
– Kimi No Na Wa. (Your Name.) Tokyo Locations
– Cat Café MoCHA Harajuku (猫カフェ MOCHA 原宿店)
– Will You Hanami With Me? Cherry Blossom Viewing in Ueno Park, Tokyo
– Things to Do in Tokyo in 45 Photos