good eats in Shinjuku?
First time in Japan. My hotel will be in Shinjuku. Looking for good fairly priced
( $20-$30pp) meals in this area. Looking for good local food.. sushi, ramen, etc. Any local favorites? Bar recs also?
You might want to ride north 2 stops (about 3 minutes) on the JR Yamanote line and go to Shin Okubo where there is lots of great Korean food. That would be my first choice at that price range.
As for Ramen, there are two places in Takadanobaba (about 5 minutes or 4 stops north) the main one is Ganko Ramen. Exit at the Big Box go right past the plaza. Its about 4 minutes walk on the left hand side. (If all else fails, the police box at Takadanobaba station will be able to direct you there)
There is a Kyushu Ramen place across the street that is also great. You will know it by the two giant demons painted on the door outside.
Also a good bar in Takadanobaba is the Fiddler-a british pub. You can get all manners of beer there. Kirin Heartland is a decent local beer. But you cant go wrong with any of the brit stuff. Thats in Takadanobaba, same general direction. Not quite Shinjuku, but its about a $10 cab ride to your hotel if your out too late.
I didn't do much eating in Shinjuku when I was there, even when I lived in close by. I generally prefer. North (Shin Okubo) or South (Ebisu, Meguro) nearby there.
There are at least 10 or 15 good and reasonably priced places in Ebisu alone.
Check out Nabbie & Kamado, an Okinawan restaurant on the 7th Floor of the Lumine Est shopping centre. At lunchtime, try the umi budo don which is sea grapes (a type of regional Okinawan seaweed) and raw fish (seasonal) on a bed of rice. Delicious, different and good value.
Huge selection of awamori as well if that's your thing.
I'm told that the sushi ya next door is also worth eating at.
As far as ramen goes, the pickings are a bit better on the east side of the station (you're on the west side IIRC), but if you are game, here's a listing of places that are good:
From this list my personal recommendations would be Hirugao, Kohmen and Ramen Jiro. Hirugao and Ramen Jiro will definitely have lines in front around lunch time.