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Best Tokyo neighborhood for food

Delucacheesemonger May 27, 2009 06:42 PM

Will be in Tokyo for a few months later in the year. Looking for neighborhood that is best for food. Which is it?

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  1. spoonandsoup May 27, 2009 07:03 PM

    Been to Tokyo last December and i would say all the popular neighborhood are full of food places. If you are looking for more up-scale restaurants, i would say Roppongi Hill / Mori Tower area would have tons of good food places.

    As for small snacks area, perhaps try Shinjuku - Kabukicho area (east exit on Shinjuku station and walk north for 5 mins)

    1. Yukari May 27, 2009 07:14 PM

      Kagurazaka is filled with great restaurants, Japanese, French, and Chinese. Great wine bars, soba shops, wagashi, tea, udon, you name it.

      The Canal Cafe on the Sotobori is a great outdoor cafe on the water. And, Maison Kayser the bakery just opened a branch in Kagurazaka.


      7 Replies
      1. re: Yukari
        lost squirrel May 27, 2009 07:36 PM

        How is The Canal Cafe? I've walked past a few times but haven't tried it yet.

        1. re: Yukari
          Robb S May 27, 2009 10:22 PM

          Is the restaurant side of Canal Cafe open during the afternoon again? Because the last time I was there they closed from 2-5pm, and after 5 it was only serving dinner (averaging around Y7000 or so per person). So I think of it more as an Italian restaurant than a "cafe," in spite of the name.

          I don't know that I'd call the Deckside portion a great cafe - the setting is certainly outstanding, but the coffee and food are pretty mediocre, and the service ranges from indifferent to actively hostile.

          1. re: Yukari
            Robb S May 27, 2009 10:33 PM

            Kagurazaka has some nice restaurants, but I think it might be a bit of a stretch to call it the best restaurant neighborhood in Tokyo. Even someplace like Yotsuya or Gaienmae or Naka-Meguro has a far greater number of good restaurants. And Ebisu probably has five or ten times as many.

            1. re: Robb S
              lost squirrel May 27, 2009 10:52 PM

              Good info Robb.
              If one was moving to Tokyo and had a choice between the following areas, which place would you choose based soley on restaurants and grocery stores?


              1. re: lost squirrel
                Robb S May 28, 2009 12:02 AM

                Interesting question. Arakicho, near Yotsuya 3-chome, is a great restaurant neighborhood, filled with fun drinking spots and small non-corporate restaurants, and there's a good selection near Yotsuya station too. On the other hand, the Ichigaya side of Yotsuya isn't so exciting (and it can be very quiet on weekends). And if you're on that side, then Arakicho is quite a long way to walk.

                Azabu-Juban is another good choice of course, with a nice mix of styles and price ranges. Meguro is not bad, maybe a little weaker than Azabu-Juban for upscale restaurants though.

                Akasaka seems to have a lot of corporate restaurants, after-work dives, and overpriced Korean joints. Come to think of it, I guess there are a lot of good restaurants there, I just don't find it all that pleasant to walk around.

                Ningyocho is a little too local, not very international, and early-closing, and even closer to Nihonbashi it doesn't have enough diversity, and most places shut down early.

                Purely in terms of restaurants, I guess I'd rank them:
                1. Azabu-Juban
                2. Akasaka/Tameike-sanno
                3. Meguro
                4. Ichigaya/Yotsuya
                5. Ningyocho/Nihonbashi

                Groceries are another matter. Azabu-Juban has Nisshin and Hanamasa, but Nihonbashi has the Takashimaya food floor and a branch of Meiji-ya....

                1. re: Robb S
                  lost squirrel May 31, 2009 08:10 PM

                  Thanks for the thoughts Robb. I'm actually in the process of moving from the Ichigaya/Yotsuya area now. I'm going to miss a few places near Yotsuya and Yotsuya 3-chome, but hopefully I'll find new places in my new home.

                  1. re: lost squirrel
                    Robb S May 31, 2009 10:09 PM

                    Hey, you'll have a whole new neighborhood to explore!

                    (I almost moved to the Banchos a few years back, but it seemed kind of dead on Sundays. But perhaps it's changed.)

          2. Notorious P.I.G. May 27, 2009 07:21 PM

            That's too broad a question as every single neighbourhood has great food on top of great food in utter abundance. What do you like?

            11 Replies
            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
              Delucacheesemonger Jun 1, 2009 01:15 PM

              Will be renting a furnished apartment in Tokyo. Currently have an apartment in the 11th Arr. of Paris and 85th and Lexington in NY. Both are less than 20 minutes from anything and everything.Want heavily fooded area, restaurants, not corporate, local, as well as supermarketsDo not want to be in 'Queens, Bronx, Staten Island'. Want to be in the action, not on top of a nightclub, but in the active areas. What are my options? Thanks

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                Robb S Jun 1, 2009 08:55 PM

                Areas around Ebisu, Yotsuya 3-chome and Gaienmae stations are nice and central, with great restaurant scenes and good shopping.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                  lost squirrel Jun 1, 2009 10:25 PM

                  Delucacheese, I see you are from Phila. Want to bring me some Dinnic's on your way here? JK

                  As long as you stay in one of the bigger areas in Tokyo (as most furnished apartments, > JPY200.000, will be) then you will be 20min from everything as well.

                  1. re: lost squirrel
                    Delucacheesemonger Jun 2, 2009 05:30 AM

                    Pulled pork or wet, with or without greens?

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                      lost squirrel Jun 2, 2009 08:11 PM

                      Actually, beef with provalone and peppers please !
                      If you could find your way to freeze a couple of Primo's subs, that'd be sweet too. haha

                  2. re: Delucacheesemonger
                    dietndesire Jun 3, 2009 08:52 PM

                    Deluca, are you cheating on me in Japan, no less?
                    I would say I am envious but it is purely sadness.
                    Between you and a couple others, it is becoming overwhelming.

                    1. re: dietndesire
                      Delucacheesemonger Jun 5, 2009 09:00 AM

                      Would never cheat on you, still planning to meet you in Paris in Sept/Oct whenever you are there. Email me on my info sheet

                    2. re: Delucacheesemonger
                      Notorious P.I.G. Jun 5, 2009 12:50 AM

                      There's not really much I can recommend that Robb S hasn't already listed. If anything the only other place that I can think of that fits your criteria would be maybe Nakano Broadway area near Waseda Dori. Nice little markets and lots of good local restaurants.

                      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                        kikisakura Jun 22, 2009 08:33 PM

                        Maybe it's just me but if I had to live in Tokyo, I'd choose Shimo Kitazawa. It has a real neighborhood feel, a lot of local and cheap eats, decent grocery stores, and it's close to literally everything. Only the downside is that there are too many young people around during the weekend but they eventually go home. Okay, the morning/evening traffic rush at the train station is pretty horrible too but you get that just about anywhere in Tokyo.

                        1. re: kikisakura
                          Delucacheesemonger Jun 24, 2009 07:28 PM

                          thanks, booked in Omotesando

                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                            Robb S Jun 24, 2009 09:31 PM

                            A wise choice.

                  3. Robb S May 27, 2009 10:08 PM

                    If you're interested in upscale international restaurants, Aoyama has a pretty high concentration, along with Ebisu and of course Ginza. Shinjuku has a high density of good, mid-priced restaurants in every category.

                    Some touristy areas aren't that great for restaurants (relatively speaking). Shinagawa is a good example - lots of hotels, but few restaurants. Asakusa is also not that exciting from a restaurant point of view.

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