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Nov 7, 2010 04:26 PM

Big group dinner, mix of veg/omnivores - izakaya suggestions please!

I'm traveling to Tokyo this month with family. Our group is made up of vegetarians (who eat fish), sushiphobes (who don't eat raw fish) and omnivore gaijin (who eat everything but will be trying a lot of foods for the first time). There is one Japanese speaker amongst us.

I'm trying to find a place for this picky group of 11 people to dine together on Sat Nov 20. We're staying near Nihonbashi but are willing to travel for a place that has great atmosphere and food. It would be a plus if it's not over-the-top noisy as we'll have a grandpa with us.

I chose an izakaya with the thought they would have something for everyone. I seem to remember they cater to groups well and I like the lively atmospheres that come with izakaya. That said I don't think we want to be at one of the more raucous ones where office workers get out of hand.

If non-izakaya ideas come to mind that would keep everyone happy, I welcome those too. Thanks so much!

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  1. Without knowing how much you want to spend or how far you might want to travel, you might want to look into Nihonbashitei, a local, five shop chain that has everything from sashimi to fried foods to nabe at a reasonable price. And, if it is your birthday, you can get a free bottle of wine ( If you want a bit more upscale place but still not too expensive nor far away there is Mugitoro in Asakusa, four stops away from Nihonbashi on the Asakusa line. Mugitoro offers an izakaya style menu but with their specialty mugi (barley) gohan (rice) as the final dish. if you go, make reservations for the roof top garden of the honten (main shop: 111-0034 Tokyo, Taito-ku, Kaminarimon 2-2-4. Phone 03 3845 1066). They have a great view overlooking the Sumida River.

    2 Replies
    1. re: edozanmai

      Thanks for the suggestions. Is there a place to see pictures of these places? I don't read kanji so tabelog and asku are not options for me.

      I'm not sure what's considered expensive, but we'd probably want to stick between ¥6000 and ¥8000 per person for food (alcohol not included) but would pay more for a great experience.

      1. re: syb

        I used to go to the Nihonbashitei in Ebisu a lot. Assuming they are all similar, It is good for groups. They have private rooms and areas that you can reserve- both Japanese and Western style. They have a standard menu and then a seasonal one. They make their own fresh tofu as well. It's a good mid-range chain izakaya.

    2. I've always been happy with Washoku En in Marunouchi, just across the tracks from Nihonbashi ( ) It's an upscale izakaya with gorgeous decor, great food, nice atmosphere and pretty reasonable prices. I'm pretty sure they have English menus too. And they have a choice of table or tatami seating.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robb S

        Thanks for your suggestion, I'll definitely look into it. Our concierge recommended a place called Hokkaido that's supposed to be near Nihonbashi that he said was good. Do you happen to know it?

        1. re: syb

          There's a chain izakaya called Hokkaido, and in my experience it's very mediocre. Maybe it's a different place with the same name though....