Best Dishes at Low Key Tokyo Station Area Places
Here's my situation: I visit Japan from the US West Coast every 1-2 months for 4-5 days. I usually stay near Tokyo Station and my office is in Shirokane Takanawa. When possible, I try to keep close to U.S. Pacific time to minimize jet lag. So I'll go to sleep at ~7pm local time and wake at 2am. I'll work in the hotel until the city wakes, then go to meetings during the day Japan time.
I'll often have a little free time between 5 and 7pm and want to use that time to eat great Japanese food. I don't usually know in advance (so no reservations) and I just want something low key near my hotel (Tokyo Sta/Otemachi/Marunouchi). I am too tired to wait in lines or have multi-course meals.
Where I've been:
- Ramen Street (I pick any one without a line). Always very good to great ("lunch" at 8am local time at Rokurinsha is great!)
- Kitchen Street: udon and tonkatsu places both pretty good - suspect there are many great dishes lurking here!
- Oazo: liked the soba place and really liked the tempura place. Sushi place was just OK, nothing special
- Yo!!: I really like the tsukemen at Sharin. Went to Birdland which was good but didn't seem good enough to justify the price to me.
- Standing Sushi Bar in Tokyo Station: I like it. Fast, tasty, cheap, super easy
I would love to expand my repertoire of great walk-in type places (any sort of Japanese food), low to moderate price points. Also of specific outstanding dishes at those restaurants. Any ideas?
You're really spoiled for choice there - there are hundreds and hundreds of good inexpensive and mid-priced restaurants in that area.
I like Rikyu inside the station for Sendai-style beef tongue, and they serve inexpensive set meals from around Y1500 that let you sample a few different didhes.
The shops in the Kurobei Yokocho complex, (underground arcade underneath Kitchen Street, on the Yaesu side), are well assembled and designed for travelers in a hurry. I especially like Ryutan for Okinawan food.
Daruma, inside Sotobori Chika 2nd Street (underground arcade on the Yaesu side) is a nice place to have some good world-class with your sashimi.
Yabaton in the newly opened Tokyo Gran Roof (underground arcade on the Yaesu side) specializes in pork cutlet slathered in miso, a specialty of Nagoya. There are a bunch of other new shops in the same complex, including a yakitori place that does take-out.
On the Marunouchi side, Tama, in the basement of the Brick Square complex, does good Okinawan food and organic wines.
Podo, in the basement of the Shin-Tokyo Bldg, does good Korean dishes with makkoli to drink.
No no Budo, on the third floor of the Tokia complex, has a good natural-foods buffet that you can graze.
Camp, in the basement of the newly opened Ootemori complex, does excellent Japanese curries, although I would avoid their other dishes.