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Recommendations near Meguro station, also Shibuya - budget recommendations welcome....vegetarian friendly even more so

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I have been so busy I haven't even thought about our upcoming trip to Tokyo, and now its less than a month away. Our son lives near Meguro station, and we are staying just a few blocks from there....so good but relatively inexpensive places relatively accessible to there would be great. Of course, we are going to rely heavily on his recommendations (and he is reasonably chowish), but would love to have a few suggestions of our own. To complicate matters, my husband eats no meat. He will eat fish, but refuses to eat tuna and other species that are not sustainable.

Our son hangs out a lot in Shibuya, and we will undoubtably visit some of his favorite watering holes there as well...but I'm sure there will come a point where he wants to keep dancing and we just want to go have a snack - so ideas there are welcome too.

This is my first trip to Tokyo, and although DH has been its been several decades. We are going as much to visit our son as anything, and we just want to have a feel for everyday life there. So more everyday choices are fine. That being said, if you have any suggestions for restaurants near major tourist sites they are welcome...

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  1. East of Meguro Station, tucked down a small lane is Marutomi Suisan, a branch of a small chain of rustic seaside shack style seafood restaurants. Crates of seafood on display and open grills and picnic table style seating are a trade off for reasonable prices. Order seasonal specials...This is two doors down from Torishiki, the latest darling yakitori restaurant in town...On the next side street is an izakaya called Hinomonoya. This means dried fish, so that's their specialty but I assume they have fresh stuff as well. I've never been but have passed it many times.

    Wasosaku-ta is just west of the station in the lower level of a building with a bunch of restaurants. I went to he place that was there before but haven't been to this place but have read good things about it in several places. You might want to book this one in advance as it is small.

    In Naka-Meguro, which is a nice walk or short cab ride, there are more options. Nakame Teppen is a lively all around izakaya with lots of veggie dishes....I usually eat at Uotetsu on of my first nights in Japan. It's a small neighborhood seafood izakaya with cheap drinks and very reasonably priced fresh food and friendly staff...Iroha Sushi is a good place to go crazy and order a la carte nirigi. It's more of a family style all around seafood restaurant though and fun to sit at a table in a small group...Aburiya Fudo is tucked down a side street. They do nice grilled and seasonal dishes in a sort of comfy rustic setting.

    Marutomi Suisan
    http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A13160...

    Hinomonoya
    http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A13160...

    Wasosaku Ta
    http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A13160...

    Nakamenoteppen
    http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1317/A13170...

    Uotetsu
    http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1317/A13170...

    Iroha Sushi
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/347704

    Aburiya Fudo
    http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1317/A13170...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Silverjay

      Wasosaku-ta is nice, and very friendly (no English, though), but it's a course place so any dietary restrictions should be communicated in advance.

    2. So trying to limit my rec's also to places in the inexpensive/more reasonable price range: first note that there are two Himonoya's near Meguro Station, the one Silverjay mentions and the one across from the Tokyu Store supermarket (north of the station), we went to that second one much more frequently, maybe as a special meal with your son or hint that you heard about it and maybe he'll treat... They have some sort of little waterfall in the basement that runs through the floor and you walk above it on tiles and it's quite secluded and nice. I can't say it's quite as cheap as you have in mind though. Lots of little plates, reasonably priced, don't know much about their drink selection other than beer. To the right of that Tokyu Store there is a really small and really cheap but decent Chinese restaurant with a limited menu called Kake Ramen that also does takeout. Youshu Shonin (also Chinese) all the way down the hill going west on Meguro Dori, had a great "Special Suratanmen" (hot and sour soup w/premium mushrooms and pork, a new menu item in the last few months) at the Shimbashi location several weeks ago on my most recent trip. There's also a new ramen option on the east side of the station, Menya Yaishin that was good. The top restaurant floor of the Meguro Station was closed for renovations during this visit, but if they are open again and Tinun Dining is still there when they open it back up again that was our go-to Thai place with reasonable set menus. Also on the east side of the station you have the requisite McDs, Matsuya and Tenya. Also don't forget Midori kaiten-sushi (conveyor-belt) in the back of the Atre 2 station building, and you can take a stroll around the slightly upscale Precce supermarket down one floor afterwards to check out Japanese groceries and produce. Extensive take out area there too. Laxmi indian food across from the West exit was a once-a-week place for lunch time all-can-eat curry/rice/salad/nan, etc, sort of behind the Yoshinoya. Dinner is better quality than lunch but lunch was unbeatable at < 1000 yen.

      For us the deal of the century near Meguro Station (other than maybe the above-mentioned cheap Chinese) is the yakiniku place in the basement of the building that's immediately on your left, right before you make the left walking from Meguro Station to go down the little alley Silverjay mentions to get to Marutomi Suisan. Look for a little spiral staircase on the ground floor of the building in between the Baskin Robbins and the cigar store. I didn't have the time or presence of mind to see whether they were still in business when I was last there last month, but if they are that would be good. Sit near the exit in case there's a fire. It's not all-you-can-eat/drink but for the quality of the meat it's awesomely priced. If it is still there.

      Want more rec's let us know. I let out a long sigh after hitting the period on that previous paragraph. So many good memories with my wife and friends/coworkers over the years.

      Your son should know how to find all these places but here are the links for the non-chain places:

      http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A13160...
      http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A13160...
      http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A13160...
      http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A13160...
      tinun dining I can't find on Tabelog so maybe that's gone now
      nor can I find the yakitori place, sigh again.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kamiosaki

        I sort of wish that you hadn't mentioned Laxmi Indian food near the station.....DH is bound to see the place and want to go there; he is from India and just has to try the local version of his homeland's cuisine wherever we travel. I'm perfectly ok with Indian food, but OTOH its not what I travel to Japan for:-) Of course the strong possibility exists that my son has already checked out the place and will have his own opinion. And I think I'll skip McDonald's, sorry....:-)

        1. re: janetofreno

          I can't claim that Laxmi is top-shelf though, as the ask was "good but relatively inexpensive". As is the case with a sub-percentage of all Indian places in Tokyo, the proprietor and his team are actually from Nepal, if it matters. If I wanted to impress someone with the quality of Tokyo's Indian fare I am not sure that would be my first choice, TBH.

          A better option but at a bit of a higher price would be Rasoi around the corner and down the southern branch of Meguro-dori a bit. Runs spicy and I think the owner is south Indian. Numerous other options for Indian up and down the left side of the loop or check bento.com. Also a short-trip to Nishi-Kasai to see where a lot of Tokyo's Indian population lives might be a good way to spend an hour or two on the way to or from someplace else, however restaurant options around there are more limited IIRC.

          1. re: kamiosaki

            I was a big fan and regular at Rasoi for years. I went back about, oh, 3 years ago and ordered some of my favorites and everything was just as I remember delicious. Same guys there who remembered me.

            I stay in Meguro area when I'm in town and I also used to work there back in the day and transit through there on the way back to my home. I think it is worth noting that the neighborhoods near or next to Meguro, like Naka Meguro, and especially Ebisu, are both more rich when it comes to dining options across the board. And Musashi Koyama, a couple stops away, also has some cool places and VERY local vibe.

            ...but if we are going to open this up to meaty recommendations, Sasaya is a nice yakitori restaurant that I think would be foreigner friendly.

            http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A13160...

          2. re: janetofreno

            McD's in Japan still fries their apple pies. Just get that. It'll be worth it!

        2. One mile west of Meguro on the north side of a park and a few blocks south of Meguro-dori is a good soba place, Shisensan with nice side dishes and a somewhat old rustic feel in a house with a little garden: http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1317/A13171...

          This might be good for your situation as most of the noodle options and side dishes are meat free and in many cases seafood/fish free.

          I recommend the duck soba, the yuba sashimi, the misoyaki (grilled miso), and one of the fish cakes. Assuming your son speaks and/or reads Japanese you should have no problem. But even if he doesn't, the staff with their extremely limited english tries very hard to help (they can identify "hot" vs. "cold" soba options etc).

          They have an English website but pay no attention to the hours. They are now open only for dinner so I am not sure what changed with respect to course menu vs. a la carte but you might be able to figure this out from their Japanese language website: www.shisenan.com

          The walk there is all up hill but going back to Meguro it would be a nice 20-30 min walk. It seems like the bus up Meguro-Dori would be easy and a taxi wouldn't be too expensive.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tigerjohn

            Thanks for the recommendations, all. Keep them coming. And keep in mind that although we are trying to stick to a reasonable budget, a splurge place or two is definitely in order...so recommendations for that welcome as well. And I wouldn't let son treat:-) (He has promised us a meal or two he's cooked, since he has learned cooking since leaving home...). And he speaks/reads/writes Japanese well, so no problem there.

            1. re: janetofreno

              I would expect to pay around 3,000-4,000 per person at the soba place, half that if you only get the noodles.