Places I liked in Tokyo

nader farzan


Kagari: Serves tori paitan (a rich and creamy chicken broth.) Get the first menu item. From Ginza Station, take the elevator for exit B2, make a left at the top and go the end of the alleyway. Look for the ‘Soba’ sign and inevitable line. [Ginza]

Konjiki Hototogisu: This place puts clam in its broth. Apparently they have a limited menu with special items on Thursdays. 8 seats, expect a long line. [Hatagaya]

Afuri: Known for their yuzu broth in both shio and shoyu varities. The Ebisu location has many seats so the wait was minimal. Open super late. [Multiple locations]

Kikanbo: A little bit of a trek compared to the aforementioned shops but some of the best miso broth around. You can customize the amount of chili (heat) and Szechuan (numbness) pepper. I went with medium on both, which was a perfect balance between spice and masochism.

Non-Ramen Food:

Harajuku Gyoza Lou: A cheap institution serving amazing fried and steamed gyoza. Don’t miss the cucumber with miso paste and bean sprouts with meat sauce. [Meiji-jingumae]

Ebisu Yokocho: A narrow labyrinth of food stalls serving mostly grilled meats and freezing cold beer. English is limited so be prepared for adventure. [Ebisu]

Miyota: This place specializes in soba, with a seemingly endless variety of sets to choose from. I enjoyed the cold soba with tempura and a raw egg dipping sauce. Be prepared to wait in line. [Omotesando]


Bar Radio: Dark lighting, dark wood, dark jazz. Koji Ozaki has been running this upscale cocktail joint for over 40 years. His original cocktails are named after American actors of yore, with no menu descriptions. Pro-tip: Ask to see the bar’s coffee table book. The recipes are in there, in English. [Omotesando]

JBS: Jazz, Blues, and Soul. Grab a beer or a highball in this shrine to vinyl. The owner claims a collection of 10,000 records and lets you put on your favorite [Shibuya]

Spring Valley Brewery: This is the craft brewing arm of Kirin. A stunningly beautiful display of wood and brewing equipment. Grab a seat on the patio and enjoy some of their more unique offerings. [Daikanyama]

Deus Ex Machina: The Tokyo location of the Venice Beach surf/moto shop. Have a coffee on the main level or a cocktail in the basement. [Harajuku or Meiji-jingumae]

Cafe de L’Ambre: An old-school shop serving nothing but coffee since 1948. They have a variety of blends and preparations. It feels like a time capsule in here. Try the Café Oeuf—drip coffee with an egg yolk instead of cream. [Ginza]

Bar High Five: One of the crown jewels of the Tokyo cocktail scene. Recently relocated to a larger space, this basement joint gets packed fast and early. There is no menu, just describe the flavors/spirits/ice style/etc you’d in the mood for. Drinks are on the pricey side, even for Tokyo standards, at ¥2500 a piece. [Ginza]

Bar Trench: Six seats and a very absinthe-focused program. If the phrase “Monkey 47 Ramos” excites you, go here. Also, check out its sister bar, Bar Tram. [Ebisu]

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