A business district which has creatively transformed the space under the train tracks into a foodie retreat, Yurakucho is on par with its neighbor Ginza, but it’s a more relaxed atmosphere for those who prefer more leisurely strolls and shopping. The area caters both the upscale and the everyday working person, with a nostalgic Japanese neighborhood feel. At night, its streets light up from red lanterns hanging from food establishments, a cordial welcome to those who would like to replenish their energy after a hard day’s work (or shopping). Read on for our top suggestions about where to eat in Yurakucho!
The highlight of any Yurakucho food crawl is the area under the train tracks, more commonly known as “Gado Shita,” which translates to “below the girder.” This strip features izakayas and yakitori joints alongside an array of French wine bars and Italian restaurants. Shin Hinomoto is one of the top eateries in the area, serving classic izakaya delights and seafood dishes as prepared by its chef—who happens to be an Englishman. Andy Lunt manages the 70-plus-year-old izakaya he inherited from his in-laws and continues to provide an authentic izakaya experience: a small spot where salarymen, expats, and foreign visitors alike can huddle over some delectable grilled dishes with a drink or three. One of the most popular menu items is the signature stuffed gyoza stuffed with chicken wings.
Aside from the various restaurants along Gado-Shita, Yurakucho is also home to upscale dining experiences. The Peninsula Tokyo houses several restaurants, like Kyoto Tsuruya for kaiseki meals, and Peter for succulent grilled meat and seafood on the 24th floor of The Peninsula Tokyo, with stellar views of the Imperial Palace Gardens and Hibiya Park. Or at The Lobby of The Peninsula Tokyo, you can feast on finger sandwiches, scones, and more, in an area that’s bright and spacious, great for afternoon tea. The Lobby also offers a Japanese selection that includes sashimi, which comes directly from Toyosu Market.
Meanwhile, if you’re craving some hot pot dishes like sukiyaki and shabu-shabu, an elaborate kaiseki course meal, or a juicy steak, then Imahan is your best bet. The sirloin or tenderloin steaks are carefully selected and cooked on a teppanyaki or charcoal grill. For a Japanese twist on the beef, the wagyu steak sets also come with tender beef nigiri sushi, and the shabu-shabu course is made with highly-coveted kuroge wagyu (A5-grade Japanese beef).
Curry fanatics will revel in the menu at the Club of Famous Curry Diners, located in the basement of Itocia Plaza Building, where five of Japan’s famous curry shops (Dompierre, Ethiopia, Delhi, Topca, and Hongo Petit Feu) are housed under one roof. Choose one curry for ¥1000 or try the curry set with all five options for ¥2500. With just 15 seats, this humble little restaurant serves up some of the tastiest curries in Japan!
Yurakucho, a Tokyo neighborhood renowned for yakitori, has numerous yakitori joints, but Yakitori Tonton is among the most authentic. You’ll be drawn in by the aroma of smoky grilled dishes, wafting from beneath the train tracks. Here, you can enjoy chicken yakitori and grilled veggie skewers for only around ¥160; or, if you don’t mind getting a little messy, tebasaki chicken wings. You can also get a bit adventurous with pork and chicken offal, but don’t worry if you’re not into that. There’s an English menu, so there will be no surprises about what you’re ordering.
Yurakucho is a Tokyo neighborhood with plenty of watering holes for Tokyo’s off-hours office workers. With fantastic grilled food, laughter, and booze, Yurakucho is also a spot for tourists to mingle with Japan’s working class while enjoying tasty treats at reasonable prices. Now that your curiosity is satisfied about where to eat in Yurakucho, explore Yurakucho Gado Shita, find the best curry in Tokyo, and discover tiny yakitori joints in this relaxed but lively shopping and dining hub.
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