Ginza Maru, Ginza 

When Keiji Mori opened his restaurant Maru in Aoyama more than a decade ago he surprised Tokyo diners with his brand of casual Kyoto cooking. His fans’ only complaint was that it didn’t open for lunch; Mori solved that problem by opening another Maru in Ginza that serves lunch and dinner. 

The lunch menu features dishes such as chicken nabe and yellowtail with a light teriyaki sauce and is exceptionally good value. Mori sources the best seasonal ingredients and even the standard elements of a Japanese meal – the rice, pickles and miso soup – are superior. The atmosphere at dinner is relaxed but don’t be deceived: this is seriously good cooking. 

2F, Ichigo Ginza 612 Building, 6-12-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku 
+81 (0)3 5537 7420 

Paddlers Coffee, Nishihara

Two years after opening his first coffee stand, Daisuke Matsushima has moved into a more permanent home in Nishihara. It is here that the self-taught barista whips up his espressos using beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon. The café has a lived-in feel – Matsushima renovated the 40-year-old apartment space and filled it with antique furniture, vintage floorboards and old music equipment, including vinyl and a cassette player. On warm days, head for one of the coveted seats out front, shaded by a cherry-blossom tree.

2-26-5 Nishihara, Shibuya-ku

Wine Shop & Diner Fujimaru, Asakusabashi

Opened in 2014 on the city’s east side, this is the Tokyo branch of Osaka-based Wine Shop Fujimaru. With its stash of 1,500 bottles from the world’s finest regions, Fujimaru caters to restaurateurs and wine aficionados as well as having a 19-seat diner. Owner Tomofumi Fujimaru’s idea was to feature affordable table wines, including those produced from Japanese grapes at his own Shimanouchi Fujimaru Winery in Osaka.

2F, S Building, 2-27-19 Higashi Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku
+81 (0)3 5829 8190

Old Imperial Bar, Hibiya

As the name suggests, the Imperial Hotel, in business since 1890, is a thoroughly classy establishment. The Old Imperial Bar on the second-floor mezzanine exhibits the best traits of an old-school approach. Sit at the long counter and sip cocktails made meticulously by bartenders in bow ties. And note the Oya stone and terracotta walls: they are from the 1923 building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that was demolished to make way for the current digs, which date back to 1968.

1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku
+81 (0)3 3539 8088

Yakumo-Saryo, Yakumo

There is no better place for a traditional Japanese breakfast than Yakumo-Saryo on the city’s west side. Don’t expect bacon and eggs, though: your first meal of the day is likely to include white rice, miso soup, himono (semi-dried fish), pickles and konbu tsukudani , a soy-sauce-stewed kelp dish. 

Created by design firm Simplicity, Yakumo-Saryo resembles a villa: it has a well-kept garden, split-level dining rooms and antique wooden furniture. In the tea salon a sommelier selects the green and roasted teas. The Japanese wagashi desserts (with azuki bean filling or sprinkled with sweet roasted soybean flour) are made by hand every day. 

3-4-7 Yakumo, Meguro-ku

Images: Kohei Take, Shinichi Ito

Go back: Tokyo


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Monocle 24

00:00 01:00

  • The Continental Shift