Restaurants

Izakaya in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Donjaca

The platonic ideal of a Shōwa-era (1926–89) izakaya, Donjaca, in business since 1979, has red leather stools, paper-lantern lighting and hand-written menus on the wall. The food is equal parts classic (grilled fish …
Soba in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Mucha-an

Perched on a hill inside Chinzan-sō gardens, this shop in a wooden former ryokan (transported from across town) makes its own soba (buckwheat) noodles. Get them served simply, as seiro (noodles on bamboo mat with di…
Japanese in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Kozue

It's hard to beat Kozue's combination of well-executed, seasonal Japanese cuisine, artisan crockery and soaring views over Shinjuku from the floor-to-ceiling windows. As the (kimono-clad) staff speak English and the…
Ramen in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Nagi

Nagi, once an upstart, has done well and now has branches around the city – and around Asia. This tiny shop, one of the originals, up a treacherous stairway in Golden Gai, is still our favourite. (It's many people's…
Kaiseki in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Nakajima

In the evening, Nakajima serves exquisite kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine) dinners. On weekdays, it also serves a set lunch of humble iwashi (sardines) for one-tenth the price; in the hands of Nakajima’s chefs they’…
Japanese in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Gochisō Tonjiru

Tonjiru, a home-cooking classic, is a hearty miso soup packed with root veggies (such as burdock root, daikon, potato and carrot) and chunks of pork. At this neighbourhood hangout, styled more like a bar than a rest…
Ramen in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Tori no Ana

Striking out on an unusual track, Tori no Ana ('tori' is Japanese for bird) specialises in chicken ramen: the broth is a collagen-rich, salt-flavoured chicken soup that would please any grandmother; the toppings inc…
Japanese in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Ohitotsuzen Tanbo

The speciality here is the least glamorous part of the meal – the rice, which comes from an organic farm that the restaurant manages in Niigata prefecture. There's nothing farm-to-table trendy about Tanbo though, wh…
Sushi in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Numazukō

Shinjuku's best kaiten-sushi (conveyor-belt sushi) restaurant is pricier than many, but the quality is worth it. Its popularity means that few plates make it around the long, snaking belt without getting snatched up…
Yakitori in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Omoide-yokochō

Since the postwar days, smoke has been billowing night and day from the rickety, wooden yakitori stalls that line this alley by the train tracks, literally translated as ‘Memory Lane’ (and less politely known as Sho…