Updated: March 27, 2020
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Izakayas and Bars in Koenji: the Ultimate Guide!

Tokyo

Koenji is simply the perfect neighborhood to chill-out with friends and to have a couple of drinks at a bar or izakaya. The area has so many good places to choose from that your problem might be that you won't know where to go. We made a guide to help you with that!

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Baan Esan

Baan Esan, a traditional Thai izakaya, is a favorite with the locals. It's conveniently located a stone-throw away from the South Exit of the Koenji Station. You can get excellent Thai dishes at prices that are very kind to the wallet. The excellent green curry, for instance, is only 600 yen. Most orders are about that price. Many people order a couple of food items and share among friends. There is a large selection of drinks, all for about 500 yen.

Curry Bal Kujira

Curry Bal Kujira is a small resto-bar that specializes in curry. It has a popular dish for which you can choose two types of curry (1,200 yen). Among the choices are chicken, coconut, pork, and beef. The spices are just right, and there is a little acidity that gives an extra dimension to the curry. At night, people tend to order small side dishes while they drink and finish with the curry. The draft beer is only 350 yen! This is a really nice quiet resto-bar located in an area of town that gets a bit rowdy at times.

Urizun

On a hot summer evening in Tokyo, few things feel better than having cold drinks in an Okinawan izakaya. Urizun offers a great laid-back, Okinawa-style atmosphere, and cheap traditional foods of the island. There is a wide choice of side dishes and some more filling plates as well. Try the goya champuru (730 yen) if you're not too familiar with the cuisine of Okinawa! It's a kind of goya (bitter melon) stir-fry. Drinks are about 500 yen. They, of course, have Okinawa's famous Orion beer!

Tachinomi Nanasuke

If you've never experienced doing "tachi nomi" (drinking at a standing bar), this might be a great place to start! The place is really well-liked by the locals. It has a friendly atmosphere and serves delicious accompaniments to their drinks. You can have sashimi, grilled fish or pickled vegetables. A good thing about standing bars is that everything is so cheap! Most sashimi dishes are only around 300 yen, and so are the drinks! There aren't anywhere for you to sit down at Nanasuke, but on the other hand, it makes interacting with the other customers easier.

Dachibin

Who doesn't like a traditional Okinawan izakaya with the classic foods (goya champuru, umi budou, pork stews etc.) done right, a warm atmosphere and the occasional live music show? This is a popular spot with the locals, and it's open until 5 AM so you can have fun all night. When you step inside, the owners want it to feel as if you're part of a matsuri in Okinawa.

Beer Kobo

Last but not least on the list is Beer Kobo. There, you can have freshly-brewed, in-house delicious craft beer. Prices are reasonable for the quality (about 500 yen)! English menus are available. As side dishes, you can order French fries or other deep-fried snacks to munch on. What you should try the most are perhaps the sausages that come with their own small burner so that you can grill them yourself as you sip on your beer!

Taishou Honten

This street izakaya is guaranteed to be packed on a nice summer night, and that until the closing time of 6 AM. The reason for that is super tasty yakitori from ¥110 apiece. The alcohol is reasonably priced too, with cups of sake from ¥300. It opens from 15:30 so it's also a good place for happy hour drinking.

Lastly...

If you like Koenji, please check out the link below! It has some other suggestions about where to eat and drink!

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    tabikamome
    Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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