Updated: March 03, 2020
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The Best Izakayas In Tokyo!

Izakayas are Japanese-style pubs where you can come with a group of friends for a drink or for dinner. It's a typically Japanese experience that you must try at least once. Here are the must-visit izakayas in Tokyo, all genres included.

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Drinking and eating at a Tokyo izakaya: a quintessential Japanese experience

izakaya_lantern
An izakaya with its characteristic red lantern
Izakayas are traditional types of restaurants in Japan that are primarily for drinking (the word 'izakaya' (居酒屋) literally means a place where you drink sake (酒). Japanese people typically go to an izakaya with friends or colleagues. You can also order some delicious foods, usually for a cheap price, but the portions are usually tapas-sized because the food is meant to be shared.

There are all kinds of izakayas, from major chains such as the popular yakitori izakaya 'Torikizoku' to super quaint independently-operated establishments. A good way to spot the independent ones is by keeping your eyes open for the red lanterns that they often have near their entrance.

A sure place to find some really nice authentic izakayas is by visiting a 'yokocho'-syle back alleys. We have a whole section on these so see the link below for more information.
Another great way to discover some off-the-beaten-path izakayas is by doing a bar-hopping tour with a local. See the link below for more information on that. It's a great bar-hopping tour that will take you to some amazing izakayas that we definitely recommend.
Next is a couple of our top picks for izakayas in Tokyo.

Andy's Shin Hinomoto (新日の基)

Andy's Shin Hinomoto is a great international izakaya in Yurakucho where you can have a drink in a fun and lively atmosphere. The recommended dish is the crab and the sashimi plate. This place is hidden under the railroad tracks and has a typical Japanese interior, although it is run by a British expat. It's a great spot for anyone visiting Tokyo and who wants to have a feel of a nice izakaya.

Gonpachi (権八)

Gonpachi is located in Nishiazabu, about a 10-minute walk from Roppongi Station. The famous Kill Bill fight scene took place at this restaurant and since became a pilgrimage site for Tarantino fans. It has a traditional Japanese atmosphere and is a great place to try delicious izakaya food. They offer different types of izakaya cuisine, such as yakitori, fried chicken, tempura, soba, black cod, etc. You can even try it out for lunch!

Toriyoshi (鳥良)

Toriyoshi is a chain with several branches across Tokyo. This particular branch is located close to Harajuku and Meijijingu-Mae station. The atmosphere is completely unique and welcoming. You have to try the fried chicken, it's their signature dish, you can choose between sweet or spicy flavours. The gyoza and fried chicken are also tasty!

Warayakiya (わらやき屋)

https://www.dd-holdings.jp/shops/warayakiya/roppongi
Warakiya is a beautiful restaurant where you can enjoy their incredible charcoal grilled cuisine. Try to reserve a seat at the bar to enjoy seeing the staff grill your food in the fire at the centre. Their claim to fame is the charred fish and chicken because of its smoky taste. The katsuo and chicken thighs are particularly amazing.
https://www.dd-holdings.jp/shops/warayakiya/roppongi/

Uoshin (魚真)

Uoshin Nogizaka is located near Aoyama park and Roppongi Icchome station. It is a very central area to visit. This restaurant is small but has a great atmosphere. They have delicious fish and a great sake selection. It's a fun izakaya to go if you want excellent food. You should try the uni and crab sushi...unbelievably delicious!

Zauo (ざうお)

Zauo Fishing Restaurant is a totally unique concept where you can have dinner on a boat in a resto right at the centre of Tokyo, what is more, is that you can fish for your dinner! It's a great place to come with friends or your family to enjoy a fun evening and incredibly fresh sashimi. Once you've caught your fish, you can tell the chef how you would like to have it: sashimi or perhaps deep-fried? Anyway you have it, it's excellent!

Shirube (汁べゑ)

Shirube is a must-visit izakaya in Shimokitazawa because of its good food and cool atmosphere. You should reserve a place at the bar with is around the central kitchen. It is aimed at young people with the fun ambience and reasonably-priced menu. The karaage and mackerel are outstanding, you should also try the cheese tofu and the fried shrimp with chili mayo!

Jomon Roppongi (ジョウモン 六本木店)

Jomon in Roppongi is a trendy, yet authentic yakitori (grilled chicken) izakaya restaurant. The staff is very friendly and speaks English, but if ordering makes you nervous, you can get the course. It's only 3,980 yen and it's also all-you-can-drink for 2 hours! Not bad at all!
This place is rather small so it is not a place for groups, it is easier to be only two people.

Robatashou (ろばた 翔)

Robatashou is a robatayaki and izakaya with a beautiful modern interior. Robatayaki is a unique Japanese cooking style where ingredients are cooked over hot charcoal. The restaurant's strong suit is their famous ¥5,000 course, which includes an all-you-can-drink course. They also specialize in Japanese sake and they pride themselves in the charcoal they use to give it that unique smoky taste.

35 Steps Bistro (ビストロ 三十五段屋)

35 Steps Bistro serves great food in an underground bar in Shibuya. You should definitely try the grilled fish which they will flambe at your table in front of you. Although it is mostly frequented by locals, there is an English menu. It's a great price/quality ratio.

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    Lili Wanderlust
    I love travelling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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