Tokyo food and beer picks
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Tokyo area

Here are some top picks for Tokyo-area beer bars with especially good food, and restaurants with good craft-beer offerings.

Craft-beer bars with good food

craft beer
Vector Beer - Izakaya: Shinjuku Gyoen-mae
It may look like just another Tokyo craft-beer bar, but Vector serves up an appealing menu of beef-tongue dishes and other solid izakaya fare, making it a popular dining destination as well as a bar. The charcoal-grilled sumibiyaki tongue...
craft beer
Brussels Beer Project - Beer bar: Nishi-Shinjuku
Not to be confused with your typical Belgian beer bar, BBP is actually a craft-beer taproom - one of the best in Tokyo in our opinion. They serve a lineup of more than a dozen beers on tap from a small craft brewery in Belgium, including...
craft beer
Bakushuan - Izakaya: Ebisu
If you like both craft beer and craft sake, and you find yourself in Ebisu, this branch of Otsuka's legendary Bakushuan beer bar is the place for you. Ten mainly Japanese craft beers are served on tap, and there's an impressive sake list along with...
craft beer
Another8 - Bar: Meguro
Perhaps it's the chic, modern decor or the DJ booth at the front of the bar, but for some reason Another8 seems to attract a more stylish and cosmopolitan crowd than your typical beer bar. In addition to seven or eight taps of craft beer they also...
craft beer
Lower Right - Grill: Hamamatsucho
This stylish basement grill offers a tasty meat-centered menu along with both Japanese craft beers and popular Belgian beers on tap. The ten craft beers are heavy on the IPAs, from breweries like North Island, Shiga Kogen and Baird. They're all...
craft beer
On the Table - Beer bar: Hamamatsucho
Many craft-beer specialists make due with lackluster bar fare to accompany their drinks, so we were pleasantly suprised by the high standards of the kitchen at On the Table. A sister shop of the Good Beer Faucets bar in Shibuya, they also serve...
belgian
Antwerp Central - Belgian rest/beer bar: Marunouchi
AC's atmosphere and decor are very European in feel, and the large food menu includes surprisingly authentic Belgian specialties like "stoemp" - a hearty platter of mashed potatoes and root vegetables. The bar serves more than 30 Belgian beers,...
craft beer
Mile Post Cafe - Indian: Kayabacho
Perched above an expensive bicycle shop, Mile Post serves Japanese craft beer and an eclectic food menu in a waterfront setting. When the weather is nice the cafe's ten-seat terrace area, looking out over the Sumida River, is an especially pleasant...
craft beer
Craft Beer Market - Beer bar: Kanda
One thing we like about this craft-beer bar chain, besides the reasonable prices and broad beer selection, is that fact that each branch has its own distinctive food menu. The theme here at CBM's tenth branch is lamb, and the kitchen goes all out...
craft beer
Beer Wars - Beer bar: Bakurocho
A solid selection of US craft beers, good food, and a friendly atmosphere make this a popular destination for neighborhood beer lovers. Six taps are devoted to US breweries like Karl Strauss, Victory and New Belgium, with 400ml glasses priced at...
craft beer
Bakushuan - Beer bar: Otsuka
Although it looks like an old-fashioned izakaya inside, Bakushuan serves a modern selection of ten Japanese and US craft beers on tap in addition to its very respectable sake list. In fact customers are more or less required to order a beer to...
craft beer
Craft Beer Market Koenji - Beer bar: Koenji
Known for their good food, lively atmosphere and reasonably priced craft brews, the Craft Beer Market chain has been growing quickly, and this fifth branch is their first foray into a residential neighborhood rather than an after-work business...
craft beer
Craft Beer Market - Beer bar: Kichijoji
The bars in the CBM chain all offer different food menus, and this sixth branch features Okinawan-style Chinese cuisine. The food is quite beer-compatible, with tasty small dishes like maguro poki (tuna poke), stewed pork and chozume...
craft beer
Kazenori Meri - Beer bar: Shimo-Kitazawa
The well-chosen selection of twenty craft beers here is accompanied by a very nice food menu, with enticing dishes like stewed pork belly and chicken wings, herb-infused fish and chips, and potato salad with chicken breast and avocado. There are...
craft beer
Hatos Bar - Beer bar: Naka-Meguro
Excellent American-style barbecue and nice microbrew beers to go with them are the surprising finds at this charming neighborhood bar. Richly marbled pork belly was our favorite, but we also greatly enjoyed Hatos's baby-back ribs, pulled-pork...

Restaurants with craft beers and good food

craft beer
Tavern on S - International: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 21 hours a day and conveniently located next to Shinjuku Station's south exit, this glitzy new bar-restaurant is a fun destination whatever you're looking for - a casual group dinner, a late-night snack or just a quick drink or two at the bar. ...
craft beer
Hohokam Cafe - Burgers: Harajuku
Excellent burgers and sandwiches, good American craft beers by the bottle, and outdoor terrace seating are some of the attractions at this stylish all-day burger joint in the heart of Harajuku. Choose from more than two dozen burger variations...
craft beer
Smith - International: Harajuku
Smith's eclectic international menu features dishes like foie-gras truffle pizzas, grilled Iberico pork, and oven-baked chicken and mushrooms with raclette cheese. Drinks include eight Japanese craft beers on tap, plus their own house IPA and one...
craft beer
Smokehouse - American: Harajuku
There's great American-style barbecue and a nice collection of a dozen craft beers to wash it down at this cozy bar-restaurant located halfway along Cat Street. Weekday lunches start at Y1000, and during the evening you can snack on sandwiches...
beer
Umami Burger - Burgers: Omotesando
The Umami Burger delivers a giant blast of rich, meaty flavor, more than living up to its name. The signature dish at this California-based gourmet burger shop, it has been carefully crafted from a palette of savory, glutamate-rich ingredients -...
craft beer
Yona Yona Beer Works - Beer bar: Omotesando
A dozen beers from the popular Yo-Ho Brewing in Karuizawa are on tap here, including a very drinkable IPA and some seasonal specials. The food is well above average for a beer bar, with appealing sausage variations (coriander-lemon, yuzu pepper,...
craft beer
Gar Eden - Italian: Omotesando
An Italian restaurant with a good craft-beer selection is a nice find, but if you're not hungry you can come just for the beer. The ten taps dispense an assortment of Japanese, US and European craft beers, with some unusual finds (a Swiss sour ale!)...
craft beer
Burger Mania - Burgers: Ebisu
This branch of the popular burger chain offers a well-chosen selection of craft beers to go with your burgers, from breweries like Green Flash, Ballast Point and Far Yeast. The six taps include one IPA, one white beer, one stout, and so on, and are...
craft beer
Burger Mania - Burgers: Hiroo
Good American-style gourmet burgers and sandwiches are served here, with six taps of craft beer in different styles - lager, pale ale, IPA and so on. Draft beers are Y880 and Y1100 (370ml and 473ml sizes), and some bottles and cans are also...
craft beer
Luke's - Seafood: Hiroo
This popular New York-based lobster specialist is known for their tasty lobster and seafood rolls - sandwiches stuffed with Maine lobster, crabmeat and shrimp. As a bonus, you'll find a well-chosen selection of reasonably priced US craft beers in...
craft beer
Burger Mania - Burgers: Shirokanedai
The original shop of this popular burger chain serves American-style gourmet burgers and sandwiches. Craft-beer fans can choose from six beers on draft, including one each of stout, lager, pale ale, and IPA styles and one seasonal beer. Draft...
beer
IR Second House - Grill: Shirokanedai
This casual neighborhood dining spot serves up excellent food in a gorgeous setting, and offers a nice rotating selection of US craft beers on tap, along with several wines priced at Y4000 per bottle. In addition to table seating, there's an...
craft beer
135 Tavern - Izakaya: Akasaka
Charcoal-grilled, kushiyaki-style brochettes and steaks are the main specialties here, with some very good Japanese craft beers to wash them down. The attractively furnished dining room is surprisingly spacious - it's narrow but very deep - and...
craft beer
Gachimaya - Okinawan: Jimbocho
If you like Okinawan food and enjoy trying new craft beers, this casual basement izakaya is well worth a visit. Along with a selection of well-prepared Okinawan fare you can choose from nine rotating taps of craft beers, representing multiple...
craft beer
Yona Yona Beer Works - Beer bar: Kanda
The second Tokyo outlet of Nagano Prefecture's Yo-Ho Brewing, this Kanda branch offers a more ambitious food menu as well as a dozen of the brewery's beers on draft, including a couple of hand-pumped real ales. Excellent roast Date chicken, an...
craft beer
Himalaya Table - Nepalese: Kanda
Do craft beers go with Nepalese cuisine? The folks at Himalaya Table Craft Beer and Spice think so, and so they offer eight microbrews on tap - chosen to go well with your momo mutton dumplings, spicy stir-fried chicken livers, fried peanuts and...
brewpub
Nihonbashi Brewery - Brewpub: Bakurocho
This brewpub is run by a veteran of HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery) in Portland, Oregon, and the thirteen taps here carry HUB beers and other imports, domestic Japanese craft beers from producers like Kyoto Brewing, and one or two of their own house...
brewpub
T.Y. Harbor Brewery - Brewpub: Tennozu Isle
This long-running bayside brewpub features an eclectic California-style menu, along with a nice selection of freshly brewed beers. You can enjoy a few drinks in the very stylish bar area up front, or a full meal in the cavernous dining room or the...
craft beer
El Pato - American: Koenji
Tasty American-style burgers are the main draw at this casual diner, along with tacos and small tapas-style dishes. They also serve some top-notch craft beers from Nagano brewery Shiga Kogen on tap (IPA plus one seasonal beer), along with US craft...
craft beer
Whale - Middle Eastern: Koenji
Well-selected and reasonably priced craft beers and wines are complemented by simple Middle Eastern fare (tajines, dips, falafel) at this tiny drinking spot. Located next to a sister shop called Kujira Curry Bar and across from a Vietnamese BBQ...
craft beer
Yona Yona Beer Works - Beer bar: Kichijoji
This fourth branch of the popular Yona Yona beer bar, its first venue outside central Tokyo, offers the same lineup of a dozen or so beers from Nagano brewery Yo-Ho, including seasonal specials. The stylishly appointed, massive dining room is far...
craft beer
Wagaya - Kushiage: Tachikawa
Deep-fried kushiage skewers go wonderfully well with beer, so the combination of kushiage plus craft beer is an appealing alternative to the insipid mini-pizzas and sausages found at so many bars. Run by Shizuoka-based Ten Ants brewery, Wagaya...
craft beer
Basel - Deli salads: Tachikawa
The deli counter at Station Cafe Basel was an unexpected discovery - an appetizing selection of around twenty vegetable-centric (but non-vegetarian) light dishes that you can mix and match, for here or to go. They also serve dessert, good coffee, a...

Yokohama, Kanagawa

craft beer
Green Bashamichi - Grill: Yokohama Bashamichi
Charcoal Grill Green Bashamichi serves a very appealing menu of grilled meats, fish and vegetables, along with creative starters like hot-and-sour pork and pepper soup, and marinated saury and mushrooms with yuzu jelly. California and Washington...
craft beer
Green Ishikawacho - Grill: Yokohama Motomachi
Charcoal Grill Green, with three branches in Yokohama, serves good grilled meats along with Japanese craft beers and mostly European wines. The menu offers intriguing-sounding dishes such as Popcorn Shrimp with Cajun Aioli; Smoky Pulled-pork...
craft beer
Mokichi Craft Beer - Beer bar: Fujisawa-shi
Conveniently located close to Fujisawa Station, Mokichi is a taproom for Shonan Beer, a very drinkable lineup of craft beers made by the Kumazawa Shuzo sake brewery in nearby Chigasaki. They offer thirteen Shonan beers on tap, accompanied by a...
beer
Thrash Zone Meatballs - Beer bar: Yokohama Nihon-Odori
Thrash Zone is one of Japan's better craft-beer brewers, specializing in strong, hoppy IPAs and other "extreme beers." This second branch of the Thrash Zone bar (open since mid-April 2016) serves a line-up of their own creations, plus an equal...

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