Ginza, Hibiya & Shimbashi
Very Expensive -- In addition to the reviewed venues, there's also a branch of Inakaya, 8-7-4 Ginza (tel. 03/3569-1708), a robatayaki restaurant, open daily 5 to 11pm, for grilled foods.
Inexpensive -- In addition to the restaurants reviewed, check out Meal Muji, 3-8-3 Marunouchi (tel. 03/5208-8241), a cafeteria on the second floor of the popular minimalist Muji clothing and housewares store, where you can load up on salads and mostly vegetarian choices daily from 11am to 8:30pm. There are also a number of restaurants on the eighth floor of Matsuya Ginza department store serving everything from French and Chinese food to sushi, tempura, noodles, and more. Aux Bacchanales, a brasserie offering sandwiches, salads, and daily specials, has a branch at 6-3-2 Ginza (tel. 03/3569-0202) and is open daily from 9am to 11pm. Botejyu San, an okonomiyaki restaurant originally from Osaka, has a branch in the basement of Caretta Shiodome, 1-8-2 Higashi Shimbashi (tel. 03/5537-7808), and is open daily from 11am to 3pm and 5 to 11pm (to 10pm Sat-Sun). Gonpachi, at the G-Zone, 1-2-3 Ginza (tel. 03/5524-3641), serves a variety of Japanese food from 11:30am to 3:30am.
For atmospheric dining, head to an arch underneath the elevated Yamanote railway tracks, about halfway between Harumi Dori and the Imperial Hotel Tower. It has a handful of tiny yakitori stands, each with a few tables and chairs, which cater to a rather boisterous working-class clientele, mainly men. The atmosphere, unsophisticated and dingy, hearkens back to prewar Japan, somewhat of an anomaly in the otherwise chic Ginza. Stalls are open from about 5pm to midnight Monday to Saturday.
Tokyo Station -- Marunouchi & Nihombashi
Moderate -- Sushiko, on the 35th floor of the Marunouchi Building (tel. 03/3240-1908), offers set sushi meals for lunch and dinner daily from 11am to 2:30pm and 5:30 to 10pm.
Inexpensive -- There's a Kua' Aina outlet selling burgers in the Marunouchi Building on the fifth floor, across from Tokyo Station at 2-4-1 Marunouchi (tel. 03/5220-2400), open daily from 11am to 10:30pm.
Because Tsukiji is home to the nation's largest wholesale fish market, it's not surprising that this area abounds in sushi and seafood restaurants. In addition to the recommendations, don't neglect the many stalls in and around the market, where you can eat everything from noodles to fresh sashimi.
Inexpensive -- The Hard Rock Cafe Ueno, 7-1-1 Ueno (tel. 03/5826-5821), located in JR Ueno Station, is open daily 7am to 11pm, while Kohmen, 4-8-8 Ueno (tel. 03/5807-4535), offers tasty ramen and gyoza daily from 11am to 5am.
In addition to the suggestions, be sure to check out the restaurant floors of several skyscrapers in Shinjuku, where you can find eateries in all price categories serving a variety of Japanese and international cuisines; some even have the bonus of great city views. These include the 29th and 30th floors of the N. S. Building where, in addition to Hakkaku, other restaurants serve tempura, tonkatsu, teppanyaki, and Italian fare; the top four floors of the Sumitomo Building where, in addition to Donto, you'll find more than 20 outlets offering everything from tempura to Chinese cuisine; and the 12th, 13th, and 14th floors of Takashimaya Shinjuku where, in addition to Din Tai Fung, restaurants serve sushi, eel, tonkatsu, noodles, tempura, hamburgers, and more.
Expensive -- There's a branch of the famous tempura restaurant Ten-ichi on the seventh floor of Isetan department store, 3-14-1 Shinjuku (tel. 03/5379-3039), open daily from 11am to 8pm.
Moderate -- In addition to the reviewed entries, an excellent choice for nouvelle Japanese cuisine is daidaiya, located next to the east exit of Shinjuku station on the third floor of the Nowa Building, 3-37-12 Shinjuku (tel. 03/5362-7173). It's open daily 5pm to midnight. I also like Kushinobo, a kushikatsu restaurant at 1-10-5 Kabuki-cho (tel. 03/3232-9744), offering two set dinners: The ¥2,940 course features 10 skewered morsels, including crab, mushrooms and asparagus, while the Omakase course is the chef's choice and continues until you say you've had enough (16 skewers costs ¥4,500). It's open Monday to Saturday from 5 to 11pm. Thai restaurant Erawan, on the 8th floor of the Adhoc Shinjuku Building, 3-15-11 Shinjuku (tel. 03/3341-5127), is open Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 3pm, Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 4pm, and daily 5 to 11:30pm.
Inexpensive -- Donto, on the 49th floor of the Sumitomo Building (tel. 03/3344-6269), offers a Japanese lunch buffet and set meals for dinner and is open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 2pm and 5 to 11pm. Also, Tengu, on Yasukuni Dori at 3-20-5 Shinjuku (tel. 03/3354-3046), and Toriyoshi, 3-34-16 Shinjuku (tel. 03/3225-1922), are popular Japanese-style pubs with inexpensive meals, both open from 5pm.
Harajuku & Aoyama
Inexpensive -- In addition to the reviewed restaurants, consider La Boheme, with locations at 7-11-4 Minami Aoyama (tel. 03/3499-3377), 6-2-2 Minami Aoyama (tel. 03/6418-4242), 3-6-25 Kita-Aoyama (tel. 03/5766-1666), and on Omotesando Dori at 5-8-5 Jingumae (tel. 03/5467-5666); all serve pizza and pasta and are open daily from 11:30am to 3:30am or later. Monsoon, serving Asian dishes from several countries, is at 7-3-1 Minami Aoyama (tel. 03/3400-7200) and is open daily from 11am to 3:30am. Shakey's, on Omotesando Dori near Oriental Bazaar at 6-1-10 Jingumae (tel. 03/3409-2404), offers an all-you-can eat pizza buffet daily from 11am to 4pm. Kohmen, 6-2-8 Jingumae (tel. 03/5468-6344), is a ramen restaurant open daily from 11am to 4am.
Serving as a major commuter nucleus, Shibuya caters primarily to students and young office workers with its many fashion department stores and lively nightlife scene. In addition to the suggestions, consider the fourth floor of Mark City, 1-12-5 Dogenzaka, across from Shibuya Station (and next to the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu), where you'll find a dozen or so restaurants specializing in Japanese, Italian, and Chinese food. Try Mikura (tel. 03/5459-4011), simply but elegantly decorated in gold, for its Kyoto-style obento and kaiseki; set lunches cost ¥2,100 to ¥5,460, while dinners (reservations required) start at ¥3,990. It's open daily 11am to 1:30pm and 5 to 9pm (last order).
Inexpensive -- In addition to the choices reviewed, there's Gonpachi, on the 14th floor of E-Space Tower, 3-6 Maruyama-cho (tel. 03/5784-2011), offering a wide selection of Japanese fare, from yakitori and noodles to tempura and sushi. It's open daily 11:30am to 3:30am. You'll also find branches of the pizza/pasta restaurant La Boheme (tel. 03/3477-0481); Monsoon (tel. 03/5489-1611), serving Southeast Asian fare; and Tex-Mex eatery Zest Cantina (tel. 03/5489-3332), all at 1-6-8 Jinnan and open daily 11:30am to 5am. For burgers, there's Kua' Aina, at 1-10-4 Shibuya (tel. 03/3409-3200), open daily 11am to 10pm.
Inexpensive -- In addition to the choices reviewed, there's Monsoon, 4-4-6 Ebisu (tel. 03/5789-3811), serving Southeast Asian food daily from 11am to 3:30am, and Kohmen, 1-9-5 Ebisu (tel. 03/5475-0185), offering ramen and gyoza daily from 11am to 5am.
Roppongi & Nishi Azabu
Because Roppongi is such a popular nighttime hangout for young Tokyoites and foreigners, it boasts a large number of both Japanese and Western restaurants. To find the location of any of the Roppongi addresses, stop by the tiny police station on Roppongi Crossing (Roppongi's main intersection of Roppongi Dori and Gaien-Higashi Dori), where you'll find a map of the area. If you still don't know where to go, ask one of the policemen.
Catty-corner to the police station is the number-one meeting spot in Roppongi, in front of Almond coffee shop. Unfortunately, this landmark is under reconstruction until the end of 2010, so gone are the gaudy but instantly recognizable pink and white awnings. However, if you are asked to meet someone in Roppongi, this will likely be the spot.
About a 10-minute walk west of Roppongi (via Roppongi Dori in the direction of Shibuya) is Nishi Azabu. Once primarily a residential neighborhood, Nishi Azabu has slowly changed over the years as it began absorbing the overflow of Roppongi. It has restaurants and a few bars, yet remains mellower and much less crowded than Roppongi. Between Roppongi Crossing and Nishi Azabu is Roppongi Hills, a sprawling urban development with many choices in dining. Tokyo Midtown, Tokyo's newest urban development and attracting huge crowds, also offers dining, but good luck in securing a seat.
Moderate -- In addition to the choices reviewed, there's a Wolfgang Puck Cafe in the Roi Building, 5-5-1 Roppongi (tel. 03/5775-5401), open daily 11am to 11pm; and Yasaiya Mei, specializing in fresh vegetables, in Roppongi Hills, on the fifth floor of Mori Tower in an area called West Walk (tel. 03/5775-2960), open Monday to Thursday from 11am to 11pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 2am.
Inexpensive -- In addition to the recommendations reviewed, La Boheme, at 4-11-13 Roppongi (tel. 03/3478-0222; Mon-Sat 11am-5am; Sun 5pm-3:30am) and 2-25-18 Nishi Azabu (tel. 03/3407-1363; daily 11am-5pm), serves pizza and pasta, while Monsoon, 2-10-1 Nishi Azabu (tel. 03/5467-5221), offers a wide variety of Asian standards daily from 11am to 5am. Gyu-Kaku, 5-1-2 Roppongi (tel. 03/5414-5129), is a Korean barbecue restaurant, open Monday to Saturday from 5pm to 5am and Sunday and holidays from 5pm to midnight.
Expensive -- In addition to the recommendations here, there's a branch of Ten-ichi, specializing in tempura, in Akasaka Tokyu Plaza, 2-14-3 Nagata-cho (tel. 03/3581-2166), open daily 11am to 9:30pm.
Inexpensive -- Don't forget Hayashi, on the fourth floor of the Sanno Kaikan Building, 2-14-1 Akasaka, described above as an expensive restaurant. Although dinner is costly, you can enjoy the same, cozy atmosphere for much, much less at lunch, when only one dish, oyako donburi (rice topped with chunks of chicken and egg), is served, with pickled vegetables, clear soup, and tea, for ¥900, with a slightly larger portion available for ¥1,000. Open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30am to 2pm. In addition, okonomiyaki restaurant Botejyu San is on the second floor of the Taisuikan Building, 3-10-1 Akasaka (tel. 03/3505-2930). It's open Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 3pm and daily from 5:30 to 11pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.