Toritake is an awesome Yakitori place located right by Shibuya station. It’s a hole-in-the-wall Izakaya kind of place and has three floors which are constantly packed with customers. Be prepared to wait a little during popular hours.
We’ve been here a few times cause we love how affordable and good the Yakitori is. Over the course of our visits, we’ve experimented with ordering our dishes with both the “tare” (sauce flavoring) and the “shio” (salt flavoring) and overall we tend to prefer the salt more since it really brings out the flavor of the chicken and takes the veggies to another level. Everything here is delicious and I highly recommend their stuffed green pepper (ピーマンの肉詰め). Yummm. The place is loud and happening during dinner hours with people of all ages and a variety of different nationalities represented among the diners. They surprisingly have an English menu and I’ve also heard great things about their lunch as well.
Just FYI, be prepared to take off your shoes if you sit on the basement-level floor or to sit next to people who are smoking.
Note: Closed on the second Monday of every month.
Address // 1-6-1, Dougenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3461-1627
Website // n/a
Time for some yakitori?
There’s a ton of yakitori places in Tokyo but where can you go that is both good and affordable? I previously shared Yakitori Nenohi from Ga-do shita which I still think is a great place to experience a very Japanese Izakaya-style yakitori, but I found another spot that I also recommend.
You would never know there’s a yakitori place here as it’s quite old school and is located in the underground floors of Hotel New Otani (which is a maze!). Isehiro is one of those yakitori places that has been around for ages. The place feels old but there’s something comforting about it and the service was good.
We ordered the “5 sticks yakitori lunch plate set” for 1785yen. The choice of yakitori are all decided for you but if you want to switch something out, they will happily do it for you. They also give you a choice of recieving all your yakitori sticks at once or one at a time.
We decided to ask for all 5 yakitori sticks from our set to come at the same time but since I’m not a fast eater, my 4th and 5th one’s were cold by the time I ate them so perhaps I should have gotten them one at a time. Also, I was full by my 4th stick so I should have ordered one less. All in all, everything was good and my favorites were momo (thigh) and negiyaki (green onions wrapped with chicken thigh). If you are by Yotsuya, Kojimachi, Nagatacho or Akasakamitsuke, stop by Hotel New Otani and give this place a try.
Address // Hotel New Otani B1F, 4-1, Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3221-4101
Website // http://www.isehiro.co.jp/otani.html
I asked a friend if they could take us out to an ultimate Japanese salary-man experience along with some good food and we ended up at “ga-do shita” (“underneath the railroads”) in Yurakucho. I’ll have more pictures just of “ga-do shita” in a different post – here.
There’s a ton of options all packed into a small area hidden among small alleyways, but we decided to check out this Yakitori place called “Yurakucho Nenohi”. The place was filled with Japanese Salary-men who had just finished work and were all enjoying their beer and yakitori. The food was all good and cheap – about 160yen each for Yakitori. The place is very small so be prepared to literally sit right next to a few strangers. The restaurant also allows smoking so if you are a non-smoker, it might get a little smoky. Actually, the place is already smoky with all the Yakitori smell so make sure you wear something you don’t mind getting stinky in!
Address // 2-3-3, Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3571-9132
Website // n/a
Yurakucho’s “Ga-do Shita” is an area with many Izakayas and Yakitori restaurants hidden away literally underneath the railroad tracks. As a result, when you visit this area you can expect to hear the JR and bullet trains passing by above you. Most people traveling on the trains would have no idea what they’re passing over, but in this somewhat mysterious part of Tokyo lie some hidden spots.
We visited Ga-do Shita on a day after it snowed in Tokyo so it was quite empty, but it is typically packed with salary-men drinking away the night. During the summer time, everyone sits outside in the open space and it becomes very lively and loud.
Check out Yurakucho Nenohi if you’re in the area. We enjoyed it!