In recent years, Tokyo has undergone rapid redevelopment one after another. While it's becoming more modern and convenient, it's sad to see the nostalgic scenery diminishing. Yanaka Ginza, located close to Shinjuku and Shibuya, still retains its old townscape.

The area centers around the Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street, which is lined with about 60 stores and exudes a downtown atmosphere. It's a mix of old-fashioned shops and new stylish ones.

There are also many historic temples, shrines, and parks nearby. If you walk a bit further, you can enjoy the nature of the four seasons.
For me, it's a healing place I feel like stopping by when I want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax a bit.

It's also known as a "cat town" and it's fun to encounter cat objects and cat-motif products here and there.

Of course, this area is also full of gourmet spots. This time, I'll pick up and introduce recommended restaurants for dinner.

Yanaka Ginza at Night

Yanaka Ginza is not a town that seeks glamorous nightlife like Roppongi or Shibuya.During the day, the bustling shopping street closes early around 18:00-19:00, with shutters going down one after another, and people hurrying home become noticeable. There are also many gourmet spots at night, but the town becomes much quieter.

If you're visiting for dinner, it's recommended to start from "Yuyake Dandan" before the sun sets. Yuyake Dandan refers to the stairs between Nippori Station and the Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street. The scenery spreading below is full of Showa-era atmosphere and is popular for being very nostalgic.
You're lucky if you can see a beautiful sunset. Even if not, you can enjoy the unique atmosphere as the sun gradually sets.

I also like walking through the town after dinner when it seems to have completely quieted down. Compared to the bustling areas, the security is good, and a quiet night walk different from during the day is also recommended.

Recommended Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Restaurants for Dinner

Yakiniku Salaryman

Yakiniku Saralyman
Source: Tabelog

The name “Salaryman” is Japanese-English for mainly male company employees.

Just to the right after descending Yuyake Dandan, there's a yakiniku restaurant with an eye-catching Showa-retro signboard and name.As the name suggests, it has an atmosphere where middle-aged men returning from work would gather, and it might be a bit intimidating for women to enter, but it's okay.

The small interior has a cluttered and unpretentious feel of a downtown restaurant.A cute old lady is said to run the place alone. The menu is very simple, and overall, the portions are large and reasonably priced.
You grill the meat yourself at the table. The meat is all delicious.

Sometimes it takes a while for your order to arrive, but it's not bad to take it easy at the old lady's pace, grilling meat and enjoying a drink.

- Access: 4-minute walk from Nippori Station
- Address: 3-13-2 Nishinippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: Around 17:00-24:00
- Phone: 03-3823-6990
- Closed: Irregularly
- URL:

Yanaka Yoshikawa (Okonomiyaki / Monjayaki)

Source: Tabelog

An okonomiyaki and monjayaki restaurant that has been in the Yanaka shopping street for a long time. Here, an elderly is running the place alone. It's the old-fashioned okonomiyaki restaurant style of cooking on the iron plate set on the table right in front of you.

This is very popular with my friends visiting from overseas. Cooking it right in front of you is very exciting as a performance. Osaka is the home of okonomiyaki, and Tokyo's downtown taste is monjayaki.

The ingredients are similar and both are representative of flour-based dishes, but the way they are cooked is different and interesting, so please try both.

The owner seemed to enjoy communicating with foreigners, and it was impressive to see him kindly teaching how to cook. It's a warm restaurant with a close distance to the customers.

- Access: 7-minute walk from Nippori Station
- Address: 3-13-23 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: 18:00-22:30
- Phone: 03-5685-0773
- Closed: Irregularly
- Website:

Soba Azagami

Source: Tabelog

A soba restaurant with a cute wooden signboard with character. The interior is also wood-based with a clean atmosphere and is relaxing. Soba is a noodle made from buckwheat flour, and along with sushi and tempura, it is a representative Japanese dish.

At Azagami, you can enjoy handmade soba that is particularly about the highest grade buckwheat flour. It's a type called ni-hachi soba, which is thin, whitish, smooth, and goes down easily. Soba can be eaten in various ways according to your preference, so Azagami also has an extensive menu.

I love cold soba and shrimp tempura, so I always go with the most popular "Tenmori."The freshly fried crispy tempura and the smooth texture of the soba are delicious.

- Access: 5-minute walk from the station
- Address: 3-11-11 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: 11:00-20:00
- Phone: 03-5815-8710
- Closed: Monday, Tuesday
- Website:

TAYORI (Set Meals)

Source: Official Site

A hidden cafe located in a narrow alley one block off the Yanaka shopping street. It has a refined appearance, a style popular in recent years for renovating an old Japanese house.

The shop's creation pays attention to detail, with old building materials left as is, a tatami room space, a small counter, and many hanging lights. It's a space that is stylish yet somehow rustic warm, and healing.

Here, set meals called "teishoku," where rice, soup, main dish, side dishes, etc. are pre-arranged in a well-balanced manner, are popular. They are served on a tray, all at the same time.

The recommended dish is the aji-fry (fried horse mackerel) set meal. It's delicious with plenty of homemade tartar sauce. The many side dishes using lots of vegetables are healthy and pleasing.

There's also a space to write letters to farmers, and the concept of valuing connections with producers is also lovely.

- Access: 5-minute walk from Sendagi Station, 6-minute walk from Nippori Station
- Address: 3-12-4 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: Weekdays/Sat 12:00-20:00 / Sun/Holidays 12:00-18:00
- Reservations: Available
- Phone: 03-5834-7026
- Closed: Monday, Tuesday
- Website:

Want to drink delicious sake too? Izakaya where you can also have dinner

Sakedokoro Misaki

Source: Tabelog

As you walk through the darkened Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street, you'll be tempted to stop by this izakaya, lured by the light of the lanterns hung at the entrance.

The two main offerings at this restaurant are the local chicken dishes from Iwate Prefecture, where the owner is from, and the cuisine from Okinawa, where his wife is from.

Other Japanese dishes are also substantial, and all the dishes are said to be delicious. The small interior has a counter with about 8 seats and 2 tables. There seem to be many regulars, but it's comfortable and cozy even for first-timers.

The dishes are all beautifully presented and can be enjoyed visually as well. Popular menu items include the salt-grilled local chicken, chicken meatballs, and the Okinawan dish goya champuru.
It reminded me of the taste I had in Okinawa. The comfort is so great that you'll want to come every day.

- Access: 4-minute walk from Sendagi Station
- Address: 3-8-8 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: 18:00-24:00
- Phone: 03-3824-0019
- Closed: Sundays
- URL:

Yanaka Ginza Sharaku

Source: Tabelog

An izakaya with a wooden deck-style standing drinking space on the street side creates an open atmosphere that is easy to enter casually. It's perfect for a quick drink during a night walk.

The signature menu is, surprisingly, 10 types of lemon sour. The freshly squeezed raw lemon is thick, refreshing, and very delicious. They use lemons that are safe to eat even the skin, without wax or preservatives. The lemon syrup and lemon liquor are also homemade, and it's fun to compare the different varieties.

It's easy to focus on the lemon sours, but this restaurant also puts a lot of effort into its food menu. The homemade stewed beef tendon and oden are popular. You can't miss the freshly fried homemade potato chips either.

- Access: 6-minute walk from Nippori Station
- Address: Vanadiel Yanaka 1F, 3-9-15 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00-22:00 / Sat, Sun, Holidays 11:00-22:00
- Reservations: Available
- Phone: 03-5834-8474
- Closed: Irregularly
- Website:

Edo Cuisine Yanaka no Suzume

Yanaka no Suzume
Source: Tabelog

A small restaurant in a back alley called "Hatsune Koji," has a particularly strong retro feel even within Yanaka Ginza, known for its Showa-retro atmosphere.

Walking through that narrow alley will completely make you feel like you've slipped through time.It's a small restaurant run by a couple, with only a 6-person tatami room on the 1st floor. Going up the narrow stairs behind the restaurant, there seems to be a 2nd floor with about 10 seats. It's like a secret hideaway.

The cuisine is only course meals, centered on seasonal hot pot dishes. Japanese dishes such as appetizers, sashimi, and chawanmushi keep being delivered and are all delicious and voluminous.
The sake is selected to match the dishes at that time, and all of them are very delicious, so it's recommended.

The last dish of the course is a hot pot, and you can enjoy the finishing rice porridge.It has a core group of fans, and reservation is difficult to get, so make it early.

- Access: 3-minute walk from Nippori Station
- Address: 7-18-13 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: 17:00-22:30
- Reservations: Available
- Phone: 090-9677-9992
- Closed: Sundays
- Website:

Want to enjoy an old folk house

Hantei Nezu Main Store (Kushiage)

Source: Tabelog

A kushiage restaurant where you can enjoy kushiage in an imposing 3-story wooden building, a traditional house certified as having high historical value.

Kushiage has various ingredients skewered on a single skewer, battered, and fried. At Hantei, you can taste refined and authentic kushiage made with carefully selected seasonal ingredients fried in the highest quality oil.

For dinner, there are two types of omakase (chef's choice) courses. The main dish of the course, the specialty "Beef Cheek Stewed in Red Wine," which is stewed for a week, will amaze you with its tenderness. The meat falls apart perfectly and is very flavorful.

The wine is personally selected by the chef from among his selections and recommended to match the dishes of the day, so definitely go for it.vThe single dishes served between skewers are also elaborate, and you'll be satisfied with the attentive Japanese cuisine course.

- Access: 2-minute walk from Nezu Station
- Address: 2-12-15 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:00 / Dinner 17:00-22:00
- Reservations: Available
- Phone: 03-3828-1440
- Closed: Mondays

Nezu Kamachiku (Udon)

Source: Tabelog

A renowned udon restaurant renovated from a stone warehouse over 100 years old. The building, which makes use of the brick stone warehouse as is, is very tasteful and imposing. Inside the restaurant, you can overlook a purely Japanese-style garden from the large windows and fully enjoy the Japanese atmosphere.

Now, when it comes to udon, many people may have the image of a light meal, but I really want those who have that impression to taste the real thing here. The specialty udon, which has been selected for the Michelin Bib Gourmand multiple times, is truly simple and delicious, just as the owner says it values the balance between ingredients and brings out their flavors.

The sake and single-dish varieties are also abundant, and it's actually a popular spot where you can enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine at a reasonable price.

- Access: 3-minute walk from Nezu Station
- Address: 2-14-18 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: Tue-Sat 11:30-14:30 / 17:30-21:30
- Reservations: Available only for dinner
- Phone: 03-5815-4675 - Closed: Sundays, Mondays
- Website:

Italian Restaurants

Hosteria Yanaka no Tramonto

Source: Tabelog

An Italian restaurant located in a lone-standing old house away from the bustle of Yanaka Ginza, amidst the old townscape. The interior is also small, quiet, and has a homey atmosphere.

During dinner time, there are two types of the chef's proud omakase courses. The main dish of the course, the specialty "Beef Cheek Stewed in Red Wine," which is stewed for a week, will amaze you with the tenderness of the meat. It falls apart and is very flavorful.

The wine is personally selected by the chef from among his selections and recommended to match the dishes of the day, so definitely go for it. I’m very satisfied with the ajillo, bagna cauda, whitebait pasta, and the delicious freshly baked homemade bread and focaccia.

- Access: 5-minute walk from Nippori Station
- Address: 7-17-11 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: Lunch 12:00-14:30 / Dinner 18:00-21:00
- Reservations: Available
- Phone: 03-6383-1621
- Closed: Mondays
- Website:

Bar Hosteria COMUM

Source: Tabelog

A restaurant located in the Nezu Station area, a bit away from Yanaka Ginza. This area is known as a battleground for Italian restaurants, but this place is known for offering casual authentic Italian cuisine.

They are particular about seasonal ingredients, especially fresh seafood directly delivered from the fishing port in Minamiboso, Chiba. On social media, they post photos of freshly procured seafood and daily specials.

In addition to seafood dishes such as acqua pazza and zuppa di pesce that make use of fresh seafood, the salad topped with luxurious daily appetizers and the tiramisu dessert are also popular. The homemade handmade pasta is chewy and exceptional. It's a restaurant where you can share large plates and enjoy it noisily and lively.

- Access: 4-minute walk from Nezu Station
- Address: 1-2-18 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Hours: 15:00-23:00
- Reservations: Available
- Phone: 03-3823-4015
- Closed: Tuesdays
- Official X (Twitter):

Yanaka Ginza transforms from a lively town during the day to a quiet and relaxed atmosphere at night.
This time, I introduced recommended gourmet spots for dinner, but if you have time, I recommend arriving a bit early and enjoying a stroll during dusk before heading to the restaurant.
Also, taking a little night walk after dinner is quite nice. You might be able to meet the local cats that are hidden during the day.

When you want to experience more of Yanaka, participating in a tour is also recommended.
The Yanaka Tour by Magical Trip is a plan that efficiently visits popular tourist spots in Yanaka in 3.5 hours, which is just right to plan before dinner.

For details, see here >>