We’ve been eating around this area quite a lot lately, and just happened to pass by one day. It’s bright and spacious with large windows, and feels just like most shops in the Omotesando area do- casual but on the nicer end. City Shop is a deli full of healthy and organic goodies, mainly fruits and vegetables, with some meat and pastas and such. You choose between a salad + 2 items from the deli, or 5 items from the deli without salad for a couple hundred yen more. I had salad topped with quinoa (not very common here), some also not very common fruits, and chicken, and some special ice tea. I believe they had fruity water for free too. Not cheap but I’d go again.
Probably my favorite store in Japan- Tower Records. If you don’t live in Japan you’d probably think, “What, Tower Records still exists?” Oh yeah, and it’s huge in Japan. There are actually two major competing CD stores. And on the second floor of the several-story-tall Shibuya branch is a book store and cafe. I was curious about it for a while considering how often I go to Tower Records (not too much lately but at least once a month my first year or two working in Japan), and I think I looked at it once and thought it looked expensive. I think every once in a while they have a theme menu, featuring characters like Snoopy, and I happened to look in on a day when they had that menu out and there was a line. But we checked it out on a weekday night, and there was a normal menu with normal prices, and enough open tables. It’s a very comfortable place with comfy seating and feels very open. It’s not somewhere like a coffee shop where you can plug in a laptop and stay all day, although when it’s not super crowded, at least when we went it looked like there were some people that were chilling there for a while, studying or reading magazines from a stand in the middle of the cafe. They had typical cafe-restaurant food- a few nice appetizers for 500, a few big salads, pizza, pasta, Japanese curry, etc around 1000. At first glance you might think such food is not worth the price, but what we ate was actually pretty good. Nothing special but it was all done well. There were drinks and desserts too a little more expensive than your typical cafe, which we did not try. Not the first stop for a tourist to Japan, but if you’re ever at Tower Records go for it.
A friend took me to the Ebisu branch a couple years ago for lunch, where I had a delicious tuna and avocado donburi. I forgot the name of the restaurant, and was looking for it on and off for a year or so, and only realized after arriving at the Shinjuku branch at night for dinner that it was what I had been looking for. Both are fancy but affordable places places overlooking busy streets in their respective neighborhoods, and since then I’ve also been to the Minato Mirai branch as well, which seems to be the highest rated on Tabelog. Very comfy seating, a nice view at the Shinjuku branch, bright and open during the day, dimly lit and romantic at night (check the website for more pictures). The food is nothing to die for, and besides the donburi that made me want to go again nothing in particular stands out. I think you pay just as much for the atmosphere as for the food, but it is nice, they have a little of everything and it’s all decent, from drinks to steaks to salads to soba to waffles to pastas to spring rolls to cheese. I think they also have course menus and do birthdays and such. I recommend it if you’d like somewhere nice to go, and at least for the branches I went to I’d definitely recommend a reservation for dinner.
Now one of my go-to ideas for a nice night out, when I first heard about this place I just had to go. An avocado specialty shop?! Avocado has been pretty popular the past couple years, especially in burger shops. But this is Mexican (Japanese style of course), with salads, tacos, quesadillas, cactus ice-cream, etc. There are three floors, one for wine tasting I think? One is the main restaurant and the basement floor is a bar with more limited food options. It can get busy enough to not get a seat without a reservation- the first time I went I got a counter seat at the restaurant (not ideal but not bad at all), the second time I got a counter seat at the bar since the main floor was full. You order several small dishes, and there are plenty of drinks, including cocktails. Not everything has avocado but there is a section for it on the menu. It can get expensive if you’re really hungry, but if you don’t need to eat too much or even just want a drink and a nice place, go for it. Not sure about English availability.