City Shop

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.

1
Jacob
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青山のお洒落地域にあるだけありお洒落なお店です。
最初に注文方法が書いてあるプレートを眺めていたら店員さんが声を掛けてくれとても親切でした。
値段は青山価格!!まあちょっと高いけど質のいい物を提供してくれていのかなっと感じました。
ドレッシングの味も美味しかったしフルーツもボリュームがあり美味しかったです。
アイスコーヒーとアイスティーはお代わり自由でした◎
2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  11:30 – 22:00 (LO 21:30)
Location:  Omotesando/ Minami Aoyama (map)

Golden Brown/ ゴールデンブラウン

IMG_2558A burger place in the fancy shmancy Omotesando Hills.  I normally would avoid Omotesando Hills since most everything else inside is way above my spending level.  But I had it on my list before I realized it was in there, and I was there replacing the cable for my Bose headphones anyway. (Ok, I guess for Bose I would go in there xP).  And as I thought, the restaurant itself wasn’t that fancy given the location.  Pretty normal prices for your gourmet burger.  I got just a normal hamburger and fries, no cheese because it’s cheaper that way.  The burger was good- just the right amount of sauce and the meat was well cooked and just the right amount of juicy.  The fries were meh.  All in all I had no complaints and enjoyed my meal, but there weren’t any burgers on the menu that stood out to me.  They had avocado and mushrooms and such, but normally I would go for something like gorgonzola cheese or pear, so I’m not sure I’ll go again.  But if you’re in the area go for it ^^
1
Jacob
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表参道ヒルズに入っているハンバーガー屋さん。大体が1000円超えてくるのでちょっと値段は高めです。
私はアボカドチーズバーガーを注文。
アボカドがいっぱい入っていて美味しかったけど少し味が濃かったです。
あと付属のポテトがいまいちでした。。。
2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  11:00-23:00 (Mon-Sat), 11:00-22:00 (Sun) (LO one hour before)
Location:  Omotesando Hills (map)

Tower Records Cafe

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.

1
Jacob
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渋谷のタワレコの中にある少しお洒落なカフェ。
夕飯時に行ってきました。
ご飯はバリエーションが少し少ないですが味はまあまあ美味しい。
少し値段は高めです。
飲み物のメニューは充実していそうだしケーキも美味しそうだったので買い物ついでに少し休憩するのには使えるレストランかなと感じました。
2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  10:00-23:00
Location:  Shibuya Tower Records (map), others

カワラ カフェアンドダイニング/ Kawara Cafe and Dining

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.

1
Jacob
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お洒落なカフェチェーン店。
カワラというだけありお刺身等使った日本的な料理もあります。
わりと美味しいし雰囲気も良いし色んな場所にあるのでレストラン何処へ行こう〜困ったな..という時に使えるお店です。
2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  11:45-24:00 (food LO 22:30)
Location:  Shinjuku (map), others

メキシカンダイニング アボカド/ Mexican Dining Avocado

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.

1
Jacob
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ワンドリンク制で一人必ずドリンク一杯頼まなきゃいけないです。
料理も飲み物も美味しいけれど値段が高かったような。。。
2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00, Sat 11:30-23:00, Sun 11:30-22:00
Location:  Shinjuku (map), others

バンコク屋台 カオサン/ Bangok Yatai Kaosan

This has become one of my go-to places when in Shinjuku.  Thai food and it’s right in the station.  It’s always busy with a wait of one or two people.  The menu is extensive as at many Thai places, and as far as I can tell the place is run by Thai people as most are. There is a window into the kitchen so it feels like you’re right there, and the round tables are often shared with several other people, so it’s pretty cozy and lively.  There isn’t any one dish that stands out, but everything I’ve tried has been good for decent prices.  I don’t travel just to eat there, but always consider it if I’m there.
1
Jacob
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新宿ルミネB1にあるタイ料理のお店。
夕飯時に行くと並びます。
タイ料理、何処が美味しい?と聞かれたら私はこのお店を挙げます。
都内だし立地条件もよい!
ただ席は円卓みたいな感じで相席がほとんど。
なのでゆっくり雰囲気良いところで食事したい時はNGだと思います。
さくっと美味しいタイ料理を食べたい時に是非〜☆
2
のどか;)*****
Hours:  11:00-22:00 (LO 21:40)
Location:  Shinjuku Station Lumine 1 B2F

牛かつ もと村/ Gyukatsu Motomura

I just happened to see the line at this place while walking to another restaurant and quickly took note.  Where there are lines there is usually good food, and there was a line for a good reason.  It’s a specialty gyu-katsu shop, with just one long counter and maybe 10-14 seats.  I had never had gyu-katsu and was not disappointed.  You can rarely go wrong with specialty shops like this.  It might not look like the easiest place to enter since you can’t see it from the outside, but there were lots of Korean tourists when we went so I assume there is limited English service.  Besides, you know what you want- some gyu-katsu!  I feel like it’s not something I should eat all the time, but I bet I’ll go again sometime.
1
Jacob
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渋谷にある牛カツのお店。
いつ行っても結構並んでいます。
店内はカウンター席のみ。
牛カツに麦ごはんととろろが付くのが嬉しい!
牛カツも美味しく値段もお手頃価格で満足出来るお店です。
2
のどか;)*****
Hours:  10:00-22:00
Location:  Shibuya (map), others