JS Burger Cafe

Perhaps the place that made me fall in love with burgers in Japan more than I ever did in the US (although I did have one place I frequented in Seattle, not including Red Robin, which I don’t really think of as being in the same category).  There are several stores, the first one I went to being the Shinjuku branch, which left a good impression on me. Simple but warm atmosphere with an outside terrace as well.  This time we went together to a branch in Shibuya- not as big, and although there were some nice seats for couples at this branch and got in quickly, not the fanciest place.  Unfortunately, I think said branch shown in the pictures has closed, so the link below will be for one in Shinjuku.  But whichever branch it is you can’t go wrong with the food.  I can’t say it stands out in any particular way among burger shops, and compared to all the places I’ve been to now as I write this it doesn’t seem quite as special anymore, but it has all the standards (ha ha, Journal “Standards”) and does them well.  Not cheap, but they usually aren’t.
1

Jacob
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お洒落ファストフードチェーン店のJSバーガー*
メニューも充実していてボリュームもあり美味しい☆
本格的な?美味しいバーガーが食べたい時にお勧めなお店です!
2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  Mon-Fri 11:30-22:30, Sat 10:30-22:30, Sun 10:30-21:30 (LO half hour before)
Location:  Shinjuku (map), others
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Sakura Sushi

If you’re in Shinjuku and craving kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi), this is probably as decent a choice as any other.  It is conveyor belt sushi but it feels a little more authentic because they have the vertical wooden boards behind the counter showing the sushi names and prices in Japanese and there’s no touch screen to order from.  I found myself ordering directly from the chef a fair amount, and there is an English menu if you need one.  I probably wouldn’t go to Shinjuku just to eat here, but to me it tasted a bit above average.

1
Jacob
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新宿歌舞伎町にある回転寿司。
タッチパネル等ないので回っていないお寿司を注文するのにちょっと勇気が必要な気がします。
百円寿司ではないけど値段はわりと手頃でまあまあ美味しいお寿司が食べられます。
2
のどか;)*****
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Hours:  open late
Location:  Shinjuku (map)

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.
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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

太陽のトマト麺 ネクスト/ Taiyo no Tomato Ramen

A popular place featuring an unordinary kind of ramen- yes, tomato ramen.  Some dishes look like spaghetti in a bowl or plain-old tomato soup at first glance, but not in a bad way, and the taste is still more like ramen than either of those.  There’s a fairly large selection and there were at least two dishes that I wanted to try the first time I went.  The first time we went I felt a little rushed to leave to let more people in- it’s not somewhere to sit and talk after eating, but not so crowded you need a reservation or anything.  I’m not sure about an English menu but there were at least some pictures and I think it’s an easy place to walk in to.  Always on my radar when at Shinjuku station, and there are a couple other branches as well.
 untitled
Jacob
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トマト好きな私ですが、美味しかった気がします。
うえにパルメザンチーズ?が乗っていてそれも◎
店内の雰囲気はラーメン屋といった感じなのでゆっくり過ごしたい時には不向きです。
 untitled2
Nodoka;)*****
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Hours: 11:00-23:00 (LO.22:30)
Location:  Shinjuku (and others) (map)