What to Eat in Harajuku and Shibuya Tokyo?
For food lovers hunting for good food around Tokyo, I’m writing a series of the food we tried (or almost tried) around Ginza, Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku. Look out for our honest reviews. :P First it was “What to Eat in Ginza Tokyo?“. Now, it will be what to eat in Harajuku and Shibuya?
Chips, Crepes and Candy Floss | Takeshita Dori
Along Takeshita Dori of Harajuku, you will find many snacks and sweets, which is unsurprising given that the street caters to a young crowd and such food appeals to them. Of the shops selling food, I’ve listed a few notable ones here.
p.s. For more information about Takeshita Dori and Harajuku, look out for my subsequent post: “Takeshita Dori and Shopping | Harajuku Tokyo (Part 2)”.
Love Calbee potato chips? Be sure to pop by Calbee+ (Calbee Plus) for potato chips fried on the spot in front of you. You can choose the cut of the chips and the toppings you want on them.
Fresh and crisp out from the deep fryer, our order was drizzled with Royce Chocolate sauce for ¥250 (S$3.20). If you order the same, eat it while it’s hot because the sauce will harden in no time, which will then just be like those factory packaged Royce’s chocolate potato chips. You can also add soft serve ice cream to it and have a power combination of hot & cold, sweet & salty!
Other Calbee toppings include Salt & Butter, Double Cheese and Maple Syrup & Cream Cheese. We probably should try another topping if we were to go to Calbee+ again. The chocolate & chips wasn’t that special for us.
If you are adhering to a Japanese etiquette of not eating while you walk, head up to the second floor to finish your chips. When you’re done, you can continue to shop around the first floor for Calbee’s merchandise, including regional’s limited edition chips. But if you have no time for this at Harajuku, you can still find other Calbee Plus outlets at:
- New Chitose Airport: Domestic Terminal Building 2F (Top 5 Things to Do In New Chitose Airport); 8:45am to 7:30pm
- Tokyo Station: Tokyo Okashi Land B1 (JR Tokyo Station Yaesu Exit); 9:30am – 8:30pm
- Odaiba: DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, 2nd floor; 10:00am to 8:30pm
- Other outlets in Japan and Hong Kong: www.calbee.co.jp/calbeestore/shop
Most of Harajuku’s crêperies are located on Takeshita Street. The classic sweet crepes of fruit and airy whipped cream are more popular than savoury wraps of egg, tuna, pork cutlets, hot dogs, etc. Prices start from ¥350 (S$4.40).
Made to order before you, the shop assistants pour the egg batter on heat and cook it to a thin crepe where they expertly fold it to fill in your ingredients. Before you order or even queue, it’s good to take a look at the full menu on a big display at the side; or in Marion Crepes’ case, a glass showcase of their crepes’s plastic replicas.
Based on online research, we were about to queue at the supposedly famous Marion Crepes, when we saw a longer queue forming at Angel’s Heart that’s right opposite. So being Singaporeans, we trust the long queue syndrome as an indication of good food. Moreover, the pinkish shopfront attracted me! (P.s. if you don’t know I wrote a novella years ago called ‘Love, Pinkie’!)
We ordered a crepe of berries and ice cream for ¥440 (S$5.50). You may love it, but it was not fantastic in our opinion. It makes a nice dessert, but forgettable. Personally I prefer Marche’s savoury crepes over this. Oops!
p.s. There’s a toilet near to Angel’s Heart and Marion Crepes. Be warned it’s unlike normal Japanese toilets, it’s dirty.
Gigantic Candy Floss
Walking along Takeshita street, we noticed small groups of girls huddling around at the busy street. Soon, gigantic cotton candies caught my attention. That’s what the girls were gathering around to pinch and share! That made sense because the rainbow cotton candy was big enough to cover my face! Target market is definitely ladies and children.
The shop selling this is Totti Candy Factory that’s located on the 2nd floor. Other than this cotton candy, it also sells colourful cake pops handmade by a pastry chef and a range of candy, chocolate and marshmallows.
The Great Burger | Cat Street
If you are at Harajuku, consider dropping by Cat Street, Harajuku’s off-beaten track where you can walk from Harajuku to Shibuya. Moreover, along the way, you get to eat good food and shop in a vibrant street fashion culture.
We headed to Cat Street to have our dinner at The Great Burger, touted as one of the best burgers in Tokyo. This restaurant is located in a quiet side street of Cat Street but well-lit enough for us to spot it. Once we found it, we stepped into a warm, nostalgic and playful atmosphere that’s bustling with a young adult crowd. Decorated in a vintage decor, there are many artistic and interesting posters and retro figurines displayed around the restaurant.
From their menu, choose from classic burgers with cheese and avocado to unique burgers with mango, baked apple or asparagus. Other than burgers, you can also order sandwiches, beer battered onion rings, pancakes, buffalo wings, etc. There’s also a beer and wine selection for you to pair with your burger. Look out for their lunch set special!
We ordered a burger set that comes with fries and a dish of buffalo wings for ¥2,061 (S$26). The wings were nice like those we can find in Singapore, but it was the sauce that made the dish even tastier. Of course, being famous for its burgers, the burger stood out – it was super awesome, juicy and yummy!!
- LO 1030pm. 11:30pm – 11:00pm (Weekday); 9:00am – 11:00pm (Sat-Sun, PH)
- 6-12-5 Jingumae Shibuya-ku
p.s. For more shops around Cat Street and Shibuya, refer to my subsequent post: “From Harajuku’s Cat Street to Shibuya”
Luke’s Lobster | Cat Street
We didn’t know about Luke’s Lobster before we went to Tokyo. Seeing how popular it was, we almost gave up The Great Burger for this. So if burger is not your thing, you might want to try Luke’s Lobster that sells lobster and seafood rolls (in bread).
It’s close to the entrance of Cat Street that’s in Omotesando area. The place was super crowded! Ding Tai Fung kind of crazy queue – except Luke’s line looks like a longer wait of about 1+ hour. The potential wait was simply too long for the cold and hungry us. That’s too bad for us because it has excellent online reviews! You should try to beat the crowd and go on a weekday when it opens at 11:00 am. The queue starts to grow monstrously after 11:30 am.
It is more of a takeout concept where people hung around the eatery to dig into their rolls. Some sat on the few benches in front of Luke’s counter, while a few stood around with their rolls and yet others sat on any available space.
Arriving in Tokyo during late 2015, Luke’s Lobster is founded by Luke Holden and his father in New York to sell affordable and fresh lobster rolls. Their current menu includes lobsters (duh), crab, shrimp, etc.
Luke’s uses the sweeter and tenderer portions of the lobsters sourced directly from Maine – claw and knuckle meat. Served slightly chilled, the rolls are fresh with no other topping but a little seasoning. This helps you to taste the freshness and natural sweetness of its lobster. You can also try their lobster chowder but skip the mac and cheese.
Image Credit: curiouslyravenous.com
You can choose from “Japanese size” lobster roll: ¥980 and “US size”: ¥1580. The bun size is the same (size of a hotdog’s), but it’s the amount of lobster meat that differs. You can also upgrade the US size to a lunch set that includes a pack of kettle chips and a soft drink for ¥1980.
Sadly, I didn’t try this lobster roll out, so the food review is based on this blog.
- 11:00am – 8:00pm (Cat Street Branch. It has another Tokyo branch in Shibuya.)
- 6-7-1 Jingumae
Streamer Coffee Company | Cat Street
After your meal, enjoy a cup of coffee at Streamer Coffee Company, opened by the first Asian champion of the World Freepour Latte Art, Hiroshi Sawada. They have cold brew, hand drip, aero press and self-developed Nitro. But what they’re famous for is their latte art of “Free Pour”, the pinnacle of all barista techniques. They have outlets in other parts of Tokyo and Japan too.
- 8am to 6pm (Mon-Fri, PH) 10am to 6pm (Sat, Sun) (Shibuya Branch)
- 1-20-28, Shibuya,Shibuya-ku
So that’s all, folks~ Enjoy the food in Harajuku, Shibuya! For the places to shop and sight-see in Harajuku and Shibuya, refer to my subsequent posts, “Meiji Jingu, Yoyogi Park and Ota Museum (Part 1)” and “Takeshita Dori and Shopping (Part 2)“.