What to Eat in Shinjuku Tokyo? (Part 2)
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“, then “What to Eat in Harajuku and Shibuya?“, then “What to eat in Shinjuku Tokyo? | Part 1″ and now for the Part 2.
If you are looking for a quick bite or delicious takeaway food, then the basement food halls of Japan’s department stores are always a good place to start. In Shinjuku, look for Takashimaya Times Square, one of Japan’s largest department store with 15 retail stores and a 2,700 sqft basement food hall.
So, grab some food and have a picnic at the nearby Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. But if you prefer a sit down restaurant, head to the upper floors and pick from over twenty restaurants selling a variety of cuisines.
Shop Info: Shinjuku Branch
- Department Store: 10:00am – 8:00pm; Restaurants: 11:00am -11:00pm
- 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku
- JR Shinjuku Station, New South Gate
Shinjuku Southern Terrace
But if nothing caught your eye at Takashimaya, simply head out to the nearby Shinjuku Southern Terrace. It is a 350 m stretch of walkway from Shinjuku’s south exit towards Yoyogi. Here, you can find many shops and cafes such as Gontran Cherrier, Krispy Kreme and Starbucks. We walked through this terrace everyday as we travelled between our airbnb and Shinjuku JR station.
[CLOSED: Gontran Cherrier]
One notable mention is Gontran Cherrier. The bakery originated from Paris and was recommended by our airbnb owner. And boy, did we take her recommendation seriously, because we had our breakfast there everyday! We would order their croissant set with coffee and head upstairs to enjoy the food. It’s really really nice! So if you happen to be around Takashimaya Shinjuku or the JR station, go grab a bread. Otherwise, you can still visit Gontran Cherrier at Shibuya or other parts of Tokyo and Japan.
Shop Info: Gontran Cherrier
- Gontran Cherrier Shinjuku Branch
- 7:30am – 10:00pm Daily
- Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-2-1, Southern Terrace (2-mins walk from Shinjuku station, South exit)
- Other Outlets: gontran-cherrier.jp/#shop
Shop Info: Krispy Kreme
- Krispy Kreme Shinjuku
- 7:00am – 11:00pm Daily
- Shinjuku Southern Terrace. 2-2-2 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (3-mins walk from Shinjuku station, South exit)
Lumine and Others | Shinjuku JR Station
Surrounding Shinjuku Station are a few shopping malls where you can find restaurants at the upper floors: Lumine, MyLord, Keio and Odakyu department stores. As for Lumine, it has three malls grouped around Shinjuku Station’s South Exit. At Lumine 1, you have cafes and restaurants serving Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai and Spanish cuisine on 6F and 7F .
Our friend staying in Japan brought us to Lumine 1 and we picked Gyunta, a restaurant where we grilled our own okonomiyaki, a popular dish from Osaka. It’s sort of a Japanese pancake that’s savory with various ingredients such as pork belly, cheese, cabbage and seafood. You may get the staff to cook for you if you are at loss of what to do. The food is not bad but not a must-try. It was about ¥6,574 (S$82.50) for three people.
While there were rows of chairs outside the restaurant for patrons to wait for their turn, there’s no one when we were there close to 8pm! Yays! We were the first in line, but the staff told us that everybody just got in the restaurant and ordered. So we needed to wait for the tables to finish their dinner – that was about 1 hour wait? So try to get there earlier, if not skip this!
- Floor Guide of Lumine 1 and 2: www.lumine.ne.jp/pdfguide/shinjuku_f.pdf
- Restaurants at Lumine 1: 11:00am – 11:00pm
- Gyunta is on the 6th floor in Lumine 1
- Lumine 1: 1-1-5 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku | Lumine 2: 3-38-2 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Piss Alley | Shinjuku
Omoide Yokocho (memory lane), nicknamed the Piss Alley, is a network of narrow alleys filled with tiny eateries known for their unique dishes and yakitori pubs. Walk a few minutes from Shinjuku station and enter this cramped, run-down place that’s filled with a nostalgic atmosphere of old-style Japanese drinking experience.
Most eateries are really compact with one counter and a few chairs in front. Moreover, for a few, I wonder how people get in and out of the eatery because there was practically no walking space behind the seated patrons. So it seemed like everyone had to stand up and vacate if the one inside wants to exit the shop.
We had wanted to settle our dinner at Piss Alley, but decided to go for Fuunji ramen. It turned out to be a great decision because when I was at Piss Alley, I was too intimidated to enter the eateries. But if you want to give it a go no matter what, here’s some online research.
This blogger ate at a Yakitori eatery #60 as indicated on this Piss Alley’s Map. There is an English menu for you to order from. Thereafter, go ahead to order individual Yakitori sticks or in a set – with or without the sauce that’s similar to teriyaki. Skewers will be seared over flames and then served in a wonderful crunch and charred flavour. Their set (¥750, S$9.50) includes: chicken meatballs (Tsukune, つくね), chicken wing (Tebasaki, 手羽先), all white meat on skewer (Toriniku), leek wrapped in slices of bacon and pork belly with leek.
If you can’t find a seat at Piss Alley but still want to eat Yakitori in Japan, you can try 串鳥, Kushidori. They have outlets all over Japan, including Tokyo.
However, if you are daring when it comes to food, then try unique food like those found in Asadachi (#20). According to Tofugo.com, it sells food that’s supposed to improve your virility and cure various ailments: Frog sashimi, pig testicles, soft-shelled turtle, frog’s heart that’s still pumping and snake liquor.
For sushi bar terminology and to find out more about the kinds of Yakitori at Piss Alley, visit their webpage: shinjuku-omoide.com/english/guide/index.html
- Piss Alley’s Map. You can also search by catergories shinjuku-omoide.com/english/shop/index.html
- Typically from 5:00pm to 12:00am (some are open for lunch); Irregular closing days
- Near to Shinjuku Station: Google Map
So that’s all, folks~ Enjoy the food in Shinjuku! For more dining options around Shinjuku, refer to “What to Eat in Shinjuku Tokyo? (Part 1)?” Will also write about places to go around Shinjuku in my subsequent posts!
Do you have other recommendations of what to eat in Shinjuku? Tell us below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram. Moreover, bookmark this page > Overview Itinerary: Hokkaido and Tokyo (Winter/Spring 2016).