Finding the perfect burger in Tokyo doesn’t have to be a mystery—though with the sheer number of options in this mammoth city, wrapping your hands around just the thing you’re looking for can take some sleuthing. Let Metropolis do the heavy snooping and point you in the right direction. A delicious answer to your burger craving can be found at these 11 restaurants and diners. So head on out and write your own beefy story!
The Beat Diner
Known not only for their delicious burgers but also for their huge range of drinks and meats, The Beat Diner replicates the feel of an authentic 1960s-’70s American diner, complete with a mini jukebox. The B.E.A.T Burger (Bacon, Egg, Avocado, Tomato) is their classic original, offering the best combination of burger fillings. Fresh, cold lettuce with sizzling hot meat will not disappoint. Nor will the bread, which is the perfect burger bun from Mineya bakery, left for one day for the optimum soft-yet-firm texture. Made with sake yeast, the bun yields a subtle and natural sweetness that’s a heavenly match for the Aussie beef patty.
- Tell them you saw this in Metropolis and receive one free soft drink.
Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower B1F Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-1-1, Chuo-ku. 11am-11pm. Tel: 03-3510-1238. Nearest Station: Mitsukoshimae.
Modeled after a 1970s Brooklyn diner, American House was established in the Motomachi district of Yokohama in 1978. Here you can enjoy one of America’s favorite foods in an atmosphere reminiscent of downtown New York in the 1970s. The patties are made of 100-percent fresh Australian beef, grilled on natural lava rocks, and served on original, subtly sweet hamburger buns. The most popular item is the “Juicy Lucy,” a burger stuffed with three layers of cheddar cheese from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Top it all off with a great dessert of New York-style Cheesecake and take in live music every night.
- Mention Metropolis for a ¥200 discount on the Garlic Mushroom Jucy Lucy (until the end of May)
1F Cascade Harajuku, 1-10-37 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-6721-1621. Mon-Fri 11am-11pm (L.O. 10pm). Nearest Station: Harajuku or Meiji-jingumae. E-mail: email@example.com. www.americanhouse-harajuku.com.
Hard Rock Cafe
A contemporary, cutting-edge atmosphere that will take you right back to America with displays such as guitars used by famous musicians, stage costumes, handwritten lyrics, photos, and more. One hundred-percent American beef, special buns, carefully selected ingredients, and a proven recipe for the taste and volume of real American burgers is at the center of what makes the Hard Rock Cafe a burger paradise. Try the Original Legendary Burger (¥1,980) or the Mushroom & Swiss Burger (¥2,380), 240-gram beef patty with two slices of Swiss cheese and plenty of sautéed mushrooms. Feeling festive? Grab a Fiesta Burger (¥2,280), 240-gram beef patty with fresh jalapeño salsa, Monterey Jack, guacamole, and pico de gallo that will create a party in your mouth! Plus, check out the Hard Rock Cafe’s monthly special menus, and grab a drink during Happy Hour—weekdays, 4pm to 6pm (only in Tokyo)!
Tokyo Branch: 5-4-20 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Sun-Thu 11:30am-2am, Fri & Sat 11:30am-4am. Tel: 03-3408-7018. Nearest Station: Roppongi. http://hardrockjapan.com.
Faithful to the U.S. right down to the imported paint, Arms’ wooden decor is opened out to the park during summer months. And the space is newly renovated—almost twice as large as before! Enjoy light, fluffy patties served with minced toppings, and a bun made with natural yeast. The Avocado Mushroom Cheese Burger (¥1,393) and the Popeye Burger (¥1,188) are top picks, and you can even grab a burger to go from Arms Park Side, conveniently located right by Yoyogi Park. Come and enjoy your burger with a perfect park view!
- Nab a set drink for ¥216 from 11am to 4pm on weekdays. Brunch Sat, Sun, & hols 8-10:45am
Yoyogi: 5-64-7 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 03-3466-5970. Open Tue-Fri 11am-11pm, closed Mon (except hols), Sat-Sun & hols 8-10:45am (Brunch Time) 11am-11pm. Nearest Station: Yoyogi-Kōen. For more info on Arms Picnic in Shinjuku and Takeout & Delivery in Tomigaya, visit www.arms-burger.com.
Having honed his skills working at Firehouse Burger, a famous burger place ranked number one on the Zagat survey for best burgers in Japan, the owner of Jack37Burger has created a relaxing atmosphere that includes vintage wooden furniture and counters. The secret behind Jack37Burger is the harmony of their original Indonesian sambal sauce, buns made of natural yeast, and a 100-percent natural beef patty. Enjoy lunch sets of a hamburger of your choice plus fries and a soft drink for ¥980-1,250 (weekdays only), and Happy Hour 5-7pm, when draft and bottled beer is just ¥380 (tax included).
- Free half beer for Metropolis readers!
16-16 Nihonbashi Kodenma-cho, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-6884-1541. Open Mon-Tue & Thu-Fri 11am-3:30pm & 5-11pm, Wed 11am-3:30pm & 6-11pm, Sat 11:30am-9pm. Nearest Station: Kodenma-cho, Bakuro-cho, Bakuroyokoyama, Higashi-nihonbashi. E-mail: email@example.com. www.jack37burger.com.
The Oak Door
Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Roppongi
Designed by renowned designer Tony Chi, The Oak Door is a dramatic steakhouse featuring signature wood-burning ovens. The Oak Door features premium-quality meats and seasonal produce that come together to create perfectly-proportioned elements and meat textured to crumble when you bite into it. Savor gourmet creations such as The Oak Door Burger (shown on this issue’s cover)—which comes in small (130g) and regular (220g)—as well as a range of seasonal burgers such as April’s Salmon Burger, May’s 1000g Giant Burger, and June’s Chicago-style Hot Dog. The Oak Door also features an extensive list of New World wines that pair perfectly with your burger.
6F Grand Hyatt Tokyo, 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm (weekends and national holidays till 3pm), Afternoon 3-5pm, Dinner 6-10pm. Tel: 03-4333-8784. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Nearest Station: Roppongi. http://restaurants.tokyo.grand.hyatt.co.jp/oak-door-restaurant.
Sasa Grill Burger Club
Like a Parisian backstreet with warm wood and the classic Continental aroma of tasty burgers, this is a delectable getaway in Daikanyama and Nakameguro. The secret is 100-percent hand-mixed wagyu patties, whole wheat buns made with natural yeast, and slow-cooked homemade onion sauce. A must-try is the grilled mushroom burger (¥1,390, limited number daily), available at the Daikanyama branch only. Burgers with homemade chili or mozzarella are also popular! Plus, you can pair your burger with beers from around the world.
- Get a free soft drink with any meal during weekday lunches (11am-4pm) at Daikanyama
Daikanyama: 1F Daikanyama-Pocketpark Bldg., 2-21-15 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku. Mon-Sat 11am-10:30pm, Sun & hols: 11am-9:30pm. Closed every third Tue. Tel: 03-3770-1951. Nearest Station: Daikanyama. Nakameguro: B1, Nakameguro GT Plaza Bldg., 2-1-1 Kami-Meguro, Meguro-ku. Mon-Fri: 10am-9pm, Sat, Sun & hols: 10am-8pm. Closed every third Tue. Tel: 03-3711-4449. Nakameguro. www.hijiriya.co.jp.
When it comes to a relaxing atmosphere for dining, few places can top the Australian outback—and that’s a setting you can find right in the middle of Roppongi. With many booths that provide a private setting for your lunch or dinner, Outback Steakhouse Roppongi offers a menu featuring burgers made with 100-percent pure beef patties that are topped with just the right amount of lettuce and tomato, sandwiched by a large bun that keeps all the goodness in. Want to go beyond burgers? Try Outback’s specialty: Slow-Roasted Prime Rib. Choose from three cooking styles: Original (brings out the flavor of the juicy roast beef); Seared; and Flame-grilled (for a smoky, bolder flavor). Offered on the weekend and at dinner time, every night in Roppongi.
- And don’t miss Happy Hour at the Bar, Mon-Fri 5-7pm.
Rocmon Bldg. 2F, 6-1-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku. 03-5413-4870. Mon-Fri 5pm-11:30pm (L.O. 10:30pm), Sat, Sun & hols 11:30am-11:30pm (L.O. 10:30pm). Nearest Station: Roppongi. www.outbacksteakhouse.co.jp/en/.
If you’re looking for an authentic experience right here in Japan, TGI Fridays is a must. The restaurant has exactly the same design as the original TGI Fridays in America. Enjoy 100-percent beef, 200-gram patties made using a recipe that’s faithful to authentic American taste and topped with two kinds of cheese—cheddar and golden-fried mozzarella—and capped with crisp bacon on a toasted bun to deliver a volume and flavor that will sate your appetite for a taste of the familiar. The Cheesy Bacon Cheeseburger (¥1,990 plus tax) is a must! Want to go beyond burgers? TGI Fridays is also faithful to the American recipe for baby back ribs and steak. Great service from the friendly waitstaff and bartenders awaits you in this casual restaurant where you can experience America right here in Japan.
Roppongi Plaza Bldg. 1F & 2F, 3-12-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5412-7555. Mon-Thu, Sun & hols 11:30am-3am; Fri, Sat, day before hols 11:30am-5am. Nearest Station: Roppongi. Other locations within Tokyo: Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shinagawa, Suidobashi, Ueno. www.tgifridays.co.jp.
Munch’s Burger Shack
No matter your mood, Munch’s Burger Shack is the place for you. Why? Because the two floors of this Hamamatsucho eatery each have a distinct flavor: calm on the first floor, lively on the second! Speaking of flavor, the Bacon Cheese Burger (¥1,500)—made with homemade smoked bacon—is to die for, with certified lean Angus beef from the U.S. that’s handcut by the staff daily to make the freshest patties around with a fine balance. But if Angus beef isn’t your thing, the Caesar Salad with Avocado and Bacon (¥1,380) and the Chicken Gumbo (¥650) are delicious alternatives. Wash it all down with American craft beers as well as Heineken, Guinness, Yona Yona Ale, and more.
- At lunch, get a meat dish with rice for ¥1,200, or add a drink to any meal for just ¥150
1-2F I • Smart Bldg. 2-26-1 Shiba, Minato-ku. Tue-Fri 11am-3pm & 5:30pm-9pm, Sat 11am-9pm, Sun & hols 11am-4pm. Closed Mon. Tel: 03-6435-3166. Nearest Station: Hamamatsucho or Shibakoen. http://munchs.jp.
Originally founded in San Francisico in 1937, Trader Vic’s Tokyo opened its doors at The Hotel New Otani in 1974 with a tropical interior, exotic cocktails, pancakes, and original Trader Vic’s international menu that has become famous in all 20 locations around the globe. The secret to Trader Vic’s renowned burger is U.S. beef that is slowly cooked. Then the 225g moist and juicy patty is paired with a homemade bun. You can also enjoy this delicious creation with a great selection of Californian wines and tropical cocktails. And don’t miss the traditional brunch buffet every Sunday and holiday from 11:30am to 2:30pm.
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4F Hotel New Otani Garden Tower. 4-1 Kioichou, Chiyoda-ku. 03-3265-4707. Open Bar 11:30am-11:30pm, dining 11:30am-2:30pm, 5pm-9pm. Nearest Station: Akasaka-mitsuke. E-mail: email@example.com. www.newotani.co.jp/tokyo/restaurant/vics/.