Behind the counter at Tempura Maehira in Azabu-Juban is chef Maehira, who was with Yamanoue Tempura, one of the city’s best tempura restaurants, for 20 years.
Azabu-Juban 2-8-16, Minato-ku.
Ueno Yabu Soba is a traditional soba shop, established in 1892. Its new branch in Ueno’s Parco-ya mall is serving traditional soba and taking a modern twist with savory buckwheat gallettes.
Parco-ya 6F, Ueno 3-24-6, Taito-ku.
Shiga Prefecture has a rich history in Japan’s food culture, including the fermented precursor to sushi, funazushi. Coco Shiga is an antenna shop with regional foods, a jizake (craft sake) bar, and restaurant.
Nihonbashi 2-7-1, Chuo-ku.
Put Pizzeria Kyoko in Togoshi Ginza on your radar for pizza and traditional Italian dishes like octopus simmered in a tomato sauce.
Togoshi 1-19-24, Shinagawa-ku.
Books & Café is a brightly lit coffee shop in the multi-purpose Hama House.
Nihonbashi Hamacho 3-10-6, Chuo-ku.
Near Ningyocho Station is Union Tailor Café serving coffee and beer. Best of all, it opens at 7 a.m.
Nihonbashi Ningyocho 3-9-8, Chuo-ku.
Tea is trending and Senchado Tokyo in Ginza is a gorgeous minimalist retail tea shop specializing in single origin sencha green tea. Ginza 5-10-10, Chuo-ku.
Australian coffee shop Byron Bay Coffee Company’s newest Tokyo branch is in Nihonbashi.
Nihonbashi Honcho 1-5-2, Chuo-ku
Ito En tea has opened a new concept shop, Wa no Cha Ito En, in the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi depachika. There is a counter to sit at and take a break from shopping over tea and tea-based sweets.
Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi B1. , Nihonbashi Muromachi 1-4-1, Chuo-ku
Yukari Sakamoto is the author of Food Sake Tokyo. She has worked as a sommelier at the Park Hyatt Tokyo and at Takashimaya. While at Takashimaya, she was the first non-Japanese to pass the shochu advisor exam. Yukari offers tours to markets in Tokyo.
Follow her on Twitter: @YukariSakamoto