Tokyo offers tantalizing tastes all year round, but the festive season brings some extra special stomach stuffers. Go international with Cuban, Irish, Cajun and Mexican. Get into the spirit with craft beers. Keep the holidays light with fresh salads and sushi. And even satisfy your seasonal sweet tooth.
Ahi Nama Tokyo
If you love Cuba—and you love salsa just as much—leave the chill of winter behind with live latin music and dance lessons in a cheerful, restaurant environment. Be sure to try the Christmas holiday menu with roasted pork and a special Christmas Cuban dinner with a glass of champagne. After that, don’t miss the New Year’s countdown party with a Cuban-style buffet—and a drink. Cocktails and rum always available.
1F-B1F Delight Bldg, 4-2-3 Akasaka, Minato-ku. 03-6435-5331. Open Tue-Fri 12-2:30pm (lunch), Mon-Sat 6pm-2am (dinner). Nearest station: Akasaka-mitsuke. http://ahinama-tokyo.jimdo.com. Mention Metropolis to get a mojito for just ¥500.
An Sólás Irish Bar
Just opened in September, An Sólás has quickly gained a reputation for having one of the best pub atmospheres around. The bar will be hosting its first annual Christmas party on December 22, with happy hour throughout the night and a live band to put the groove in the festive spirit. Make a reservation to enjoy a Christmas dinner with roast turkey and all the trimmings along with either a glass of sparkling wine or a half-pint of beer for only ¥2,000.
5-22-3 Setagaya, Shibuya-ku. 03-5919-6686. Open Mon-Sat 11am-midnight. Nearest station: Yoyogi. http://meturl.com/ansolas. Mention Metropolis to get a free Christmas shot of your choice.
Chiles Mexican Grill
Chiles’ Christmas buffet [7-11pm, December 16-25 for groups of four or more; complimentary sparkling wine (cava) with reservation] features turkey, roast chicken and Chiles’ once-a-year Christmas apple salad for ¥3,500. On Christmas Day, get one bowl of Christmas apple salad free during lunch (11am-3:30pm), then celebrate with oven-cooked turkey breast marinated in a special garlic-and-pepper adobo sauce until January 5.
1-8-24 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. 03-6434-9693. Mon 11am-4pm, Tue-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-8pm. Nearest station: Harajuku. www.chiles-grill.com From Dec 16-26, Metropolis readers will receive 10% off any burrito order from 5:30pm to closing.
Clinton Street Baking Co.
Clinton Street Baking Company brings a taste of New York to Tokyo, serving up the freshest international cuisine with Japan-grown ingredients hand-picked by owner and chef Neil Kleinberg. December will feature a special Christmas menu including New England Clam Chowder (¥972), Homemade Crab Cake (¥1,728), Spicy Shrimp Benedict (¥1,836), Beef Stew (¥1,836) and an Apple Pie Waffle (¥1,620).
YHT Minami Aoyama Bldg, 5-17-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku. Open daily 8am-11pm. Nearest station: Omotesando. 03-6450-5944. http://clintonstreetbaking.co.jp. Bring a copy of Metropolis and receive 10% off your total bill (valid until Dec 31).
Craft Beer Tap
With 15 types of international craft beer fresh from the barrel—and 30 more in bottles—this classy, European-style bar is quickly becoming a city favorite.
For dinner, watch as the beer tap special pork spare rib is smoked right before your eyes and nibble the crispy-on-the-outside, beer-tap-style fish and chips. If you come for a Christmas party, be sure to order the roasted chicken.
4F Ikeda Plaza Bldg, 3-34-16 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku. 03-5362-1668. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-4am, Sun & hols 5-11pm. Nearest station: Shinjuku or Shinjuku-sanchome. www.world-liquor-importers.co.jp/craftbeertap/
Crisp Salad Works
Opening December 15, Crisp Salad Works aims to serve fast-casual, custom-chopped salads in the style so popular in the States. The focused menu of salads, grains and lemonades (with free refills!) goes above and beyond health-conscious vegan and gluten-free fare, aiming to satisfy anybody who wants to eat well while eating right.
The chicken and ham are cooked daily in-store without preservatives, and the dressings are house-made every day. Come grab a table or get a salad to go. English-speaking staff available.
1-10-10 Mita, Minato-ku. 03-6435-4386. Open daily 11am-10pm. Nearest station: Azabu-Jūban. www.crisp.co.jp
For a holiday dinner with a Japanese twist, look no further than Hanagakoi. Just a five-minute walk from Omotesando station, Hanagakoi brings you the freshest, carefully selected ingredients from around Japan.
The charcoal-grilled A5 Kuroge Wagyu beef is an absolute must, while the seasonal sushi and yakitori is exquisite. The holidays mean parties, and Hanagakoi has great deals on special 2.5-hour courses for your get-together. Get all-you-can-drink beverages and seven dishes from ¥4,000—and celebrate with great taste.
B1F Diamond Bldg, 1-1-8 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku. 03-3498-3228. Open daily 11:30am-2pm, 5-11pm. Nearest station: Omotesando. http://meturl.com/hanagakoi
With a 360-degree island counter bar in its center, Kitsune can quickly be recognized from its appearances in popular TV shows and fashion magazines.
Reserve a Christmas Party Plan until December 25 to enjoy sushi assortment favorites and Christmas specials, including roast pork and a glamorous cake. Why not tack on a two-hour all-you-can-drink plan for more festive fun?
B1 Chatelet Shibuya, 2-20-13 Higashi, Shibuya-ku. 03-5766-5911. Open Sun-Thu 6pm-midnight; Fri-Sat & day before hols 6pm-5am. Nearest station: Shibuya. www.kitsune-web.jp & www.facebook.com/barkitsune.en. Bring a copy of Metropolis to get a 20% discount on your Christmas Party Plan.
Max Brenner Chocolate Bar
As Max Brenner opens its third Japanese branch at Hiroo Plaza, the Israeli chocolatier extraordinaire has announced that its most popular party dishes will finally join the Japanese menu, including mini-sized crêpes and Chocolate Chunks Pizza.
Kids and adults alike can select from the Build-Your-Own-Cake menu or savor the (in)famous Chocolate Burger—and don’t miss the Hiroo-exclusive Tutti Frutti Pizza. For take-aways, the truffles and Happy Holiday Bonbons make great gifts for chocoholics.
1F Hiroo Plaza, 5-6-6 Shibuya-ku. Open Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, Sat-Sun 8:30am-9pm. Nearest station: Hiroo. www.maxbrenner.co.jp
South Side Soul
At South Side Soul you can enjoy delicious dishes, coffee or even just a couple of drinks while savoring a great view of the holiday illuminations outside—and a full-size decorated fir tree inside.
On December 24, the restaurant will be serving a one-day-only Cajun roast chicken course (reservation required), accompanied by a live pianist and singers of jazz, soul, blues and R&B.
2F 2-5-18 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku. 03-3273-7111. Open Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 5-11pm, closed Sun & hols. Nearest station: Otemachi. www.facebook.com/southsidesoul.jp. Mention Metropolis and receive a free drink (valid until Dec 31).
Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant is a dizzying kaleidoscope of gold and shiny surfaces. The all-action floor show involves massive robots, bouncy dancers, mind-blowing flying machines and more. Audiences are always a merry mix of girls and boys, young and old.
Make certain to reserve your meal ahead of time (¥1,000), then confirm by phone one hour before the show for an unforgettable Christmas experience.
B2F Shinjuku Robot Bldg, 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku. 03-3200-5500 (9am-10pm). Open daily 4-11pm. Nearest station: Shinjuku. www.robot-restaurant.com. Bring this copy of Metropolis (or show this ad on your mobile device) for ¥1,000 off admittance to the show.