Metropolis recommends nine burger restaurants for 2019, each excellent in their own distinctive ways. Whether you’re looking for the traditional flavors of an American burger or something a little more edgy, this list is for you.
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 spinach-stuffed 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 8am – 10:45am. (Metropolis readers only)
5-64-7 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Tue – Fri 11am – 11pm, closed Mon (except Hol), Sat – Sun & Hol 8am – 10:45am (Brunch), 11am – 11pm
For more info on Arms Takeout & Delivery in Tomigaya e-mail: email@example.com
True to its name, Authentic is mostly traditional: each burger is created from fundamentals, with a good balance of basic ingredients. Having celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, Authentic is currently playing with these same fundamentals to develop new burgers. Aside from their basic lineup, one popular variation is the Broccoli Cheeseburger (¥1,325). There’s also the Red Hot Garlic Burger (very hot and a lot of garlic in there) (¥1,350) and the Bacon Cheeseburger (¥1,325). Enjoy their special lunch-only salads (numbers limited) and also drink discounts during lunch: soft drinks are only ¥200 and there’s a ¥100 discount on alcoholic beverages. Check out the selection of cool, original logo T-shirts on Authentic’s Facebook page.
Akasaka Chalet II, 101, Akasaka 2-18-19, Minato-ku
Mon – Fri 11am – 4pm (L.O. 3:30pm), 5:30pm – 9:30pm (L.O. 9pm), Sat – Sun & hol 11am – 7:30pm (L.O. 7pm)
*Search “Authentic Akasaka” on Google to stay updated on irregular holidays, or check the Facebook page
BeBu (or Beer and Burger) is a casual eatery, located on the ground floor of Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills hotel, serving original recipe burgers paired with Japanese draft beer. The Andale-Gringo burger (¥1,300) is not to be missed, the succulent beef topped with all things Tex-Mex. Or try the downtown Osaka-inspired burger called Shitamachi (¥1,400) made with a 200g beef patty topped with delicious Worcestershire mayonnaise. The outdoor terrace provides the perfect setting for a quintessential hanami experience, the view of cherry blossoms complemented by BeBu’s burgers. If not for lunch, go for Happy Hour, between 5pm and 8pm on weekdays, for ¥500 drinks.
Deals: free side dish with purchase of any burger (Metropolis readers only)
1F Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, 1-23-4, Toranomon, Minato-ku
Café & Bar 11am – 11pm (L.O. 10:30pm); Weekends & Hol 11am – 10pm (L.O. 9:30pm), Lounge 11am – 9pm (L.O. 8:30pm)
Burger Mania, famous for its homemade food using domestic materials (100 percent domestic beef with buns made with natural yeast), first opened in Shirokane in March 2008. The New-York-style cafe is known for its exceptional service and monthly special (a burger with seasonal ingredients) as well as the limited cherry burger available at the Hiroo and Ebisu shops. This is the only restaurant in Japan with all three branches listed on Tabelog’s Top 100 burger restaurants in Japan. From this April, the shop will be introducing a 100 percent Kobe Beef Burger with homemade bacon topped with grilled onion and creamy cheese for the small price of ¥2,900. Complement the incredible burger with one of the six local craft beers on tap or even a local craft gin and tonic.
4-9-5 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku
Mon – Thu 11am – 11pm, Fri & Sat 11am – 12am, Sun 11am – 10pm (No regular holiday)
Other locations: Hiroo, Shirokane
Since opening up shop in 2007, The Great Burger Harajuku has built quite a following. In an average month, 12,000 happy diners visit the venerable burger spot. Perhaps the secret to their success lies with their faithfulness to the flavors of classic American diner foods, best exemplified by such favorites as the Bacon Cheese Burger, served with french fries. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have hip decor, and everything from the small knick-knacks to the tattooed servers at The Great Burger exudes a certain Southern California cool. With a good range of Japanese craft beers, The Great Burger is also a great spot to grab casual drinks when you’re in Harajuku. Keep an eye out for the new wagyu burger menu, with an array of options including a mushroom mozzarella burger and a wagyu double burger.
6-12-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
Mon – Fri 11:30am – 10:30pm, Sat – Sun & hol 9am – 10:30pm
From the wooden cottage decor to the (faux) stuffed deer heads, it’s easy to see that The Great Burger Stand, which sits in the recently built Shibuya Stream, is an America-inspired restaurant. The delicious burgers are made with delightfully crispy buns and tender beef patties that allow the cheddar cheese, bacon and mustard to frame this culinary experience with flair. The owners dreamt of creating a vibrant hub for food, friends and quality experiences — a vision that is evident from the minute you walk in, the sense of community here strong and nostalgic. Come to The Great Burger Stand to feel this warmth and openness as you enjoy an incredible meal.
1F Shibuya Stream, 3-21-3 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
Open 11am – 11pm (L.O. 10:30pm)
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 ¥1,300 (weekdays only), and Happy Hour 4-7pm, when draft and bottled beer are just ¥380 (tax included).
Other locations include Kodenmacho, Bakurocho, Bakuroyokoyama, Higashi-nihombashi
16-16 Nihonbashi Kodenmacho, Chuo-ku
Wed – Fri 11:30am – 10pm (L.O.), Sat – Mon & Hol 11:30am – 8:30pm (L.O). Closed on Tue
TGI Fridays, the quintessentially American casual dining restaurant, opened its first location in New York back in 1965. Since then, the restaurant chain has expanded its operation to 60 countries and now boasts over 900 franchises, and at each location, you can count on one thing: having a quality burger. The burgers are made with a special brioche bun and their 100 percent beef patties are hefty at 200 grams. For those looking for a spice kick, the new Big Mex Burger, which uses a whole jalapeno as topping, is sure to satisfy cravings. With regular happy hours and performances by bartenders (made famous in the 1988 film Cocktail), TGI Fridays is more than just a burger joint.
2F Haimanten Jinnan Bldg., 1-19-3 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku
11:30am – midnight. Open 7 days a week
For more locations, please go to www.tgifridays.co.jp/find-us
Trader Vic’s is introducing a brand new burger for 2019. “The New Tokyo Burger” focuses on the concept of “Made in Japan.” This unique burger is made with a 225-gram 100 percent Wagyu patty, topped with wasabi and sansho remoulade sauce, Hokkaido smoked Caciocavallo cheese and various other Japanese ingredients, served in healthy Japanese grains bun. If you prefer a classic burger try the “Optimum Burger,” a 225-gram 100 percent U.S prime beef patty topped with avocado, tomato, onion, bacon and mozzarella cheese. Along with all other items on Trader Vic’s menu, these burgers are made with the best ingredients making Trader Vic’s a special place.
4F Hotel New Otani Garden Tower 4-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku
Lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm, Dinner 5:30pm – 10:30pm (L.O. 9:30pm)
Boathouse Bar: 11:30am – midnight (L.O. 11:30pm)
Brunch Buffet 11:30 –14:30 *Every Sun, Hol & Last Sat of the month