Ginza Eats


Some good restaurants in Ginza from an article that originally appeared in Metropolis. (text follows)

All that glitters in Ginza is not the jewels at Harry Winston. With Tsukiji fish market on one side and downscale Shinbashi on the other, Ginza sets itself apart. Nihonbashi and Omotesando are enjoying revivals of late, but Ginza remains a classic destination, with proper pedestrian sidewalks for ginbura—strolling the Ginza.

I would like to share with you my Ginza address book: my favorite places to eat, snack or just find a refreshing cup of tea. Because shopping at Harry Winston can be exhausting.

1. Bar de Espana Pero
There are several Spanish tapas bars in the area, but Pero is my favorite. Sip sherry and nibble olives or sliced ham. 6-3-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5537-6091.

2. Cha Ginza
For a unique tea experience, ask for Cha Ginza’s matcha set. For ¥500, you will be guided to a third-floor room where the glass ceiling fills this reflective space with sunlight—and, sadly, noise from the street. Ponder the ikebana, or watch as the server meticulously measures and whisks you tea. If matcha is not your preferred cup, ask for the sencha (roasted tea) set, which is served on the second floor. 5-5-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3571-1211.

3. Ginza Bairin Tonkatsu
Ginza’s first tonkatsu restaurant dates from 1927. On my last visit I shared the place with a yakuza boss and his posse. The house specialty is katsudon, a bargain at under ¥1,000. 7-8-1 Ginza Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3571-0350.

4. Isola Blu
After living in Manhattan, I taste pizza with a jaded palate. The pizza oven here caught my eye and, although the pizzas here are not as good as at my joint in the West Village, they’re still better than average for Tokyo. 1-13-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5524-2520.

5. Kimuraya Pan
At the main Ginza Yonchome crossing next to Yamano music store is a bakery that is famous for its azuki-filled anpan bread. I prefer the kurumi (walnut) variety, which is slightly sweet and packed with nuts. 4-5-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3561-0091.

6. Komeraku
For a healthy bite, consider ochazuke, a bowl of rice with a variety of toppings such as mentaiko (spicy fish eggs), sea urchin or eel, and covered with hot broth or tea. At Komeraku you can try a few small bowls of different toppings. 7-108 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3574-1776.

7. Mitsukoshi
There are two things I never miss at Mitsukoshi. One is Kayu-An, where you can find regional treats from all over Japan; the selection is constantly changing, which makes coming back fun. The other, for Western-style sweets, is Pastel Puddings, whose nameraka pudding is simply the best. 4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3562-1111.

8. Pierre Marcolini Chocolate
If you’re fortunate enough to come on a day when there are not long lines outside the ice cream shop or the chocolate shop, consider it a gift from the gods. Exquisite sweets by one of the world’s finest chocolatiers. 5-5-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5537-0015.

9. Vin Picoeur Ginza
This restaurant calls itself a “French barbecue,” but I think of it as an upscale yakitori bar with excellent wine. Ask for “the big wine list” and they will give you access to their sister shop, Aux Amis, around the corner. 2F Ginza Izakaya Bldg, 4-3-4 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3567-4122.

For cheap eats in Ginza:

For other restaurants (sushi, curry, cafes and more) in Ginza:銀座/

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