18 of Tokyo's tastiest spots to sate your appetite
The Secret: Light, fluffy patties served with minced toppings, and a bun made with natural yeast.
The Picks: Avocado Mushroom Cheese Burger (¥1,393); Popeye Burger (¥1,188).
The Style: Faithful to the U.S. right down to the imported paint, Arms’ wooden decor is opened out to the park during summer months.
The Deal: Nab a set drink for ¥216 from 11am to 4pm on weekdays. Brunch Sat, Sun, & holidays 8-10:45am.
The Skinny: 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.
Yoyogi: 5-64-7 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku. email@example.com. 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.
AS Classics Diner
The Secret: No processed ingredients or additives, and that goes for the buns, bacon, sausage, potatoes, sauces, and, naturally, the charcoal-grilled patties.
The Picks: Bacon smoked with hickory and cherry blossoms; brandy-stewed and charcoal-baked apple, and fall-off-the-bone pork rib. Try the Bacon Cheese Burger at both branches. (¥1,404).
The Style: Decor and music hark back to the American diners of the ’50 or ’60s.
The Deal: Lunch set menus with a drink, plus a dinner menu after 6pm that changes monthly.
The Skinny: American-sized portions and 100% pure beef minced by hand to preserve the steak-like texture.
Roppongi: B1F Roppongi Hills Metro Hut, 6-4-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Open daily 11am-11pm. Tel: 03-6721-1581. Nearest station: Roppongi. Komazawa: 1F Orion Komazawa Bldg, 5-9-22 Yagumo, Meguro-ku. Open Wed-Mon 9am-11pm, closed Tue. Tel: 03-5701-5033. Nearest station: Komazawa Daigaku. www.asclassics.co.jp
The Beat Diner
The Secret: The perfect burger bun from Mineya bakery is 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 100% Aussie beef patty.
The Picks: The B.E.A.T Burger (Bacon, Egg, Avocado, Tomato), their classic original, offers the best combination of burger fillings. Fresh, cold lettuce with sizzling hot meat will not disappoint.
The Style: Replicates the feel of an authentic 1960-70s’ American diner, complete with a mini jukebox.
The Deal: Tell them you saw this in Metropolis and receive one free soft drink.
The Skinny: Known not only for their delicious burgers but also for their huge range of drinks and meats; your appetite is bound to be satisfied.
Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower B1F Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-1-1 Chuo-ku. Open Hours: 11am-11pm. Tel: 03-3510-1238. Nearest station: Mitsukoshimae.
The Secret: Aromatic and juicy 100% hand-crafted beef burgers grilled briefly on high heat over an open fire to keep the center of the patty juicy.
The Picks: BP Beef Burger (¥1,600); Grilled Beef Sirloin “JP Joushu Gyu” 200g (¥3,800)
The Style: Redesigned by internationally-renowned Morita Yasumichi, Blue Point’s interior has the calm and mature atmosphere of a five-star hotel. Facing Platinum Street, the open terrace transports you to another world, making you forget you are in the heart of the city.
The Deal: Tell us you saw us in Metropolis and get a free dessert.
The Skinny: Domestically-sourced, high-quality meats and wine, and rich buttermilk pancakes.
4-19-19 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3280-2020. BLUEPOINT@tgn.co.jp. Open 11am-11pm. Nearest station: Shirokanedai. www.tgn.co.jp/hall/shirogane/bp
Brooklyn Pancake House
The Secret: A healthy-sized patty (130g) of pure Japanese beef, cooked on an open-fire grill to bring out the natural flavor.
The Picks: Premium Brooklyn Hamburger with French fries (¥1,100)—or add gorgonzola cheese and go Italiano.
The Style: Transport yourself to a secret, solitary house in Brooklyn.
The Deal: The weekday lunch set (11:30am-4pm) comes with a drink and salad.
The Skinny: US-style buttermilk pancakes; New York strip steak (350g).
1F, 6-14-12 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3409-2018. Open daily 11:30am-8pm. Nearest station: Meiji-Jingumae. www.brooklyn-pancake-house.com
The Secret: A balanced combo of the finest ingredients: natural-yeast buns, 100% beef patties, and market-fresh vegetables.
The Picks: The famous Cherry Burger (Hiroo & Ebisu), pairing dark, sweet cherries with cream cheese, and the rough texture of the patty.
The Style: The owner visited NYC for inspiration and brought a slice of the Big Apple to Tokyo Town.
The Deal: Stop in for lunch (11am-4pm) and get a drink for ¥200 and a free upsizing of your fries. Weekdays (3-6pm) offer a drink and pancake for ¥1,080.
The Skinny: Ebisu’s specialty is craft beer on tap (from ¥550) and great coffee from Onibus.
Ebisu: 1F, 4-9-5 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku. Open daily 11am-midnight. Tel: 03-6277-4221. firstname.lastname@example.org. Nearest station: Ebisu. For more locations (Shirokane & Hiroo) visit www.burger-mania.com
The Secret: It’s all about the bun! The highest quality possible, made with natural yeast.
The Picks: The Apple and Gorgonzola Burger boasts two perfectly-matched ingredients, while the signature Hohokam Burger spices up your life with jalapeños, cheddar cheese, and plenty of chili sauce.
The Style: Raise Arizona with a desert-themed retro ambiance.
The Deal: Weekday lunch specials 11:30am-4pm.
The Skinny: Chill among the cacti on an outdoor terrace, with a cover to keep the rain off your parade.
2F, 3-22-14 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Open daily 11:30am-11pm (LO 10:30pm). Tel: 03-5775-5708. Nearest station: Harajuku or Meiji-jingumae. www.cafe-hohokam.com
The Secret: 100% beef patties, original sauce, grilled onions, and fresh vegetables.
The Picks: Chili Char Burger (¥1,100), includes homemade chili and sour cream. Special Char Burger (¥1,250), includes bacon, cheese, onion rings, and tartar sauce.
The Style: Enjoy listening to classic jazz music anytime amidst a display of rare jazz LP collections from the 1950s.
The Deal: Special lunch menu seven days a week. Happy Hour: 3pm-6pm. Glass beer or wine plus chips for ¥500.
The Skinny: Calm atmosphere for both dining and drinking. Patio seats also available.
1F Takara Bld. 1-4-11 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku. Tel: 03-3344-3166. Open 11am-10pm. Nearest station: Shinjuku. http://www.localplace.jp/sp/t100060963/
The Great Burger
The Secret: Fluffy fresh-baked toasted buns made with natural yeast, a juicy, coarsely-ground patty, and daily market-fresh vegetables.
The Picks: Gorgonzola meets baked apples; smoky hickory sauce. Or the classic Bacon Cheeseburger with French fries (¥1,350).
The Style: Open-minded Southern California
The Deal: The weekday lunch set (11:30am-4pm) comes with a drink and salad.
The Skinny: As the name says, great burgers, plus American-style buttermilk pancakes and sandwiches.
1F, 6-12-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3406-1215. Open daily 11:30am-11pm. Nearest station: Meiji-Jingumae. www.the-great-burger.com
Hard Rock Cafe
The Secret: 100% American beef, special buns, and carefully selected ingredients and a proven recipe for the taste and volume of real American burgers.
The Picks: Original Legendary Burger (¥1,980).
Mushroom & Swiss Burger (¥2,380), 240g beef patty with two slices of Swiss cheese and plenty of sautéed mushrooms. Fiesta Burger (¥2,280), 240g beef patty with fresh jalapeño salsa, Monterey Jack, guacamole, and pico de gallo that will create a fiesta in your mouth!
The Style: A contemporary, cutting-edge atmosphere with displays such as guitars used by musicians, stage costumes, handwritten lyrics, photos, and more.
The Deal: Monthly special menus. Happy Hour weekdays 4pm-6pm (only in Tokyo).
The Skinny: With many monitors and speakers, listen to the latest American music and watch videos non-stop.
Tokyo Branch: 5-4-20 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Open Sun-Thu 11:30am-2am, Fri & Sat 11:30am-4am. Tel: 03-3408-7018. Nearest station: Roppongi. http://hardrockjapan.com
Legends Sports Bar & Grill
The Secret: A mix of Australian and Japanese beef to get the right fat content and buns made by a famous bakery using Legends’ own recipe. Both are American-sized!
The Picks: Avocado & Wasabi, LOB (AKA Umami), and Smokin’ Joe (American Bacon & Pepper Jack)—all ¥1,400.
The Style: Authentic American sports bar with memorabilia plus screens showing major events live.
The Deals: Daily Happy Hour from 5pm to 7pm with all drinks ¥200 off. See their website for more offers. Every Thursday, get a Legends Burger with a pint of American craft beer for only ¥2,000.
The Skinny: Ideally located on the quieter side of Roppongi, away from the crowds. Great terrace.
1F Aoba Roppongi Bldg., 3-16-33 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Open Mon-Fri 5pm-late, Sat, Sun & hols 2pm-late. Tel: 03-3548-3304. Nearest station: Roppongi. email@example.com. www.legendsports.jp
Munch’s Burger Shack
The Secret: High-quality, lean certified Angus from the U.S., hand-cut daily by staff to make each patty.
The Picks: The Bacon Cheese Burger (¥1,500) is made with homemade smoked bacon to create a fine balance.
The Style: Choose a floor based on your mood—1F for those calm moments, 2F if you’re feeling more lively.
The Deals: At lunch, get a meat dish with rice for ¥1200, or add a drink to any meal for just ¥150.
The Skinny: Don’t miss the Caesar salad with avocado and bacon (¥1,380) and the chicken gumbo (¥650). American craft beers are in stock to pair with your burger or sandwich, as well as Heineken, Guinness, Yona Yona Ale, and more.
1-2F I • Smart Bldg. 2-26-1 Shiba, Minato-ku. Open 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
The Oak Door
The Secret: Perfectly-proportioned elements and meat textured to crumble when you bite into it.
The Picks: From April 1 to May 31, savor gourmet burgers made with local ingredients in various sizes and flavors such as Mexican, lamb, patty melt, and deluxe wagyu. The Oak Door Burger comes in sliders (50g); small (130g); regular (220g); and giant (1,000g).
The Style: Designed by renowned designer Tony Chi, The Oak Door is a dramatic steakhouse featuring signature wood-burning ovens.
The Skinny: The Oak Door features premium quality meats and seasonal produce that can be enjoyed with New World wines from an extensive wine list.
6F Grand Hyatt Tokyo, 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Open Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm (Weekends and National Holidays till 3pm), Afternoon 3-5:00pm, Dinner 6-10pm. Tel: 03-4333-8784. firstname.lastname@example.org. Nearest station: Roppongi. http://restaurants.tokyo.grand.hyatt.co.jp/oak-door-restaurant
San Francisco Peaks
The Secret: 100% wagyu beef patties cooked over an open flame.
The Picks: Gourmet pineapple. And, for the non-burgerites, hot dogs and pancakes.
The Style: An industrial cafe in the City By the Bay.
The Deal: Stop by weekdays 11:30am-4pm for a tidy lunch set.
The Skinny: Choose your weapon for your hot dog (sausage, that is)—and your choice of draft beer.
3-28-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Open daily 11:30am-11pm (LO 10:30pm). Tel: 03-5775-5707. Nearest station: Harajuku or Meiji-jingumae. www.sf-peaks.com
Sasa Grill Burger Club
The Secret: 100% hand-mixed wagyu patties, whole wheat buns made with natural yeast, and slow-cooked homemade onion sauce.
The Picks: Burgers with homemade chili or mozzarella. Or get in quick for the grilled mushroom burger (¥1,390)—limited number made daily (at Daikanyama branch only).
The Style: Like a Parisian backstreet with warm wood and the classic Continental aroma of tasty burgers.
The Deal: Free soft drink with any meal during weekday lunches (11am-4pm) at Daikanyama.
The Skinny: Pair your burger with beers from around the world. Guaranteed to satisfy!
Daikanyama: 1F Daikanyama-Pocketpark Bldg., 2-21-15 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku. Open 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. Open Mon-Fri: 10am-9pm, Sat, Sun & hols: 10am-8pm, closed every third Tue. Tel: 03-3711-4449. Nearest station: Nakameguro. www.hijiriya.co.jp
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
The Secret: 100% ground chuck and 15 types of seasoning.
The Picks: Kailua Burger (5oz ¥1,310, 7oz ¥1,610, 9oz ¥1,910 +¥300 for a combo)
The Style: A calm atmosphere for you to relax and be comfortable in.
The Deals: Party plans for birthday parties and all-you-can-drink plans are available.
The Skinny: Visit the islands with pancakes, eggs benedict, loco moco, acai bowl, and other original Hawaiian food. Wash it down with tropical drinks and Hawaiian beers.
2F Miyazaki Bldg, 6-28-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Open 10am-11pm. Tel: 03-5774-2288. Nearest station: Harajuku and Meiji-jingumae. email@example.com. http://tbbjapan.co.jp
The Secret: 100% beef, 200g patties and a recipe that’s faithful to authentic American taste and volume. The balance of brioche-type bread and fresh vegetables is also part of their secret to a delicious burger.
The Picks: The new Cowboy Triple Meat Burger (¥1,990 + tax).
The Style: Exactly the same design as the original TGI Fridays in America.
The Skinny: Not just a place for authentic burgers, but also faithful to the American recipe for baby back ribs and steak. Great service from the friendly waitstaff and bartenders. A casual restaurant where you can experience America right here in Japan.
1F Kourakuen Hall Bldg. 1-3-61 Kouraku, Bunkyo-ku. Tel: 03-5803-4151. Fax: 03-5803-4152. Open 11am-midnight. Nearest station: Suidoubashi. www.tgifridays.co.jp. *Other locations within Tokyo: Shibuya, Harajuku, Roppongi, Shinagawa, Ueno, Ikebukuro.
The Secret: Harajuku’s The Great Burger brings their stupendous burgerology (see above) to a new venue in Shinjuku Lumine.
The Picks: Each season has a host of off-menu treats—make sure you ask. Or just go for the Avocado Mozzarella Burger (¥1,300 + tax).
The Style: Always wanted to dine inside an American girl’s bedroom? (Or perhaps you had one?)
Don’t miss out.
The Deal: Stop by between 11am and 4pm weekdays for a lunch set that includes one free drink and a salad. The Smile joins in promotions from Lumine Est too, so keep an eye on the coupons.
The Skinny: They might not be very skinny, but the pancakes and French toast go down pretty well, too.
7F, Lumine Est Shinjuku,3-38-1 Shinjuku. Tel: 03-3353-5071. Open 11am-11pm (LO 10pm). Nearest station: Shinjuku.