Best Places to Eat in Shibuya

Shibuya is instantly recognisable worldwide for its famous landmark, the scramble crossing known as the Shibuya Crossing. Every tourist seems to find it mandatory to take a picture or video of the crossing. But after that Shibuya Crossing shot is taken and you have one tick off your bucket list, what should you do next in Shibuya?

Shibuya is the epitome of bustling Tokyo, and is where the young and hip fashionistas head to for serious shopping, especially in Shibuya 109, the epicentre of Tokyo’s young fashion culture complex. I myself do have a weakness for shopping there.

But besides some fabulous places for shopping, there aren’t many other places of interest there. Though sometimes if you are lucky, you might be able to catch actual Mario karts racing across the Shibuya streets! They do look rather adorable, but I think I’d most likely give it a pass, I am not a fan of ingesting carbon monoxide from the cars around me, thank you very much.

Mario karts racing across the road in Shibuya.

While there may not be much to do in Shibuya besides shopping, there are tons of yummy food places to be found here, and I wanna share some great finds I’ve discovered!

Most Authentic Izakaya

Maishin (米心)  is a must-go place for both an authentic and an incredibly contemporary fusion Japanese food experience, and finally, not forgetting, premium sake at low prices in the busy streets of Tokyo.

The menu is unfortunately entirely in Japanese, so it would be inadvisable to go if your knowledge of Japanese is basic. Even I struggled to read the words, if not for my bae, I would never enter this shop on my own. Actually, I wouldn’t even have found it. The izakaya is located at the basement level, so you would first have to go down a flight of stairs to reach it.

Finding the stairs would be your first challenge, for there is no indication of the shop anywhere on the streets. The next challenge is the door leading to the izakaya. There is no sign above the wooden door of the shop, and curiously, the door opens at my chest level. You would have to duck down to enter, it is as if it is a shop for dwarves and hobbits. But once inside, you’d be relieved to find that the izakaya isn’t quite as small as the door, though the bar area may be a little snug as it is situated right at the entrance.

Small wooden door.
The door starts from the window area downwards.
A green sake bottle repurposed as a hanging lamp.
The quirky sake bottle lights of the izakaya adds to the ambience of the shop

Every single thing I ordered here was so wonderful, that I simply wasn’t looking forward to return home though it was my second last day in Japan.

Fried fish starters in a white bowl and chicken starter in a black bowl with a chilled glass of highball.
Fried fish and chicken starters to pair with your alcohol. I ordered whiskey highball (mix of whiskey and soda), which I sorely regretted after tasting bae’s sake.
A small clear glass of sake between a large green bottle of sake and a menu written in Japanese stuffed in a black box.
I usually don’t like sake, but I have to make this an exception. Yuki no Bijin (ゆきの美人) is smooth and sweet without any strange bitter aftertaste that I often associate sake with.
Slices of sashimi arranged in a long white plate.
Mixed fresh sashimi

I fell in love with the tamagoyaki. It was unlike any other tamagoyaki I had, and it wasn’t because of the stuffed mentaiko in the tamagoyaki. It is because it was made with dashi stock. The richness of the dashi not only added a more complex dimension of flavour to the tamagoyaki but also made it bouncier and fluffier.

Japanese style grilled egg omelette stuffed with mentaiko.
Dashi tamagoyaki stuffed with mentaiko
Two slices of oven-baked salmon and cheese pie stacked on top of diced tomatoes and brown gravy.
Salmon and cheese pie, flaky crust and melting cheese with big chunks of salmon ❤
Pieces of sliced scallop cooking in a large burning scallop shell.
Scallop on fire. I slurped up the broth, which tasted like the sea.
A large claypot containing rice covered by two pieces of sea bream and plentiful large red ikura.
Tai and ikura don (sea bream and fish roe rice) tastes best mixed with spring onions which brings out the fragrance of the dish.

Maishin (米心)  

Address: Suyama Bldg. B1F, 2-10-12 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

東京都渋谷区道玄坂2-10-12 道玄坂スヤマビル B1F

Tel: +81-3-3464-1644

Nearest station: Shibuya

Opening hours: 5~11:30 p.m.; weekends, holidays 4~10:30 p.m.

Price : 4000~6500 JPY (plus drinks)

Soba Lovers Unite!

If you are a soba lover like me, you would definitely love this shop, Shirou (しろう)for its soba is not only good, its soup really can lift any dampened spirits up. Shirou is a no-frills soba shop, small and unpretentious, strictly for soba lovers. I am a huge fan of zaru soba (cold soba), which is a go-to dish in summer, and it is summer, so I ordered zaru soba. Eat up your soba, and savour the broth at the end by adding the hot water used to cook the noodles into the soba dip. The tempura is nothing to shout about, but the soup alone can take you to heaven and back. The dip tastes like usual soba dip, a mix of mentsuyu (Japanese dipping sauce), wasabi and spring onions, but once you add the hot water into the dip, the flavour changes, perhaps it was the taste of the soba noodles that makes it so light and refreshing despite its savoury taste.

Soba set with dipping sauce, tempura  and other condiments.
Soba in a square-shaped bamboo plate.
Assorted tempura.

Shirou (しろう)

Address: 3-5-1 Jingumae Shibuya Tokyo

〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区神宮前3-5-1

Tel: +81-3-5414-2311

Nearest stations: Omote Sando exit A2 , Gaienmae exit 3

Opening hours: 11:30〜22:00(L.O.21:30) closed on Thursdays

Price: [Lunch] 1000-1999 JPY, [Dinner] 4000-4999 JPY

Best Japanese Dessert, Crepe!

Now moving on to sweet delights. I love Japanese dessert, especially their crepes and ice-cream. There was this one weekday evening while I was strolling in the streets of Shibuya, that I came across this crepe shop, Dipper Dan Crepewith a one day 300JPY offer for all crepes, and surprisingly, no queue. If this had been Singapore, I would probably have to wait for half an hour to get my order.

I couldn’t believe my luck, stumbling upon such a great find.

Being the cheapskate that I am, I was more than happy to get my hands on a lovely baked apple crepe with an ice-cream topping. Two of my favourites made me very happy even though I was all alone. This is one of the few times I can bear to be out alone for long, when I have a sweet treat, or when I am looking at accessories (less likely to be disturbed by shop attendants as compared to shopping for clothes), or being in a library surrounded by books. Yes I’m a solitary being.

Baked apple crepe topped with vanilla ice-cream sprinkled with cinnamon powder.
I am no apple-pie lover, but I do love a good baked apple crepe!

Dipper Dan Crepe

Address: Japan, 〒150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho, 31−2, 渋谷BEAM

Tel: +81 3-6416-3773

Nearest station: Shibuya

Best Cafe for A Girlfriends Outing

On another day, I found this sweet little shop that is made for ladies, Shibuya Coffee. The name is kind of uncreative, and clashed with the shop’s pretty garden interior, but who am I to say anything when they offer my favourite ice-cream, Cremia. Cremia is a brand of soft-serve ice-cream (also known as “softcream” in Japan) filled with 25% Hokkaido fresh cream and 12.5% high milk fat content, touted by some (including me) as the BEST soft-serve in the world. I can never get enough of its creamy and velvety-rich indulgence.

Cafe interior filled with female customers.
Look at the vines dripping down from the ceiling. ❤

Cremia can be found in many places across Japan, and I was seriously tempted every corner I turned. Though the Cremia in this shop doesn’t come with its unique buttery wafer-like cone which tastes very much like Shiroi Koibito, it is complemented by various other desserts which serves as a good substitute for the cone. But the cone still tops as the best combination for the soft-serve.

Cremia soft-serve served with two pieces of brownie on the left and Cremia served with two pieces of strawberry cheesecake on the right.
Left: Cremia and brownie; Right: Cremia and cheesecake

Shibuya Coffee

Address: 150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho, 13−4 丸 秀 ビル 2F

東京都 渋谷区 宇田川町 13-4 丸秀ビル 2F

Tel: +81-50-5592-9453 (For reservation only)

Tel: +81-3-6809-0014 (For inquiry)

Opening hours: 11:00~22:00 (L.O.21:00)

Nearest station: Shibuya

Price: 999 JPY (Day and Night)

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Beauty- and Travel-holic who loves to play and dream, and recording her life moments.

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