15 Yakitori Restaurants in Shinjuku
Yakitori made with carefully selected chicken, grilled with high quality sauce and salt is one of the Japanese-style foods that you have to eat when you come to Japan. Here are 15 recommended yakitori places in Shinjuku.
Sep 15 2016 (Sep 09 2020)
Established in 1907, this veteran shop has been in business for 100 years. Daisen chicken, a brand of chicken in Tottori, is delivered directly to the restaurant every day so the meat is extraordinarily fresh. It goes without saying that their yakitori is good but the specialty here is “Marudori no Motoage”. The chicken is fried without any coating, which gets rid of the excess oil, making it a healthier option. The liver skewer pictured in the photo is also very fresh, making it even more delicious.
1F, Daini Takahashi Bld., 7-14-6 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
2. Imaiya Honten Nishishinjuku
This jidori (local free-range) chicken specialty shop is famous for being the “ultimate yakitori shop”. They use Hinai chicken from Akita Prefecture. Furthermore, the chickens are left to roam free at the base of the Hinai mountains for 140 days, giving the meat high value and a distinctive flavor. If you want to savor the deliciousness of jidori chicken, you have to come here at least once.
B1, Okamoto Bldg., 1-18-15, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
3. Toridokoro Shinjuku
Located a 1 minute walk from the South Exit of Shinjuku Station along Koshu Kaido Street. The scent of yakitori wafts out from the open door at the front of the building. This izakaya (Japanese pub) has a truly authentic yakitori restaurant atmosphere. It's a very popular restaurant since you can enjoy the delicious flavors of the yakitori while basking in the atmosphere of an old-time Showa era restaurant.
4-2-9, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
4. Yakitori Kamameshi Nabe Wasurenbo Shinjuku Honten
This restaurant uses Kirishima chicken from Miyazaki Prefecture, which the owner discovered during his travels across the country. The chicken is delivered every morning so the freshness goes without saying. They also have shochu (Japanese liquor) from Miyazaki prefecture.
2F, NS Chuo Plaza Bld., 3-31-2, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
5. Nanbantei Shinjuku Honten
Boasting a history of 37 years since its establishment, this shop is located conveniently a minute’s walk from Shinjuku Station’s East Exit. The yakitori here is made with Arita chicken delivered directly from Saga Prefecture in Kyushu. The yakitori is made using fresh chicken. As you chew, the delicious flavor spreads through your mouth. As would be expected from a place so close to Shinjuku Station, most of the customers are 30 - 40 year old salarymen.
3-28-7, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
6. Toridori Shinjuku South Exit
This shop is located close to the Takashimaya Department Store near the South Exit of Shinjuku Station. They use Tsukuba chicken from Ibaraki Prefecture as well as Koshino chicken from Niigata Prefecture, as well as high quality charcoal made from ubame oak. They are particular about using local, free-range chicken and safe ingredients so their products are delicious and highly popular.
4-1-20, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
7. Tori-Shige Shinjuku Branch
Although the name has the word chicken (tori) in it, the main dishes are beef and pork. At this shop, the grilled liver skewer receives much high praise. Both the freshness and the way it’s grilled is so superb that it can’t be compared to any other restaurant. As you would expect, their sashimi is also exceptionally good.
2-6-5,Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
This restaurant is located in the basement of UNIQLO at Shinjuku Station’s West Exit. Since they use the Gitaro Shamo chicken native to Shinshu (Nagano Prefecture), the price of one stick of yakitori is higher than usual. Apart from yakitori, the oyakodon (chicken and egg on rice) is also recommended. The refined taste of the fluffy egg and the chicken is an excellent match. If the portion size is too big, they also offer half sizes.
B2F, Shinjuku Palette, 1-1-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
You might not think that these kinds of shops still exist in Shinjuku these days but at this restaurant, you can savor the atmosphere that feels like you’ve slipped back in time to the Showa era. 65 years have passed since it was established in year 24 of the Showa era (1949). During the 70’s they had many students as customers. These days, it seems that the people who were students back then have reunions and gather there for the nostalgia. Their 5 piece motsu (innard) yakitori set is popular, along with their home-style simmered dishes.
1-4-18, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
This yakitori restaurant has set up shop in the area called Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho (memory lane) which is nicknamed “Shonben Yokocho (piss alley)” and still has the air of the black market that it used to be in the old days. Of course you can expect yakitori, and the meat-stuffed bell pepper in the photo is carefully grilled to obtain the optimum flavor. In addition to that, the motsu stew and sinew stew are delicious and highly rated.
1-2-7, Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
11．Banban Shinjuku Honten
Located a 2 minute walk from Shinjuku station South Exit. Although they’re known as the place for chicken sukiyaki, which you can’t have at just any store, during lunchtime many customers go there to eat their “Charcoal Grilled Banban Steak Lunch”. It comes with grated yam, side dishes, and pork miso soup for ¥900. You’ll be happy to know that there’s also barley-rice.
B1, Kikusui Bld., 1-16-5 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
12. ToritatsuLocated a 3 minute walk from the West Exit of Shinjuku Station, this veteran shop boasts over 30 years of history. Their popular yakitori is made using Hinata chicken and Jiyo chicken, which are low in fat but full of flavor. The yakitori is grilled using Kishu charcoal, which gives it a plump texture and has received high ratings.
B1F, Ayuzawa Bldg., 1-19-12 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
The teppan (iron griddle) dishes are particularly popular at this restaurant, but their yakitori, which uses Koshu jidori, is also quite delicious. They have your standard yakitori on a skewer, but they also have everything from a standard ¥240 menu to a ¥1500 skewered sirloin steak. Yakitori lovers should definitely go to savor the yakitori that Kurumaya offers.
B1F, Kurumaya Annex, 3-21-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
14. Shinjuku Nogataya
This shop is located in Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho, the shop manager gave it the name Nogataya after training at a place called Akimotoya which is located in Nogata in Tokyo. Their grilled motsu (innards) is famous so you have to get there early if you want to try them! Most of the items are priced at ¥150 for 1. You can say that the price is exceptional for being located this close to Shinjuku Station. Lately, there has even been an increase in foreign tourists.
1-2-11, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Established over 60 years ago, 3 generations have continued this veteran chicken and mizutaki specialty shop. The item in the photo is skewered grilled young chicken and duck. The tender texture of the food comes through easily and just from its appearance, it looks like a delicious grilled skewer. They use carefully selected, fresh jidori chicken and there’s even a chicken cuisine course menu available.
3-17-11, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.