This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)
Established in year 40 of the Meiji era (1907), this veteran shop has continued for over 100 years. Tottori’s representative breed of chicken, Daisen chicken, is delivered directly to the shop everyday 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 asajime grilled skewered liver pictured in the photo is also very fresh, making it even more delicious.
1F, Daini Takahashi Bld., 7-14-6 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
2. Imaiya Honten Nishishinjuku
This jidori (local free-range) chicken specialty shop is famous for being the “ultimate yakitori shop”. It uses Hinai chicken from Akita prefecture. Furthermore, the chickens are left to roam free at the base of mountains in Hinai 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 go there at least once.
B1 Okamoto Bld., 1-18-15 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
3. Toridokoro Shinjuku
Located a 1 minute walk from Shinjuku station South exit. It is located along the Koshu Kaido street. The scent of yakitori wafts out from the open door at the front of the building and it really is an izakaya with an authentic yakitori restaurant feeling. It has been gaining popularity since you can enjoy delicious yakitori while enjoying the atmosphere of an old-time Showa era restaurant.
4-2-9 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
4. Yakitori Kamameshi Nabe Wasurenbo Shinjuku Honten
After travelling across the entire country, the most delicious chicken that the shopkeeper encountered was Kirishima chicken from Miyazaki prefecture so that is what the restaurant uses. The chicken is delivered every morning so the freshness goes without saying. They’re also particular about the alcohol they serve so they stock shochu (Japanese liquor) made in 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 and 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, from the south exit of Shinjuku station and uses Tsukuba chicken from Ibaraki prefecture along with Koshino chicken from Niigata prefecture. Naturally, they also use high quality charcoal made from ubame oak. They are particular about using local, free-range chicken as well as safe ingredients so their products are delicious and highly popular. Recently, it’s become a place to have a “girls’ night out”.
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 skewered liver receives high praise from everyone. 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 is located in the basement of the 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 is too much for one person, 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, organize and go there for the nostalgia. Their 5 piece motsu (innard) yakitori set is popular along with their home-style simmered dishes and dressed (with sauce) dishes.
1-4-18 Nishishinjuku, 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. Everyone sings its praises. 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, their menu proudly says “charcoal grilled skewers”. Although they’re known as the place for chicken sukiyaki that you can’t have in any other 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 Shinjuku station’s west exit, this veteran shop boasts of 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 Bld., 1-19-12 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
At this restaurant, if you had to say, then their teppan (iron griddle) dishes are the most popular. However, they can still boast about their yakitori which uses Koshu jidori chicken and is quite delicious. Their yakitori is the usual skewered meat served one by one, 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 eat things like the grilled spleen. Mostly everything costs ¥150 for 1. You can say that the price is exceptional this close to Shinjuku station. Lately, there has even been an increase in foreign tourists.
1-2-11 Nishishinjuku, 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