6 Kid-Friendly Lunch Restaurants Within a 5-Minute Walk From Shinjuku Station
Shinjuku is one of the most popular places to go to for tourists in Japan, with so many great places to go to condensed into this one area. There's an endless selection of food and drink establishments here, so picking a favorite among them is a daunting task. Tourists with children especially have a big responsibility as they have to check beforehand to make sure the establishment they want to go to is kid-friendly. With that in mind, here are some restaurants within a 5-minute walk from Shinjuku Station where you can take your children for lunch.
Jan 25 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
1. Kichiri Mollis Shinjuku [Shinjuku]
Bringing children along to an unfamiliar area is extremely stressful! “Kichiri Mollis Shinjuku” is just a minute’s walk from Shinjuku Station so you can get to it very easily. However, since it’s a restaurant very popular with mothers in Japan, it’s recommended to make a reservation in advance, especially for weekends or holidays.
This restaurant requires you to take off your shoes upon entering. There is only table seating here, so those not comfortable with sitting on the floor don't have to worry! The floor is covered in carpet so it’s safe for babies or toddlers to crawl around.
Their lunch menu has a wide variety of choices with dishes like “Local Hakata Salted Fried Chicken” (1,600 yen) or “Kichiri’s Deluxe Stewed Hamburg Steak Set" (1,800 yen)”, which is only available in limited quantities. Also, you can enjoy their “All-You-Can-Eat Bagna Càuda” lunch set which uses plenty of fresh vegetables. Their children’s menu has several kinds of dishes with selections like the lightly seasoned “KIDS☆Udon Lunch" (700 yen) or the “KIDS☆Pancake" (700 yen) which has cute characters drawn on it. It’s a great place for both adults and children!
You’ll need reservations while in Japan. See our writers’ top picks!
2. Latte chano-mama Isetan Shinjuku Branch [Shinjuku]
This is another restaurant in Shinjuku where moms often gather. They provide various services for both mothers and children. The mattress seats on the raised tatami floor has proper cushioning so you can lay down babies who can’t walk just yet. The restaurant is also quite spacious, so you can bring your baby stroller inside. Getting inside without waking up your sleeping child is something to be grateful for. Travelers with lots of luggage can also come here with no worries.
The dishes are nutritionally balanced and made with seasonal ingredients. Many of the dishes are arranged so that parents and children can eat their meals together. A particularly popular menu item is their “Garden Curry Rice" (2,180 yen) which uses only vegetables and has a great presentation. This is recommended for vegetarians or those who dislike eating meat. It comes with soup and the portions are quite large, so it’s a satisfying dish for just about anyone.
You can bring in your own baby food but they also have a well-thought out-menu (1,100 yen) prepared for babies. Registered dieticians carefully considered the right ingredients and consistency to match the age of the baby. It's very nutritionally balanced and such high quality that even adults will want to eat it, too. Since it incorporates locally-grown organic vegetables without any additives, dairy products or eggs, overseas visitors who may be concerned about not knowing what they’re eating can rest at ease.
3. Kakureya Koshitsu Kakurebou Oniwa Shinjuku [Shinjuku]
This restaurant has a Japanese-style interior with a calm and stylish atmosphere. It’s a great place to rest your tired body after shopping and sightseeing.
You can enjoy an all-you-can-eat Japanese food buffet during lunchtime with their “Lunch Buffet” option. They have 40 kinds of Japanese home-style dishes including tofu, grilled fish, boiled side dishes and much more. With such a large selection, you can enjoy Japanese food to your heart’s content. Children under 3 years can eat for free, so it’s beneficial all around.
The private rooms are also highly popular with moms, with their sunken kotatsu seating, spacious room, and view of the indoor pond. The seating charge ranges from 1,000 - 2,000 yen but you can eat leisurely without having to fuss too much over your children. Take note, however, that the room is limited to a maximum of 8 people.
4. Kisoji Shinjuku Sanchome Branch [Shinjuku]
At this restaurant, you can eat “Shabu Shabu” and “Sukiyaki”, which are some of Japan’s famous nabe (hot pot) dishes. The inside of the restaurant is extremely classy, and kimono-clad staff serve the customers. You can dine while experiencing Japan’s hospitality culture, omotenashi. There are both table seats and tatami room seats available here. You can bring in your baby strollers, and you can even lay down your child to sleep on the floor.
Their “Lunchtime Shabu Shabu" (3,456 yen) is a set menu item that comes with meat, vegetables, flat noodles and rice. Their “Lunchtime Sukiyaki” is also very popular. The prices for these differ based on the rank of meat so if it’s a bit confusing, be sure to inquire with the staff. In addition to the aforementioned lunchtime sets, they also have a lunch set that comes with sashimi, chawanmushi (savory egg custard), and dessert called “Ohiru Gozen", “Chopped Eel On Rice" (2,160 yen), and much more. Another great point is that they have menus available in English and Simplified Chinese.
They have a children’s menu that's particularly notable for the beautiful presentation and top-notch seasoning that you wouldn’t expect in a dish prepared for children. There are dishes like "Bonbori" (1,080 yen) which comes with fried shrimp, hamburg steak and sushi. There's also the "Okosama Gozen" (children’s meal) for 2,160 yen which can come in a set with chawanmushi and salad.
5. Mimiu Shinjuku Branch [Shinjuku]
Originated in Osaka, Mimiu Shinjuku Branch is a restaurant that offers "Udon Suki", seafood and vegetables cooked sukiyaki-style and served with udon noodles. The restaurant is always bustling with people who come with their children. There are completely private rooms with sunken kotatsu tables, so even with restless children you can pass the time without worrying.
Mimiu is most known for their udon suki. It’s made using soup that takes 2 hours and ingredients carefully selected from particular producing areas. Udon, vegetables, tofu, seafood and other greens are added to the pot with the lightly seasoned soup. It’s recommended to get this dish in the value set "Lunchtime Udon Suki" (2,500 yen), which comes with a small bowl of sides and a drink. You can easily portion it out, so it's great for eating with your children.
The attention grabber is the shrimp. The shrimp is added to the hot pot while they're still alive, which is a bit of a sad way of cooking it, but it’s definitely an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Since you can eat it extremely fresh, it’s definitely worth trying. It might also be quite a spectacle for children to see for the first time.
*This place closed down in 5, 2020.
6. Tokori Shinjuku Nowa Building Branch [Shinjuku]
Tokori Shinjuku Nowa Building Branch is a popular restaurant that has been featured by multiple media outlets. The meat offered at this restaurant is high-quality wagyu (Japanese beef). Not only is it delicious, it’s safe enough to even eat raw. Sometimes when you dine in other places, you can’t be sure what’s being used, so you’ll want to come to a restaurant like this one where you can see the care and attention to detail.
A service that you’ll be happy about is their “Veggieful Kanshiki Buffet”, a Korean-style buffet. The 2-hour buffet comes included when you order a main dish. In addition to a salad bar, they offer over 30 items including chijimi (savory Korean pancake), namul (seasoned vegetable dishes) and other standard Korean side dishes as well as drinks and dessert. What’s more, young children (preschool and under) can eat from the buffet without ordering a dish!
The seats are another reason why it’s such a popular place to bring along children. The first floor has a room specifically for parents and children called the “Oyako Room", which is just as spacious in size as a regular restaurant. There are chairs for children, as well as picture books, origami paper, notebooks for scribbling on, balloons and other toys to keep children from getting bored. You'll be surrounded entirely by parents and children, so the fact that you can enjoy your time here without worrying about bothering others makes it a big win for mothers!
Finding kid-friendly restaurants in Japan is not an easy task, but these 6 restaurants all offer spaces where both adults and children can enjoy themselves and have a relaxing time. Please feel free to refer to this article while you make your plans so that you can ensure your trip will be filled with good memories.
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.