A Must-Try for This Summer - "Empty-Handed BBQ" in Tokyo!
"Empty-handed BBQ" refers to restaurants that let you barbecue without having to make any prior preparations such as renting equipment or buying ingredients. You also don't have to clean up when you're done, so it's very popular in Japan! You can even go on a whim if the weather is nice! All of these barbecue places are within Tokyo, so please try this slightly different style of BBQ while you're visiting!
Aug 10 2017 (Sep 09 2020)
What's "Empty-Handed BBQ"?
As it name suggests, you can enjoy a BBQ experience without needing to prepare anything! Just turn up at the restaurant! You don't have to deal with the hassle of buying ingredients or cleaning up. It's really popular among Japanese people. The weather looks great for a BBQ? Just do it! Since there are few green spaces in the city, the use of rooftops as BBQ spots has also been increasingly popular in recent times. Check out the list of recommendations for Tokyo below. Enjoy a BBQ under the warm sun in the day, or a trendy BBQ experience in the cool evening breeze. Give the urban BBQ experience a try!
*Set and free-flow drink prices listed are for 1 person.
1.Italian BBQ Carvino (Suidobashi)
Italian BBQ Carvino is a restaurant with a Toscana grill concept where you can enjoy Italian-style BBQ on an open terrace. The BBQ course options go for 4,500 yen, 5,500 yen or 6,500 yen. The wine has been carefully selected by the sommelier to match the food like the luxurious T-bone steak that allows you to savor both the sirloin and the filet mignon to uncured ham from Italy. You can get a bottomless drinks for 3 hours at 1,500 yen. You can make reservations 3 days in advance for a minimum of 4 people. Tokyo Dome City is just next to the restaurant, so it's a perfect place to dine after shopping or visiting the attractions there!
2. Cafe;Haus Garden BBQ (Toyosu)
The Garden BBQ at Cafe;Haus is a BBQ that you can enjoy in the garden area of the cafe. It's located just 5 minutes by train from Ginza. There's a variety of plans you can choose from. There are 4 plans including the Casual Plan (4,980 yen plus tax) that comes with 3 drinks, the 2-hour All-You-Can-Drink Plan (5,980 yen plus tax) and the Executive Plan (10,000 yen plus tax) that includes a professional BBQ instructor who will come and help you with your BBQ. You'll get ingredients like a 2 cm thick steak or chicken thigh in additional to generous helpings of vegetables. They've got tents set up so it's not an issue even if it rains! It's in the cafe's garden, so the area is clean too! Do note that reservations need to be made at least 3 days in advance.
3. Roppongi Ark Hills South Tower Rooftop Lounge (Roppongi Itchome)
This is a trendy BBQ space located at Ark Hills South Tower, Roppongi Itchome. There are 2 BBQ menu options here - the Casual BBQ Course (4,300 yen) and the Premium BBQ Course (6,000 yen). If you pay an additional 2,000 yen, you can enjoy a free flow of drinks for 2 hours. The drinks include 6 types of bottled red and white wines. Carefully selected meats and vegetables are used for the BBQ here. The Premium BBQ Course comes with luxurious items like Black Truffle Fries and Coconut Blancmange! There's even a plan for those who want to bring their own meat (2-hour time limit, minimum of 2 diners)! Costing 3,300 yen, the bring-your-own option comes with 6 appetizers. You can also make a la carte alcohol orders. The view from the rooftop is gorgeous! Why don't you stop by the nearby Tokyo Tower after your meal?
4. Mori No Beer Garden (Shimanomachi)
Mori No Beer Garden is the largest BBQ place in the city! It can accommodate 1,000 people! Out of that, 700 seats are set aside for reservations while the remaining 300 are for walk-in customers. If you're here for the all-you-can-eat food and drink option, you'll need to make a reservation ahead of time (same-day reservations are not accepted) and make payment on the day itself (4,200 yen for adult men and 3,900 yen for adult women). Reservations can be made for a minimum of 2 people and there are no cancellation charges.
Pictured above is the popular "Most Squeezed Frozen Draft" (720 yen, tax included). Part of the drinks menu for the a la carte seats (it is not available for the all-you-can-eat option), the refreshingly cold beer is perfect in summer! There's no time limit for a la carte customers to finish their meal. Visit early on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays if you're hoping to head for the a la carte option without making reservations. Open for 32 years since 1984, Mori No Beer Garden is a must-visit!
5. Jinnanken Beer Garden (Shibuya)
Jinnanken is just a 3-minute walk from Shibuya Station. Enjoy the BBQ Original Pork marinated in homemade miso and red wine, spicy chicken or skirt steak in the open rooftop terrace. For the sets, you can pick from the Casual BBQ Set (2,700 yen, tax included) and the Rooftop BBQ Course (4,980 yen, tax included) that comes with 2 hours of free-flow drinks. For an additional 800 yen, you can upgrade your Rooftop BBQ Course to include a free flow of meat! How about enjoying some BBQ on the rooftop of this building right in the heart of Shibuya?
6. BBQ Terrace Ablaze (Daiba)
Located on the 2nd floor of the Hilton Hotel Tokyo Odaiba, Ablaze offers gorgeous panorama views of the Tokyo Bay, Tokyo Tower, the Rainbow Bridge, and other Tokyo landmarks as you enjoy your BBQ. The night view is especially breathtaking! The costs for the course meals are 4,230 yen for weekday lunch and 5,400 yen for weekend lunch. For dinner, you can pick from the 7,020 yen course or the 8,640 yen course. The dining time is fixed at 2 hours. As you'd expect from a meal in a hotel, there's premium beef, but you'll also find many other premium items like grilled white fish and persimmon and shiitake mushrooms fried in garlic oil. You can also order from the a la carte menu. Get a taste of this high-class and sophisticated BBQ!
7. Ryogoku Barbecue Garden (Ryogoku)
This BBQ space is easily accessible given its location at the Hirokoji open space that's directly connected to Ryogoku Station. You're free to bring your own food and drinks so you can enjoy a BBQ however you like. To use the facility, it costs 1,944 yen per adult and 1,080 yen per child (up to 12 years old). If you make a reservation in advance, you can also order the Ingredient Set (for a minimum of 2 people) at 1,598 yen per person. You can also make a la carte orders of cow's tongue (100g), chicken thigh (100g), Porco Pig Kalbi Steak (100g), and other items at 500 yen per item (depending on availability). All-you-can-drink is available at 1,620 yen for 3 hours. If you're only having soft drinks, it'll cost only 324 yen.
The Ryogoku Kokushikan is just next to the Ryogoku Barbecue Garden. It's a popular sightseeing spot where you can take in some sumo action! If you're lucky, you might spot a sumo wrestler or two! Come here if you want to catch some sumo wrestling and enjoy some BBQ!
8. Ryogoku Terrace (Ryogoku)
You can enjoy BBQ in an open environment at the Ryogoku Terrace. Located just next to the old Yasuda Garden, along the Sumida River, it's a nice area filled with greenery. There are 3 different types of BBQ sets. Taste the Japanese-style bulgogi with toasted pita bread, grilled vegetables with bagna cauda, and bone-in short ribs. There are a total of 6 types of meats available. The cheapest option comes at 4,800 yen (with 90-minute all-you-can-drink) - it's a great bargain! For an extra 1,080 yen, you can add seafood including scallops and shrimp. Reservations are for a minimum of 4 people and dining time is 2 hours. Want to stick around for a bit longer? Get an extension for 2,000 yen! Take a stroll along the Sumida River after your delicious BBQ!
9. City Farm Barbecue Terrace (Daiba)
City Farm Barbecue Terrace is a BBQ space in a rooftop farm! Even though it's on a rooftop, it's a nice open space that can accommodate up to 500 people. There's even a nice sea breeze! it costs 2,160 yen per adult and 1,080 yen per child (up to 12 years old) for use of the facility. It's okay to bring your own food and drinks! If you reserve in advance, you can also order BBQ ingredients. There's a good variety of ingredients to pick from. There are 8 sets, and 26 a la carte items! The Manly Meat Platter 1kg (2,678 yen) is highly recommended. You get a generous helping of food so you can be sure to fill your stomach with this! Drop by if you're going to Odaiba!
10. Canal Cafe (Iidabashi)
Canal Cafe is normally an Italian restaurant standing in the waters of the Kanda River. In summer, you can enjoy authentic Italian BBQ on the waterfront deck. Available by reservation only, you can enjoy the BBQ at 6,800 yen per person with free flow drinks (beer and wine included for 2.5 hours). Reservations are for a minimum of 8 people. At Canal Cafe, you can also rent a boat for 600 yen for 30 mins and enjoy your meal on the boat! Since is located on the water, it's cool even if you're barbecuing in the hot summer! This is a great place to try a BBQ that's elegant!
11. Shirokane Imakara (Shirokanedai)
Shirokane Imakara is a dining bar located along Platinum Street in Shirokane, the town of celebrities. You can enjoy BBQ all year round in the bright and open terrace. The terrace is covered, so you can go ahead with your BBQ even if it rains. Cook your A5-rank Japanese Black beef, pork, duck, lamb, and other premium meats on your personal grill at 3,456 yen. Lunch costs just 2,500 yen! Reservations are for a minimum of 2 people and can be made at least 3 days in advance. There's a bar counter in the restaurant as well so you can enjoy a leisurely drink after the BBQ! Why don't you give this trendy BBQ in Shirokane a go?
In recent years, "empty-handed BBQ" has been gaining popularity in the city where there's little greenery. There's no need to prepare, no need to clean up nor is there a need to bring any ingredients. It's great to enjoy a nice BBQ under the warm summer sun or in the cooling evening breeze! The recommended restaurants are all easily accessible so they're good options for a BBQ after sight-seeing!
*Set and free-flow drink prices listed are for 1 person.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.