20 Affordable Must-Try Lunch Spots in the Extravagant Roppongi Area
Even within Japan's capital of Tokyo, Roppongi is an area particularly known for its luxurious atmosphere. Spots such as Midtown and Roppongi Hills bring to mind fashion and high class, so some people may also find it a bit intimidating to set foot in this area. This article introduces a selection of restaurants in Roppongi where, contrary to these expectations, you can enjoy a reasonable lunch!
May 27 2019 (Nov 25 2019)
4 Recommendations for Lunch in Roppongi Hills
Bairan Roppongi Hills
For those familiar with Yokohama Chinatown, "Bairan" is a famous restaurant where you can try the Bairan Yakisoba (fried noodles) in Roppongi Hills. From the moment you see this yakisoba, of which 5,000 plates are sold each day, it will be etched in your memory, that's just how strong of an impact it has! As you cut into the crunchy, disc-shaped yakisoba, a variety of vegetables coated in a thick sauce overflow from inside the yakisoba.
The Roppongi Hills restaurant seats 68, and is also pet-friendly as it features an open terrace where guests may sit with their pets and enjoy their meal. At lunchtime, aside from the Bairan Yakisoba, the regular menu also features items from Chinese cuisine such as Vegetable Tan Men (from the Chinese "Tang Mian", a stir-fried vegetable noodle soup) and Chin Jao Rosu (stir-fried bell peppers and beef) which cost less than 1,000 yen. Specialty sets are also provided which include salad, soup and Chinese-style almond jelly.
Vietnamese Pho Specialty Restaurant - Pho Pho
Pho Pho is a specialty restaurant serving up pho, a classic Vietnamese dish. As pho uses rice flour, this is the perfect restaurant for those following the gluten free diet which has gained attention recently, and health-conscious indviduals. Another excellent feature of this restaurant is that they offer "My Pho," which allows you to create your own pho choosing soup ingredients to suit how you feel that day.
Much like a convenience store, the inside of the restaurant is unpretentious, and there is only counter seating. Even people who are a little reluctant to have lunch out alone enter here without hesitation. On days where pho on its own isn't quite enough, why not pair it with one of the items from their side menu, such as Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Chicken Rice?
Cafe Restaurant Eggcellent
When it comes to a lovely interior and tasty lunch, Eggcellent has to be mentioned. Their dishes, which use fresh eggs straight from Yamanashi Prefecture, such as their pancakes and eggs benedict, make for a stylish, insta-worthy array. They also have a voluminous Deli Plate, which is sure to satisfy no matter how big your appetite.
They also have Deli Takeout - various salads topped with fried egg - so it also makes the perfect restaurant for people who need lunch at the office or on the go. They also sell irresistable sweet custard filled Egg Tarts, great to take home for that 3 o'clock snack.
Tsukemen Tetsu's tsukemen (dipping noodles) is recommended for people who want to eat noodles with an impact. You can eat here fairly reasonably, as the yakisoba is 780 yen and the tsukemen is 840 yen. You can upgrade to large or extra large at no extra cost, which is great!
You never grow bored of their variety of menu options, which also features seasonal limited-edition noodles. Complete with side menu items including their specialty Niku Okowa (sticky rice with meat) and Yude Gyoza (boiled gyoza), it can actually be hard to decide what to order.
4 Recommendations for Lunch in Midtown
HAL YAMASHITA Tokyo
Located in Midtown, HAL YAMASHITA Tokyo is a restaurant serving up a new culinary genre, "Shin-Washoku" (new Japanese-style cuisine), while using the best ingredients. The gorgeous table setting, complete with wine glass, gives the illusion of a French restaurant at first glance. There is also terrace seating from which you can look out over the beautiful garden while you enjoy your meal, so this restaurant is highly recommended for lunch on a special occasion.
This restaurant is a bit on the pricey side for lunch, but it is good for a celebratory meal you'd want to enjoy on occasions such as your birthday. They offer a line up that will make you feel at ease, such as Taichazuke (a dish of rice, sea bream, and tea) and Ozoni (a soup containing rice cakes and vegetables) which has been given a make over with white miso, a course which is likely to be enjoyed by everyone at the table. In addition, menu items such as deep-fried shrimp, hamburger, and specially-made Japanese leek tartare sauce, somehow reminiscent of an adult version of a child's lunch, are sure to excite.
Kayusakan Tocho is a new style of okayu (rice porridge) and noodle fast food restaurant. In line with the concept of "ishokudogen" (a balanced diet leads to a healthy body), they highly value having balanced meals and maintaining health. If you ate too much the day before, or feeling sick from a hangover, why not try a gentle lunch here?
The Kayusakan Set on the fast food style restaurant menu consists of your choice of meal, side, and drink. In addition to mains such as Sanra Tan Men (hot and sour noodle soup) and Yurinchi Don (Rice bowl with Chinese-style fried chicken topped with spring onions, vinegar, and soy sauce), you can choose from items which contain ingredients gentle to the body, such as Shrimp, Spring Onion, and Ginger Okayu and Chicken and Shiitake Mushroom Okayu.
Tori Sanwa is a restaurant specialising in chicken dishes made using meat from Nagoya Cochin, one of Japan's three major free-range traditional pedigree chicken breeds, which also includes the Akita Hinai chicken and the Kagoshima Satsuma chicken. Their Oyako Don (chicken and egg rice bowl), which uses not only Nagoya Cochin meat but also eggs, is the restaurant's most famous dish.
The desserts made with Nagoya Cochin eggs are also exquisite. Other than pudding which might come to mind first as a dessert made using eggs, they have Custard Soft Serve, a rich soft serve ice cream, which you can enjoy with a variety of toppings. You'll definitely want to try this after lunch.
Tempura Yamanoue Roppongi
At Tempura Yamanoue Roppongi, you can always enjoy a fairly indulgent tempura lunch for a reasonable price. Here you can enjoy the taste of the prestigious Yamanoue Hotel in Kanda-Surugadai, which is said to have started out as a hotel offering tempura. Their classic Ten Don (tempura rice bowl), such as the Ebi (shrimp) Ten Don and Kakiage (mixed vegetable and seafood tempura) Ten Don are all superb.
Of course, in addition to Ten Don they also have Tempura Teishoku (set meal), from which you can choose A, B, or C according to your preferred ingredients and budget. The tempura made by thoughtfully frying the fresh ingredients purchased that morning one by one will have you smacking your lips.
4 Recommended Buffets for Lunch
French Kitchen, located in Roppongi's Grand Hyatt Tokyo, is the place to be to enjoy a weekend lunch buffet. As the buffet uses seasonal ingredients, the theme changes periodically, so every time you go there you can experience a different buffet.
Savory buffet menu items include sandwiches and quiches, so there is no need to worry when dining out with people who aren't too fond of sweet foods. One of the buffets attractions is the wide choice of drinks to suit your meal and mood, which includes alcohol, numerous varieties of black tea and herbal tea.
Chinaroom is a Chinese restaurant also located in the Grand Hyatt Tokyo. The buffet has a pleasant ordering system which enables you to eat hot dishes while they are hot and cold dishes while they are cold. On weekends and public holidays, in addition to the buffet there is a Hong Kong-style dim sum selection. Enjoy your meal while feeling as though you're really in Hong Kong.
This is a sumptuous experience in which you can eat what you like from around 20 different types of dim sum. Since it's a buffet, there's no need for the budget-conscious to worry about the cost. Each dim sum is thoughtfully prepared using high class ingredients such as swallow's nest and truffle to satisfy both your stomach and your soul.
RIO GRANDE GRILL Roppongi
Rio Grande Grill is an authentic churrasco (Brazillian barbecue) buffet. You may not be very familiar with Brazillian cuisine but the churrasco dipped in the specialty sauce after grilling the skewered meat to perfection over a charcoal fire is especially delicous! You won't want to miss it.
One of the highlights is the lively spectacle as the large skewered meat and shrimp main dishes are served up. Another good point is that the buffet corner also provides a bounty of salads, fruits, and desserts, so despite being a buffet you can still eat a well balanced meal.
Azabu Niku Bar CICCIO
At Azabu Niku Bar CICCIO you can experience a buffet of roast beef, cured ham, sausage, raclette cheese, and baguette. An extremely popular all-you-can-eat roast beef such as this certainly feels extravagant. The pricing is somewhat irregular, as they charge 980 yen for women and 1,480 yen for men.
This is reasonably priced even for a buffet, so it's also highly recommended for students. There are 38 seats in the extensive table seating, so it can also be enjoyed by large groups. There is also an huge selection of wine on offer, so why not have a glass of wine to go with the delicious meat while you're at it?
4 Recommendations for a Japanese-style Lunch in Roppongi
Kasumitei Matsubara is a Japanese-style restaurant offering seasonal ingredients prepared with highly refined culinary skills. In addition to counter seating there are also individual dining rooms. Here you can have your meal in a peaceful atmosphere. As the lunch is comparatively reasonable, it's perfect for a meal with someone important.
There are three types of meal to choose from on the lunch menu: the Kasumitei Meal, the Kuroge Wagyu Steak Meal, and the Chef's Choice Lunch Meal. All three are beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. As it is a popular restaurant, it is recommended to make a reservation before going to this restaurant.
Sohonke Sarashina Horii Honten
Why not try some soba (buckwheat noodles) if you're after Japanese-style food in the Roppongi area? Sohonke Sarashina Horii Honten is a veteran soba restaurant that was established way back in 1789. The Iro Kawari (color changing) Soba is the specalty of this restaurant and is imued with a sense of the four seasons of Japan.
In addition to the pure white Sarashina Soba which goes down well, there is also the Futouchi Soba which is chewy and really allows you to taste the flavour of soba, so you could also try both and compare. In colder weather, there are also plenty of hot menu items such as the pleasant Kake Soba (soba in hot broth) and Kamo Nanban (kake soba topped with fresh duck).
Kayanoya Tokyo Midtown
This is a restaurant run by Kayanoya, famous for its Kayanoya dashi (Japanese soup stock). Most of their stores just sell Kayanoya products, but you can also have a meal at this store. Additionally, as it is counter seating, even customers dining alone will be able to enter carefree.
The menu centers around soups such as Kyushu Tonjiru (pork soup) and Seasonal Soup, brought to life by the deliciousness of the dashi. There is also a Children's Tonjiru Set, so feel at ease if bringing children along. It goes without saying that they sell the most comforting items of Japanese cuisine - rice and miso.
Even in Roppongi you can enjoy TsuruTonTan, a restaurant famous for its udon (thick wheat noodles) with an unforgettable flavor. This restaurant has become extremely popular for the way it uses much-loved Japanese ingredients like mentaiko (spicy pollack roe) and yuba (dried beancurd).
A good point about this restaurant is that you can choose not only the flavor of the udon, but also the thickness and weight, so you can customize it according to your personal preference. The Roppongi restaurant has menu items such as the Udon Lunch, limited to weekdays, and the Udon Meal, limited to weekends and public holidays, so you can try a lunch that you might otherwise not get to taste.
4 Recommended Restaurants for Dates in the Roppongi Area
Pizzeria-Trattoria Napule, which has its main store in Aoyama, is a restaurant famous for its rave reviews by Italians visiting Japan, who have said the pizza here is just as delicious as the stuff back home. Each and every dish is a masterpiece crafted using organic ingredients imported from Italy.
The restaurant's menu highlight, the Margherita Pizza, is one dish you definitely need to try. There is also terrace seating, so when the weather is nice, be sure to enjoy your meal outdoors where you can take in the fresh air. There is a row of sakura (cherry) trees in front of the terrace, so if you come here in Spring you really feel like you're living the high life at this restaurant where you can eat Italian food while doing hanami (cherry blossom viewing).
The Lobby Lounge
Located in the Ritz Carlton Tokyo, The Lobby Lounge is spacious and luxuroius. This is a popular lounge to go for tea or a meal, and ladies are sure to be delighted by the afternoon tea served on classic, three-tier trays.
In addition to afternoon tea, they also provide various menu items such as the Ritz Carlton Burger and Cream of Mushroom Penne, so you can choose whatever suits you and your date's fancy.
DAL-MATTO Roppongi Hills
This is the Roppongi Hills store of the famous Nishi Azabu restaurant, DAL-MATTO. The Cold Pasta, which uses seasonal fruits, is a pasta dish that has drawn a crowd due to its lovely appearance. The tender Round Steak, made from A5 rank Yamagata beef, is one of the most popular dishes on the menu.
On weekends and public holidays, and weekdays of course, they have a Chef's Choice Lunch Course. Consisting of assorted appetizers, pasta, main dish, and dolce (dessert), this is an indulgent course which is sure to satisfy. The private, partitioned table seating makes this an ideal restaurant for a date.
Cuccina Italiana Aria
In a prime location, just a 3-minute walk from Roppongi station, Cuccina Italiana Aria is a famous Italian restaurant which has even been featured in the media. Greeted by an archway of foliage when you first arrive, there's no doubt that this restaurant will bring some excitement to your date from the time you set foot inside.
Even among the many dishes on the menu, the Fresh Pasta brings together that which you can't try anywhere else, not only the springy texture of the fresh pasta, but also the unique sauce which uses cured fish. They also have a lunch-only all-you-can-drink wine option, making this an irresistable restaurant for a couple of wine lovers.
You Really Can Enjoy an Unexpectedly Reasonable Lunch in the Roppongi Area
Despite your expectations about lunch in Roppongi, which has this image of being an upmarket area, you can be carefree and have good time here. The culinary possibilities are endless, and there are many restaurants where you can dine alone or with a group of friends. Next time you're on holiday, use this article as your guide and go out for lunch in Roppongi.
Header credit: XIAOHANG LUO/Shutterstock.com
Translated and republished with permission from: SPIRA (formerly known as Relux Magazine)
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.