by Kelly Wetherille
Sandwiched between Hibiya, Ginza, and Shimbashi, Yurakucho is an interesting mix of history, modern business, and casual entertainment. Many of Japan’s top companies call the area home, as well as several theaters, cinemas, and performance halls, including the modern Tokyo International Forum. But Yurakucho is also known for its boisterous nightlife, consisting mainly of izakaya and yakitori restaurants, all of which full up with salarymen on their way home from work in the evenings.
A popular izakaya with expats and Japanese salarymen alike, Andy’s is crowded and noisy, but the food is cheap and good, and the company friendly. Named after the chef, an expat himself, and located under the tracks of the Yamanote line, it’s the perfect place to go for a casual drink after work. It’s a Japanesestyle izakaya, but has a full English menu, making it perfect for tourists and short-term visitors. Try the buttered scallops and sashimi, which are both excellent value for money.
2-4-4 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku
The Beat Diner
The painting of the massive burger on the brick wall outside and the neon sign spelling out ‘beer’ should give you an idea of what to expect at this simple, friendly diner. ‘Beat’ stands for bacon, egg, avocado, and tomato, the toppings that make up the signature dish. Not for the faint of heart, the Beat Burger is a towering sandwich so intense that you’ll have no choice but to pick it apart and eat it in pieces—I don’t know anyone whose mouth is big enough otherwise.
2-1-13 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku
In a basement of one of the buildings facing Tokyo International Forum is a small French bistro that serves what my Brazilian friend calls “the best steak in Tokyo.” Seeing as Brazilians are renowned for their love of meat, I took his word for it and stopped by once when I was in the area; I wasn’t disappointed. The menu also includes salads, chicken, pork, steak fries, and an excellent selection of fine French wines.
3-3-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku