Choco Ball – or more correctly, ‘Choko Boru’ is what it says on the pack – a box of chocolate balls for a mere 70 to 74yen. Although there isn’t a ‘salty’ flavour (South Park reference: check) there is a big variety of flavours including Peanuts, Caramel, Strawberry, Potato and ‘Pachipachi’. As with Tirol chocolate, [...]November 18, 2013 -
Sometimes eating needs to be about more than just sustaining yourself. At its best, it can be a complete sensory experience – leaving lasting memories and an urge to return as soon as possible. With this in mind, lunch at Scorpione Stazione in Yurakucho for 1,100yen is quite special. This isn’t just another pasta chain [...]October 28, 2013 -
OK, let’s start with the obvious – none of these are technically ‘beer’. Under Japan’s anachronistic liquor taxing laws, drinks with a high malt content (ie. beer) are taxed at a higher rate. The consequence is what you see above – new classes of drinks that approximate beer but skirt the rules so that they [...]October 25, 2013 -
This is the Cheapo Golden Rule for eating out in Tokyo. Even the most famous restaurants have great lunch deals – so take advantage of them. Dinner on the other hand is always pricey, so go to the consistently cheap places in the evening.
Unless you’re on a low carbohydrate diet, you can rarely go wrong with noodles for a cheapo lunch or dinner. Places like Sanuki Udon Hanamaru which serve Udon (wheat flour noodles) are the cheapest and a great option if you’re in a hurry and you need to eat. Ramen and Soba are the other major types that you’ll come across. The varieties are and combinations are endless. Onigiri are another great, healthy, cheapo staple available from every convenience store and supermarket in the land.
Sushi and other particular kinds of Japanese cooking are generally a bit pricier than noodles, but there are options which provide good value at a reasonable price. Ootoya is a great place to get a hearty Japanese ‘teishoku’.
For food, Tokyo is as cosmopolitan as anywhere in the world. French and Italian have the longest history in Japan and consequently there are a lot of places serving these cuisines. For cheap, tasty pasta, places like La Boheme are a good bet.
Izakayas (Japanese style pubs with food) usually have the cheapest drinks, but keep in mind you’ll pay a seating charge, so for 1 or 2 drinks a bar might be better value. Although you may find ‘standing bars’ with prices as low as 300yen for a standard drink, most of them cost quite a bit more. The advantage over an Izakaya is that you can actually meet and interact with your fellow customers – something that can be a little more difficult to do at an izakaya. Most clubs will have an entrance fee of a few thousand yen with one or two drinks thrown in. Look out for some good deals though – like this drinking all night deal.