Everyone likes rooftop bars. Sipping a cocktail outdoors on top of a tall building is so classy, refreshing, and—especially in big cities—gives you that awesome “I’m on top of the world” feeling. While rooftop establishments are loved by all, cheapos typically avoid heights for a simple reason: they come at a price. Take for example the 3,000-yen price tag for the simple trip up Tokyo Skytree. But forget the Skytree, we’ve got Hacienda del Cielo—the perfect summertime rooftop hangout with a killer view and great Mexican fare.
Hacienda del Cielo: How to Get There, Where to Sit
Thanks to a friend of mine who lived in the area, I was introduced to this relatively hidden place in Dankiyamacho—just a 15-minute walk from Shibuya Station. Finding this place while just walking around is almost impossible though: it’s in a random office building, on the 9th floor, through a small and hidden entrance. But once you’re in (or on?), it’s quality Shibuya vibes as far as drinking spots go.
Now, I don’t think I need to tell you that this is not the place to get beer at OK-Supermarket prices. However “cheap” is a relative concept, so considered what you get for your money, this place is quite reasonable.
The view is absolutely breathtaking: you can take in the Minato skyline in all its glory, with of course Tokyo Tower and Mori Tower leading the scene. If you want one of the best tables (facing east), you should book a bit in advance, but just showing up and getting a random table is nice as well. The best ones inside are the 6-seaters close to the windows, while outside you’ve got a few options: couples can get comfortable sofa-benches, while groups of various sizes will be accommodated between counter tables with stools, beach-like sofas and a large squared separate area around a fire (feels like camping).
Food and Drinks
Yes, the view is important, but let’s not forget why we go to bars. Hacienda del Cielo, as the name might suggest, is not your usual izakaya, but rather a Mexican joint. Surprisingly enough, the staff (Japanese, of course) is generally able to speak a little Spanish. But if you’re not particularly talented in either of those languages, rest assured an English menu is available.
The food is tasty and the menu offers good variety to satisfy your Mexican cravings. You can choose between “platos” (500 yen) and “platillos” (300 yen), which include chile con carne, Mexican chorizo, quesadillas, to mention just a few, or larger dishes like nachos or papa fritas in medium or large servings. Generally, from a quantity/price ratio perspective, it’s better to get the larger size. (Keep in mind most dishes are supposed to be shared anyways!)
Assuming you will be thirsty as well, the way to go is with one of the “Salud” Original Cocktails for just 500 yen (Bellini, Bahia Breeze, Red Eye Picante are just a few of your choices). Imported beers come for about the same price. Large groups will have the cheapo edge while ordering a large pitcher of mojito, rather than buying by the glass. And lastly, rum enthusiasts have a decent selection to choose from—but unfortunately it’ll be more expensive than other drinks.
Tips and tricks
A full-on dinner at Hacienda del Cielo might cost you quite a bit, especially if you go for the quality beef they offer. In the evening, it’s best to go just for drinks with an order of some of the smaller plates, which in total will hardly cost more than 2,000-2,500 yen overall.
The cheapo way to go about getting a decent meal is to go there for lunch. Sets are served for 1,000 yen, and include a main course, soup, salad and a soft drink. For 1,500 yen you can get a premium set (“holiday lunch”, but don’t worry, it’s not served on just holidays), with better meat selection (“Arrachera al Chipotle” highly recommended) and an appetizer included.
Well, it goes without saying that the best season to go for a rooftop bar is not winter, so enjoy Hacienda del Cielo while it’s hot!