Halfway between a meeting and grabbing a coffee, a business lunch is a tricky realm to venture into, and in Tokyo, finding the right spot is crucial.
With busy schedules and long hours, the business lunch is one of the final nails in the coffin of free time in Tokyo’s working day—but it doesn’t have to be awful. Environment is everything, and a relaxed chat in a nice cafe is much better for you (and your meeting outcomes) than shouting across a too-small table in a smoky, low-rate lunch spot. Champions of the affordable lunch, we have scoured our business minds to find the best places for a great meeting. Whether you need wifi for an impromptu work example, or want a private room—we’ve got you covered. Taking for granted you want to be near the station, easy to find, ideally no-smoking and no risk of fried-food stench to pervade your suits for days, let’s get started!
Shunju (Shibuya) | Smart | ¥ ¥
Cards accepted | No-smoking areas | Wifi | Under 10 mins from Shibuya | Group tables
With larger communal tables, armchairs and counter-side seats, you can take your pick here depending on the meeting. Shunju has a lunch course menu for ¥2,500 if you’re looking to impress, or single dishes for between ¥1,000 and ¥1,200 with traditional dishes including soba and grilled fish options. There’s a great salad buffet with homemade mayo and miso and vegetarian options available if you ask the staff. You can make reservations online if you want to guarantee a spot. This is definitely a good spot if you think the meeting is leaning towards lunch over business, and is great if you’re looking for a more serious location. Lunch is served from 11:30am – 2:30pm
Katsura Sushi (Tsukiji) | Smart | ¥
Cards accepted | No smoking | 200m from Tsukiji Station | Group tables | Free private rooms
For a smart and traditional lunch meeting, head to Katsura in Tsukiji for high-quality sushi in private room. Keeping it simple, Katsura is perfect for an old fashioned meeting—no whipping out your laptop, just good, uninterrupted conversation with great sushi to keep you going. A private room is available at no extra cost but you may want to call ahead and reserve to guarantee you get one. Sets start at a very reasonable ¥950 for 9 pieces of nigiri sushi and one maki, or you can bump it up with an extra two nigiri for ¥1,050. If you want to make a good impression and enjoy your lunch at the same time—this is the one. Lunch is served between 11:30am and 2pm.
See our full Katsura review here.
Le Bar a Vin 52 (Azabu Juban) | Smart Casual | ¥ ¥
Cards accepted | No smoking | 115m from Azabu-Juban Station | Group tables | Private rooms
A trendy Italian-style wine bar, this joint is actually owned by the Seijo Ishii chain and is a great joint if you want some nice wine with your lunch to help the conversation flow… Serving simple Italian dishes, but more than just spaghetti (luckily) their lunch sets start at ¥1,000, but there is also a good a-la-carte menu available too.
There are larger shared tables as well as plenty of 2-seater tables and private rooms available too. The best spot, though, is probably the small sofa-like seated tables for 4 by the window. Great for a more casual meetup, make the most of sharing dishes and snacks. Lunch reservations can be made online up to three days in advance, but for shorter notice please call. They also have branches in Yokohama and Kameyacho.
Fab Cafe (Shinsen) | Casual | ¥
Cards accepted | No-smoking areas | 115m from Shinsen Station | Group tables | Wifi
If you’re after a more relaxed and creative vibe but still need to eat, Fab Cafe has it all—from tasty sandwiches to 3D printers. The layout is airy, bright and very modern, making it great for a more casual chat over food or a group meeting. The food menu is substantial with main dishes, salads and sandwiches, starting from around ¥850.
They have free wifi, power outlets under tables and also take reservations if you call ahead. Menus have English which is great if you don’t want to look flummoxed by an all-Japanese menu after you’ve possibly over-exaggerated your language skills…
Access note: FabCafe is in the Shibuya area and only a 10-min walk from the Shibuya Station, but much closer to Shinsen Station on the Keio Inokashira line.
Yanmo Grill (Yurakucho) | Smart | ¥ ¥
Cards accepted | No smoking | 270m from Yurakucho Station | Group tables | Private rooms
Well known among the salarymen of the area, Yanmo serves up freshly caught and grilled fish from the Izu Peninsula in delicious and affordable lunch sets. Although dinner prices leap above ¥8,000, for lunch you can enjoy the same high-quality catches without the high costs. The restaurant is classy and the service is impeccable without being intrusive, so you can hold a more serious business meeting here without interruption. Lunch sets are all under ¥1,400, but the menu is only in Japanese—so check our article for some info on what to pick!
The only downside is that if you are planning to have the lunch set, you cannot make reservations, but the wait shouldn’t be too long. The private rooms seat between 4-6 people and require a reservation, they also have a tatami seating area. Lunch is served between 11:30am and 2pm with last order at 1:30pm. There is a service charge of 10%.
Cicada (Aoyama) | Smart | ¥ ¥ ¥
Cards accepted | No smoking | 250m from Omotesando Station | Group tables | Private rooms
With some curious atmospheric descriptions including “colonial European ambiance” and “mysterious Asian feel”, Cicada is a tad pretentious, but nonetheless a very smart meeting place. Perfect for a wine-and-dine meeting where you need to impress, Cicada is fancy. Take your pick from the chilled pool-side area to the more meeting-suited booth seats to enjoy your Mediterranean lunch.
The lunchtime menu has mezze plates starting from ¥1,800, pasta lunch from ¥1,500 and a lunch course menu for ¥3,800. Reservations can be made online or by phone and the private room available seats between 6-8 people. There is a ¥3,000charge for the private room on weekday lunchtimes though.
It is the pricier option from our list, sure, but this is a great option to have up your sleeve if you need to impress, as it’s smart, relaxed and the food is great. Lunch is served from 11:30am to 3pm.
Downstairs Coffee (Nogizaka) | Smart Casual | ¥ – ¥ ¥
Cards accepted | No smoking | 2 mins from Nogizaka Station | Group tables | Power sockets
Perfect if you’re looking for somewhere bright, breezy and with plenty of space, Downstairs Coffee has a light lunch menu at very affordable prices. The room is light and smart, with communal tables and smaller ones too, with power points available and wifi if you sign up.
Sandwiches are around ¥650 with cold plates of meat and fish costing ¥750. You can opt for the set meal if you need something slightly more filling, as it comes with a drink and gourmet chips (crisps not fries btw) or a side salad. A kind of relaxed workspace, most people here are on laptops and working, so it has a pretty smart atmosphere, and is easy well suited to having a casual meeting.
If you want to make things more formal, there is the Upstairs—a restaurant which serves lunch from 11am to 2:30pm and accepts reservations. Lunches here start under ¥1,000 for pizza and pasta, ¥1,000 for the salad lunch, and ¥1,500 for a wagyu beef burger, as well as a course option for ¥2,800.