Kichijoji (吉祥寺) is a lovely little neighborhood on the West side of Tokyo, situated on the Chuo, Sobu and Inokashira lines. It’s a refreshing break from the business-oriented madness of downtown Tokyo and boasts a truly bewildering range of amenities, labyrinthine shopping malls, FIVE STARBUCKS and one of the best parks in Tokyo. With so much shopping, nature and bemusement abound, you’re likely going to want to save your money for little trinkets and fashion goodies, or even Inokashira Zoo. Fortunately there are a few delicious AND cheapo options for a top lunch in Kichijoji. We begin our countdown with:
3. Stamina Ramen Nobu Chan (スタミナラーメンのぶちゃん)
A little bit north-east of the Sun Road shopping arcade, this old-school ramen place is a hidden gem if you like a hearty, tasty ramen that doesn’t leave you feeling like a Blues Brothers stuntman. For 500 yen there’s a disarming array of dishes on sale, including Curry ramen（カレーラメン), Sapporo Ramen (サッポロ）and Wantan-men (ワンタンメン). Our Cheapo recommendation is the Wantan-men, a shouyu-based ramen with a kind of soft pork dumpling on top.
The decor isn’t the brightest and most of the Japanese reviewers say it’s a bit of a locals’ place and so they reckon it a bit stuffy and unfashionable, but hey, you’re a drifter, rolling in and hightailing it outta there riding the stallion of financial justice… it ain’t no thang.
Address: 1-18-18 Kichijōji Higashichō, Musashino-shi, Tōkyō-to 180-0002
Price range: 500- 600 yen
2. Garage 50
Garage 50 is nestled amidst the back alleys on the north side of town. The concept of this place is rather delightful, the owner of the family-run business has cut the roof off a VW camper and fashioned it into a little kitchen where he crafts some seriously gorgeous pizzas, all for 500 yen! It’s a very chilled place with a minimalist, retro decor and a warm ambiance. You often hear some great music here, the Roman style thin-crust pizza is always fresh and you can get take out if you wanna eat elsewhere…. supporting a local, family-run business has never been cooler! *Closed on Mondays
Address: 1-23-5 Kichijōji Honchō, Musashino-shi, Tōkyō-to 180-0004
Price range: All pizzas 500 yen
1. Guru Guru Kebab
Life doesn’t get much sweeter than this for 500 yen, the proprietor is super-friendly and the chicken kebabs are so delicious you might cry into your pita bread. Coming all the way from Turkey to Japan and setting up a business is no easy feat, so it’s great to see that this haven for the hungry has already won over the hearts of the locals, often resulting in some fabulous photos.
This humble kebab shack is located conveniently near Kichijoji Station’s North Exit. From the exit, walk right, past the police office, cross the road and continue walking straight. You’ll find Guru Guru Kebab on the right hand side of the road. And whilst there might not be much in the way of seating, the tastiness and the awesomeness of it all is sure to satisfy. There is a bench that seats one person, but it’s only 30 seconds walk from the station’s North Exit chill-out area. Or, alternatively you can stride gallantly into Inokashira Park (about a 5-minute walk), find a bench and watch everyone try and conceal their ravenous kebab-lust.
(Note that Guru Guru Kebab is currently closed on Mondays, but starting Nov. 10, 2015 it will be closed on Tuesdays instead)
Address: 1F, 2-1-10 Kichijōji Minamichō, Musashino-shi, Tōkyō
Price range: 500 yen