Formerly the site of the Yebisu Beer Factory, Ebisu is now a fashionable and upscale district, located in the Shibuya ward. The name "Ebisu" was derived from Yebisu Beer and the district is home to the Museum of Yebisu Beer, but Ebisu is known for much more than beer nowadays. Today, Ebisu boasts a popular art scene, trendy cafes, and tasty little eateries and restaurants. From tiny retro izakayas bars to yakitori joints and ramen, find out where to eat in Ebisu in this food guide.
With the Sapporo Breweries headquarters, Yebisu Garden Place Tower featuring eateries with stunning views, and Château Restaurant Joël Robuchon with Michelin-starred restaurants, Ebisu is a must-visit destination for foodies. This laid-back area also has a thriving dining and bar scene that will appeal to the younger crowd, like the vibrant Ebisu Yokocho drinking alley. It's no wonder this popular residential area is so commonly frequented by expats.
Where to Eat in Ebisu
1. Ebisu Yokocho
Ebisu Yokocho is a retro drinking street that houses around 20 tiny food stalls that offer kushikatsu (deep-fried kebabs), yakitori, oden, okonomiyaki, seafood and more; each stall decorated with its own special flair. Park yourself on a wooden milk crate and enjoy the variety of Ebisu Yokocho's Japanese street foods alongside whisky highballs and beer. The street food stalls start serving up their fare around 5:00 p.m., but things really get hopping around 8:00 p.m. The izakayas here stay open late, some even into the wee hours of the morning.
Saiki is a tiny, old-school izakaya that has been around since 1948, serving small plates ranging from aji-furai (fried fish) to sashimi. Other notable dishes include their crunchy veggies with red miso dip and the tempura set which includes deep fried ginger root. Note that they have a mandatory minimum table charge of ¥1,300 which comes with 3 appetizers (sashimi, soup, and salad), and since they don't have an English menu, you'll likely want to go with Japanese-speaking friends. But don't go with a large party, as seating is limited. A major highlight is their frozen sake, which is invigorating on a hot, humid day.
3. Momotarou Yakitori
Are you willing to take the offal challenge? Several izakayas in Ebisu are known for serving cow or chicken innards, including Momotarou Yakitori, where one can order a la carte or meal sets of chicken parts like gizzard, heart, neck, entrails, and chicken skin. They also offer dishes like edamame, quail eggs, chicken leg skewers, and more orthodox options, if you're not in the mood for offal. Open until 6:00 a.m., Momotarou Yakitori is the late-night haunt for adventurous eaters.
4. Afuri Ramen
A must-try for ramen enthusiasts, Afuri is a famous chain of ramen shops with locations all over Tokyo. Afuri is notable because of their broth, which is made using natural spring water from Mount Afuri. While the ramen shop offers both shio (salt) and shoyu (soy sauce) based ramen, it is best to order their signature dish: the refreshing yuzu shio ramen. Yuzu is a type of citrus commonly used in Japanese cuisine and is the key ingredient in ponzu sauce. It's so good that you'll want to bathe in the stuff; in fact, many people in Japan do, soaking in luxurious, aromatic yuzu baths. Each order of Afuri ramen comes with a slice of pork chashu, bamboo shoots, mizuna leaves, and nori.
5. Teppanyaki Okonomiyaki Buchi
The main shop of Teppanyaki Okonomiyaki Buchi, located in Ebisu, serves up authentic Hiroshimayaki (Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki) straight off the teppan. Unlike the all-in-one Osaka-style okonomiyaki, Hiroshimayaki has layers of thin pancake, thinly shredded cabbage, and pan-fried noodles, all topped with Japanese mayo, a savory-sweet sauce, and a fried egg. Buchi also offers other toppings like fresh green onions and cheese.
6. Tachigui Sakaba Buri (Standing Bar Buri)
Serving sake and izakaya food from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., Buri is a well-known tachinomiya (standing bar) in Ebisu, which houses almost 40 varieties of sake, starting at ¥770 per drink. They specialize in dangerously delicious frozen sake, which has a pleasant slushie texture. Buri also offers tapas and different yakitori skewers to accompany the drinks. With fantastic service, an expansive drink selection, and all-around good vibes, Tachigui Sakaba Buri is highly recommended for a fun sake experience.
This Where to Eat in Ebisu food guide has covered the must-visit places to eat in Ebisu, including the old-school Saiki, Ebisu Yokocho, and Standing Bar Buri, so you can enjoy the culinary offerings of this upscale district of Shibuya. Soaking in the food culture of this top Tokyo destination, dig deep into Ebisu's culture beyond its legacy as a beer factory area; Ebisu has already paved its way as a hotspot for bars and restaurants in Tokyo.