Food is an integral part of nightlife in Japan. Not only do spirits bring out the delicate flavors of high-quality sashimi and meat, but the tasty bites also slow the absorption of alcohol in the body — two excellent reasons to try a snacking bar hop in Tokyo.
Here are some of the best places to sip and savor around town.
Known for its fine cocktails, extensive whisky library and live jazz, this 37th-floor lounge atop Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo is also home to some of the city’s most luxurious bar bites.
Start your night with hearty plates like Japanese-style beef curry and a wagyu cheeseburger, or opt for lighter options such as crispy shrimp with sweet chili sauce. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, order osetra caviar with blinis and a side of truffle fries.
Sit back in a comfortable corner or slide up to the bar and ask one of the mixologists to craft you an unforgettable libation to accompany the snacks.
With its 20th-century Showa-era-inspired façade and wood-clad interior, this retro venue offers a nostalgic taste of Old Japan. But it’s not the vintage signage and kitsch décor that draws locals and visitors to the bar’s long wooden tables — it’s the sweets.
More than 100 kinds of dagashi — old-fashioned candies and savories that come in cute packaging adorned with sports stars and manga characters — line the walls of this unique bar, and all you have to do to indulge is buy a drink. Order a pint of Japanese beer or a whisky highball and you can enjoy all-you-can-eat snacks for ¥500 (roughly US$4.70).
Even kids can get in on the fun by grabbing a soda and all the dagashi they desire — just watch out for the sugar crash.
You may be drawn to one of the highest bars in Tokyo for its skyline views, but this 52nd-floor lounge boasts an equally jaw-dropping menu to accompany those vistas.
No matter your craving, you’ll be satisfied here. Sip on sake or shochu along with a selection of sushi and sashimi; savor a glass of champagne paired with caviar and shrimp cocktail; or pick a local beer to wash down a beef katsu (fried cutlet) sandwich, karaage (tempura chicken) with wasabi mayo or other Japanese bar snacks. The aforementioned vista is beautiful by day or night, so be sure to snap a few selfies with your plate or tea-infused cocktail in hand.