Ueno and Akasaka aren't just known for zoos and museums, but also delicious yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurants. We're going to show you the best yakiniku in Asakusa and Ueno, as chosen by Tokyo locals, so you know where to grab a bite to eat after sightseeing.
1. Yansando Ueno Main Branch
The red facade of this Wagyu beef Korean-style yakiniku restaurant will catch your eye. They bring in the best meat available that day and offer it at market price. This restaurant has been in business for over 50 years, but it's so popular that they have a loyal fan base. Their sweet secret sauce is exquisite. The recommendation is their most popular Tokusen Joharami (2,300 JPY (excl. tax)). This skirt steak doesn't feel greasy, and you'll be able to tell how luxurious the meat is by how delicious the fat is. Since it's a Korean-style restaurant, you can't leave out the homemade kimchi! This is a yakiniku restaurant with a full Korean menu.
2. Sumibi Yakiniku Asakusa Hon Tosaya
This extremely popular restaurant has a retro, working class environment. As the smoke rises from the shichirin grill on the table, so will your mood. The recommended is the A-mori set (12,500 JPY (excl. tax)), which offers high-quality meat for 3-4 people. The meat is thickly cut but is soft and juicy. The fresh, high-quality meat is so delicious that even the fat is tasty. It's so popular that it's very difficult to get reservations, so make them early. There are smokeless roasters on the 2nd and 3rd floor, so if you're bothered by smoke, it would be good to request that. This restaurant is the type where you take off your shoes and sit on floor cushions.
3. Ueno Taishoen Ueno Main Branch
This restaurant is Ueno's number 1 restaurant in the ranking of "yakiniku restaurants recommended by professionals." The recommended order is the 2 hour tabehodai (all-you-can-eat (4,200 JPY for men, 3,500 JPY for women (both incl. tax)), which can be reserved the day of. Every 29th of the month is the "Niku no Hi Kansha DAY" ("meat and gratitude day"), so there are plenty of bargain deals like the ootoro kalbi (fatty Korean barbecue ribs) that is usually 2,100 JPY for 1,200 JPY, drinks for 290 JPY, and more. The lunch menu (11:00 am - 4:00 pm) is full of sets that include yakiniku, rice, and soup, so it's also great for lunch.
*There is also an annex and a branch in front of Ueno Station.
4. Niku no Suzuki
This restaurant is a reasonably priced restaurant behind Sensoji managed by a meat wholesaler that is so popular, reservations are necessary. The door is silver and looks like a refrigerator. Here, the recommendation is the Tokusen Wagyu Tan (beef tongue) for 2,650 JPY that's cut to a thickness of 1.5cm, and the Tokusen Wagyu Harami (skirt steak) for 2,450 JPY, a rare cut of beef. You'll think it's a thin steak rather than yakiniku! While asking for Japanese Black beef usually makes people worry about the price, this restaurant is managed by a wholesaler, so both the flavors and the prices are delicious. Please fully enjoy the richness of the meat.
*Photo is for illustration purposes.
5. Yakiniku Yamada
If you want to eat yakiniku late at night, go here. It's open until 5:00 am on Mondays through Saturdays. The recommended Atsugiri Joharami (1,260 JPY) is juicy, thickly cut skirt steak. If you take thin meats like the loin offered in the Tokujo Rosu (1,580 JPY) and grill them lightly like it's just being broiled, dip it in the homemade sauce, and eat it with rice, it'll be perfect! During the service time (5:00 pm to 9:00 pm), draft beer is only 260 JPY. They're even cheaper than soft drinks! Even though this area is a battleground for yakiniku restaurants, if you want to eat a lot and drink, this is a popular restaurant that won't break the bank.
*Photo is for illustration purposes.
These popular restaurants are places with many regulars where you can eat reasonably priced, high-quality meat. After sightseeing in Asakusa and Ueno, please pick up your stamina by having yakiniku.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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