Packed with the Charms of the Working Class! BEST 3 Veteran Gourmet Shops in Asakusa
Asakusa is a place that is dotted with many venerable gourmet restaurants and shops, especially around Sensoji, one of the greatest tourist spots in Tokyo. Amid the growing number of spots where you can experience Japan’s traditional culture, the soul of the true Edokko (a person born and raised in Tokyo) lives in the long-established food culture that is the pride of Asakusa. Below are three handpicked veteran shops that are recommended to those who want to fully enjoy the renowned tastes and atmosphere that have been loved for more than a century.
<1> Asakusa Imahan Kokusaidori Street Head Restaurant: One of the most famous shops for sukiyaki
Established in 1895, Asakusa Imahan Kokusaidori Street Head Restaurant is an old restaurant that is well known for its sukiyaki (beef hot pot). A lot of customers are drawn to its affordable lunch, sukiyaki, and donburi (bowl of rice with topping) dishes that are characterized by the use of Japanese Black beef that is boiled quickly in a secret sukiyaki stock. The Hyakunen Gyudon beef bowl (1,620 JPY), which is limited to just 20 servings per day, comes with red miso soup and pickled vegetables. This dish mainly uses large cuts of Japanese Black beef sirloin, and you will surely enjoy its exquisite flavoring from the secret sukiyaki stock.
The Nidanju (two-tiered dish) (3,240 JPY), a lavish set of gyudon and steak donburi, is also popular at this restaurant.
This restaurant boasts easy access, as it just a 5-minute walk from Tokyo Metro’s Tawaramachi Station.
<2> Tempura Daikokuya: A tendon veteran in Asakusa
Daikokuya Tempura, a well-established tendon (tempura pieces over a bowl of rice) shop in Asakusa that opened in 1887, treats guests to authentic Edomae (Tokyo) flavors as the fragrant tempura that has been deep-fried in sesame oil is covered in a rich, salty-sweet sauce. This shop’s biggest bestseller is the Ebi Tendon (1,950 JPY) that is loaded with four pieces of shrimp tempura.
There is a long list of appetizers and snacks on the menu, too, including Nasu no Shigiyaki (grilled eggplants seasoned with miso) (680 JPY).
The source of pride of this restaurant is its thick, salty-sweet sauce that it has preserved since it began operating in 1887.
<3> Kamiya Bar: The first bar in Japan that opened in the Meiji era
Kamiya Bar is the first bar in Japan, kicking into operation in 1880, and it is known for Asakusa’s specialty: the Denki Bran (a kind of brandy-based cocktail). This shop is famous as a retro working-class watering hole with a stately facade.
Together with the Denki Bran (270 JPY), you can enjoy such dishes as Kani Croquette (crab croquette) (760 JPY) and Spare Ribs (1,450 JPY).
The Denki Bran (270 JPY), a drink that literary masters have loved to drink in this historical bar since it was opened, has an exceptional taste.
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 06.15.2017]
*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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