The Ueno area, which is popular among tourists, has many places to see such as Ameya-Yokocho. When visiting the area, you'll want to fill yourself up with a lunch that will give you bang for the buck. Here are five restaurants with great lunches for 1,000 JPY or less in Ueno.
1. Maika atre Ueno Branch
This is a restaurant on the second floor of atre, which is directly connected to Ueno Station, and serves creative Japanese cuisine made with seasonal ingredients. They are particular about the fresh seafood they get from Tsukiji every day. A lunch item here that is less than 1,000 JPY, and using such seafood, is the Seasonal Grilled Fish Set (980 JPY (incl. tax)). Grilled fish, which is a standard home cooked dish in Japan, is a simple item that brings out the flavors of the ingredients. The set includes the fish, rice and miso soup. The fish differs by the time of year, so enjoy Japan's seasonal flavors.
2. Isomarusuisan Ueno 6-chome No. 2 Branch
This is an izakaya that keeps seafood caught in the morning in a tank so the customers can cook super fresh seafood on a tabletop stove themselves. A lunch under 1,000 JPY here is a seafood rice bowl with fresh fish that is only available at lunchtime. The Tricolor Tuna Rice Bowl in the photograph is just 676 JPY (excl. tax). Most of the rice bowl dishes are reasonably priced at around 700 JPY. If you want more volume, you can add udon noodles (176 JPY (excl. tax) and up) or potato salad (97 JPY (excl. tax)) to the rice bowl. Enjoy the high quality, fresh seafood rice bowls.
3. Torimitsukuni Ueno no Mori Sakura Terrace Branch
This is an izakaya where you can enjoy juicy charcoal grilled yakitori chicken skewers and carefully selected sake. It prides itself in the yakitori, so the lunch at 1,000 JPY and under also consists primarily of items made with chicken. The Mitsukuni-don (1,000 JPY (excl. tax)) is a popular item with which you can enjoy a variety of different parts of the chicken in one bowl. The izakaya is located within Sakura Terrace, right by the Shinobazu Exit of Ueno Station and is in a great location, close to both the entrance of Ueno Onshi Park and Ameya-Yokocho. The lunches here are a great way to enjoy the yakitori cooked at a specialty restaurant on a budget.
This is an established tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) restaurant run by a couple who are the third-generation owners. It is listed on the 2018 Michelin Guide for Tokyo. The tonkatsu that is patiently fried at a low temperature in 100% lard is popular for its crunchy batter and soft, juicy meat. The lunch here for 1,000 JPY or less is the Katsu Rice, for just 900 JPY (incl. tax) with miso soup and homemade pickles. The tonkatsu doesn't smell meaty, and the recommended way of eating it is first with salt, and then with sauce. This is a famous restaurant in a back street called Tanuki Koji in front of Matsuzakaya Ueno.
*Katsu Rice is available on weekdays only.
5. Juraku Ueno Branch
This is an izakaya that prides itself in serving fresh seafood delivered directly from fishing ports around the country every day. The lunch here that is 1,000 JPY or less is the Shibire Pork Bowl (780 JPY (excl. tax) weekdays, 880 JPY (excl. tax) weekends). This is a popular bowl with sweet pork belly seasoned with sansho peppers that gives it a kick. If you want a large portion, go for the Mega Shibire Pork Bowl (1,000 JPY (excl. tax) weekdays, 1,100 JPY (excl. tax) weekends).
*Pricing differs at the weekend.
The lunches introduced here are special deals available only at lunch time. They are all at popular restaurants, so you can enjoy a lunch that is worth more than you pay for. Be sure to check times and dates before going.
*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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