Filled with downtown atmosphere and style, Ueno is a popular sightseeing area that has a variety of attractions centered around Ueno Park, such as an art gallery and a museum. This article will introduce 5 long-established restaurants in the area, all of which have been loved by locals for many years.
This luxury blowfish restaurant, established in 1928, is located only a minute’s walk away from Ueno Station (reservations required during the summer). Enjoy blowfish in a variety of ways here – sashimi, nabe (hotpot), karaage (fried blowfish)! They are all carefully prepared by chefs who are licensed to handle blowfish. Dip the sashimi into some of their homemade ponzu (citrus-seasoned soy sauce) for the ultimate experience!
Another highly recommended dish is the Special! Yakimen (Beef for 1 person: 1,200 JPY (excl. tax)), which is only available from March to November. It consists of fried udon made with wakame (seaweed) that’s topped with beef, nori (another type of seaweed), and kinshi egg (thin omelet cut into strips). This delicious dish is eaten with piping hot soup. It is an evolved form of a regional dish from Yamaguchi Prefecture. It is more refreshing that it looks, making it perfect for ending a meal with!
This popular yoshoku (Japanese-style Western cuisine) restaurant, only a 4-minute walk from Ueno Station, was established in 1902. It inherited its traditional flavor from its predecessor, Kikuya Restaurant, which was famously visited by John Lennon and his wife. Come here to enjoy delicious, traditional, and authentic yoshoku.
Kurofune-tei's Hayashi Rice (1,700 JPY (excl. tax)) is especially recommended. The ingredients for the demi-glace sauce are stewed thoroughly for over a week before being used. It has a deliciously rich flavor and an umami (Japanese savory taste) that you definitely will never forget!
Most of the dishes can be ordered as a half-size, allowing customers to try a lot of dishes in one visit. It is also ideal for those with children.
This veteran yakiniku restaurant, established in 1963, is only a minute’s walk away from Ueno Station. Led by a head chef with over 20 years of experience, the team of chefs use their expertise and skill to serve the most succulent, umami-filled, premium marbled Japanese Black beef. Rare cuts, such as the Tokusen Zabuton (2,950 JPY (incl. tax)) and the Atsugiri Jo-tan Shio (1,950 JPY (incl. tax)), are extremely popular.
Though the choice of meat is already set for their 120-minute All-you-can-eat Yakiniku Course (Men: 4,200 JPY (incl. tax), Women: 3,500 JPY (incl. tax)), which consists of 20 dishes in total, customers will no doubt be surprised by the high quality of the meat that is served. It is almost like it isn’t an all-you-can-eat course at all!
4. ISEROKU Ueno Branch
ISEROKU is only a 3-minute walk from the Shinobazu Exit of Ueno Station. It serves yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) made with top-quality Date chicken. Stocked every day, the meat is so fresh that it could even be eaten raw! They are very strict about only preparing food upon receiving an order – nothing is pre-made. Each and every skewer is so carefully grilled that it has a rich and tender flavor that you will crave!
Their signature dish, which has been loved for 70 years (ever since its establishment), is the ISEROKU no Oyako-don (950 JPY (excl. tax)). Chicken is boiled in a sweet broth for this dish before being smothered with a delicious beaten egg. This dish costs only 680 JPY (excl. tax) during lunchtime! Come early, as only 100 servings are available for lunch every day!
5. Ueno Seiyoken
This French restaurant, founded in 1872, is inside Ueno Onshi Park (official name for Ueno Park), which is only a 5-minute walk from Ueno Station. It is widely known for being one of the restaurants to spread awareness of French cuisine in Japan, as well as being a glamorous restaurant frequented by Japanese and overseas royalty. Come to Grill Fukushima Ueno Main Shop to enjoy this reputed French cuisine!
Within the park, they operate 9 establishments, all with differing personalities. For example, they have a store in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, as well as one at Ueno Ekimae 3153 (Saigo-san). These establishments serve everything from premium cuisine to cafe food and light fare. Customers can enjoy the benefits of a long-established store while meeting their budgets and requirements.
Ueno has it all – an art gallery, zoo, museums focused on crafts or culture, as well as shopping areas like Ameyoko. Why not visit one of these long-established restaurants after enjoying the charm of Ueno to the fullest?
*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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