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Dining on a Budget
Tokyo offers an astounding array of top-notch Japanese and international cuisines, but quality comes at a price. However, it's possible to eat well on a budget, and the recent trend for B-kyu gurume ("B-grade Gourmet") is making it even easier. These restaurants forgo the frills and just serve good food for affordable prices. Wallet-friendly establishments such as these can be found across the city. Here are a few of the best.
Kanda Matsuya. Soba—thin buckwheat noodles often served chilled in summer and hot in winter—are available everywhere, even convenience stores. Matsuya offers authentic soba in a rustic atmosphere. A simple soba meal costs ¥600, or, for a bit more, get noodles topped with tempura or other goodies. 1–3 Kanda Sudacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0041. 03/3251–1556. www.kanda-matsuya.jp. No credit cards. Subway: Marunouchi Line, Awajicho Station (Exit A3).
Santa. Tonkatsu, breaded, deep-fried pork cutlets, are synonymous with cheap but filling meals. Santa offers some of the best tonkatsu in the city in large portions for affordable prices. 3–33–10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0022. 03/3351–5861. Subway: Shinjuku Station (East Exit).
Hana no Mai. At an izakaya, food and drink are equally important and equally good. Hana no Mai, in Shibuya, specializes in sashimi, which can be astronomically expensive in award-winning restaurants, but is surprisingly affordable here. You will most likely share one of the long, sunken tables with a number of other diners, which is all part of the experience. 2–11–1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043. 03/5428–6707. Subway: Shibuya Station (Hachiko Exit).
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