Sangenjaya is an “under-the-radar” Tokyo neighborhood, filled with highly regarded restaurants and cool drinking spots. Part of Setagaya, Sangenjaya is somewhat of an upscale neighborhood that manages to minimize pretense. Just one express stop (two local stops) from Shibuya station on the Tōkyū Den-en-toshi Line, Sangenjaya offers a stark contrast to the insane bustle of areas like Shibuya and Shinjuku; while also having an amazing assortment of dinning and drinking options. The amount of quality places to check out is actually too numerous for this article to cover, but I will rundown a few of my favorites.
Sangenjaya’s main landmark is Carrot Tower, since it’s the tallest building in the neighborhood. Carrot Tower has a restaurant and café on the top floor, with windows all around that provide a fantastic view of Tokyo; Mount Fuji can be seen on clear days as well. The food there is not going to blow you away, so I recommend just going to the top floor of Carrot Tower for the view, a cup of coffee, and then dining elsewhere in Sangenjaya. Lunch is a better deal if you do decide to eat at Carrot Tower.
Pancakes have been popular in Tokyo the last couple of years and therefore a ton of pancake places have been popping up. Voi Voi in Sangenjaya adds some uniqueness to the traditional pancake offerings. They do great standard pancakes, but their odd savory pancake menu options are really interesting and quite good. Ladies seem to really like this place and lines accumulate on the weekends.
Craving meat? Taijuen Sangenjyaya is a delicious yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurant that is close to both Carrot Tower and Sangenjaya Station. They have a menu set that is under 2,500 yen per person, which is a great deal for the quality of meat and how many sides are included. Free drink coupons are usually given after you pay in order to ensure your return, although the quality alone is enough.
Conveniently near Taijuen Sangenjyaya, Nicolas is an excellent restaurant and even better dessert option. Dinner is great, don’t get me wrong, but dessert is the real star here. In fact, no matter where you go to dinner in Sangenjaya, Nicolas needs to be your dessert spot. Do you like macaroons? How about macaroons with amazing ice cream displayed artfully for a reasonable price? Check it out.
Yummy beer? Yeah, Sangenjaya has a nice place to get good beer too and it’s called Pigalle. Practically a hop, skip, and a jump from Nicolas, Pigalle houses a surprising selection of beer for how quaint it is. This is a good choice to get a tasty pint before you begin the more focus drinking, if that is how you roll. Personally, I enjoy a couple delectable pints prior to performing real damage in nomihoudai (all you can drink) establishments. Are you curious about nomihoudai in Sangenjaya? Ask in the comment section and I will list a few places.
One of the best things to eat while drinking is Kansai favorite okonomiyaki and Hiroki Sangenjaya serves up some awesome variations. Soba, mochi, and cheese okonomiyaki is delightfully evil. Fried herb butter and octopus is a crowd pleaser too.
Fushi-kotsumen Taizo Sangenjaya
Okay, so ramen is essential in Tokyo and therefore I will recommend Fushi-kotsumen Taizo Sangenjaya as a option in Sangenjaya. Nothing fancy here, just good ramen that can be garlic heavy or spicy. Perfect nightcap.