Tokyo is a city famous for its dining, but apart from fresh sushi and Michelin stars, it’s also home to a variety of themed restaurants and bars. Whether they’re scary, cute, or retro-geek—here are five unique spots to try on your visit for some unexpected dining experiences.
Bits & Bytes at the 8bit Café
If you’re nostalgic for blocky ’80’s Nintendo video games, D-paddle to your heart’s content at 8bit Café in Shinjuku. Game-inspired memorabilia, figurines and comics adorn the walls and dot the room. Order a drink, choose a console game or pick up a handheld DS or Gameboy and enjoy a trip down Donkey Kong lane with the locals.
Address: Q Bldg. 5F, 3-8-9 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku.
Cute Cosplay at the @Home Café
For a taste of anime, manga and the Akihabara lifestyle, @Home Café offers one of the most popular “maid cafe” experiences. Be treated like a returning master as kawaii (cute) maids write on your heart-shaped omelet-rice bowls or pasta plates to make them more oishii (delicious). Play games or buy photobooks, CDs and DVDs as mementoes of your sweet time.
Address: 5F, 4-3-3 Don Quijote Akihabara Bldg., Soto-Kanda, Chiyoda-ku.
Dungeon Dining at The Lockup
If you’re idea of a good time is being handcuffed and thrown in jail, then get incarcerated at The Lockup in Shibuya. Here, the costumed staff will lock you up in an old-school dungeon and serve cocktails in blood bags, frothing beakers and colorful test tubes along with horror-themed dishes like sausage “entrails.” Like a bar in a haunted house where you can eat, drink and be scary.
Address: B2F Shibuya Grand Tokyo Bldg., 33-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku.
Secret Servers at the Ninja Akasaka Mansion
Steal away to the secret Ninja Akasaka mansion for some stealthy entertainment! Be led through dark, narrow passageways as mysterious warriors appear from nowhere to deliver a variety of Japanese and Western cuisines to your private area. Witness “ninja magic” and enjoy numerous surprises—a must-do experience with the kids.
Address: 1F Akasaka Tokyu Plaza, 2-14-3 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku.
Gothic Gourmet at the Vampire Café
If Dracula relocated to Tokyo, his castle would definitely be in ritzy Ginza. With all-black decor and blood red furnishings, the Vampire Café is ready to serve him. Bathed in soft light from candles atop coffins and presided over by a count and his “vampire maids,” the restaurant’s bloody cocktails will entertain you for an eternal night. The food is mainly Western-style—just be sure to bring your own garlic.
Address: 7F La Paix Building, 6-7-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku.