The last six months have seen a series of food halls open across Tokyo, each with a diverse selection of excellent fast-casual or international dining options – there’s Eat Play Works in Hiroo, Chaos Kitchen in Shibuya, and Toranomon Yokocho, just to name a few. In September, Nihonbashi got its own new multi-venue space with the opening of Commissary in Nihonbashi.
A commissary is a commercial kitchen where food service providers prepare and store food, and Commissary acts as the central kitchen for five vendors to supply their other locations around the city. But this is more than just a giant pantry – Commissary also offers eat-in and takeout food on-site. You can order from any or all of the venues, then choose a seat and dig in – it’s a simple and laid-back affair.
Each vendor has a counter on one side of the room, while on the other side is banquette seating along large, street-facing windows. The entire space is a mix of concrete, white tiles and chrome finishings, making it feel part diner and part renovated warehouse.
Note that the venue is cashless, so remember to bring your cards. And if you have time on your side, be sure to take a short stroll down the road to Nihonbashi’s Kabutocho district, named Tokyo’s coolest neighborhood in 2020.
Inspired by the pizza-by-the-slice culture of New York, Hiroki Sarumaru opened his first Pizza Slice restaurant in Tokyo in 2013. Commissary is his fourth location, and you can expect to find all the classic varieties – pepperoni, mushroom, supreme, plain cheese – starting from ¥390 per (giant) slice.
Kitade’s tortillas are made with 100 percent Hokkaido corn, which is ground and processed into tortillas on site – a rarity in Japan – and if you peek behind the counter, you’ll see a giant molino (corn grinder) imported from Mexico. The flavour-packed range of fillings includes chicken tinga, pork carnitas, beef and chipotle shrimp (¥395 each, or ¥1,100 for three tacos with a side of house-made tortilla chips).
Chigaya Bakery sells a range of sweet and savoury baked goods – think brownies, bacon-mayonnaise twists – but the signature item is freshly made doughnuts (starting from ¥250). Try classic ring-shaped doughnuts coated in cinnamon sugar, or round doughnuts filled with lemon cream, raspberry cream, and other seasonal specialities.
Opened by a former Nihonbashi Brewery employee, Our Craft has a range of interesting beers brewed in-house, like soba (buckwheat) beer, chipotle amber ale and blood orange IPA (a flight of three beers is ¥1,100). Our hot tip: pair your Kitade taco with Our Craft’s special blend of chipotle beer with tomato juice – it comes served with a lemon wedge and salt, for a Japanese take on a Mexican michelada.
The sister store of the curiously named Hotel Drugs coffee shop in Harajuku, Mind Spa is the only venue in Commissary that isn’t a central kitchen – but it performs another crucial task: keeping customers and staff caffeinated. The service is fast and friendly, and the coffee is excellent. Our picks are the macchiato and the iced cafe latte.