1. Meguro River, Nakameguro
    Photo: Maru-ume/Photo-AC
  2. Cherry blossoms, sakura, Nakameguro
    Photo: Edward Ma/UnsplashMeguro River

34 best restaurants, cafes, shops and things to do in Nakameguro

All along the sakura-lined Meguro River, the shops, restaurants and cafés here reward exploration at any time of year

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada
Advertising

This trendy Tokyo neighbourhood is best known for the Meguro River that runs through it and the revamped shopping area under the train tracks. The former is flanked by cherry trees, eateries and independent shops while the latter is home to some of the area's best cafés, restaurants and bars, including our favourite oden restaurant Samon and coffee haunt Onibus.

In spring, the river becomes a photogenic landscape of cherry blossoms. But the entire area surrounding Nakameguro Station makes for a nice walk anytime of the year. Venture away from the Meguro riverside, follow the train tracks, and you’ll find a wealth of hidden art galleries, independent shops, and cute cafés.

RECOMMENDED: Check out the best free things to do in Tokyo

Eat

  • Restaurants
  • Sushi
  • Nakameguro

Udatsu once again proves that fat and char together create the best flavour – and it really doesn’t matter if the fat comes from premium wagyu or a delicate cut of tuna. This is not something we expect to enjoy at a sushi restaurant, but it pretty much sums up Udatsu’s take on the most iconic of all Japanese culinary traditions – textbook perfect sushi that still manages to sneak in a few surprises to make it exciting for the modern palate.

  • Restaurants
  • Nakameguro

Love those Totoro-shaped cream puffs from Shiro Hige’s Cream Puff Factory? This Ghibli-esque izakaya in Nakameguro could be your next favourite stop. While the pub doesn’t have official ties with the Japanese animation powerhouse, there’s something about the cosy interior’s natural wood counters and fruit baskets that make it look like it could belong in Hayao Miyazaki’s universe. The izakaya even leans into the fact that its name sounds like that of Ghibli’s beloved forest spirit, with a ton of ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ memorabilia and custom off-brand Totoro drinking glasses used to serve fresh fruit sours. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Nepali
  • Nakameguro

After building up a cult following with its bold and punchy curries at Carnism in Azabu-juban, Adi has opened its own venue in Nakameguro. The cosy restaurant serves modern Nepalese cuisine using local ingredients sourced from across Japan. Dinner is available from Wednesday through Saturday, with an omakase course priced at ¥11,000. Lunch on weekdays are more affordably priced. The dal-bhat curry and rice lunch set will only set you back ¥2,000.

  • Shopping
  • Bakeries
  • Nakameguro

This takeaway doughnut stall has taken over the now closed Starbucks counter underneath Nakameguro Station’s train tracks. Run by Amam Dacotan, a popular bakery from Fukuoka, the shop offers eight types of nama, or fresh doughnuts known for their chewy, melt-in-the-mouth texture.

All the doughnuts are made using trans-fat-free shortening and an original blend of Japanese flour. You can choose from two types of doughnuts, either brioche-based or a more cake-like confectionery dough. Doughnuts start at just ¥205 each, with popular flavours including plain doughnuts, framboise doughnuts filled with raspberry cream cheese and lemon glaze with pistachios. The most unorthodox of them all is the prosciutto doughnut made with chopped olives in the dough and served with a slide of Parma prosciutto.

Advertising
  • Shopping
  • Nakameguro

Aichi prefecture’s produce supermarket Daiwa brings its famous fruit sandwiches to Nakameguro. This takeaway sandwich shop attracts queues on the weekends for the unique lineup of sandwiches including kiwi, pear, grape and even the elusive Miyazaki mango.

The classic strawberry sandwich comes in three variants – and at three different price points – each featuring a different type of strawberry, copious amounts of whipped cream and fluffy white bread.

  • Restaurants
  • Nakameguro

This bakery is run by the company behind popular Shibuya eateries like Italian restaurant Shibu Dra and Espresso D Works. It offers loads of freshly baked bread and pastries from 9am daily, including everything from your basic loaves of shokupan and sweet muffins to gourmet sandwiches and miniature pies. 

Come 10am, you’ll get to sit down in the café area for a special brunch meal, and you can even enjoy an afternoon tea set from 2pm to 4pm. The popular brunch set comes with a salad, soup, and your choice of four baked goods from a lineup of more than ten different freshly baked treats.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Nakameguro

This light, airy eatery boasts a selection of unique international dishes with a Japanese twist. For starters, you can enjoy a zesty, refreshing dish of avocado in a citrus dressing, or seasonal strawberries tossed with anise and fennel seed. Then, dig into pasta topped with shirasu (whitebait) or more conventional local dishes such as oden. The wine list is also noteworthy, offering a well-curated selection of vino from across the globe. 

  • Restaurants
  • Ikejiri-Ohashi

Offering a decent selection of craft beer and some not-so traditional gyoza, this quirky, playful eatery is a reliable casual hangout. Its handmade dumpling menu includes unusual options like gyoza topped with coriander salsa, a strange sounding combo which works brilliantly. Pair your gyoza with a local craft beer or one of the many brews from Portland's Gigantic Brewing Company, and you’re good to go for an extended evening in Nakameguro.

Advertising
Samon
  • Restaurants
  • Nakameguro

Popular in its native Nagoya, this oden specialist opened its first outlet in the Kanto area by under the railway tracks in Nakameguro. There's an eye-catching (and oversized) oden pot outside – a stunt that surely lures in quite a few customers. Samon offers a mixture simmered in a chicken and vegetable stock noted for its full-bodied and rich taste. We'd definitely recommend having the daikon, which soaks up the stock beautifully, and the succulent chicken skewers. The Nagoya Cochin soft-boiled eggs are also impressive and well worth driving your chopsticks into. 

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Nakameguro

This lively yakitori joint is always packed in the evenings, and if the convivial atmosphere doesn’t tempt you in, the smoky aroma of grilled chicken probably will. If you lack a penchant for poultry, there are also alluring options like chargrilled bacon-wrapped mochi (or ‘mochi-be’ for short) and Hokkaido potatoes, which are grilled over charcoal before being slathered with a generous slab of butter. Bonus points for the English menu – indulging in a yakitori feast has never been easier.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Ikejiri-Ohashi

Located along the Meguro River, this quaint soba restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner – prepare to stand in line for the former, and ensure you make a reservation for the latter. They’ve got all the classics here, from your tempura and tororo soba to the refreshing sudachi soba that’s always a good option in the warmer months. The soba noodles are made from scratch, and depending on your order, are adjusted for the perfect flavour, texture and consistency.

  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Nakameguro

Serving the residents of Nakameguro since 1966, this is the place for Japanese classics like omurice and fried shrimp. The hamburg steak set is a safe bet, while the pork cutlets are also highly recommended.

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Nakameguro

Oreyu’s diverse ramen menu lists more than 30 options – so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, just go with the classics. The Oreryu shio ramen is a clean, light-tasting yet flavourful bowl topped with a tender slice of pork, spring onions, spinach and mushrooms. The Oreryu juku shio ramen, on the other hand, is more customisable, offering three broth options; our pick is the jukusei (rich salt), which features a creamy pure chicken bone broth (no dairy added!).

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Nakameguro

Vegans usually get stuck with sorbet when hunting for dairy-free ice cream. That isn’t the case at Premarché Gelateria, where, on top of fruity sorbets, the store also serves vegan gelato that’s so creamy you’d never believe it’s completely milk-free. Japanese varieties here range from shiso sorbet to roasted sweet potato gelato, but the tartness of the refreshing kishu nanko ume (Japanese plum) makes it especially popular in the summertime. 

Advertising
  • Restaurants
  • Ice-cream parlours
  • Nakameguro

You might miss this ice cream shop if you’re not looking hard enough. Sharing a space with a hair salon in Nakameguro, John’s Ice Cream offers unique and inventive flavours that are not commonly found in Tokyo. Expect peculiar creations such as amanatsu orange with black pepper and olive oil, black chocolate bamboo charcoal, and boozy concoctions like cognac with fruit and nuts. The flavour selection changes on a regular basis, so the shop’s Instagram to see what’s in store.

Drink

  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Nakameguro

Occupying a renovated, traditional-style home right by Nakameguro Station, the most interesting café in town, run by Jiyugaoka-based roasters and bean importers Onibus, is equipped with a shiny espresso machine and newly acquired roaster. Just don’t expect to linger – this is a very functional spot with minimal frills. Onibus imports top-grade beans from Rwanda and Guatemala among others and roast them in the shop. The menu is as simple as the décor: espresso, americano, latte or hand drip, nothing else.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Nakameguro

Located by the Meguro River, this is one of the largest Starbucks roasteries in the world. The building was designed by Japanese starchitect Kengo Kuma, while the interior was created by the Starbucks community design team. The massive four-story structure houses the roasting factory on the top floor, the Arriviamo cocktail bar on the third floor and the Teavana tea room on the second floor, while first floor is occupied by the Milanese bakery Princi, famous for its cronuts and focaccia pizza. You'll want to secure a seat at the fourth floor's outdoor terrace during sakura season for gorgeous views of the pink blossoms.

Advertising
Cafe Facon
  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Nakameguro

One of Nakameguro's top coffee spots, Cafe Facon appears to be angling for a more mature crowd. It's pocked with Parisian references, including a small library of Francophone books. Decor aside, Facon clearly means business. The shop roasts its own beans, offering four blends and a selection of single-origin coffees, plus a few milky variations and a variety of teas. If you're feeling peckish, the best bet is to order a cake or sandwich set.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Nakameguro

There are two types of tequila bars – the kind where you slam back shots of unaged spirit between licks of salt and lime wedges, and the kind that offer more premium stuff meant to be sipped, not chugged. There are appropriate occasions for each of these places, but the latter is admittedly rarer in Tokyo. This is all the more reason to treasure Faramarz Lounge & Gallery, a hidden gem found next to Udatsu Sushi in the backstreets of Nakameguro. 

Headed by bartender Faramarz Khademhosseini (Ferri, for short), Faramarz has copper-backed shelves lined with everything from Cazadores Añejo Cristalino made with 100-percent blue agave to vintage bottles by Jose Cuervo Reserva.

Advertising
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Nakameguro

This cosy Nakameguro hangout reckons it’s Japan’s very first dedicated gin and tonic bar. It’s certainly well suited to the role, boasting shelves stocked with over 120 kinds of gin from around the world. 

Look out for local favourites like Roku Gin and Ki No Bi, popular brands such as The Botanist and Hendricks, and rare bottles like Bottega Bacur and Cruxland gin. If you’d rather something lighter, the bar even has a selection of non-alcoholic spirits designed to taste like gin, including Nema and Seedlip. 

  • Shopping
  • Off licences
  • Nakameguro

This liquor shop nestled in the streets of Nakameguro is stocked with over 300 different spirits including gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, vodka, absinthe, akvavit and fruit brandy from around the world. 

Even better, if you can’t decide what to get, just head up to the first floor to try a selection of spirits at the standing bar. For a fee, you can taste any of the spirits on offer, but after 6pm, you can also get classic cocktails like gimlets, daiquiris, margaritas, old fashioneds, moscow mules, caipirinhas and more.

Advertising
  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs
  • Nakameguro

Having opened a full-scale craft beer empire since, the first Tokyo pub opened by the Numazu-based Baird Brewing Company is very relaxed: all brick walls and wood panelling, with a long central table that's ripe for communal drinking. It's primarily an outlet for Baird's own brews, which tend to be pretty damn fine: we're particular fans of the Teikoku IPA and Angry Boy Brown Ale, available year-round. Check the blackboard above the bar for guest beers from the likes of Rogue and Brewdog, and keep an eye out for Baird's own seasonal specials. Don't miss the New Haven-style pizzas either, and note that this is a non-smoking venue.

Shop

  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Nakameguro

Japanese brand Kinto now boasts a store in Los Angeles, but the flagship shop in Tokyo is located down a sleepy street in Nakameguro and carries a sleek selection of tableware, tumblers, and coffee equipment.  The store even sells its own coffee blend, which is sourced from the Single O coffee roasters in Tokyo’s Ryogoku neighbourhood.

  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Nakameguro

Sitting around the corner from Kinto’s Tokyo flagship shop, this new lifestyle store focuses on offering a selection of Kinto items for outdoor activities and sports. Plus, there’s a selection of items for babies and kids as well as outdoor tableware to give your camping trips a little extra style. 

A Mark It by Kinto personalisation station is also available, so you can add your initials or a cute design onto Kinto’s handy water bottles and tumblers with a special laser printer.

Advertising
  • Shopping
  • Florists
  • Nakameguro

This quaint plant store in Nakameguro is located on the shotengai (shopping street), alongside many old-school shops. It sells around 100 different types of indoor plants ranging from little pot plants perfect for propping on your windowsill, to low-maintenance hanging plants, and 1-metre-tall tropical monstera plants. You’ll even find a selection of minimalist ceramic pots and other gardening equipment like glass watering cans designed to match with any interior.

  • Shopping
  • Nakameguro

This stationery shop sells everyday goods inspired by the theme of travel. Set in the building of a former paper processing factory, Traveler's Factory offers stationery, books and customisable products, including the best-selling Traveler's Notebook, which encourages the user to plan ahead and start something new. The space upstairs is used to host special events and workshops and also doubles as a café where you can sip on cuppa while filling out your notebook.

Advertising
  • Shopping
  • Nakameguro

This select shop has an air of confidence and maturity about it, and that’s due to a well-curated selection of fashion, homewares and lifestyle goods that are geared towards those who favour classic styles over fads. We love the highly wearable clothes for men and women, which focus on cult brands such as MM6, Studio Nicholson and Kaptain Sunshine.

  • Shopping
  • Jewellery
  • Nakameguro

At this bijou workshop and store located a quick stroll from the Nakameguro riverside, local brand Vivify creates what it calls ‘urban craft jewellery’: predominantly silver accessories with a distinctly handmade feel. The natural wood-lined atelier and shop space has a counter spanning most of one wall, behind which you'll often find a jeweller hard at work. Outside, a terrace complete with seating and cacti offers space to relax and contemplate your purchase.

Advertising
Misc
  • Shopping
  • Nakameguro

This fashion boutique-meets-juice bar is one of Nakameguro’s hidden gems, offering some of the latest sartorial trends for ladies along with a selection of fruit juices, smoothies, coffees and teas. Expect a mix of international and domestic labels like Citizens of Humanity and Pretty Ballerinas for denim and shoes respectively, as well as Misc's own house line of fashion basics: T-shirts, tank tops, well-cut pants and skirts. Lust-worthy homewares are also available – browse through luxurious candles, glass coasters and cool coffee drippers.

  • Shopping
  • Vintage shops
  • Nakameguro

Vintage store J’antiques sells chic American clothing and furniture from its base in the Nakameguro shotengai (shopping street). It offers a good range of vintage items from throughout the 20th century, the bulk of which is menswear and womenswear. Interior items – including antique accessories, furniture and tableware dating from as late as the 1950s and as early as the 1800s – and vintage fabrics and buttons make up the rest of the stock. The floor is divided into three sections: secondhand and accessories, vintage menswear, and vintage womenswear, with the vintage clothing split across two equally grand rooms. It’s rumoured that the quality of the stock draws big names from the fashion industry in search of inspiration – you can’t go wrong with an endorsement like that.

Advertising
  • Shopping
  • Consignment store
  • Nakameguro

For high-end fashion that won’t break the bank, Kindal is a great spot to shop for designer bargains. The shop curates its selection well, so you know you’re getting consignment goods that won’t fall apart after one wear. If you’re looking to sell, one bonus of going with Kindal is that the buying policy is quite flexible –  you can send your items to them via post instead of coming to a store in person.

To do

  • Art
  • Galleries
  • Nakameguro

This art museum showcases contemporary Japanese paintings, with an emphasis on artists who were born in the Showa era (1926-1989) and onwards. Located a few minutes’ walk from the Meguro River, this venue offers some consolation to those who visit Nakameguro outside cherry blossom season as exhibitions feature sakura artwork from across Japan.

  • Art
  • Nakameguro

3110NZ is a collaboration between Shibuya art gallery Nanzuka Underground and renowned omakase sushi restaurant Sushi Saito. The space operates as a free public art gallery by day, but come evening, it turns into an omakase sushi experience with just eight counter seats at the bar. Exhibitions are set to change roughly every four to six weeks and the gallery opened with a showcase of artworks by postwar Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami, best known for his colourful pop art. For the latest exhibition information, check their Instagram.

Advertising
  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Nakameguro

Neighbouring Daikanyama has what's basically the world's greatest bookstore, and now Nakameguro gets an offshoot of that same bibliophile nirvana. Located underneath the railway tracks right outside Nakameguro Station, it consists of four interconnected but separate spaces: lifestyle and gifts, ideas and inspiration, events, and a Starbucks café fit for laidback browsing and sipping.

Check out other 'hoods

Advertising
Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising