korean food
Asia,  Food,  Japan

8 Best Shin-Okubo Eats

Shin-okubo is Tokyo’s Koreatown. Get off of JR’s Yamanote line’s Shin Okubo station, and it will drop you right in the middle of the bustling area. Be sure to avoid coming here on weekends/holidays as it gets very crowded and nearly impossible to go to any store or walk on the street. I used to live in Takadanobaba, just a 15 minute walk to Shin-Okubo, which led to a lot of meet ups being in Shin-Okubo. Here, you can get anything from Korean beauty products, K-pop merchandise, and groceries. The whole area is filled with Korean food restaurants and cafes. They all have their unique differences that make them all different and fun. Here is my list of the best Shin-Okubo eats!


Cafe on

This is my favorite cafe to go to when in the area, and is definitely the cutest Shin Okubo eats on this list! It’s not as known as other cafes in the area, but the cafe it’s self is very spacious with kpop being blasted as well as projections and tv on the walls. They even give you a paper where you can request a song to be played. Their menu ranges from bingsu, croffles, Hotteok, and Flower Cake (a cake that looks like a flower pot). My favorite is the bingsu (korean shaved ice) with ice cream shaped as a sleeping bear. Another one of my favorites on the menu is the coffee with a bear-shaped espresso.


NeNe Chicken

NeNe Chicken is one of Korea’s famous fried chicken chains. Originally, it was founded in Korea in 1999 and now has over 900 restaurants globally (sadly none in the US yet). The chicken is crispy and juicy, with the perfect texture. The chicken is coated with a thick sauce that is fully covered and a strong and tasty sauce. Their signature tteokbokki is also one of their specialty! Definitely the best Korean Chicken Shin Okubo eats you can find!


Sulbing

It started out in Busan in 2013, and now has over 500 franchises across South Korea. They just opened this Shin-Okubo location in 2022. They have various flavors such as red bean, green tea, chocolate, and mango. I am a huge bingsu fan and I have to say, Sulbing’s bingsu was very airy and delicious. It’s hard to eat as one person, so bring a friend along when you are going!

Sulbing Tokyo Shin-okubo
Sulbing, Shin-okubo

LUNA 韓国料理&カフェ

A restaurant and a cafe combined in space. When entering, we were asked if we wanted to be in the cafe or restaurant. We went to the restaurant side, but it seems like it’s a completely different menu between the two. The atmosphere was fun with k-pop being blasted with screens all over the restaurant. This is the most energetic Shin-okubo eats in this list! On weekends they are open until 5am!

LUNA Shin Okubo food
LUNA restaurant and Cafe

2D Cafe

This is definitely the most amusing Shin-okubo eats on this list! The whole cafe is made to look like it’s 2D and is super disorientating when visited. This themed cafe was first famous due to it becoming viral in Seoul. It’s really such a fun place to take Instagram photos while enjoying a nice cup of coffee with friends. The menu is quite expensive, so it’s not a casual kind of cafe, but you have to understand that you are paying for the experience.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CYlSAt1r7qt/

ニハマル弁当新大久保店

This is probably the cheapest eats you will find in Japan! It is a tiny shop where all the lunch box is 290 yen including tax. ($2.14 in USD July 2022). Their portions are huge and delicious! I can’t remember a time in which I ever finished the whole plate because the portions are that big! They have a variety of food ranging from tonkatsu, Korean fried chicken, and fish. They also have extra side dishes and drinks if you need! Since this shop is tiny, I always take the bento to Toyama park, about a 5-minute walk, and eat it in the park.

ニハマル弁当新大久保店
290 yen bento boxes

Saemaeul Restaurant

It isn’t a complete best Shin-Okubo eats without kbbq or pork belly, which are Korean food staple! This is one of the best and most authentic Korean restaurants in Japan with most of the guests at the restaurant being Korean themselves! The portions are big and the price is affordable. The queue can be long during the weekends or lunch, so be sure to keep that in mind when going!

Saemaeul Restaurant's Pork Belly
Saemaeul Restaurant’s Pork Belly

Hotel Cen

Hotel Cen is a Hotel/Cafe and bar in one building, with the cafe and bar being on the rooftop. You can enjoy drinks and desserts in a relaxing outdoor setting right in the middle of Shin-Okubo. I found out about this cafe from Nagai Manami’s Vlog, a contestant on Girls Planet 999 who ranked 20th.

If you want accommodation, Hotel Cen provides a very modern and stylish place to stay at. If you are looking for accommodation near Shin Okubo, be sure to check out my Best Hotels in Shin-Okubo post!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2ONZrz3PBw#t=4m38s

Best Shin-Okubo eats


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Some Useful Sources when traveling to Japan:
My Japan posts: Pennyless Travels Japan posts
My kpop posts: Kpop Posts!
Youtube Channel: Just Coneys Corner
Food/Travel Instagram: @coneystravel
General Tourism information: Japan Travel Website
Airport pickup pocket wifi: 4G WiFi pocket wifi 

Fun and Discounted admissions for cafes:

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