Michael Ying

Quirky Restaurants of Kokubunji

Three delicious places to eat while in West Tokyo

Michael Ying
Michael Ying   - 4 min read

Kokunbunji is a small town just outside of Tokyo city center. Most tourists will only make the visit to Kokubunji for the tremendously popular owl cafe run by a local family, but there are several reasons to stick around as incredible food is located just around the corner. So whether you're in Kokubunji for the Owl Cafe or in Mitaka for the Ghibli Museum, here are three restaurant recommendations for somewhere to dine after your visit:

This is the Burger, Kokubunji

This is the Burger is an American style diner that serves delicious burgers and American beer. The restaurant has a classic 50s feel, with Sam Adams and A&W Root Beer decorations all around. They also have old fashioned style booths and 80s American movies playing on the television. You can order many types of burgers that come with french fries or onion rings, as well as order a normal or brioche bun. They also serve buffalo wings, chili cheese fries, and hot dogs. Whether you're just sitting down for a beer or hungry for a juicy meal, This is the Burger is a great choice.



2-16-21 Minamicho, Kokubunji, Tokyo

Habakaru Thai Curry

This tiny Thai Curry restaurant packs some serious flavor. Habakaru is only about an arms length wide and has a small counter that fits 7 or 8 people. The shop is decorated with pictures of Thailand and the owners are Thailand enthusiasts. The goal of the shop was to recreate not only the feeling and look of their favorite places in Thailand, but also recreate the authentic spicy curry. With over twenty types of curry dishes on the menu there is something for just about everyone. There are salad and drinks sets available and all of the curry choices are very customizable, but there is a small quirk - the spice level list goes from 1 to 9 but you are only allowed to choose from 1 to 4 because levels 5 to 9 are apparently too spicy!



2-9-3 Honcho Kokubunji, Tokyo

Chicken Mutahiro Soba

This restaurant alone is worth making the trip to Kokubunji. Mutahiro is the best Chicken Soba/Ramen joint in all of Tokyo. The inside is small and like all typical ramen spots it only has a counter. The inside is simple but decorated sparsely to reflect Kokubunji's farmland roots. The staff are extremely nice and more than willing to strike up a conversation. There are three main options: Shoyu base soba, shio (salt) base soba, and tsukemen (cold noodle dipped into strong soup base). A bowl comes with both ground chicken and chicken slices. A choice of either yuzu spice or ginger is then served on the side. You can also additional toppings as well - each topping adds another 100 yen. There isn't much to say about this Chicken Soba other than it is extremely delicious.



2-3-6 Honcho Kokubunji, Tokyo

Michael Ying

Michael Ying @michael.ying

Originally from San Francisco, I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011 and have been living in Tokyo since 2014. I'm currently a photographer and dancer, and spend most of my free time finding new places to eat. I love it here in Tokyo! Insta: mikemisc