Todd Wojnowski

Thai Restaurant Chao! Chao! Bamboo

Tasty Southeast Asian cuisine near Harajuku

Todd Wojnowski
Todd Wojnowski   - 2 min read

Sometimes, restaurants just get it right. The right food, the right atmosphere, the right location. Chao! Chao! Bamboo is one of those places.

The charm of the place is its decor. Anyone who has traveled through Southeast Asia will recognize and appreciate the little details that makes Chao! Chao! Bamboo seem like one of those magical little street eateries that have the best food ever: the metal tables and chairs with funky yet mismatched colors and the low-rent feel of the furniture and decorations. The front of the restaurant is open onto the street, so passers-by can see into the whole place, giving it an authentic "street food" vibe. Far from luxurious yet still remaining comfortable, this place has a great feeling that would be perfect for a date or get-together with friends.

The food is excellent. The menu is full of Thai cuisine done properly, and the spicy food is actually pretty spicy. Foods range from noodles to rice to stir-fried dishes to plenty of salads and appetizers. Portions are large. There is also a collection of foods from other Southeast Asian countries on the menu. Most dishes range between 500-900 yen. There is a fair drink list, including beers from 5 countries, wine, and a variety of Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese liquors. Daily lunches range from 780-840 yen. Menus are written in both English and Japanese, and include a picture of every dish.

Unfortunately, there is often a bit of a wait for a table, especially on weekends and evenings. The good news is, there is also a second site of this restaurant just one minute away. Customers can go there on their own, or sometimes the staff at the main restaurant (which has a slightly nicer atmosphere) will take customers to the second building when the first one is full, as a kind of "overflow" location. The food is great either way.

Getting there

Chao! Chao! Bamboo is a 1-minute walk from Exit 5 of Meiji-Jingumae Station (Chiyoda and Fukutoshin Lines), and an 8-minute walk from the Omotesando Exit of Harajuku Station (JR Yamanote Line). From Omotesando Street, turn down a narrow alleyway next to Kiddy Land, and the restaurant is on the left, across from the excellent Gyoza Lou. There is also a different Thai restaurant on the second floor of the same building.

Todd Wojnowski

Todd Wojnowski @todd.wojnowski

I am an avid backpacker, writer, marathon runner, hiker, eater of spicy foods, watcher of B-movies, and user of the Harvard comma. I'm originally from Buffalo, New York, and arrived in Japan in 2008.