When we first wrote about the Top 5 Tokyo Indie Burger Joints back in January, we got a lively response from many people telling us about how terrible our choices were. This being the Internet and all, we wiped away our tears, dusted ourselves off, and decided to try out some of the “clearly superior” choices that commenters gave us, because we obviously “didn’t do thorough research” the first time.
So for all of you condescending burger experts out there, this article is for you.
Looking at the Golden Brown storefront from the street, you might assume you’ve been transported to another time and place. This isn’t Nakameguro in the 21st century. This is NYC circa 1940s. The taste matches the decor, as well. And don’t let anyone fool you, size does matter. Here, you can get a heaping pile of fries with your burger, and they certainly don’t skimp on the presentation.
If spicy is your thing, Golden Brown also offers a good range of hot sauces as well. Try out the different levels and find the heat that’s right for you.
A small shop located in Ebisu, Burger Mania is another burger restaurant that seems to be out of place with its surroundings, but that just helps to enhance the mood of the place. There’s also more on the menu besides burgers. Pancakes, sandwiches, cakes, and coffee are all available along with their impressive burger list.
Berries and burgers might not seem like the best mix, but wait until you’ve tried Burger Mania’s Cherry Burger. A grilled meat patty topped with a slab of cream cheese and an ample helping of cherries. The sweet, slightly sour, and savory mix is something you can’t really anticipate.
Located in Shinjuku, J.S. Burgers offers more real estate on the inside than is immediately apparent when you’re standing outside. On the second floor, the restaurant stretches out from the ordering counter near the entrance and culminates in a windowed, semi-outdoor seating area. The bright and relaxing atmosphere is the perfect complement to the burgers that J.S. offers.
For a bit of a Japanese burger flair, try the Sukiyaki Bacon Cheeseburger, a unique mix of Western and Eastern sensibilities.
Right at the C5 exit of Shinjuku Sanchome station is a little place called Castle Rock. The inside doesn’t have much in the way of decoration, but Castle Rock makes up for it with their tasty burgers. They also serve genuine Cherry Cola, which will always earn extra points.
The burgers are a good size and especially juicy. The shop is small and not busy at all during lunch time, so it’s a good find if you’re looking for something quieter.
The interior of Firehouse looks exactly as you would imagine a burger place with a name like Firehouse sounds. Old-timey wooden seatings and an ample view of the kitchen where you can see burgers and buns alike being grilled.
As for the food itself, the burgers are very juicy, just the perfect amount of savory with a decent helping of toppings. It’s easily one of the best burger shops in the city.