Kissaten Nasu

Review excerpt: Kissaten Nasu is a traditional cafe. But it’s also a curry shop and a jazz cafe, and the master might just be one of the most dapper and suave cafe owners this side of Tokyo.

Sumikura

Review excerpt: The line-up at Sumikura changes continuously, but it is usually a broad sweep of the Japanese cooking canon: sashimi, tempura and simmered vegetables.

Umbilical

Review excerpt: At Umbilical, look no further than chef Ono’s signature seafood plate. Every day he puts together four choices that can be ordered separately.

Latteria Bebe

Review excerpt: The pasta dishes at Latteria Bebe are inventive, with seasonal variations such as the linguine with hotaru-ika (firefly squid) and fukinoto (wild butterbur buds).

Hanabi

Review excerpt: The staff at Hanabi makes their basic ramen in the shōyu (soy sauce) style, but with two choices of soup: a classic meaty version — they call it mukashinagara (old-fashioned).

Kiji

Review excerpt: The okonomiyaki at Kiji is humble — there is none of the giant pizza-sized servings currently in vogue at other establishments. Kiji is also modest with the mayonnaise.

Le Sucre-Couer

Review excerpt: Le Sucre-Couer takes their bread seriously, and the lineup on display behind the glass counters should render even the most impulsive indecisive.

Maruka

Review excerpt: The noodles at Maruka, all made fresh in-house, have just the right smooth, chewy consistency. The broth is light and fragrant, and the batter bits are crisp.

Nanaezushi Shichijo

Review excerpt: Kyoto's Nanaezushi is a little treasure, an authentic holdover from a time when sushi was neither an expensive fetish nor a gimmick but instead a quotidian delicacy made by specialists.