A new food location opened in Shinjuku on Saturday, February 9th, 2019 – “FOOD HALL BLAST! TOKYO” In a big, open space covering two floors, a total of six different restaurants and bar have gathered. On the first floor, you will find five of them: “BAR LIT”, a bar providing over 50 different types of rose wine gathered from all over the world. “CUCINOVA” will serve you customized pizza, “CHRONIC TACOS” is a Mexican chain from California, the grilled restaurant “BLAST BBQ”, and from Virginia in the USA, the cafe “Greenberry’s COFFEE Roastery CO.” One floor up is the sixth restaurant: “DRAFT PUB Bevvy”, a pub-restaurant that focus on different types of drafts; draft wine, draft cider as well as draft beer. In addition to this pub, there is also a sofa lounge where you can sit and enjoy your food and drinks.
This trend of food halls started in New York and have since spread all over America. In Japan family friendly food courts have been around for a long time, but this particular one is definitely aimed at adults. One can enjoy a variety of high quality alcohol as well as some good food for a reasonable price. Let’s go over the various restaurant attractions gathered here.
CUCINOVA – Customized Pizzeria from Ohio (First store in Japan)
CUCINOVA is a casual, Italian fast food restaurant that already has six different restaurants in America and Paraguay. Here you can choose from over 24 different toppings, four different sauces, three types of cheese and make your own original pizza, for just ¥1280. There are over millions of different pizzas you can make with these many options. For your own pizza you can choose up to ten toppings where you get to choose from beautiful vegetables, seafood or meat or any other topping of your preference. The chef will then make the pizza right there as you watch and then let it be in the over for about two minutes before it’s served to you.
We ordered a healthy pizza with vegetables, tuna and anchovy. Aside from customizing, there are recommended pizza by the restaurant where you can find rare types as well, such as a foie gras pizza. But getting to choose your own topping for your very original pizza definitely makes one excited.
CHRONIC TACOS – Mexican chain from California (2nd store in Japan)
This chain has over 50 stores in America and Canada already. This Mexican fast food chain opened in Japan for the first time in March of 2018, in Ginza. It became an instant hit and the result is this second store in Shinjuku. Their style is to have an open kitchen where you see the chef preparing your taco or burrito as they pick from the various toppings that you get to choose for your dish. Despite the getting quite a lot of food, the taco starts from ¥390 and the burrito from ¥790, definitely worth it!
Greenberry’s COFFEE CO. – A cafe from Virginia that’s gathered popularity in west Japan (First store in east Japan)
This cafe started in America in 1992 and now has about 20 stores all over the country. They’re known for their slow roasted coffee and usage of craft food. They already have seven stores in west of Japan, and the first one that opened up in Takarazuka city is supposedly frequented by stars from actress from the famous Takarazuka theater troupe. The coffee roasted here, brings out a unique taste that you only can get at Greenberry’s, something they refer to as “Small batch & Big flavor”. This is the first time they put in an actual coffee roaster in one of their stores.
BLAST BBQ – Meat Bar (FOOD HALL BLAST Original store)
This wild restaurant is original for FOOD HALL BLAST. Using far-infrared radiation, the meat here is grilled to perfection on top of a 1m and 30cm wide grill made up of lava stones and high quality charcoal. On it they will grill meats such as baby back ribs and fill up variety platters with great meat. Here you will find thick meat such as skirt steak, jerk chicken and pulled pork to mention a few.
DRAFT PUB Bevvy – Best bar of drafts in the country
This pub-restaurant has draft wine, draft beer and draft cider for you to choose from. By the bar counter the amazing sight of 17 beer towers and ten wine dispensers will leave you stunned. Here they only want the absolute best draft, so they have 10 variations of wine as well as 10 types of craft beer from different locations in Japan. In addition to this they also provide five types of the latest, popular beers worldwide, as well. The decor provides a great atmosphere, reflecting” drafts” not just in looks but also as in the smell it gives off. There is a beer here for everyone, they have beers such as ”Earl Grey” which is a fruity beer that will actually make you think of the tea. Even if you’re not a beer fan, it’s worth a shot!
BAR LIT. – Casually enjoy a variety of rose wine to the fullest
The first thing you notice when you go in to this bar is the cute, pink rose stand that’s put up to for all your instagram needs. Sparkling rose wine is wide popular in the west already and here you can have it for just ¥500 per glass. You will also find brands that are rare in Japan in this bar, all available in this pink atmosphere for you to try in the pink glasses provided. There is also a bar on the roof, called “BAR LIT. on TOP” where you can enjoy some rose and look out over the beautiful city and night.
Here, the cafe opens already from 7 in the morning and they run all the way until midnight. You can go in on the first floor just for a drink on your own if you want, or you can go here for dates or fun nights out on the second floor and order things from all the stores using the iPads provided there. Even if you come as a group, you can all order whatever you want from pizza or tacos to steaks and still sit together by the same table. Located near the bus-terminal and major train lines it’s only a matter of time before this place gains popularity.
FOOD HALL BLAST! TOKYO
Address: 2-7-12 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access: 3min from JR, Odakyu Line, Keio Line, Shinjuku Station “South Exit”
3min from JR Shinjuku “Koshu-Kaido Exit Gate” or “New South Exit Gate”
1min from Toei Shinjuku Line “A1 Exit”
3min from Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal
Seats: 1F: 97 seats, 2F 75 seats, roof: 64 seats (Closed during winter)
Open: Monday – Sunday 11am-11pm (Last call for food: 10pm, drink: 10:30pm)
Greenberry’s COFFEE CO. Opens from 7 am.
Budget: Lunch: ¥1,300. Dinner: ¥2,000