Melinda Joe's 6 favourite wine bars and wine restaurants in Tokyo 2024

If you’re in Tokyo looking for somewhere to eat, but which also has a wonderful wine list, where do you start? There is just too much on offer. Melinda Joe, a Star Wine List Tokyo Ambassador, is here to help. In this guide, she opens the door to her favourite places.

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  1. Phone: +81 03-5766-9500

    Address: 2-chōme-26-4 Nishiazabu, Minato City

    L’effervescence is the culmination of chef Shinobu Namae’s vision for sustainable gastronomy. In addition to its three Michelin stars, the restaurant also boasts a Green Star for its efforts to promote eco-conscious practices in the dining room as well as the kitchen. One of the pioneers behind the farm-to-table movement in Japan, Namae was among the first to display the names of the farmers, fishers, and purveyors that supply the restaurant with ingredients on the menu. The kitchen’s thoughtful and meticulous cooking highlights the best of the seasons. In winter, duck breast is roasted over a...

  2. Phone: +81 03-6803-8436

    Address: アットホームスクエア 2F, 4-chōme-24−8 Minamiaoyama, Minato City

    There’s no place in Tokyo quite like Sushi m, a 12-seat hidden gem where French cuisine meets edomae sushi, and inventive beverage pairings bridge the cultural divide. The “m” in the restaurant’s name stands for mariage, and the concept is based on the idea that the right food-and-drink matches can result in a meal whose sum is greater than its parts. Together with sushi chef Junya Hashimoto, executive chef Shunsuke Matsuzawa, who worked with Thierry Marx, crafts finely balanced tasting menus: delicate morsels of sushi are interspersed with Japanese-inflected modern French dishes such as roast...

  3. Phone: +81 03-6810-0655

    Address: 1-chōme-2-1 Ōtemachi, Chiyoda City

    Located on the 39th floor of Tokyo’s Four Seasons Otemachi hotel, Michelin-starred Est examines French cuisine through the lens of Japanese terroir. Ever since executive chef Guillaume Bracaval launched the restaurant in 2020, the two have taken a sustainability-driven, locavore approach in the kitchen, with 90 percent of the ingredients sourced domestically. Creamy soybean hummus is served instead of French butter, and Japanese honey and wasanbon are used to sweeten pastry chef Michele Abbatemarco’s artful desserts. Signatures such as soy milk flan, flavored with a broth made from vegetable t...

  4. Phone: +81 03-6721-0510

    Address: SEIZAN 外苑 前 1F, 2丁目-5-4 神宮前, 渋谷区

    Walking by no.501 in the Gaienmae district, you might be forgiven for mistaking it, as I had, for a storage closet. Situated on the street level beside Michelin-starred restaurant Florilege, the shop is marked by a small sign that reads, “kakuuchi,” the Japanese word for a hybrid bar and liquor store. Inside, brightly coloured grid-shaped shelves give the impression of being inside a wine-themed game of Tetris. Natural wine is the main event here, and you’ll find an impressive array of bottles from all over the world. Behind a sliding door at the back of the retail space is a tiny boite with 1...

  5. Phone: +81 03-6272-8513

    Address: 東京ガーデンテラス 3F, 1番3号 Kioichō, Chiyoda City

    By the Glass List of the Year Asia, presented by Chateau Montus & Chateau Bouscassé 2024

    With the opening of Maz, the younger sibling of acclaimed restaurant Central in Lima, Peruvian star chef Virgilio Martinez has added an entirely new category of cuisine to Tokyo’s food scene. Led by the talented and charismatic chef Santiago Fernandez, the 25-seat restaurant offers a deep dive into Peru’s diverse food culture and traditions. Organised by altitudes, the seasonal tasting menu explores the country’s topography and microclimates in nine inventive courses. “Desert coast,” for example, features sweet king crab layered atop a spiced pumpkin stew, served alongside a beignet crowned wi...

  6. Phone: +81 03-5222-5810

    Address: PACIFIC CENTURY PLACE MARUNOUCHI, 7階, 1-chōme-11-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City

    One of Tokyo’s buzziest restaurants, Sezanne bagged its first Michelin star within months of opening in 2021 and gained a coveted second star in the 2023 red guide. British-born executive chef Daniel Calvert aims to merge the “timeless elegance” of a Parisian grand maison with the “open-minded lack of preciousness” that characterises the American approach to French cuisine he encountered during his tenure as sous chef at Per Se in New York. The seasonal menu is polished, precise, and technically astonishing: Riesling-poached foie gras with apricot and verbena sauce has the perfect buttery text...