As part of our ongoing series on the craft beer scene in Tokyo, “No Ramen, No Life” recently went to a popular brewery restaurant called T.Y. Harbor Brewery in the Shinagawa area. True to its name, T.Y. Harbor is located along a quiet canal a short distance away from the Tokyo waterfront, in an area that has been known more for warehouses than for craft beer and fine dining. It claims to be one of only two microbreweries in the 23 wards of Tokyo.
One of the first things that struck me about T.Y. Harbor is how big the restaurant is, especially for Tokyo. It’s located in a renovated warehouse with a huge indoor dining area that features a vaulted ceiling and rotating artwork from local artists, a large outdoor patio next to the water, and a smaller bar area next to the entrance. It’s not only an American-style brewery restaurant but an American-sized one as well, made possible by the fact that the family that owns T.Y. Harbor also owns a large swathe of the surrounding waterfront properties.
The American influence also comes out most importantly in their craft beers. T.Y. Harbor features six of them: their flagship pale ale, amber ale, wheat ale, IPA, imperial stout, and a seasonal special. I had the pale ale which had a wonderfully hoppy and citrusy flavor, as well as the Imperial Stout with its deep, coffee-like flavor and a hint of bitterness that reminded my friend/personal beer consultant DT of the old bottled Guinness. Both beers were well-balanced and very enjoyable.
The food selection also reflects a U.S. West Coast vibe: modern American fare mixed in with a few multicultural fusion dishes. The lunch menu changes daily. When I was there for lunch recently, I ordered a spicy buffalo chicken sandwich with a side of perfectly done curly fries, while my friend JP got a good ol’ American chili dog. DT ordered an avocado bacon burger with thick slices of bacon that easily made it one of the best burgers he’s ever had in Tokyo. It was all delicious (the pickles were particularly good, too).
T.Y. Harbor is such a popular place that you usually need to make reservations in advance. This includes lunchtime, though we discovered that you can easily get a table as a walk-in if you arrived very early, by no later than 11:30am. But the craft beer, the food, and the spacious, relaxed atmosphere are all worth it.
Location: 2-1-3 Higashi-shinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo
Business Hours: Monday -Friday: Lunch 11:30am – 2:00pm, Dinner 5:30– 10:00pm; Saturday, Sundays, and Holidays: Lunch 11:30am – 3:00pm, Dinner: 5:30 – 10:00pm （Sundays/Holidays – 9:00pm） Reservations: 03-5479-4555 (11 am-close) Getting There: Tokyo Monorail or Rinkai line to Tennozu Isle station and take exit B (you can get to the monorail station at Hamatsucho by taking the Toei Oedo line to Daimon station). You can also take JR to Shinagawa station (5 minute by taxi or 15 minute walk from station) or to Osaki (5-10 minute by taxi from station).