Giving thanks in Tokyo

By on October 31, 2009

Photo © Elena Derevstova


The season to profess our gratitude has returned full circle. The North American holiday of Thanksgiving started as a commemoration of the Pilgrims’ arrival to the new world and make peace with its residents. Fast forward through several centuries, and tradition makes of that November day a culinary experience. Family and friends gather at a dinner table congested with plates of mashed potatoes, yams, and of course, the staple turkey.


But in Japan, finding a decent Thanksgiving dinner can be a daunting task. Hopeful celebrants might sooner find themselves reenacting the Pilgrim-Native American interactions with Japanese waiters at certain restaurants.


Here are some restaurants to ensure your turkey dinner doesn’t come in sandwich form from the corner Subway!



Health is the focus at Good Honest Grub, a charming, laid-back restaurant tucked in a serene locale a short distance away from central Shibuya. The menu consists of various organic dishes, each using vegetables grown from their own farm. And while some might identify “organic foods” with flavorless meals, Grub’s dishes are anything but. The flavors are rich, and is sure to satisfy all.


This month, Good Honest Grub serves up an authentic American Thanksgiving dinner set. The dinner consists of a fragrant tomato soup, a crunchy mixed salad, and of course, a roast turkey with all the fixin’s: stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and cranberry sauce. Vegetarian option available. Prefer to eat in? Grub caters, and offers take out. The dinner is available from 6pm (first seating) & 8:30pm (second seating), November 25 to 28. ¥4,500 for adults, ¥3,000 for children, catering, and take-out. Reservation only.


Good Honest Grub

2-20-8 Higashi Shibuya, Shibuya-ku

Tel: (03) 3797-9877




It is commonly believed that you can’t have Thanksgiving without a turkey. That theory clearly for the birds! The Pink Cow is an arty and funky space serving home-cooked dishes from around the world, and is often the spot for unique workshops, live performances, poetry readings, charity events, and the like.


This month, they’re giving vegetarians and vegans something to be thankful for. A poultry-free version of a Thanksgiving buffet will be on hand, complete with sauteed vegetables, baked pies, stuffed tofu, mashed potatoes, and more. The dinner starts at 8pm on November 17, and costs ¥2,800. Call ahead to reserve, or visit the links below.


The Pink Cow

Villa Moderuna B1F, 1-3-18, Shibuya-ku

Tel: (03) 3406-5597




The fusion of Hawaiian fusion cuisine, their excellent service, and the chic atmosphere of their interior have made Roy’s a popular spot in the United States, with over thirty-one branches nationwide. Its Japan counterpart  in Aoyama has become a favored spot for fine dining. However, Roy’s recent move into Roppongi Hills adds to the experience a gorgeous scenery – including a nifty view of the Tokyo Tower.


For the last five days of the month, Roy’s has turkey on the menu. You may have a turkey platter for a main dish, or opt for a three-course dinner featuring the bird.


Roy’s Tokyo Bar & Grill

5F West walk, Roppongi Hills, 6-10-1, Roppongi, Minato-ku

Tel: (03) 5475-8181




A unique dining experience is sure to be had at this casual yet classy riverside restaurant. There’s the menu, filled with mouth-watering classic dishes (burgers, steaks, et al) of American proportions. Look up, and there’s the Tokyo skyline before your eyes, overlooking the Shinagawa river and some greenery. And yet, it feels like a quick getaway from the same old, same old of Tokyo.


In true American tradition, the day of
he turkey brings
orth a feast. A holiday platter is served later this month, featuring green beans and yam, a corn chowder, a pumpkin tart, and turkey breast with cornbread stuffing, all for ¥4,000. A lighter lunchtime platter is also on hand, for ¥1,600.


TY Harbor Brewery

2-1-3 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku

Tel: (03) 5479-4555


Happy Thanksgiving!

About Tokyo Families