Despite the plethora of restaurants, bars and izakayas sprawling across the Tokyo metropolis, there is a surprising lack of places to dine al fresco as the sunshine starts to pour in over the summer months. In Iidabashi, however, the Canal Cafe offers a large wooden decking area to spend a leisurely few hours taking in the sunshine and view across the Kanda River. Just a few minutes walk from Iidabashi station – a major interchange straddling Shinjuku and Chiyoda, the restaurant is easily accessible from most areas of Tokyo.
Iidabashi is on the Tozai, Namboku, Yurakucho and Toei Oedo subway lines as well as the JR Chuo-Sobu line. Take the West exit, head down the hill and the Canal Cafe is right on the river. There is a more casual cafe area which offers light meals, snacks, and beverages or the more formal indoor and outdoor restaurant area.
The selling point is, of course, the outside decking area where you sit practically in the river and can see the huge carp lapping up at the side of the decking. There is also the chance to rent boats to go out on the river as well.
Lunch time in the restaurant runs from 11:30 to 14:00 on weekdays and 14:30 on weekends whilst dinner is offered from 17:30 to 23:00 on weekdays and 21:30 on weekends. The menu is Italian offering a wide range of pizzas, pasta, meats and gelatos as well as a salad bar and buffet option. Lunch will set you back around 2000 yen for a pizza or pasta set which includes bread, a drink and access to the salad bar. The food is of a high standard and although you may find cheap good quality meals elsewhere, you’re really paying for the location.
Pizzas are prepared in a wood-fired oven and are a lot larger than the average Tokyo size. There is also a wide range of wine available and a large dessert case at the entrance to entice you into indulging further. Dinner will set you back between 1500-2200 yen for a pizza or pasta dish and 2000-3500 yen for steak or seafood dish. Well worth it just to spend some time in an idyllic setting which is a rarity in the concrete jungle of Tokyo. Bookings are also taken for weddings, parties and other events with a BBQ option for groups of 10-100 people.
So, if you’re after a great spot to find relief from the summer heat and a delicious Italian bite to eat, definitely check out Canal Cafe if you’re in the area! Itadakimasu!
Canal Cafe Website*Japanese Only