Drinks: from ¥500, Food: from ¥250, + extra cover charge
3 Chome-8-13 Koenjikita Suginami, Tokyo
Distance from Station:
5 minute walk from JR Koenji Station, North Exit
03-3310-8130 (Japanese only)
Dinner daily 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Lunch Thursday - Monday 11:30am - 3:00pm
Website: (external link)
Staff speak Japanese only, basic drink menu in English


Koenji’s Book Bar

Tokyo is known for being a bit frantic but Cocktail Shobo allows for some much needed time and space to quiet your soul. Step back into the Taisho Era in this 100 year old row house where this used book bar and izakaya restaurant is nestled. They have various options for food and drink but Cocktail is famous for “Literary Cuisine”. Dishes and drinks are uniquely named after authors, literary characters or recipes found in essays and novels. The Taisho Croquette is the recommended favorite made with tofu pulp and fish paste. If you are thirsty you can enjoy Nihonshu (sake), sours, beer, whisky, or try a Hemingway Sour or maybe an Edogawa Ranpo Sour named after author Tarō Hirai’s pseudonym. He was influential in Japanese mystery fiction and a fan of Edgar Allan Poe (his pseudonym sounds like Poe’s name). The menu changes daily so there is always a new experience.

The owner had the idea of having customers mix with the literary characters of the books they were reading and Cocktail Shobo was birthed. Open since 1998 Cocktail has hopped around a bit but is now firmly rooted in the Koenji community in this nostalgic historic building. The izakaya bar doubles as a used bookstore so you may want to stock up on some unique souvenirs or gifts. Unplug for awhile and enjoy this classic Koenji haunt.



[updated December 2018]