5 Awesome Ways To Enjoy Guzman Y Gomez
Say Hola To Great Mexican In Harajuku
From “churros on ice” to fully loaded flank steak enchiladas, Guzman Y Gomez in Harajuku serves up staple Mexican food favorites, along with some new twists on old ones. Plus, it has one of the cheapest happy hour specials you’ll find in Tokyo.
Tokyo can be a lonely place for those wondering how to satisfy the craving for fresh guacamole and pretty much any Mexican food. Actually, the first recommendation I got from a friend to fulfill the fix was “this place in Harajuku.”
Enter Guzman y Gomez, the casual dining experience on the forefront of the Tokyo Mexican food scene, that has four locations in Japan. At the Laforet Harajuku locale, not only is it in the ultra-fun atmosphere of Harajuku, but it’s completely accessible, being just a five-minute walk from Harajuku Station.
Three years in Japan, and I am still going back there for Mexican food that isn’t too expensive but still has a big selection. I recently revisited good ol’ GYG on a Friday night with a friend, and we ordered a wicked spread of food and drinks.
Here’s what went down in the form of my top five ways to enjoy GYG!
1. Enjoy Four Hours of Happy
Two words: Tequila shots. The last time I voluntarily took a tequila shot was probably back in 2010. But, the tequila at GYG is smooth and will not leave you with that familiar “why-God-why” hangover. A shot of high-quality El Jimador tequila will set you back about ¥500, but you’re likely to pay that for rail-liquor in Tokyo anyways.
The tasty elixir is also blended into their frozen lime margarita. As a goer of many a margarita nights, GYG is an awesome change of pace to the regular izakaya. Though, you can also order Japanese beer, as well. An added bonus is their 4-hour (4-hour!!!) happy hour starting at 3 p.m. Grab an after-work marg or draft beer for just ¥300 a pop.
Recommended: Frozen margarita, ¥620
2. Create Your Condiment Kingdom
GYG does not skimp on the free condiments. This might sound like a little detail but when even McDonald’s charges extras for condiments in Japan, GYG really pulls through. First off, they have three different types of salsa, with three levels of spiciness. Try the pico de gallo, roasted tomato, or tomatillo — actually quite spicy. Cilantro and jalapeno fans rejoice, you can also grab these to top off your burrito, taco, or whatever else you’re nibbling on.
Recommended: Cilantro and roasted tomato salsa, free
3. Find That Rare Menu Freedom
In a country where “set meals” are so common, GYG’s variety of choice makes it an even more enjoyable experience.
They have eight types of main dishes, each with small and large options. The large burrito is huge even by American standards and comes loaded with salsa and guacamole. For the health conscious, you can get mixed greens, corn, cucumber, pico de gallo with your choice of “filling” and salad dressing.
Speaking of fillings, you can choose from seven options, including chicken, pork and beef, plus pan-seared fish and sauteed veggies. On top of this, add extras like gauc or brown rice. Or add a couple yen to whatever you ordered to transform it into a fajita. Winning.
Recommended: Flank steak enchilada, ¥1,620
4. Discover Delicious Meat And Cheese
During our visit, we tried the chicken, steak, pulled pork, and fish. They were all fresh and juicy. The steak and spicy chicken were major stand-outs, and blessed our burritos and quesadillas with that juicy flavor love. As for the cheese, GYG was up against a born-and-raised Wisconsinite. If you’re not familiar, Wisco is the Dairy Capital of the USA, and I totally approved of the cheese at GYG. The meat and cheese, two major ingredients, were excellent.
Recommended: Spicy chicken quesadilla, two for ¥870
5. Change Up Dessert With Some Churro Magic
GYG’s “Churros on Ice” make for spectacular Instagram shots, but I wasn’t convinced they were worth more than that. But, after sinking my teeth into the caramel one — wow. Super addictive. If you’re in the mood for some dessert, head over to Guzman Y Gomez for three different medleys of ice cream and churros including strawberry, banana and caramel and cinnamon and chocolate. P.S.: If you’re not up for ice cream, you can still order a regular churro served up with Mexican spicy chocolate.
Recommended: Banana and mango churro on ice, ¥550
Address: 2F Laforet Harajuku, 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11 a.m.- 9:30 p.m. (L.O. 9 p.m.)