©Photo by iStock: bernardbodo

LGBTQ+ Owned/Operated Eateries in Tokyo

Tokyo’s LGB-eaTs: Colorful Dining For Colorful People

By Sydney Seekford
May 22, 2024
Food & Drink

If you’re tired of booze overwhelming the queer dining scene, we’ve got good news!

When it comes to LGBTQ+ spaces in Tokyo, the lion’s share lives in Shinjuku Ni-chome. While Ni-chome’s well-known nightlife is great for the right mood, it’s hard to capture the tenderness of gazing into each other’s eyes over a drink when the soundtrack is bass music and shouting. We sniffed out six queer-positive eateries in Tokyo that don’t limit the fun to bar time.

  1. Alamas Cafe
  2. Seijo Sakedokoro En
  3. Cafe & Bar Hinata
  4. Shinjuku Dialogue
  5. Dorobune
  6. Roy to Silo

While you’ll certainly be able to get a beer at most featured establishments, we’ve picked spots where alcohol isn’t the main focus. Conveniently, many of the locations we scouted are located around tour hubs and areas with solid support for foreigners, guests and tourists alike.

Alamas Cafe

Alamas Cafe LGBTQ Owned/Operated Eateries Around Tokyo© Photo by Alamas Cafe

The menu at Alamas Cafe leans tex-mex with its focus on loaded street-style tacos and nachos. Though the name Alamas comes from the Thai language, Christian iconography and Mexican fiesta energy inspire much of the decor at this Ni-chome eatery. Looking at the venue’s X (formally Twitter) page would give the impression that this is just another theme-y bar, but you can pop in confident that you’re going to find some real food. It’s a good Uber-eats option too if you’re hungry and still want to support the community.

The cafe is operated by Aliving, a company that also runs Aisotope Lounge, Aiiro Cafe (not a cafe, for the record, but an English-friendly bar and LGBQ+ life resource) and Avant Garde Tokyo.

  • Address: 2-12-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
  • Price: ¥1,000~¥1,999
  • Hours: Weekdays: 6 p.m.–2 a.m.; Fri, Sat, Sundays before a holiday: 6 p.m.–5 a.m. the next day; Sundays, holidays: 3 p.m.–12 a.m.

Seijo Sakedokoro En

Seijo Sakedokoro En© Photo by Seijo Sakedokoro En

In many ways, En is an izakaya like any other. Homey Japanese dishes fill patrons up after a long workday. Here, “toriaezu, nama” (the Japanese equivalent of “Just a beer for now!”) is a cultural equalizer, not just an order. Located about three minutes from Seijo Gakuen-mae station, you won’t see the owners of En making a big deal of their connection to the LGBTQ sphere. Instead, their pride comes from a commitment to fresh ingredients and a genuine appreciation for good nihonshu (sake).

We recommend this spot for couples who aren’t looking for a place that’s loud and proud. Instead, En offers a chance for queer couples to fully enjoy a simple and very real experience. Come here for karaage and hand-holding under the table without worrying about a sideways glance.

Cafe & Bar Hinata

Cafe & Bar Hinata© Photo by Cafe & Bar Hinata

Hinata opens at three and runs into the night at its fifth-floor venue in Ikebukuro. The space has Japanese “bal” bistro energy like a patissier crashed into an izakaya. We love it though, because the freedom and creativity that flow through Hinata’s menu make it especially welcoming. Hinata’s appeal reaches into the hearts of women looking for a space to be themselves.

Aside from being no-boys-allowed, Hinata has one more quirk: smoked meats are the specialty. Popular menu items like ham-donburi (a rice bowl topped with house-made ham), smoked bacon and eggs, and even cream cheese aren’t what you’d typically expect to find in a place that also offers lattes and chiffon cake. If you’ve ever felt too worried about scarfing down smoky bacon and saucy, spicy noodles in front of others, this is the spot to let it all hang out.

Shinjuku Dialogue

Shinjuku Dialogue© Photo by Shinjuku Dialogue

Order a drink and donate 50 yen to one of the designated sustainable development goals. Beer, soft drinks, coffee—take your pick! Then order a vegan lunch plate to go with it. Dialogue commits itself to forming close ties with local farms and offering a menu that highlights plant-based and fermented foods.

This Shinjuku San-chome cafe brings individuals from all walks of life together to consider how we can move towards a brighter future. With contemporary ways of thinking and a palpable concern for the way things are going, Dialogue invites all people to enjoy food prepared with respect for each other and the planet.


Dorobune© Photo by Dorobune

Dorobune is loved for its izakaya atmosphere, but the philosophy of its specialty is the real kicker. After all, okonomiyaki and life are both most enjoyable when you honor your own preferences!

The menu includes a solid variety of other dishes too, including salad, gnocchi, pickles and udon specially sourced from a long-running maker in Koenji. Dorobune is the place to go for Okonomiyaki and other teppan dishes with a group of friends and even pets! While men are allowed with recommendations or accompanied by women, Saturday is a girls-only day, so keep that in mind!

  • Addres: Tokyo, Shinjuku-ward, Shinjuku 2-7-3, Vera Heights Shinjuku Gaien 205
  • Price: ¥1,000~¥1,999
  • Hours: Tues-Thu, Sun:  7 p.m.-12 a.m. (last order at 11 p.m.); Fri: 7 p.m.-1 a.m., (last order at midnight); Sat: women only, 7 p.m.-1 a.m. (last order at midnight); Closed Mon
  • Remarks: Dog-friendly. Men must be accompanied by a woman on the first visit.

Roy To Silo

Roy to Silo LGBTQ Owned/Operated Eateries Around Tokyo© Photo by Roy to Silo

This evening-only dessert bar is inspired by a children’s book featuring two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who raise a chick. The owners don’t rely on gimmicks to make a sale though, as cute as the penguin mascots may be. Instead, they pour their hearts into hand-made whipped cream and vanilla ice cream parfaits.

Occasionally, Roy To Silo opens for afternoon tea events and offers novel twists, such as warm parfaits in winter. Hungry guests can try the curry too, but we recommend going for the classic vanilla parfait with a bonus dollop of whipped cream served tableside.

Have you been to any of these spots or recommend any other LGBTQ+ owned eateries in Tokyo? Let us know!

A note from the author: While different cultures and individuals choose to adopt many different definitions of “woman”, we cannot guarantee what definition these women-only establishes prescribe to, so as always–be true to yourself and protect your energy.

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