tokyo burger blog

burgers in tokyo and beyond

an obsessive journey through Tokyo, Japan to find the best Japanese hamburger

Shanks

Shanks is not a bar you you would just stumble upon. If you did  manage to stumble into the second floor of a generic building across from Sangubashi Station, you still wouldn't think of ordering a burger. The bar serves all kinds of whiskey, along with a pleasantly varied list of high end beers and some nice wines by the glass. 

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In fact, I was wondering if I'd come to the right place. The two small tables and five seat bar didn't leave a lot of room for eating, and the menu only had drinks.  Yet when I asked the bartender, she pointed out there was another page to the menu, and here I finally found the two burgers they offer.

I had struck up a conversation with the guy next to me at the bar and he turned out to be a local who assured me both of the burger options were great. The bartender warned me the burger takes at least 23 hours to make (okay, maybe it was 30 minutes).

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Although 30 minutes of commitment is a bit much for me, it turned out to be well worth it. The Smoky Cheeseburger lived up to its name. A rich taste, somewhat toasted bun, and some very smoky tasting cheese all combine for a completely satisfying burger experience. For $10 with no fries, it's a bit more expensive, but the quality is fantastic (aside from some very peculiar bitter pickles on the side that are best avoided - and this is coming from someone who loves kimchi, tsukemono, umeboshi, or almost anything pickled). 

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Friendly people, good service and a phenomenal burger. The only thing I don't like about Shanks is the typically Japanese ¥500 yen table charge that you get whether you order one drink or a whole meal. That just bugs me. I came to Japan to escape the land of vague tipping (oh, and maybe some culture stuff, too).

Ambience 8.5/10, Burger 8/10, Fries N/A

http://goo.gl/maps/XjsTJ