Updated: March 16, 2020
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Ueno Yabu Soba, a must-try for all foodies in Tokyo!

Ueno Yabu Soba is an affordable restaurant (¥1,000 - ¥2,000) serving some of the best soba noodles in Tokyo. It's been a flagship restaurant in Ueno since 1892.

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Ueno Yabu Soba

If you're wondering what to have in Ueno, which is a great gourmet spot with lots of cheap options, arguably one of the very best things you can have is the soba dishes at Ueno Yabu Soba.

The restaurant is in a league of its own, having been around for over 120 years, it's one of the most famous traditional restaurants in the area. The secret to all those decades of success is outstanding soba made the traditional way by hand, coupled with delectable dipping sauces and soups made in-house without the use of flavor enhancers.
The restaurant is pretty big with a seating capacity of 85, but you'll often see people waiting in line to get in. You might want to go outside of the peak lunch and dinner hours for that reason. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30-15:00 on weekdays, 17:30-21:00 for dinner on weekdays, and 11:30 to 21:00 with no interruption of service on weekends.

Note that you can also make a reservation but only on weekdays.

The number 1 dish: the Duck Seiro

This is called the Kamo Seiro Soba (duck seiro soba). 'Seiro' means that you get served the soba noodles cold along with a hot soup in which you dip the noodles into. The soup, in this case, is duck broth combined in which some tsuyu sauce is added for extra deep-tasting umami. It's a pretty strong-tasting soup that's perfect to use as a dipping broth! The thin noodles made from Hokkaido buckwheat are flavorful too and are the perfect match for the duck soup.

Seasonal dishes

Another great menu option if you don't know what to have is the seasonal special. They have one for fall, winter, spring and summer.

The winter Kaki Namban (oyster namban) is particularly popular. It's made with fresh, large-size oysters in an exquisite soup made with seaweed dashi.

Tempura Seiro

Soba and tempura go hand in hand so the Tempura Seiro is also a solid choice with many fans. It comes with huge tempura shrimps that you can also dip in the tsuyu sauce that comes with the set.

Try the sake too!

One last thing to mention about Ueno Yabu Soba is the restaurant's excellent sake, specially selected to pair with their soba dishes. They have many kinds too, just ask the server for some pairing recommendations.
tabikamome
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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