Vabene Shimokitazawa The Bottom Line
Vabene pretty much has everything we look for in a craft beer bar: inside and outside seating both without table charge, a decent selection of reasonably priced beers though they don’t include tax, along with bilingual menus and some decent looking food as well. The atmosphere is nice and chilled, with the well-known sport of people watching in full flow. There is also wifi access too, for those looking looking to update their SNS services, or to comment on the articles.
Vabene Shimokitazawa Full Review
Shimokitazawa is well-known for being the fashion mecca outside of Shibuya, with the area permanently invaded by shoppers and students throughout the day, in particular, at weekends too. The craft beer scene though as been a bit static with only Ushitora and Le Petit L’Ouest offering anything up for those wanting to quench their thirst after some hard shopping and sightseeing. Vabene Shimokitazawa opened up in May 2016, right near what appears to be the entrance to the expanded station. Less said about the last point, the better. It’s the second store in the chain, with the first Vabene being located at the other end of the Inokashira line in Kichijoji.
Vabene Shimokitazawa is located, confusingly, between the north gate of the Keio Inokashira Line and the south gate of the Odakyu Odawara Line, so make sure you use the map on this review to find this place. It’s easy to spot the building though as there are tables outside, full up with groups of drinkers, and to be quite blunt, nothing else like it in the area. There is plenty of seating inside and out, with six tables for groups, while the first floor is much smaller, with only four counter seats. There is a second floor too, with space for about 20 people, with the whole place being non-smoking, though be warned, the outside part does allow smoking. Thankfully, there isn’t any table charge wherever you sit.
There is ten taps of beers of beer on at Vabene Shimokitazawa, with one of those being dedicated to a macro beer, so bring along your Kirin loving friends too. There other nine are geared towards domestic craft beer, and come in two sizes: small (150ml) from ¥300 to ¥450 and large (350ml) from ¥650 to ¥850. The prices don’t include tax, so add on another 8% to that. The beers may be on the small side, but the prices are a tad cheaper than usual Tokyo prices. The beers came up with minimal amount of head every time, and tasted pretty fresh as well. There is a happy hour, but only for the domestic macro beer.
The food at Vabene Shimokitazawa is geared towards Italian, with more meat based dishes than vegetarian but there are choices, and also the menus are bilingual. Some of the staff spoke English too, and were more than willing to explain things on the menu.
Vabene Shimokitazawa Details
Open: Monday to Friday 17:00 to 23:30 (L.O Food 22:30 L.O Drink 23:00)
Saturday, Sunday and National Holiday 11:30 to 23:30 (L.O Food 22:30 Drink 23:00)
Happy Hour: None for craft beer
How to Get to Vabene Shimokitazawa
The closest station to Vabene Shimokitazawa is Shimokitazawa on the Odakyu Odawara Line from Shinjuku in Tokyo, and also the Keio Inokashira Line from Shibuya in Tokyo to Kichijōji. It can be reached from either the North Exit or the South exit, depending which train line you take.