Rock & Roll Diner in Shimokitazawa

This one is really old. Can anyone confirm that it still exists?

In this fun section of Tokyo, full of restaurants, clubs and shops, is the Rock & Roll Diner.
It’s the kind of place you’d be thrilled to run across in Denver or Des Moines, let alone in a place where your chances of finding a good burger are less than your chances of getting a seat on the subway during rush hour. But a good burger is exactly what you’ll find at the Rock & Roll Diner. You’ll also find a fun atmosphere, great music from the ’50s, ’60s and’70s, the best margaritas this side of San Diego, and an efficient staff that speaks English. This spacious, casual restaurant and bar is decorated with neon signs and posters of old American movies and stars such as James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis. On the ceiling above the main dining area is a huge neon American flag which remains unlit except when it flashes along with the Beatles hit “Today It’s Your Birthday” to serenade those celebrating birthdays. There is also a DJ booth where you’ll find slips of paper on which to submit song requests. Upon being seated, you’ll be served a small (but free) plate of chips and a great, fresh salsa. Other appetizers ranging in price from ¥680 to ¥1,480 include chicken quesadillas served with salsa and guacamole, nachos and super nachos, chicken wings and onion rings. As for main courses, the Rock & Roll Diner offers several salads (spinach, Caesar, taco and grilled chicken) ranging in price from ¥880 to ¥1,180. All are large enough to constitute a meal. Also offered are fajitas (chicken at ¥l,580, beef at ¥l,620 and a combination of both for ¥l,780), BBQ chicken and ribs, chimichangas, meat loaf, pizza and grilled pork chops. Prices range from ¥l,380 for the chimichanga and BBQ chicken to ¥2,080 for the ribs. Portions are huge and depending upon the item, include fries, garden salads with excellent dressings (the best blue cheese I’ve had outside of the U.S.), rice, etc. But the very best thing about this restaurant is the burgers. They are thick, juicy and delicious and range in price from ¥1,380 for a cheeseburger to ¥l,480 for a half-pound Rock & Roll Burger to which, for ¥100 each, you can add cheese, bacon, guacamole or chili. The burgers are all served with fries and a salad. The restaurant also offers a vegetarian menu and a children’s menu. The children’s menu includes chicken fingers, burgers, fajitas and ribs. All are priced at under ¥1000 and portions are large. Drinks and desserts, full-sized, can also be ordered off the children’s menu (for children only!) for half the price of the regular menu. Desserts, which we’ve never been able to save room to sample, include thick shakes, root beer floats and mud pie. The Rock & Roll Diner is part restaurant, part bar and therefore offers a huge variety of alcoholic beverages. The margaritas are great and are priced at ¥700 for a regular-sized one or ¥900 for a large-sized one. Beers are ¥600 for a bottle, ¥500 for a draft and ¥2,000 for a pitcher. For a good deal, plan your visit for a Saturday, Sunday or Japanese holiday when drinks are half priced from 4:00 – 6:00 pm. Regardless of the day, the restaurant is open only for dinner and serves food until very late. Telephone?
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the Ome Line to Tachikawa and transfer to the Chuo Line which you will stay on until Kichijoji. At Kichijoji get on the Inokashira Line which will take you to Shimokitazawa. Follow the exit signs to the South Exit. Once outside, there will be a McDonalds directly in front of you. Take a left turn at the McDonalds. Ahead of you and on your left you will see a sign for the Big Ben building. The Rock & Roll Diner is located in the basement of this building, just past a First Kitchen restaurant.
DIRECTIONS FROM TOKYO: We’ve always visited the Rock & Roll Diner while staying in Tokyo. To access it from Tokyo, make your way to the Chiyoda subway line and ride it to Yoyogi-Uehara. At Yoyogi-Uehara get off the subway (which will now be above ground) and simply walk across the platform and get on the next train that comes along. Depending upon if this is an express train, you will have one or two stops to Shimokitazawa. At Shimokitazawa you will have to insert your subway ticket into a machine near the exit and pay an additional fare for your train ride.
Whether or not you have reached this point from Yokota or Tokyo, follow the exit signs to the South Exit. Once outside, there will be a McDonald’s directly in front of you. Take a left turn at the McDonald’s. Ahead of you and on your left you will see a sign for the Big Ben building. The Rock & Roll Diner is located in the basement of this building, just past a First Kitchen restaurant. Joy Thompson 06/97

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