No tour of Tokyo’s thriving burger scene is complete without a stop at Brozers’
By KAT BOUZA | STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 9, 2017
No western food import holds a higher place in the hearts — and stomachs — of Tokyo’s gastronomy fiends than the humble hamburger. From the affordable classic Mos Burger to the high-end kuroge wagyu burger at Blacows, Tokyo has quickly become a top dining destination for hungry locals and travelers in search of all things beef and bun related.
However, no tour of Tokyo’s thriving burger scene is complete without a stop (or two) at Brozers’, consistently ranked as one of the best burger restaurants in the city.
This cozy retro-themed diner, which describes itself as a “hamburger restaurant overflowing with American taste,” has been serving gourmet burgers in Tokyo’s Ningyocho district since mid-2000.
Every burger on Brozers’ menu is built upon a singular culinary canvas: Crisp leaves of iceberg lettuce sit atop a thin layer of creamy Japanese mayonnaise. Several rings of raw onion and a single slice of a perfectly ripe tomato prop up a juicy, lean handmade patty. An expertly toasted bun holds it all in place — and nearly every burger is topped with a squeeze of Brozers’ house barbeque sauce, which provides a subtle, smoky tang and the perfect finishing touch.
The standout of Brozers’ burgers is, somewhat surprisingly, the bun — a spongy and sweet sesame roll that somehow retains the crunch from a light toasting despite also being able to contain the inevitable mess a burger brings. Too many of Tokyo’s gourmet burger options rely on low-quality buns, which usually result in a soggy, slippery disaster midway through the meal. Brozers’ buns, however, manage to keep the patty and its toppings intact — something any burger fanatic knows is no small feat.
What Brozers’ burgers lack in size they make up for in flavor. While many of Tokyo’s burger offerings suffer from an overload of gimmicky, disparate toppings, Brozers’ opts for a more understated approach that ensures the taste and texture of each ingredient isn’t overpowered by another. Whether a customer opts for a simple hamburger (1,150 yen or about $10) or an avocado bacon cheeseburger (1,600 or about $14), the ratio of each topping is such that the first bite is as good as the last.
This isn’t to say, however, that Brozers’ doesn’t venture into slightly more adventurous burger topping territory. Diners who visit during dinner hours can choose from a variety of less-common burger combinations, including the restaurant’s signature offering, the Lot Burger — a behemoth featuring bacon, pineapple, a fried egg, barbeque sauce, teriyaki sauce and spicy chili sauce. (If one patty isn’t enough, the Double Lot Burger should satisfy the appetite of even the hungriest of customers.)
Not in the mood for burgers? Both Brozers’ lunch and dinner menus offer a variety of American comfort foods, from oversized chili dogs to triple-stacked club sandwiches — all served with the same meticulous attention to taste and presentation as Brozers’ cornerstone dish.
American diners eager for a taste of home might be surprised to find a pastrami sandwich (1,150 yen) on the menu — a true rarity in the Tokyo dining scene, even in the city’s more cosmopolitan neighborhoods. Although it lacks the sandwich’s traditional rye bread, the bold, peppery flavor of the thinly sliced pastrami makes Brozers’ take a worthy homage to the iconic deli staple.
Like most Tokyo burger joints, Brozers’ may leave diner’s wallets a bit lighter at the end of the meal — so budget-conscious visitors looking for a burger fix should make plans to visit the restaurant on weekdays to take advantage of Brozers’ lunch specials. Burgers and select menu items are slightly discounted compared with the dinner menu, and all items come with a side of fries.
Despite the price tag, Brozers’ is an undeniable standout when compared with other burger restaurants at similar price points in the 23 wards. Sometimes, simple really is best — and no other burger in Tokyo embodies this sentiment more than Brozers’ straightforward-yet-familiar take on classic American diner fare.
Location: 2-28-5 Nihonbashi Ningyocho, Chuo-ku , Tokyo. Accessible via the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line or Toei Asakusa Line at Ningyocho Station (3-minute walk) or the Toei Shinjuku Line at Hamacho Station (5-minute walk).
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays and holidays. Lunch at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
Prices: Basic burgers start at 1,150 yen (about $10), while more creative options range from 1,350 to 2,000. Soft drinks (400 yen) and a variety of alcoholic beverages (500 yen to 680 yen) can be added to any meal.