My recent attempt to drink a Japanese craft beer in every ward of Tokyo over the course of 2022 (#beerineveryku) left me at a bit of a loss when it came to Nakano. Despite being next to Shinjuku and therefore pretty central, Nakano has a bit of a dearth of craft beer places. There are a few on here already, but as the aim of the above mentioned mission was in part to tick off new places I thought it would be worth popping to Citraba in Nakano. Ironically, on the way, I spotted a cafe that had a couple of very interesting beers on tap which hadn’t showed up on any web searches. Perhaps Nakano is a ward that likes to keep its places strictly for locals who are in the know. Or perhaps I’m just not good at finding places. In any case, that’s why I ended up at Citraba and here’s what you need to know about it.
- Sister shop to the original Citraba in Koenji. This one is a little smaller, with seating for maybe 30 at a couple of counters and some tables. Quite a lot of seats for the space so don’t come expecting to spread yourself out. Food is extremely meaty here. Think there was only one thing on the menu that vegetarians could eat and not any of the usual pub fall-back dishes non-meat eaters might expect. Quite a lively and young feel to it on the Saturday night we visited and it was pretty busy too.
- 14 taps of craft beer with about half being imports. Beers generally served in two sizes, 280ml and 460ml and priced at ¥650-¥850 for the smaller size and ¥980-¥1550 for the larger. Some stronger or rarer stuff will be served in smaller sizes and at different prices though as has become the case in these kind of bars recently. Perhaps not the most exciting selection as far as I’m concerned but looking at some of their tap lists there always seems to be something nice. Their beer line up is on their Facebook every day, so you can easily check before you visit. They also do fruit sours but this is a beer blog.
- Cover charge of ¥300. Thankfully for me, the otoshi was vegetarian friendly! That might not be a bonus for everyone else though. Slight bit of daytime opening on weekdays (from 4pm) and open all day at the weekend. Didn’t check for WiFi. Sorry!
If you’ve been to the Koenji branch, just imagine not quite as many seats in a smaller space! The lack of food options stopped me staying longer, (but that won’t be an issue for non-veggies), but the staff were really nice and it felt like there were a lot of people having a good time there. So with it being about 10 minutes walk from Nakano JR station, it’s a fun place to go to if you’re in the area.
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Saturday & Sunday, 12:00-23:30
5-49-7谷口ビル1F, Nakano-ku, Tokyo