Is that your spaghetti grinning back at you? Welcome to one of the most unique restaurants in Tokyo.
Pedestrians have to be careful when walking in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. A misstep may have you falling down a rabbit hole and into the world of Wonderland.* The “Alice in Fantasy Book” Restaurant offers up that very possibility to the ambitious diner looking to make mealtime into an eccentric affair. The popular theme restaurant greets guests with an allout Wonderland vibe from the moment they walk through the giant, book-shaped door and into Alice’s world.
Once inside, guests are greeted by life-sized Alices—with staff accessorized in her famous blue dress—as well as an assortment of other characters from the Lewis Carroll novels. And the fun doesn’t stop there. The lighting and décor are fit for a Queen of Hearts, with intricate chandeliers and wall coverings, checkered floors ready for a giant game of chess, rooms available for private dining and menus that resemble pop-up works of art.
Whether there for lunch or dinner, food and drink at Alice’s are certainly unique. Dine on a plate of pasta that stares back at you through the eyes of the Cheshire Cat, or take a bite out of the Caterpillar avocado roll while sipping on the Tweedle Dum Tweedle Dee cocktail (it’s kid-friendly!). For the more mature crowd, take some time to explore Wonderland by way of its creative drink menu. Enjoy the scenery over the “Forever Alice” or other themed cocktails—just don’t drink too many and lose track of time (maybe this is what the White Rabbit was up to?).
Whatever the plan, make sure to leave room for dessert. Fine pastries, whipped cream and brightly coloured berries are layered together in delicate treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. Tiramisu and freshly baked chocolate cake help to round out the selection. Create your own Mad Hatter tea party—order them all!
Keep in mind, dining in such fantastical surroundings comes at a cost. Guests are required to pay a ¥500 cover fee (that’s about $4.80 for us Canadian folk) in addition to purchasing a minimum of one food item and one drink. Menu prices are slightly above average and the bill will include a 10 per cent service fee (consider it Wonderland inflation), so expect to pay more for your meal. But being able to say that you dined in Wonderland may be worth the price.
Due to the popularity of the “Alice in Fantasy Book” Restaurant, reservations are necessary. But don’t despair if you can’t get into this corner of Alice’s world. Four other Alice-themed restaurants can be found in Tokyo, each offering their own unique design and menu. To make travel to these different Wonderland destinations easy, each restaurant is located in close proximity to the Tokyo train system. Wonderland dining experiences can occur near the Ikebukuro Station, Shinjuku West (where this particular restaurant is located), Shinjuku East, the Shibuya Station and the Ginza Station. Happy dining!
*Cute Alice reference aside, be careful! The restaurant is located on the underground level, so if you do find yourself falling into a rabbit hole, you may have actually fallen down a flight of stairs. Ouch!
Curiouser and curiouser…
If you’re planning on eating at any of the Alice restaurants, you should be an informed diner.
Here are some facts about the original Alice:
- Lewis Carroll wrote two Alice books, the first being Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the sequel being Through the Looking Glass.
- Lewis Carroll’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
- The first Alice book was written for a real-life Alice: Alice Liddell.
- Alice Liddell was a brunette, not a blonde.
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published on Nov. 26, 1865.
- Queen Victoria was a fan of the books.
Lewis Carroll illustrated the first novel, but his drawings were replaced by those of another artist prior to publication.
Alice in Fantasy Book
Just a five-minute walk from the Shinjuku Station (west side), the “Alice in Fantasy Book” Restaurant is located on the underground level of the T-wing Building. Keep a lookout for the sign or you may miss it altogether!
TEL: 03-3207-9055 | T-wing Building B2, 1-6-2 Kabuki-cho,
OPEN HOURS: Mon–Fri: 5 pm–11:30 pm (last order 10:30 pm) Sat–Sun and holidays: 4 pm–11:30 pm ( last order 10:30 pm)