Ochanomizu is informally known as the "Latin Quarter of Japan," thanks to its student life, lively atmosphere and distinctive restaurants, cafes, and bars. The area hosts the main campuses of Meiji University, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and Juntendo University. It is also famous for its many musical instrument stores and ski and snowboard shops.
Opposite Meiji University is a quaint Italian ristorante called Trattoria Lemon, which started in 1968. It has been and continues to be a nostalgic and fashionable gathering spot in the neighborhood. This lovely place is brought to you by the same people who are behind Lemon Gasui, a shop frequented by artists, designers, and architects and famous for selling art supplies to make models. It is no surprise then that the exterior and interior of Trattoria Lemon reflect these artistic sensibilities. The design is inspired by the Italian trend of eliminating the boundary between art and coffee shop.
On a good day, the outdoor seating, nestled within the copious green cover is particularly inviting. The interior is a feast for designer eyes. The warmth of polished wood blends seamlessly with iron ornaments and antiques, transforming the space into a vintage ritzy lounge. Trattoria Lemon draws a big lunch crowd of professors, students, and office workers, and lines are not unusual. Pasta dishes start at ¥870 (basic Pasta Pomodoro or tomato-sauce pasta). Menu items are listed in Japanese and Italian only. All pasta dishes come with either coffee or tea, making them reasonably priced sets. The pasta is cooked to al-dente perfection, the taste is refined, and the serving proportion enough.
At night, Trattoria Lemon hosts Bar Limone, a calm refined space to enjoy Italian wine. Dinner items are slightly more expensive. Trattoria Lemon is open to hosting your private parties. The restaurant can accommodate a maximum of 70 people. Party plan menus start at ¥5,000 per person and includes antipasto (appetizer), pasta, carne (meat dish), dolce (dessert), and drinks.
Trattoria Lemon is about a 3-minute walk from Ochanomizu Station (served by JR, Chiyoda Line and Marunouchi Line) and is on the ground floor of the Lemon Part II Building.