Yanaka is kind of "Stuck in time" The main street "Yanaka Ginza" is reminiscent of 1950s-1970s style streets, filled with small cheap food stalls (Go before 5pm as things start to sell out) and many cheap liqueur stores, along with many of your general things (Grocery stores, etc)
There's pretty neat stuff all around the Yanaka area so I recommend a wander around. It's a pretty short wander away from Nippori or Ueno so you can explore more of Taito Ward in the same day. All in all, I would go back.
Yanaka is amazing. It has a nice mix of old style Japanese houses, over thirty temples and shrines, a tranquil cemetery where you can enjoy cherry blossoms in spring, a great sunset with a view of Mount Fuji on a clear day, a decent cat café, and of course, Yanaka-Ginza Street; the famous shopping street that runs along a steep slope and sells everything from hand made jewellery, inexpensive street food, hand-crafts, and traditional style souvenir art. A trip to Yanaka is a great distraction for a few hours when you're in and around Tokyo.