Japan is renowned for taking things to the next level and their cafes are no different. Here are our top picks for Tokyo’s best cafes to check out during your next visit.
Cafes in Japan’s bustling capital are an eclectic mix of the old and the new. Whether you’re visiting to get your daily caffeine fix or seeing what the hype around the latest cafe is all about, there’s one for every occasion. From the classic to the coffee specialists and the quirky, read on for our top picks of some of the city’s best.
Dubbed ‘the apple of the coffee industry,’ renowned San Francisco-based coffee company Blue Bottle Coffee launched their first overseas store in Kiyosumi, Tokyo in 2015. Since then, they have expanded to multiple locations across town, including Aoyama, Roppongi and Shinjuku. The Shinjuku cafe has a minimalist, modern vibe with a slight hip and rustic touch, whilst the coffee being poured is consistently high quality and satisfyingly smooth, made with carefully curated beans from coffee farms all over the world. Those who order lattes are also treated to adorable latte art by the warm and friendly (and English-speaking) baristas.
Insider’s Tip: If you’re looking for something to snack on while enjoying your beverage, we recommend getting one of the delicious pastries right next door at Le Pain de Joel Robuchon.
Address: 4-1-6 Shinjuku | NEWoMan Shinjuku 1F, Shinjuku 160-0022, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: Mon – Fri: 8am – 9:30pm; Sat – Sun: 8am – 9pm
(Opening hours vary between locations so be sure to check out their website before you visit their other locations!)
A beautiful, calm and soothing spot for breakfast, Ivy Place serves up Japanese-style fluffy pancakes from their lovely, light-filled cafe. From the fanciness of avocado and salmon trout to classic sausage and bacon, diners can choose to order from the breakfast menu featuring tasty granola and egg dishes alongside those famous pancakes. We recommend you grab a seat outdoors on their airy terrace – this is a great spot nourish your body with good food and coffee while catching some vitamin D.
Insider’s Tip: Not a morning person? Ivy Place transforms into a bustling restaurant and bar from lunch onwards.
Address:1 6-15 Sarugakucho | Daikanyama T SITE, Shibuya 150-0033, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: Mon – Fri: Breakfast hours from 7am – 11:30am (last order 10:45am)
With only the freshest, never-frozen, handmade cakes on their menu, customers at Harbs sip on rich and milky cups of coffee while devouring a slice (or more) of scrumptious cake. Since opening in 1981, the people at Harbs have always prided themselves on only using strictly selected ingredients of the highest quality – and have grown their reach to take in a total of 35 stores in Japan and New York. From melt-in-your-mouth Mille crepe cakes to an extravaganza of fresh fruit and cream puff pastry sandwiched between airy layers of sponge cake, visits to this spot deliver.
Insider’s Tip: Harbs has a minimum charge of one drink per customer.
Address: B2F, Lumine Est Shinjuku 3-38-1, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (check their website for locations closer to you!)
Open From: Mon – Fri: 11am – 9:30pm; Sat – Sun & Public Holidays: 10:30am – 9:30pm (last order 9pm on all days)
The Rose Bakery started out life in Paris as a cafe dishing up delicious, home-cooked style cakes and desserts. Now, it’s a hot destination from New York to London, Seoul to Tokyo. This outpost is on the 7th floor of the cult Dover Street Market store in Ginza. Stop by for beautifully-made, indulgent delights like richly flavoured cocoa orange polenta cakes, crumbly cranberry scones and their world-famous carrot cake, all served up with your drink of choice, be that a freshly blended juice or a luxuriously velvety chocolate latte.
Insider’s Tip: Heartier dishes like soups, quiches and eggs Benedict are also available if you’ve worked up an appetite shopping on the floors below.
Address: 6-9-5 Ginza | Ginza Komatsu West Wing. 7F, Ginza, Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: Mon – Fri: 11am – 8pm; Sat – Sun & Public Holidays: 9am-8pm
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Nestled behind the beautiful branches and blossoms of each of the three Aoyma Flower Market locations in Japan sits a bright, picturesque greenhouse-like cafe space serving up beautiful dishes. A magical oasis in the middle of Shibuya’s hectic streets, refreshing drinks and beautifully plated desserts like flower parfaits, rose jellies and french toast are prepared by staff who take huge pride in decorating the place. With dark exposed brick walls, light wood-accented decor, low-hanging light bulbs and colourful, handwritten menu signs, this place is quickly gaining popularity in both local and tourist circles. Also, they have an English menu and accept credit card payments.
Insider’s Tip: Feeling peckish? This beautiful cafe also offers mains on their menu.
Address: 5-1-2 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, 107-0062, Tokyo Prefecture (check out their website for two other locations)
Open From: Mon – Sat: 11am – 8pm (last order 7:30pm); Sun & Public Holidays: 11am – 7pm (last order 6:30pm)
The Roastery by Nozy Coffee is a cosy cafe that operates on two very simple values: quality coffee and warm, personal interactions with their customers. The dark oak, 360-degree large island counter situated right in the middle of this space serves as a stage for the skilful, passionate and friendly baristas to showcase their masterpieces, dishing up cups of the hot stuff for connoisseurs and keen amateurs. Amid minimalistic, industrial decor and furniture, customers here walk through the world of coffee via conversation and tasting under the guidance of the staff. With small snacks like cheesecake, meat pies and banana muffins, it also caters those wanting something on the side.
Insider’s Tip: Feeling like a sweet treat? The Roastery offers a house-made, milk and espresso latte soft cream. And, if that’s not enough, you can even have it served up on their New York-style, sugar-coated cronuts.
Address: 5-17-13 Jingumae, Jingumae, Shibuya 150-0001, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: Mon – Sat: 10am – 10pm; Sun & Public Holidays: 10am – 9pm
Wanting their customers to rethink their relationship with the objects they find around them, Think of Things is a bright and minimalist cafe operated by Japanese stationery brand Kokuyo that aims to blur the boundaries between work-style and lifestyle with their carefully edited selection of stationery and home products. After shopping their delightfully minimalist, sleek and chic floors, head to their cafe to sip on real coffee from Tokyo-based Obscura Coffee Roasters. Koppepan sandwiches, Japan’s take on bread rolls, are also amongst their food offerings, filled to the brim with moreish house-made fillings, including golden-crusted pork cutlet and velvety milk cream.
Insider’s Tip: Their spacious and homely cafe extends into a shop selling stationery, furniture, fashion and art items.
Address: 3 Chome-62-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0051
Open From: Mon – Sun: 10am – 8pm (closed every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month)
Fans of Studio Ghibli will recognise the delicious cream puffs served up in Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory Daita. They come in the form of Totoro from the renowned Japanese animated fantasy film ‘My Neighbor Totoro.’ Decked out with adorably cute memorabilia from that and other Ghibli movies, the heavenly flavoured puffs here come looking sweet and filled to the brim with satisfyingly thick custard-like cream. Also serving Totoro-themed cookies and cakes, as well as a whole menu of savoury food, this place is the spot for movie buffs!
Insider’s Tip: Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory Daita has cream puffs that are only available only certain months of the year, so check out their website to see what’s in season!
Address: 5-3-1 Daita, Setagaya 155-0033, Tokyo Prefecture
Open From: Mon-Sun: 10:30am – 7pm
(Closed on Tuesdays. If a public holiday lands on a Tuesday, the cafe will be open on Tuesday and closed on Wednesday)
If the furry beings found in Tokyo’s various ‘animal cafes’ don’t sound your thing, Kotori Cafe is a small-bird cafe with eight different bird species calling it their home. A glass panel separates the cafe space and the birds’ living area, meaning you can sit and watch the birdies while enjoying small snacks like cookies and cakes adorably decorated to look like cartoonified birds by pastry specialists. Customers can also opt to do the ‘mofu-mofu’ (fluffy) experience where, alongside the specially trained staff, one can enter a separate room and interact with the lovable little birds.
Insider’s Tip: The birds here are creatures of habit. Visitors in the morning watch tend to watch them happily frolic and interact with one another, while customers in the afternoon gush on about how cute the napping birds are with their heads tipped ever so slightly to the side.
Address: 1 Chome-8-6 Uenosakuragi, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0002, Japan
Open From: Mon – Sun: 11am – 7pm (check their website for regular holiday notices)
In a spacious and hip atmosphere with pops of pink and green, Little Darling Coffee Roasters is one of the occupants of Share Green Minami Aoyama retail and event space where they sell a mouthwatering assortment of coffee and Chinese-inspired bao (bun) sandwiches along with all kinds of merch, including trendily-styled tote bags and clothing. Handpicking several beans and roasting them on-site a couple of times a week, Head Barista Naoya Akagawa was a Coffee Fest Latte Art World Championship Open finalist, so it’s safe to say the coffee here as beautiful as it is refined. With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, customers can also chill out and laze around without feeling pressured to leave.
Insider’s Tip: Customers who choose to grab a seat and enjoy their meal on the premises can ask for their coffee to be brewed just the way they like it.
Address: 1 Chome-12-32 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan
Open From: Mon – Fri: 8am – 8pm
Nestled in the quiet district of Nakameguro in the small building of a former paper processing factory, Traveler’s Factory is a renowned brand selling all kinds of travel-inspired stationery and postcards, but their iconic and uniquely-styled Traveler’s Notebook is what makes them stand out. Offering a more hands-on and creative way to document travel memories and plan future explorations, customers enjoy a gratifying cup of filtered coffee and a variety of hearty Japanese dishes while eagerly filling out and personalising their newly-purchased notebook in their calmingly quiet second-floor space.
Insider’s Tip: Don’t worry if you’re running low on cash. They accept credit card payments here.
Address: 3-13-10, Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0051
Open From: Mon – Sun: 12pm – 8pm (closed on Tuesdays)