Panda Picks: Best Tokyo Coffee Shops & Cafes To Check Out | From Koffee Mameya Kakeru To Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo
Any visit to Tokyo, or rather Japan, will mean visiting cafes for the Pandas. We do love our coffee, and we also enjoying soaking in the unique spaces which the Japanese curates for its coffee shops. The Japanese attempt to perfect everything makes their cafes a notch beyond the third wave cafes we visit anywhere else. Here’s a list of cafes you should visit in your next visit to Tokyo!
Koffee Mameya Kakeru
From the initial Omotesando Coffee, to Koffee Mameya now, the group has always push the boundaries of how we should experience and enjoy the art of coffee drinking. Their latest, Koffee Mameya Kakeru pushes it even further. A full on one hour coffee course experience with 7 different drinks, showcasing different brewing methods with the same coffee bean chosen. Fret not, if you do not have the time, you can go for a filtered coffee of your choice too, and pair it with bites to complete the experience. Unlike a usual cafe where it offers a space for people to take a break or to connect socially, at Koffee Mameya Kakeru coffee appreciation takes central stage. Make reservation before heading down.
Address: 2 Chome-16-14 Hirano, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0023, Japan
Blue Bottle Kiyosumi
The blue wave is here, and taking over neighbourhoods across Tokyo cafe by cafe. This coffee chain from the west coast of the States has been drawing crowds to each new branch it opens in Japan. Skip all the branches in the main districts, our pick will be to visit their branch at Kiyosumi. Occupying a whole building, requiring a good 10 minutes walk from the nearest subway station in a city with the best public train service in the world, you know you will be sipping some good coffee with Japanese perfection. If you are addicted after this visit, head over to their other branches in Shibuya being their latest branch, and Aoyama for being their first branch in Japan.
Address: 1 Chome-4-8 Hirano, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0023, Japan
Allpress Expresso Tokyo Roastery & Cafe
We love this brand. From heading to their namesake cafes in New Zealand to Australia, we have featured this on our social media too many times; and no, we are not paid but will happy to accept Allpress beans as payment in kind! Located in the same district as our recommended branch for Blue Bottle, Allpress offers benches for a quick coffee over some simple bakes. The vibes here gets you instantly out of your daily grind, giving you at least a moment to sip a good cup of coffee. Order the banana bread, have it toasted.
Address: 3 Chome-7-2 Hirano, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0023, Japan
Tokyo can get overwhelming at times, with the constant rush and crowds, and neighbourhoods such as Nakameguro can be such a charm with indie vibes and a conscious attempt to take life just a tad slower. Walk down Meguro river, and head over to Onibus Coffee which is located in a two storey wooden building just beside the train tracks. Order your coffee and sit at the outdoor seats for a quiet moment, or head up to the level two space with windows overlooking the small park and train tracks beside. Enjoy your americano whilst the packed trains move hurriedly by, and be glad that there is nothing for you to catch up on except to stare blankly out.
Address: 2 Chome-14-1 Kamimeguro, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0051, Japan
A specialty roaster brand from Oslo which was established since 2014 in Tokyo, Fuglen Tokyo is definitely one of the most renowed coffee brand in Tokyo today with a few outlets across the city from Shibuya to Asakusa. Coffee beans from Oslo, and the coffeeshop also turns into a cocktail bar in the evening, similar to its Oslo concept.
Address: Across Tokyo
About Life Coffee Brewers
It started as a street side booth on the other end of Shibuya, and About Life now takes a full cafe space at the ground floor of a new chic hotel All Day Place Shibuya. The whole space feels sustainably built, with an all-wood furniture including a self-assembled fridge in the middle of the cafe. Get their banana toast with expresso butter with your coffee, and find a table outdoors to see the world go by while chatting with friends about life, literally.
Address: 1 Chome-17-1 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo
Before you question the legitimacy of this list with the inclusion of a Starbucks, hold your thoughts and pay a visit to this Starbucks Reserve Roaster at Nakameguro and you will understand why. Not often at all that you get to a Starbucks, and be greeted with a four storey concept stall featuring their usual offerings, coupled with various special and seasonal blends, bakes done in-house, a full offering of Starbucks’ Teavana products including freshly grinded matcha powder, a bar offering coffee alcoholic drinks, and outdoor rooftop deck with views of the Meguro River, and of course an extensive range of Starbucks Reserve merchandise. This is a theme park for Starbucks lovers, and also a reminder of just how this brand just keeps reinventing itself to stay relevant and in fact ahead of the curve.
Address: 2 Chome-19-23 Aobadai, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0042, Japan
Not easy to enjoy a space to rest in the midst of the business district of Tokyo and Ginza, Bongen Coffee is a hole in a wall cafe with just enough space to squeeze in a bench at its entrance. Not to sit and chill for a long time, but a space to find zen in the back lanes of Ginza. Order your coffee, wait by the side while admiring the bonsai tree at the back of the counter, or take a couple of minutes to savour the coffee before getting back to what you were doing before Bongen.
Address: 2 Chome-16-3 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
Sarutahiko Coffee The Bridge Harajuku Station
We had our first Sarutahiko Coffee at their Ebisu branch some years back, and their latest branch at Harajuku was highly raved by a friend whom just visited Tokyo before our recent trip. A local coffee chain which takes huge pride in the local Japanese culture as seen in the graphic design of its paper cups, to special collaboration with local brands to offer traditional Japanese bites to pair with their coffee. Head to this branch, grab one of the window seats and people watch as fashionistas walk down Omotesando. Otherwise, any of the other seats in the branch will be worthy of a visit too, with the natural light from the roof and the Japanese interiors. Of course, the coffee was good, and their Matcha Latte was great.
Address: 1 Chome−18−20 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
dotcom space Tokyo
A new space in the back alley of Harajuku, the grey cement finishing and simple look made it look hip – explaining its rather interesting choice of name. My take is to stick to its coffee and skip the bakes. Despite using Balmuda, the toast came across rather dry and honestly just bland. One thing that caught me was their range of home coffee merchandise though. Couldn’t make a decision to part with my money this trip, but I will perhaps visit again and make some purchase.
Address: B1F, 1 Chome−19−19 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Spotted this coffee spot from a Tokyo-based YouTuber video on cafes in the city. Located in the residential district between Shinjuku and Harajuku, the cafe has a rather no-frills vibe with tables primarily for two. Head here for a nice respite if you are walking through Shinjuku Gyoen, or if you want a quiet spot out of the buzzy west Tokyo districts.
Address: 4 Chome−12−8 Sendagaya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0051, Japan
Just a bonus. Not a spot I recommend for its coffee, but because it is Uniqlo. Located at the top floor of Uniqlo Ginza, the largest store of the brand globally, you can get their daily brewed coffee and enjoy it at the glass facade of the building while overlooking the busy shopping streets below along the Main Street at Ginza. They have perfected basic wear, and now they are upping the ante by perfecting the shopping experience with concepts such as Uniqlo Coffee and Uniqlo Flower. Question is, what’s next?
Address: 12F 6 Chome−9−5 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
Ranted by The Rantee