Aside from being well-known for their exceptional dishes and unique drinker’s paradise, Japan, particularly the beautiful and sleepless city of Tokyo, also takes pride in their fine servings of coffee. Cafés around the city are everywhere, ranging from family-oriented ones to business meetings types and the ones you like to linger around whether you’re contemplating life or simply want to spend a quiet time with yourself. Over the years, Tokyo’s delicious coffee scene has undergone major changes from being something to be consumed in the morning to get going through the day to becoming something most people drink over sweet servings of desserts or over thoughtful conversations with family and friends. Now, coffee isn’t the typical brewed ones you’d often seen being served in a paper cup but in sophisticated mugs with fancy latte art of a leaf and or maybe a cute face of a dog or cat. These are the kinds of cafés you won’t find anywhere else in the country, providing not only the best coffee but also great service to its guests. So without further ado, here are the top 7 best cafés in Tokyo.
Coffee enthusiasts will surely enjoy these carefully curated best cafés in Tokyo and might even convert that one friend of yours who swore coffee wasn’t the drink for them. Get yourself ready for a caffeinated ride with these best cafés in Tokyo.
First stop is Good People & Good Coffee (3-4-11 Higashiyama, Meguro-ku Tokyo). This small and intimate coffee shop is one for the books. As you enter the coffee shop, you’ll immediately feel its warm presence around you with fine interiors, thick books placed on shelves, and brightly lit yellow lights hanging like fireflies over your head. At the counter, you’re welcomed by resident barista Tomoshi Okamoto which educates his guests with the coffee they serve. In here, he asks the guests which coffee style they prefer, be it American-style, Italian-style, and of course, Tokyo-style, most of which are pour-over coffee. Everything is made original and special for each guest and is the perfect hangout place for those who simply want good coffee shared with good people.
After Omotesando Koffee closed for good last 2015, people missed its good old servings of delicious coffee. But fans of said café rejoiced when they knew that the same man who opened it, Eiichi Kunitomo, opened another café called Koffee Mameya (4-15-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku Tokyo). Though the café is mostly for selling and promoting quality coffee beans to its guests — ranging from 15 to 20 varieties of top-notch styles, handpicked by the owner — you can still order and drink up their quality coffee and espresso servings in beautiful coffee cups at the counter. You can even have a conversation or two with Mr. Eiichi Kunitomo.
Glitch Coffee & Roasters (3-16 Kanda-Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo) is another café which serves quality coffee drinks to people, welcoming them in their vision to participate in promoting great coffee to others. The café is nestled between old, secondhand bookstores and is just a few steps away from Yasukuni Shrine. Clean and light, their coffee drinks are best served with their freshly baked pastries and bread, blending well with the combination of bitterness and sweetness. If you’re a bit lost as to which coffee you should choose, the staff are glad to help and offer their suggestions, even letting you take a sip of each variety. Lunchtime can be a bit crowded but you can always order your coffee to go. Either way, you can always expect to receive the grand expertise and knowledge about coffee in this great café.
Up and running since 1948, Café de l’Ambre (8-10-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo) is a beautiful vintage café owned by the same man who opened it first, Mr. Ichiro Sekiguchi. Upon entering the café, you’ll immediately feel like you are being transported to the past with its rather fascinating interior. This is probably the only café where you’ll see a washing machine somewhere inside. It is also one of the only places that use a cloth to filter the delicious servings of coffee. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, this café is usually packed but you can always take a seat at the counter where you can chat away with the barista. Choose your coffee in their 30 variety of great beans which include aged beans or simply ask which coffee bean is best. This café is lively, especially on weekend afternoons and highly encourages their guests to laugh out loud.
One of the pioneers of third-wave coffee in the country, Blue Bottle Coffee (1-4-8 Hirano, Koto-ku Tokyo) serves honest to goodness coffee drinks. Everything is made in the café and promotes quality coffee beans which are proudly made and owned with no third-party involved. Coffee beans are harvested fresh every day and are served 48 hours after roasting to maintain that crisp, beautiful taste of caffeine which is mostly absent from other cafés. Pair your cup of coffee with freshly baked pastries, cookies, and carefully crafted sandwiches. Spend an afternoon here and you’ll know why it’s one of the best places to get your caffeine fix. Order up and have a taste of honest coffee drink fresh from the roaster.
Amameria Espresso (3-6-15 Koyama, Shinagawa-ku Tokyo) is another crowd favorite which serves one of its bestsellers, The Gibraltar, which is a deliciously blended coffee drink that has a good smooth and creamy texture that lingers even after you have finished it. First timers are sure to be lured in with the aromatic smell coming from the counter and are welcomed with a beautiful Synesso machine that produces buttery espresso which has a citrus tang in it. Be sure to drop by and order some of their best tasting coffee drinks paired with waffles or toasts or maybe purchase their popular house-roasted beans to bring home.
The first thing that you will notice when you enter Satei Hato (1-15-19 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku Tokyo) is their marvelous collection of tableware placed on hardwood shelves. It almost outshines the coffee drinks served here. Once you’re at the counter, you’ll instantly smell the coffee roasting from behind. They serve quality hand-drip coffee drinks which you can easily pair with their homemade cakes and pastries. Staff is formally dressed and religiously attend to their guests’ needs, offering suggestions about their coffee and educating them about it. Drop by in the afternoon and bask in the quietness while sipping a good cup of hot coffee.
She’s cooking and baking for her family and friends. She finds grocery shopping therapeutic, always takes the longest time in the Asian section and debates with herself whether she needs that extra pack of instant ramen. A lover of sweets, she dreams of owning a patisserie and publishing her book but most of the time, she’s just really thinking of what to eat for breakfast the next day.