Tokyo: nice city, shame about the coffee. This used to be a standard complaint amongst foreign residents and visitors alike, with even people who'd considered themselves permanently indisposed to Seattle's most famous coffee export being forced to seek out the 'Bucks in order to get a cup of Joe that seemed even halfway worthy of the name. And while part of the problem was down to ignorance (Café de l'Ambre has been open since 1948, for crying out loud), the good places generally took a lot of effort to find, with shops specialising in espresso drinks being particularly thin on the ground.
No more. The last few years have seen a sharp increase in the number of serious-minded coffee makers plying their trade around the capital, many of them roasting their own beans and wielding heavy-duty espresso machines. Moreover, with the odd exception, most of them actually know what they're doing. Time Out spent a few over-caffeinated weeks trawling around the city in search of Tokyo's best coffee shops, and we were impressed by how many good places we found. Read on for our favourites, and make sure to also check out our picks of the best artisanal coffee shops.
Reviews by James Hadfield and Jon Wilks