Patisserie Asako Iwayanagi 1/4
Photo: Yohei OtobePatisserie Asako Iwayanagi
Ease2/4
Photo: Stirling ElmendorfEase
Ginza Maison Henri Charpentier3/4
Photo: Ginza Maison Henri CharpentierGinza Maison Henri Charpentier
Dandelion4/4
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa Dandelion Chocolate, Kuramae

6 best patisseries and dessert cafés in Tokyo

These cake and dessert shops offer decadent treats from matcha eclairs to shiso mousse cake

By Jessica Thompson
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Tokyo may be renowned for its boisterous izakaya, towering bowls of tempura and high-end sushi, but desserts are not to be missed. Local pastry chefs have a knack for executing traditional French sweets with masterly precision, as well as infusing them with a local twist: matcha croissants, shiso mousse cakes, roast soybean gelato. 

The desserts of these accomplished pastry chefs are a showcase of different textures, temperatures and seasonal ingredients, and also tend to tone down the sweetness to allow their natural ingredients to shine. You’ll find the stores all over town, from upmarket Ginza salons to uber-modern neighbourhood haunts. 

RECOMMENDED: Get more than just great bread at these Tokyo bakeries

The sweet spot

Ease
Ease
Photo: Ease

Ease

Restaurants Kayabacho

Ease, a stylish new patisserie in Nihonbashi, offers a rare experience where you can dine in and watch the sweets being made. Seven seats run along a counter overlooking the expansive open kitchen, allowing for a full sensory experience. The deft work of the chefs will no doubt impress, and it's a fitting precursor for the finessed pastries that await. 

Expect unique flavour combinations like shiso with mango mousse cake, or strawberry and Amazon cacao millefeuille. Owner-chef Keisuke Oyama is an award-winning pastry chef who has studied in France and worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants.

Ginza Maison Henri Charpentier
Ginza Maison Henri Charpentier
Photo: Ginza Maison Henri Charpentier

Ginza Maison Henri Charpentier

Bars and pubs Ginza

This is an upmarket dessert experience in a luxurious setting. The store is spread over two floors, the top floor housing an elegant bar with a long marble bench looking out through large arched windows over Ginza; downstairs, there’s the opulent tea salon. Choose something from the cases of ready-made sweets, such as a gold leaf-topped lemon tart or crisp Napoleon, or order from the menu, where Crêpes Suzette are the signature item, cooked at the table and served with vanilla bean ice cream.

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Patisserie Asako Iwayanagi
Patisserie Asako Iwayanagi
Photo: Yohei Otobe

Patisserie Asako Iwayanagi

Restaurants Pâtisseries Setagaya

Come here for parfaits elevated to heavenly levels – each one looks more like a miniature terrarium than a dessert. To help dissect your dessert, your parfait will come with a diagram mapping out the components – as many as 20 – such as gold leaf, pickled kumquat syrup, green tea mochi, micro herbs, kinako (roasted soybean powder) gelato, and fresh seasonal fruit.

The interior of Asako Iwayanagi’s namesake store is a surprisingly modernist setting: floors and walls of sleek grey concrete, with minimal adornments, bar some hanging plants to bring warmth.

Dandelion
Dandelion
Photo: Keisuke Tanigawa

Dandelion Chocolate

Restaurants Cafés Asakusa

Immerse yourself in the world of chocolate at Dandelion Chocolate Factory and Cafe in Kuramae. The company, founded in San Francisco, has a bean-to-bar ethos, meaning every step of the process is managed in-house. At the Kuramae location, you can witness the manufacturing process in action – while you indulge in all things chocolate, of course. 

For the true sweet tooth, go for the chef’s tasting plate: a selection of five desserts like a profiterole, cacao fruit gelée and crème brûlée. There’s also a range of chocolate-based drinks like cacao nib cold brew coffee and Kuramae hot chocolate, scented with local green tea leaves; or, if you want to pair your chocolate with something a little stronger, choose from a selection of craft beer and wine.

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Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris
Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris
Photo: Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris

Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris

Shopping Marunouchi

Award-winning pastry chef Sadaharu Aoki blends French pastries with Japanese flavours with exquisite perfection. Aoki left Tokyo for Paris in 1989, working in different patisseries and restaurants before opening his first store there in 2001. In 2005, he opened his Marunouchi store, bringing his refined sweets to his homeland. 

There’s no mistaking the French influences here, from the matcha eclairs and black sesame macarons to the espresso and chocolate-infused opera cake. You can even try special items exclusive to the Marunouchi location, such as a matcha mille-feuille, using local matcha and fermented butter from France.

タイズ Ties
タイズ Ties
タイズ Ties

Ties

Restaurants Cafés Yushima

This long-time neighbourhood favourite specialises in artful sweets and drip coffee. Inside the small store, which seats just 15 people, the atmosphere is calm and the decor reminiscent of a modern kissaten coffee shop, decked out all in timber and moody lighting. 

The signature items are the blueberry tart – a crisp tart filled with a towering mound of airy cream cheese encased by fresh blueberries, and the seasonal shortcakes – layers of soft sponge cake, whipped cream and slices of mango, fig, strawberry, or whatever fruit is in season. Coffee is prepared with a nel drip (a Japanese invention), resulting in rich, concentrated brews.

More sweet treats

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